Hardline environmental activists sang climate change-themed carols outside of a Washington, D.C., holiday market ahead of the Christmas holiday.
Members of Extinction Rebellion’s D.C. arm (XR-DC) congregated on the periphery of the downtown holiday market in the capital’s Gallery Place neighborhood, donning Santa hats and singing traditional Christmas carols with lyrics conveying the fear and angst climate change causes them. The carolers sang numbers like “I’m Dreaming of a Just Workplace,” “The 12 Days of Crisis” and “Climate Change is Coming to Town,” all spoofs of traditional Christmas songs that have marked the arrival of the holiday season in America for decades.
“It’s beginning to look a-poc-a-lyptic, science knows also. Take a look at the gap report, summer is pretty short, the data models, charts and graphs all show,” the activists sang in their version of “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas,” referencing the United Nations’ “emissions gap” report. “It’s beginning to look a-poc-a-lyptic, facts can be ignored, there are islands lost at sea, news cycles that should not be, but there’s more in store.”
The wider XR network is one of many confrontational eco-activist organizations that receive funding from the Climate Emergency Fund (CEF), a nonprofit which receives tax-deductible donations from many wealthy American liberals, such as Hollywood writer Adam McKay, “Succession” star Jeremy Strong and failed 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s Onward Together organization, according to CEF’s 2022 annual report. Other notable groups that operate with the help of CEF’s money include Just Stop Oil and Climate Defiance.
XR-DC’s activists have staged numerous disruptive protests in recent years, including a 2019 protest outside the World Bank that halted traffic and dumping manure outside of the White House in 2021 to make their views of President Joe Biden’s climate agenda known, for example. This style of protest is central to the group’s mission and strategy, which is to grab attention with their tactics and prompt discussions about climate change and society’s response to it in more direct fashion than conventional, less confrontational acts of protest, according to XR-DC’s website.
The holiday market featured numerous tents selling all sorts of wares, ranging from print maps and jewelry to dream-catchers and aromatic cheeses. Thousands of people visited the market on this particular Saturday afternoon, with intermittent gusts of wind bringing an occasional chill to an otherwise pleasant and sunny December day.
“We wish to avoid extinction, we wish to avoid extinction and live without fear,” the group sang to the tune of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” a favorite of carolers everywhere.
Most passers-by continued to their destinations, whether buried in their smartphones or accompanied by their children or shopping bags. Some, however, stopped to listen in to the XR-DC performance, held just beyond the market’s confines and far enough away from the band playing on the stage at the far end of the market so as to be heard.
After the five carolers had concluded their performance, which went smoothly despite their lack of practice sessions ahead of time, the Daily Caller News Foundation caught up with two of the activists to discuss their organization’s activities and their views on climate change.
“Certainly, it’s in our very name … we are rebelling against the status quo and the inaction by our elected officials and our business leaders. So, we do see ourselves as rebels, and cherish that we are trying to disrupt the status quo,” said Charles, one of the XR-DC activists who gave the DCNF his first name. The group does not expect to receive coal in its stocking this year, he told the DCNF.
“Santa doesn’t want all of the ice at the North Pole to melt, so we’re definitely on the nice list,” Carol, another XR-DC caroler, told the DCNF.
“If we stay on track, by the end of the century, there’s going to be a billion people displaced from their homes due to climate change,” Carol told the DCNF. “People want to stay in their homes, and we’re making it impossible for them to do so and live.”
“I think we need immigration reform now in this country,” Carol continued in reference to the discussion about climate refugees. “That’s another conversation,” she said when asked to clarify what that reform would look like.
Notably, illegal immigration has surged to unprecedented levels under the Biden administration; though it is impossible to know the true number of people that have entered the country illegally since the Biden administration took over in January 2o21, some estimates put the figure at several million.
Nick Pope on December 25, 2023