News ID: 266893
Published: 1018 GMT March 14, 2020

Streets evacuated, but climate protests continue online

Streets evacuated, but climate protests continue online

Environmental groups and climate activists around the world shifted protests from the streets to online because of the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

Like many economic, sports and cultural events, climate demonstrations have been affected by the virus known as COVID-19 but it has not stopped demonstrations, reported.

Groups such as Extinction Rebellions, Fridays for Future and 350, as well as climate activist Swedish Greta Thunberg urged protesters to prevent mass gathering and continue digital activism.

"We listen to science, and right now the science says that mass gatherings will cause harm. But that won’t stop us striking. The climate emergency is the biggest crisis we have ever faced, it won’t wait until after COVID-19 is dealt with - so we can’t either," Fridays for Future said in a statement.

The group urged activists to join a demonstration online by posting pictures using the #ClimateStrikeOnline hashtag.

On week 82 of her school strike, Thunberg joined the protest by tweeting. "In a crisis we change our behavior and adapt to the new circumstances for the greater good of society," she said.

The Animal Rebellion group, alongside Extinction Rebellion, pointed to advice from scientists and doctors on prioritizing public health above the global pandemic.

"Mass public gatherings will not be organized by Animal Rebellion if it is not safe to do so,” the group said on Facebook. “We will return to the streets in future so we ask rebels to continue mobilizing and to be ready for when the time is right.”

The 350 group released a statement that includes a list of ideas on how to organize creatively.

Apart from demonstrating online, the group advised supports to use the time to educate themselves and others about climate science, justice and action and campaigning tactics.

Levent Kurnaz, a professor at the Center for Climate Change and Policy Studies at Istanbul-based Bogazici University, told Anadolu Agency online strikes is the best thing to do at the moment.

Referring to the closure of schools in Turkey, Kurnaz said the children listen to advice — do not organize mass gatherings and join online protests: "I stand with them 100 percent," he said.

"Their main ideas will continue," he said, and not being in the streets and squares will not affect their fight against climate change.

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