Provocative environmental group Extinction Rebellion is having a bit of a moment. On Monday evening, members of the nonviolent socio-political movement stormed the Houses of Parliament, baring their bottoms in front of the assembled MPs who were gathered to muddle their way through another dead-end night of Brexiteering. Ed Miliband seemed particularly taken aback by the flesh on show.
Today, having broken free of the Commons, Extinction Rebellion has teamed up with 190 UK arts and culture institutions and individual to declare a climate and ecological emergency. Yep, you read that right: from this morning on, we’re going to be living in the midst of an emergency. Those groups and institutions include the Jerwood Foundation, the Royal Court, and climate change awareness campaigners Invisible Dust.
What does it mean, though, to declare a state of emergency? According to Culture Declares Emergency, the snappily-named umbrella group which has instigated the situation, “inspired by dozens of UK councils declaring climate emergencies – from Cornwall to Hull, from Mendip to London – members of the arts, culture and creative industries have decided to ask how their sector might respond collectively.”
The decision to declare the emergency has been coupled with “a beautifully-curated and disruptive procession,” through London. The group reports that over 150 people joined the nonviolent march.
Any neigh-sayers (get it???) doubting that the horse in question is a real one, listen up: “A real horse was deliberately chosen to lead the procession to symbolically show the need for culture to align with nature, alongside the grave truth that all living species, with large mammals being most at risk of extinction,” says Culture Declares Emergency.