Protesters spray chalk messages and glue onto WA Government offices
By Extinction Rebellion Australia, on 2 December 2022
In the week following COP 27, courageous Extinction Rebellion WA rebels drew attention to the Climate Emergency and government subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.
By the time media teams and more than 20 police showed up, the protesters had already sprayed Stop Fossil Fuel Subsidies and the Extinction Rebellion logo across the front doors of the West Perth building which holds the offices of Premier Mark McGowan and the rest of his Cabinet.
The five rebels glued their hands together as well as gluing themselves to the floor in the front of the building. A Channel 9 reporter asked if being arrested was worth it, and if the action represented escalation that they believed needed to be done. Protesters said yes, and asked if mainstream media would have attended if they had just written a nice letter or sent a petition to the government. Before being escorted into paddy wagons, they pointed out that the damage would be less than the price of climate inaction.
At Cop 26, 196 countries agreed to start phasing out fossil fuels. A year on, and following Cop27, nothing has changed. Governments are still subsidising fossil fuels - money that is funding climate collapse.
Protester Heath Greville said fossil fuels were no longer viable and needed to be phased out. "We want to stop mining fossil fuels, particularly gas in WA," she said.
"We came here in the full knowledge that we would get arrested today. That is what we do to show how desperate we are. I’ve taken the day off work today to do this. I’m a researcher at UWA. I don’t do this lightly."
This photo of the action and the top photo of rebels Laraine and Kristen are from The West Australian Newspaper website
WA State Energy Minister Bill Johnson later called the protesters silly and said they didn’t represent the community.
XR strongly disagrees - getting arrested for the planet is entirely worth it. The greatest stupidity is shown by Australian state and federal governments who subsidised fossil fuels by a colossal $11.6 billion in 2021/22. This number will continue to increase due to inflation and potential fuel price increases.
As Josh Zimmerman noted in an article about the action in The West Australian newspaper, just a week before, the McGowan Government announced it had secured $750 million in donations for the new mining sector-backed Resources Community Investment Initiative, which will be used to pay for "legacy" projects like the Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Perth Zoo redevelopment.
BHP, Rio Tinto, Woodside, Hancock Prospecting, Chevron and Mineral Resources were the inaugural donors to the fund, which Mr McGowan has said he hopes will double to $1.5 billion.
While the WA Government assists climate criminals to greenwash their activities, the brave XR WA activists face criminal charges for damaging government property; an offence that carries a large fine or imprisonment.
XR WA also wonders what the politicians have been sniffing!
A media statement from Extinction Rebellion WA said that the billions of fossil fuel subsidy dollars could be put towards infrastructure that we desperately need to reduce the impacts of the climate crisis, including food and energy shortages - see the Climate Council article 'Five better bets: what the $11.6 billion of Australians’ money wasted on fossil fuel subsidies could buy us'.
XR WA is urging everyone to sign up for the rally for real Climate Action, PERTH STOPS FOR CLIMATE.
They say "This is a critical mass rally, which means we will call this rally when we have reached a 'critical mass' of confirmed registrations. Our goal is to have thousands marching for Climate change action in Perth."