At 7:30 Monday morning (15th April), about 35 members of the international climate activist group Extinction Rebellion began a partial shutdown of one of Melbourne’s main east-west traffic corridors in Carlton.
Their aim is to call on State and Federal Governments to tell the truth about climate change and declare a climate emergency.
They also demand a rapid reduction in carbon emissions to zero by 2025, and the establishment of a non-partisan citizen’s assembly, to plan a future roadmap to a sustainable economy.
The action kicks off the start of a week of action around the world with a blockade of the city of London about to start this evening.
The public’s response to the action was largely positive, helped in part by the distribution of Easter eggs, and by the fact that traffic was only held up in bursts of a few minutes.
The Police were in attendance and helped to ensure a trouble-free action that ensured the protesters got their message across without too much inconvenience to the public.
The week of action continues in Melbourne this evening (16th April), with a camp out on the steps of parliament.
Spokesperson Miriam Robinson says:
“We are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction, but still our governments continue to spend our wealth and waste our time pouring billions of dollars into ‘infrastructure’ – more gas hubs, ports, coal mines and roads, while sadly neglecting and degrading the natural world. Meanwhile emissions rise and so does the temperature.
“At the federal level the LNP is actively working to expand fossil fuel extraction and delay the transition to a cleaner economy. Tax breaks and incentives are still being given to extractive industries while only token gestures are made to help save our living world from extinction. Only last week the Federal so-called ‘Minister for the Environment’ signed off on Adani’s water licence, which would extract nearly 3 trillion litres of water from the Great Artesian Basin. That’s three Sydney Harbours.
“In Victoria logging continues unabated, threatening species and destroying precious habitat. Our government is proposing to remove yet more natural bushland to make way for the North East link project. We are still using brown coal to generate most of our electricity. Sacred sites and ancient trees are threatened on Djab Wurrung land near Ararat for another unnecessary freeway project.
“We are done with asking nicely and waiting for gradual change. Time has run out. We are here to say ‘no more’. It is time our governments, at all levels, got serious about the climate emergency and start a full-scale, urgent mobilisation and re-shaping of our entire economy to meet this crisis.“