Method 45: Demonstrative Funerals / Report on the dangers of being a climate activist

Today, as sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg leads and inspires the world in a climate strike, there’s a disturbing new report that shows darker proof of her bravery. In July, Global Witness released a report that showed that in 2018, more than three people a week died defending their land or our environment:

  • In 2018 Guatemala recorded the sharpest rise in murders, which jumped more than fivefold to make it the deadliest country per capita.
  • The Philippines had the highest number of killings of any country this year, with at least 30 defenders murdered.
  • Mining was the worst sector, causing 43 deaths, though deaths related to conflicts over water sources also surged. Attacks driven by agribusiness, logging and hydropower continued too.
  • Private security groups, state forces and contract killers – sometimes working together – are all suspected of carrying out killings. 

On Tuesday, the activist group Extinction Rebellion staged a demonstrative funeral to mark the end of Fashion Week in London. According to CNN, Bel Jacobs, a former fashion editor who now belongs to Extinction Rebellion, told CNN that Tuesday’s protest was organized to “lay to rest the toxic system that is destroying us all, and to mourn those who have already lost their lives and those still to lose their lives to the effects of climate change.”

Today’s Student Strike is Method 62 of Gene Sharp’s 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action. Since beginning this project a year ago, every time it’s time to do a new post, I’ve never had to look far – these methods are being used every single day, all around the world.

“For way too long, the politicians and the people in power have gotten away with not doing anything at all to fight the climate crisis and the ecological crisis. But we will make sure that they will not get away with it any longer.”

– Greta Thunberg

A note on the image for Method 45: On August 19, Iceland held a demonstrative funeral for Okjökull, a 700-year-old glacier. Okjökull lost its status as a glacier in 2014, and is now a small patch of ice atop a volcano.

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