News from the Natural World: “How does this help us?” asks indigenous Brazilian confused by bloodbath in London.
Five human Extinction Rebellion protesters were arrested in London on Sunday 9th August. They eco-warriors had poured fake blood over Trafalgar Square. The human group said they had done so to show solidarity with indigenous people dying of Covid-19 in Brazil. The group – also known as XR – went one step further and dyed the iconic fountains bright yellow and red. They did this by using food dye as well as to mark the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.
The animal kingdom is often confused by the strange actions of humans. But this latest stunt really had animal minds perplexed. The human protesters lay on the drenched steps pretending to be dead. In addition, they displayed a banner reading ‘indigenous emergency’. It was all rather surreal. Others also held signs reading ‘genocide = ecocide’ and ‘indigenous emergency’ during the protest. The Platypus managed to secure an interview with the group. They said they aimed to raise awareness of the number of indigenous people in Brazil – the second worst-hit country in the world – dying from Covid-19.
Brazilian indigenous community confused
The Platypus was utterly confused by this bizarre protest. So we set off to interview a member of this indigenous community in Brazil. We spoke with Ashaninka, the leader of the human group. When we showed him the pictures of the Extinction Rebellion protest in Trafalgar Square he was perplexed. “They are doing this for us? For me and my people? “. Furthermore, Ashaninka went on to say that it seemed that this act in no way specifically helped him and his people. The costumes, signs, fake blood, and pomp were just self-indulgent. They were merely a distraction from the real challenge at hand.
Ashaninka asked us who these people were. We told him that Extinction Rebellion supporters were overwhelmingly middle class, highly-educated women from the South of England. Bemusement spread across Ashaninka’s face. Had these people been to Brazil? Had they lived amongst indigenous communities? Did they understand the challenges he was facing, did they really think that they were helping?