Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Closed on 33rd Anniversary Due to Climate Protest.
Yesterday morning I got together with fellow Extinction Rebellion Boston climate activists for a planned demonstration at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts, however, while en-route from Beverly I was informed that Gardner Museum was alerted by the media of our planned peaceful, non violent, & non-destructive action and that the museum decided to close for the day.
Extinction Rebellion Boston is a peaceful group of activists that strictly adhere to the principles of non violence. Many of Extinction Rebellion's members are also artists. At no time was any artwork or property in danger. Extinction Rebellion Boston activists had planned to stage a "Die In" in the museum's palace courtyard while three activists would gently hang original artwork highlighting the loss of biodiversity in the last thirty three years since the world's most infamous art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum where art thieves stole 13 paintings valued at over five hundred million dollars. Destruction of property, including art, is an act of violence. Execution of hanging the original art works over three empty frames in the Gardner's Dutch Room where many of the paintings were stolen was very carefully planned to ensure that methods were non destructive and would not cause any damage.
The goal and point of the demonstration was to protest the fact that everyone’s still talking bout the heist 33 years after it occurred, yet no one talks about the major loss of biodiversity, the loss of animals, and the extinction event that’s happening.... The planning process was very thoughtful and considerate. We are activists working together in our collective love & rage. Our rebellion and acts of non violent direct action and civil disobedience are acts of love for our precious mother earth and all life.
Due to the museum's closure, the demonstration was instead held outside in front of the museum.
"We will not stop talking about the crisis of biodiversity loss. We will not stop calling for climate justice. We will not stop putting ourselves between the powerful and the vulnerable. We know how history paints us, in the end, no media outlet can suppress truth forever." Extinction Rebellion tweeted, informing the public of our now public action.
Activists held banners, some wore animal masks or costumes, flyers were passed out to passerby informing them why we were demonstrating, spokespersons gave speeches, and a die in was staged blocking the end of Evan's Way. We sang songs and chanted while enjoying the sunlight and each other's presence in creatively expressing the truths of the climate emergency.
Stop Mass Extinction: The Biggest Heist.
March 18, 2023, Boston, MA.
"Today is the 33rd anniversary of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum theft. In those 33 years more than one million species of plants and animals have gone extinct due to human actions. This is the greatest heist on Earth. We can do something about it. You can do something to stop this. You can take action to protect the turtles, the butterflies, the salamanders, and the bees. We are Extinction Rebellion. join us! We are taking action for all of the species of plants and animals that are facing extinction.
We are taking action today on behalf of humanity also facing extinction, we are taking action on behalf of women and non-binary people who already face vulnerabilities and injustices that are only made worse by the climate emergency, we are taking action in solidarity with the people of the global South who have contributed the least to the climate crisis and yet suffer the worst effects, we are taking action on behalf of Isabella Stewart Gardner who spent her life protecting not only the artworks inside these walls, but the plants and the animals that share this Earth Extinction.
On this day 33 years ago 13 works of art were stolen from this museum. It was by Western /European standards the biggest heist on Earth and yet this this event is featured in countless news articles, podcasts, documentaries.. it occurred in 81 minutes and has been the subject of wide speculation and aggrandizement. You can learn every detail on the internet and yet in 1990 the same year of the heist the Dusky Seaside Sparrow the formosan clouded leopard and the mountain monkey face bat went extinct among thousands of other species. They will never be seen again. Scientists estimate that more than one million species have gone extinct since those 13 art pieces were vanished into the night. Each of those species is a piece of art created by Nature. The loss is staggering. Our planet is a graveyard of empty frames when a species is stolen. The role they play in the ecosystem is also stolen. Whether it's pollinating certain plants, fertilizing forests or keeping other animal populations in check, the stability of Earth's ecosystems and innumerable species supported by them is stolen from us, and from our children. They have taken our beauty, they have taken our friends, they have taken the penta giant tortoise, the fixed macaw, the Western black rhino, and the orchids of the falls, among so many others. We pursued recovery of 13 paintings, these empty frames are nothing until we see the emptiness spreading through our forests, grasslands and wetlands.
In broad daylight corporate thieves accelerate habitat loss with mining, logging, fossil fuel extraction, agriculture and real estate development. All these years we were distracted from a much bigger heist. In 1990, the year of the museum's heist, it was also the year of the first ipcc report bringing the alarm to the biggest heist in human history, the climate crisis is the largest driver for the sixth mass extinction. There is still time the thieves haven't made a clean escape yet. We can bring them to justice, but we must act now! We must hold our leadership accountable. Leaders must declare a climate and ecological emergency! Yes, we demand to protect at least 30 percent of land and ocean by 2030 on a national and state level. This Global 30 by 30 Target protects areas from drilling, logging, and other types of extraction to protect habitat for species threatened by extinction. You who are listening you can join local protests against habitat loss. Act now, because it's not too late for the bees, the turtles, the salamanders, and the butterflies. Today we are the guards on watch and we won't let billionaire thieves get away with the biggest heist in human history! Join us! join Extinction Rebellion to push back against inaction on the climate and ecological emergency. Act with urgency! This is an emergency!
Text transcribed from video statement below and may have typographic errors
Undaunted XR Boston Rallies Against Biodiversity Loss
Read official statement by Extinction Rebellion Boston | March 20, 2023
EXTINCTION REBELLION BOSTON
Extinction Rebellion Boston is an autonomous chapter of the international grassroots movement, Extinction Rebellion (XR), which started in London in 2018. The purpose of XR is to tell the truth about how dire the ecological and climate crises are and spark immediate action in order to prevent climate and ecological collapse. We aim to mobilize people around the world to utilize nonviolent direct action to demand that governments take radical action to avert societal collapse caused by widespread climate and ecological disaster and to protect frontline communities, biodiversity, and the natural world. This movement is non-political and unites all of humanity behind a singular goal of a just and livable future for all. Learn more about Extinction Rebellion at: XRBoston.org
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