Empty Shoes for Brainless Bailouts

Extinction Rebellion
Image credit: Catharina Gerritsen

With mass demonstrations banned during lockdown across the globe, protesters in The Hague and London found a creative alternative for the current times, occupying public squares with empty shoes.

Each pair of shoes used in the demonstration symbolised a rebel in protest; a protest about governmental short-sightedness during this pandemic.

Rebels from XR Netherlands filled the square outside the Dutch parliament with over 1000 pairs to protest the government’s planned bailout of polluters, that includes the airline KLM and Schipol Airport. They also called for a Citizen’s Assembly to decide on how to respond to the corona crisis and transition to a fairer and more sustainable future.

In London, rebels occupied Trafalgar Square with over 2000 pairs of children’s shoes. They called on the government to act on the climate crisis during the coronavirus recovery so that children and young people aren’t left to suffer an even deeper crisis.

Dr Deepa Shah, a doctor in London said: “We’re living through one of those rare moments in history when everything can change. British people have shown throughout this crisis how deeply we value our health and well-being.

“There are now multiple paths before us; we could choose to go back to our destructive past, or we could choose a future that gives our children a chance. Coronavirus will end but climate change is here to stay. Governments must act now to secure our future.”

Shoes were donated by neighbours, parents and local teachers and will be donated to Shoe Aid.