Extinction Rebellion protestors stage die-in at Natural History Museum - Museums Association

Extinction Rebellion protestors stage die-in at Natural History Museum

Group chose venue to raise awareness of mass extinction
Bethan Kapur
Extinction Rebellion protestors staged a die-in at the Natural History Museum at the weekend in order to raise awareness of mass extinction. 

The group, which is calling for immediate government action on climate change, said the die-in symbolised the extinct animals on display at the museum. An Extinction Rebellion spokeswoman said: “It was to raise awareness of the current extinction rates and to show that we do not want to add current living species to their list.”

More than 100 protestors lay under the blue whale skeleton at the main entrance during the event, which lasted around half an hour.

Extinction Rebellion protestors have staged interventions and blockades at a range of locations, from Oxford Street and to parliament, but this was their first time occupying a museum. The spokeswoman said: “It was a different venue to other, more political spaces so we could reach new people to raise awareness about our demands.”

More than 1,000 people have been arrested since the climate action campaign began on 15 April. Extinction Rebellion announced yesterday that it was winding down its 10-day occupation of London and would move on to a new phase of its campaign. It plans to carry out several more targeted actions in the coming days. 

A spokesperson for the Natural History Museum said: “The peaceful protest was supervised by museum staff to ensure safety of visitors and allow them continued access to the galleries. It took place without incident.”

A feature on museums and biodiversity will be in the May issue of Museums Journal. The theme of this year's Museums Association Annual Conference (Brighton, 3-5 October) is Sustainable and Ethical Museums in a Globalised World. Click here to find out more

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