Environmentalists and Indigenous rights activists staged a dramatic demonstration in London’s Trafalgar Square over the weekend to mark International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.
Activists from the groups Extinction Rebellion and Brazil’s Indigenous People Articulation poured rivers of fake blood down the steps in front of the National Gallery, and filled Trafalgar Square’s fountain with acid green dye to protest the deaths of Indigenous people in Brazil.
Color-coded red and green to represent genocide and ecocide, the action strove to raise awareness of the ongoing emergencies that Indigenous people are facing. Lives are being threatened by the Brazilian government’s response to the pandemic, the continued illegal deforestation of the Amazon, as well as criminal networks, mining companies, missionaries, and big corporations advancing into their territories.
“COVID-19 arrived in the indigenous territories in an overwhelming way. Indigenous lives are being lost at an increasing pace. We are facing an unprecedented humanitarian tragedy and we need to come together and act,” Brazil’s Indigenous People Articulation says in a statement.
Protesters from the activist organizations HS2 Rebellion and the Internationalist Solidarity Network were also present. As part of the visually arresting protest, some activists laid down on the ground while others raised banners reading “genocide = ecocide” and “Indigenous emergency.”
“These Indigenous communities are at the forefront of the global climate and ecological crisis, as they continue to fight against both genocide and ecocide for LIFE,” Extinction Rebellion said in a statement. “These frontline earth defenders understand that both crises are interconnected to each other, to a broken system disconnected from nature.”
Three Extinction Rebellion activists were arrested for criminal damage during the protest.