Grand Canal dyed green by protestors who also hang from the Rialto bridge. Image from X account of LuigiBrugnaro

Venice Grand Canal dyed green by climate protestors

By Region Environment News North-east Italy

Extinction Rebellion activists highlight climate crisis by suspending themselves from Venices’s Rialto Bridge and having the Grand Canal dyed green.

On Saturday, members of the Extinction Rebellion (XR) group conducted a visually striking protest in Venice, pouring fluorescein, a harmless substance, into the Grand Canal to temporarily dye its waters green. The stunt aimed to draw attention to the urgency of addressing the climate crisis, coinciding with the COP28 conference in Dubai.

As part of the demonstration, some protesters used ropes and harnesses to suspend themselves from the iconic Rialto Bridge, displaying a banner criticising the Italian government. The banner boldly declared, “‘COP28: while the government talks, we hang by a thread.”

This protest closely followed another climate civil-disobedience action by Ultima Generazione (UG – Last Generation). UG sprayed a mixture of mud and chocolate on Venice’s Saint Mark’s Basilica just two days earlier.

Extinction Rebellion expanded its message by also dyeing the waters of Milan’s Naviglio Grande canal and the rivers of Rome, Turin, and Bologna on the same day. The group stated they used a harmless dye to symbolise the ongoing political failures of COP28 and global governments in combatting the climate crisis and the sixth mass extinction.

“In a few hours, these waters will be back to how they were before. In the meantime, while the governments talk, we count the damage and the victims of continual floods and fires,” the group said in a statement.

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