Demand A Future – Night Forum On Climate Emergency: Extinction Rebellion York hosts a People’s Assembly for the city

On Friday 21st June, Extinction Rebellion York is inviting the city’s residents to act together to combat climate change. Demand A Future – Night Forum On Climate Emergency, at York Explore on Museum Street from 4.00-11.00pm, will be a community-led, participatory assembly, creating an opportunity for groups and individuals to work towards building a sustainable future for all.

We are currently living in a climate and ecological emergency. The 2018 IPCC report warned that we have less than 12 years to act to mitigate climate catastrophe, while the UN’s global assessment report has found that at least a million species are at risk of extinction. Extinction Rebellion is pushing for radical change to minimise the risk of human extinction and ecological collapse.

Following the declaration of a climate emergency by City of York Council, Extinction Rebellion York is reaching out to the local community to begin gathering a vision of what a zero carbon York might look like. Demand A Future has two simple aims: to consider how we can work together without constraints to respond to the climate emergency, and to broaden the awareness of climate justice by bringing different local organisations and people together. The forum will culminate in a list of tangible goals which will then be presented to the council.

Extinction Rebellion York is inviting residents, faith groups and organisations from across the city to come along to a free evening of activities and expert talks and to have their voices heard in a People’s Assembly. The event will involve workshops and stalls from organisations including Stockholm Environment Institute, Real Scientists, Converge York, Edible York, Abundance York and Stand Up To Racism. There will also be a range of performances throughout the night, featuring artists such as singer-songwriter duo Union Jill, theatre company Destruction Beauty and multi-award-winning performance eco-poet Anneliese Emmans Dean.

Demand A Future will be split into three main sections: ALERT, ASSEMBLY, and AHEAD.

4.00 – 7.00pm ALERT: The first part of the evening will offer a variety of family friendly, engaging activities including arts and crafts, choir, face painting, storytelling and more.

7.00 – 9.00pm ASSEMBLY: The event will then move into a period of discussion and debate, encouraging cross-organisational conversations and holding quick-fire speaker sessions.

9.00 – 11.00pm AHEAD: The evening will conclude with live music, spoken word, theatre, and open mic performances.

Mark Matthews, co-ordinator of Extinction Rebellion York, said: “A declaration of a climate emergency and commitment to carbon neutrality was only the start. It means nothing if it’s not followed up with concrete action. Demand A Future will be an opportunity for local people to get involved in demanding what action needs to be taken and imagining what an ecologically and socially just future in York looks like.”

Endorsing Demand A Future, the Archbishop of York John Sentamu said: “It is our shared human calling to care for the earth and each other with the love that God has for his creation and in the sure hope of its restoration, and I fully support any movement to increase peaceful collaboration to that end.”

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