I died last Saturday

I died last Saturday. With 16 other people. In the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town. Five of us from BANZAI joined an XR Die-In on the morning of  27th August 2022.  Deliberately theatrical, and scheduled to coincide with the last week of the Fringe, the action drew attention to the continuing failure of the government to urgently address climate and ecological breakdown.  

Close-up of XR Die-In participant lying on cobbles under a sheet, with bare feet visible
“Will clearly carry the memory of the last thing I see: a bright blue sky, J’s smiling face and a white sheet fluttering over my head.”

None of us in the BANZAI group had been rebels in one of XR’s Non-Violent Direct Action events before. We were impressed by how well organised the Die-In was,  and by the level of care and mutual support that was manifested by the participants. We gathered 30 minutes in advance of the Die-In for a group briefing and were reminded that even though global warming was still lower than 1.5 C, the people of Pakistan had lived through extreme heat this summer, followed by devastating floods.

Three XR Die-In participants clothed in red costumes, standing in front of St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh

It’s hard to know how much impact such actions have. The Die-In attracted lots of attention from Festival goers and press photographers, and was sympathetically reported on by Reporting Scotland, Yahoo News, STV News and The National. All this helps, in a small way, to bring the climate emergency to public consciousness. And, as one of our group said, “doing something must be better than doing nothing!”

Close up of XR Die-In participants clothed in red
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