"Burning Pram Lady" faces court, says government is ‘failing future generations’
By Extinction Rebellion Australia, on 7 September 2021
Violet Coco says her actions were motivated by the urgency to face up to the climate emergency and act when our government fails us.
Extinction Rebellion rebels Cate Adams and Violet Coco, who superglued herself to the ground next to the burning pram at Parliament House, had their cases heard by Magistrate Cook on Thursday 2 September.
The 30-year-old pleaded guilty to charges of damaging Commonwealth property, as well as unreasonable obstruction from an incident on 4 August. Extinction Rebellion operates on principles of non-violence and Coco said her intention was only to damage her own property and she pointed out she had set the pram on fire near a pond.
The two women made a strong case that their actions were motivated by the urgency to face up to the climate emergency and act when our government fails us.
Ms Coco explained that "I set fire to the pram to force the government to look directly in the eyes of the generation of children whose futures are being burned up due to their failure to protect them from the effects of climate breakdown."
"I set fire to the pram to force the government to look directly in the eyes of the generation of children whose futures are being burned up due to their failure to protect them from the effects of climate breakdown."
While Magistrate Cook did not want to hear 'political statements', he said he understood her passionate approach was moved deeply by those things for which she had a genuine concern.
Cate Adams also appealed for the need for action, "Our government has announced that they do not care about the young people of this country and their future. They are appealing the 'duty of care' federal court ruling. That means regular people like me have a duty to act."
Violet Coco was sentenced to six months of good behaviour obligations. If she breaches them, she faces fines that total $400.
Last week, four other rebels involved in painting "Duty of Care" on several government buildings, including parliament house received $20 fines per charge. On of the four convicted, engineer Andrew George stated that "It sends a clear message from the court - KEEP GOING!" The magistrate took into account that a number of the accused had spent time in Alexander Maconochie Centre prison on remand, or overnight in the watch house, when sentencing.
There were 10 arrests on Tuesday 10 August, the culmination of a week of XR 'Duty of Care' actions, for burning a pram in front of Parliament House, and spray painting “climate emergency” and “duty of care” at Parliament House and The Lodge. They were protesting about the lack of a "Duty of Care" by our government for future generations, threatened with the collapse of civilization arising from the climate emergency.
The IPCC has declared a 'code red' climate emergency. The 'Conference of Parties' will meet this November in Glasgow, for the 26th consecutive year (COP26) and still we are a very long way away from coming to grips with the potential destruction of the world as we know it. Temperatures and emissions continue to rise while our governments delay action and make excuses, while continuing to expand and subsidise the fossil fuel industry.