extinction rebellion vancouver

Extinction Rebellion crashed Black Friday sales in Canada

For most people, Black Friday is a day to go a little crazy with spending for the sake of getting more bang for your buck. Some will buy a TV or two for themselves, while others will use the day's sales as a way to check everyone off of their holiday shopping list. 

But for the climate action group Extinction Rebellion, today is not cause for enthusiastic consumerism but cause for the complete opposite — which is why members took to shopping centres across the country to protest Black Friday.

Local XR factions began organizing outside of stores and malls in cities across the country during the early hours of the morning to meet hordes of shoppers as they arrived for door buster deals.

In Montreal, they gathered with signs at Best Buys and other major retailers and offered second-hand garments at a free market in honour of "Green Friday." 

In Vancouver, they formed a funeral procession through malls and notorious shopping streets throughout the city centre to "mourn for the future of our planet, our ecosystems, and the human and non-human lives lost due to climate crisis."

And in Toronto, they marched alongside fellow environmental activists in the city's climate strike and set-up a pop-up "store" at the Toronto Eaton Centre that offered a clothing swap-and-share.

The protesters aimed to make the public consider everything that goes into a massive worldwide shopping event like Black Friday, and the impact that such mass consumerism has on the environment. Also, to question our role as consumers in the current climate crisis.

In a video XR's Montreal arm posted on Facebook, one protester says that "the goal is not to blame the people here today, the goal is to underline the absurdity of this kind of event."

Members of XR aren't the only ones who are thinking green for Black Friday. The hashtag #BuyNothingDay was trending on Twitter, with many users pointing out that a day like today has massive implications that shoppers seem willfully ignorant to.

More anti-Black Friday demonstrations — led by Extinction Rebellion and similar groups — took place throughout the day at various places around the world. Some members of international XR factions were arrested even before the day's protests began.

Lead photo by

Extinction Rebellion Toronto With additional files from Olivia Levesque.

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