Don’t be surprised if somewhere on campus in the near future, you come across a group of students lying on the ground in a circle. The is the new activist group Extinction Rebellion’s way of drawing attention to climate change and the mass extinctions it is causing.
The first Die-In, in front of the Forum building © Amir Soliman
‘Climate change is the biggest problem we face, and everything and everyone will be affected by it,’ says Malik Dasoo (24), a Pre-Master’s student of International Land and Water Management, and a founder member of the Wageningen branch of Extinction Rebellion. This is a global organization of non-violent activists who want to get climate change higher up the agenda. ‘Wageningen University calls itself a University of Life Sciences, but you can take a degree here without ever talking about climate change. That really must change. It should be included in every curriculum.’
Extinction Rebellion was launched in October 2018 and got in the news when members blocked five bridges in London. It has grown fast since then, and has branches all around the world. The Wageningen branch was started in January and currently has 12 active members. The group is focusing mainly on visibility at the moment, with ‘Die-ins’ in which members lie on the ground in a circle with an hourglass in the middle – Extinction Rebellion’s logo. ‘Lying down stands for the systematic extermination of life,’ says Dasoo, ‘and the hourglass stands for the ticking clock.’
The national climate march
Extinction Rebellion Wageningen aims to stage a Die-In at a different building every Thursday. The group is also organizing a bus to take people to the national climate march in Amsterdam on 10 March. You can reach the activist group on Facebook or at firstname.lastname@example.org.