Olivia Brock, HSU wildlife biology major and indigenous peoples natural resource use and the environment minor, speaks after a die-in climate protest in HSU’s quad on Sept. 27. | Photo by James Wilde

Dying for a Climate Cause

Die-in protest advocates for action on climate change.
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Die-in protest advocates for action on climate change

Motionless bodies lay in the Humboldt State University quad on Friday.

Junior wildlife major Olivia Brock joined a die-in protest put on by Extinction Rebellion with help from Earth First.

“We want to show them that if they’re gonna kill us, then they have to see us,” Brock said.

A variety of HSU students pretended to be dead on the ground, with many holding flowers in their hands and some wearing face paint.

Extinction Rebellion and Earth First advocate and protest for governmental action on climate change and environmental issues.

Junior forestry major Arvel Reeves joined the protest despite not knowing about it beforehand.

“Climate change is something I really worry about,” Reeves said. “It’s only going to get worse.”

Lily Price, HSU botany student, played a morose tune over the protesters’ bodies on a harmonium, an organ instrument that sounds similar to an accordion.

The protest came one week after a global climate strike that saw thousands of protests around the world, including one in Arcata.

Ellis Hanson, a junior wildlife biology major, wanted to help stand for the earth.

“I did this to do a demonstration,” Hanson said. “To make sure everyone remembers the crisis we’re in.”

Students passing by showed mixed reactions to the protesters. Some stopped and watched. Others took photos on their phones. Others scurried along without a second glance.

Brock hoped the visual nature of the protest would draw attention.

“We want to make the people of Humboldt County see the future we’re being handed,” Brock said.

Heri Hawthorn, a local activist, helped create some of the signs and banners for the protest. Hawthorn held a sign above the protesters while they lay still.

“There’s nothing else to do except support others and curb what’s happening,” Hawthorn said.

Early on, when a University Center employee took down an unpermitted protest banner. Brock took notice.

“Don’t you care about your children?” Brock asked the employee. “The earth is dying!”

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