The Black Friday crowds are out in full force in Vancouver today. In the midst of the shopping chaos, another disruption is hitting the city's streets. A Vancouver climate protest by an activist group called Extinction Rebellion is holding a massive "Funeral for Extinction & Earth Wake" in the downtown core.
The “funeral procession” started at 1 p.m. on Friday, November 29 at Art Phillips Park on Burrard Street. The procession then moved through the streets of downtown Vancouver. Attendees were advised to wear black and “be as theatrical as possible,” according to the Facebook event.
After the funeral, a wake called the “EarthWake” is set to be held at Robson and Thurlow. It is not a coincidence that this event falls on Black Friday.
The group’s Facebook event calls Black Friday a day when “huge corporations exploit consumers by encouraging us to buy more and more."
"Their 'special offers' trigger a sense of urgency and 'exceptional opportunity' to consumers, resulting in an overconsumption of unnecessary goods,” writes the group.
A video of the eerie march shows mourners dressed in black and red carrying a coffin down the middle of a busy street. A massive crowd of protesters can be seen trailing behind them.
Extinction Rebellion is an international climate action movement that demonstrates “non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimize the risk of social collapse,” says their website.
They have held protests in Vancouver before, with the most recent being in October. The group took over Burrard bridge for that specific act of civil disobedience.
Acknowledging that this sort of public action can result in legal trouble, the group's Facebook event writes, "If you are willing to risk arrest at this action - please see the arrestee support section below."
At the core of their strategy, Extinction Rebellion says they need people to “find their courage and to collectively do what is necessary to bring about change.”
With the streets overflowing with Black Friday shoppers in Vancouver, it's safe to say that downtown is quite chaotic at the moment.
If you're trying to get anywhere this evening, it might be best to go on foot rather than trying to drive through the madness.