XR Rebels blockade ExxonMobil Fuel Depot in Melbourne
By Extinction Rebelliom Australia, on 1 November 2021
Rebels locked onto a pink boat to prevent the movement of oil tankers for two-and-a-half hours in a climate change protest at ExxonMobil’s Yarraville fuel depot.
The October 28th blockade action in Melbourne took place as Boris Johnson prepared to welcome world leaders in Glasgow for the UN COP26 climate summit. At the same time, XR activists in the UK were blocking the entrance to the UK's largest oil refinery at Fawley, Hampshire.
The UK XR protesters included two Olympians; sailor Laura Baldwin and gold medal-winning canoeist Etienne Stott. The activists cut through electrified perimeter fences under the cover of darkness before spreading across the site in small groups to lock on to structures. XR protesters also scaled two 15m oil tanks on the site. XR UK shared the XR Australia action link.
ExxonMobil Australia (formerly, Esso Australia) is an affiliate of the US based ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil and gas company. There is clear evidence that Exxon knew about climate change almost 40 years ago. Yet the company spent decades refusing to publicly acknowledge climate change and has spent many millions promoting climate misinformation.
Channel 4 (a British public broadcast service) has published undercover footage of one of ExxonMobil's top Washington lobbyists speaking candidly about his efforts to undermine new legislation to protect the environment. The lobbyist was captured on camera by the environmental group Greenpeace UK - boasting of how ExxonMobil has fought climate science, and operated behind closed doors to water down green legislation. See Revealed: ExxonMobil’s lobbying war on climate change legislation.
The XR Melbourne activists maintained the fuel depot blockage through hours of heavy rain and thunder, chanting "Exxon knew, and Exxon lied", to highlight that - like the tobacco companies, the fossil fuel industry has marketed and sold their products with knowing deception, caring only about financial success, with no regard for the global human and environmental tragedy they knew would result.
Police eventually sawed through part of the boat to release Captain Alan and crew. The XR pink boat has seen good service in the climate action cause - we hope we haven't seen the last of it!