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Climate Activists Stage Dramatic Demonstration on Bourne Bridge

Climate activists stage dramatic protest to motivate Labor Day weekend tourists.

Dozens of climate activists held a demonstration on the Bourne Bridge on Friday, as a parade of cars drove by in Labor Day weekend traffic. 

Activists with the international group Extinction Rebellion hoped to prompt tourists and visitors to recognize the environmental fragility of the region and how threatened it is by climate change.

“Anyone who loves the Cape, who’s headed to the Cape for this very special vacation time for its beauty and its nature, should hear the message that we need to … mobilize now before it’s too late,” said activist Cecily Miller, who drove down from Cambridge.  

The standout image of the demonstration was a troop of silent, synchronized performers wearing matching red veils, robes, and white face paint. Moving slowly in single file, they dramatically made their way up and down the bridge. 

“They certainly catch attention,” activist Peter Wasserdorp said of the Red Rebel Brigade, as they’ve come to be known. “I think everyone brings their own interpretation to it. Is it red for blood and extinction? They’re silent mimes and what they express are the emotions that are attached to the extinction threat that we face.”  

While some passerby met the activists with supportive honks and thumbs up, others called out expletives and chanted “Trump 2020.” 

Earlier, a group of President Trump’s supporters gathered on the rotary for a regularly scheduled re-election rally, but that group disbanded before the climate demonstration. 

Nancy Kanwisher, a demonstrator who was born and raised in Falmouth, said she wasn’t bothered by non-supporters. 

“These are people who presumably are coming to the Cape for the weekend because they love the Cape,” she said. “So I’m trying to show we have common ground. ‘You love the Cape. I love the Cape. We all love the Cape.’ Now let’s talk about what we need to do to save it.” 

Eve Zuckoff covers the environment and human impacts of climate change for CAI.