XR Vic Spring Rebellion ‘22; two weeks putting the climate crisis back in the news
By Extinction Rebellion Australia, on 21 October 2022
Civil DISCO-bedience! Disruptive dancing in the streets of Fitzroy, Melbourne to wrap up a big two weeks of action around urgent climate and environmental issues. See more photos from this exciting fortnight…
Discobedience participants staged a die-in - the photos above are by Matt Hrkac.
Extinction Rebellion Victoria's Spring Rebellion cast a spotlight on wasteful logging in Victoria's precious forests, continued funding of fossil fuels by the major banks and Australia's Future Fund, expansion of gas under the current Victorian Government as well as more theatrical actions such as glueing onto a Picasso at the National Gallery of Victoria and spectacular XR 'floats' in the Fringe Festival Parade.
XR rebels were out in boats and kayaks on Corio Bay near Geelong on Saturday 8th October for the first official action of Spring Rebellion 22, trying to disrupt business as usual because BUSINESS AS USUAL=DEATH
The Corio Bay action was in solidarity with Extinction Rebellion Geelong and everyone in the region who is opposed to the new gas terminal proposal; No to Viva, No to Vopak, No to new fossil fuels!
In the run up to the Spring Rebellion, XR joined forest groups in a survey that found 60 endangered Greater Gliders in an area earmarked for logging by VicForests.
Nighttime glider survey in the Toolangi Forest
VicForests' outrageous behaviour was highlighted later in the week in the Forests come to the City action.
In an action that received global media coverage, two rebels glued themselves to Picasso’s ‘Massacre in Korea’ at the National Gallery of Victoria. See the News item on this website.
The ‘Follow the Money’ march in the CBD visited financial corporations profiting from environmental destruction, including the Futures Fund, where three rebels had glued their hands to the building's front entrance.
The simple message was Don’t fund climate destruction. JUST STOP IT! A letter addressed to the Fund's Board of Guardians was handed to staff in the Future Fund office. The letter pointed out the Board’s egregious dereliction of their duty to fulfil the stated purpose of the Future Fund; ‘to invest for the benefit of future generations of Australians’.
Photo by Matt Hrkac
Among the corporations listed in the Future Fund top 100 direct listed equity holdings are climate wreckers BHP Group, Woodside Petroleum and ExxonMobil – as well as destroyers of indigenous heritage, Rio Tinto, and fossil-fuel-funding banks Commonwealth, Westpac and NAB. These corporations show no concern for future generations in their pursuit of profits at all costs.
‘Follow the Money’ march in the CBD - photo by Matt Hrkac
The Future Fund Board is a major shareholder in the Melbourne Airport. The letter asked the Fund to abandon the plan to construct a third runway. Another runway would increase flight emissions by 55%. Total annual emissions from third runway flights will be around 16 million tonnes CO2-e — comparable to the annual emissions from Australia’s dirtiest coal-fired power station, AGL’s Loy Yang. This is unacceptable in a climate emergency.
On day 7 of the Spring Rebellion XR Vic joined with activists from a number of key climate groups; Uni Students for Climate Justice, Victorian Socialists, Wage Peace - Disrupt War, and Blockade IMARC to swarm the city for climate justice.
The Festival of Love and Rage on days 8 and 9 of the Spring Rebellion began with a Welcome to Country from Uncle Bill Nicholson, Wurundjeri Elder. Uncle Bill spoke of the harm our system is doing to Country, and about the importance of the work that groups like XR are doing.
Talks and activities were held in Melbourne's Carlton Gardens during the day, then Spring Rebellion joined the Melbourne Fringe Parade. XR’s creativity was on spectacular display, with the Red Rebels, the Sybils, Rupert Murdoch, Blinky the bushfire-affected koala, and our newest recruit Miss Behave, the blue banded Australian bee.
Miss Behave at the Melbourne Fringe Festival parade - photo by Matt Hrkac
Blinky the bushfire-affected koala with Chip and crew - photo by Matt Hrkac
The float representing the koalas that died as a result of the Black Summer bushfires and corruption in politics - see the Blinky Reddit post that collected over 5K likes.
Synchronised moves from grim readers of the Murdoch propaganda sheet - photo by Matt Hrkac
Sunday’s festival events also included a kid’s bike ride ‘Kidical Mass’, organised by XR Pedal Rebels Victoria. The event’s title is a play on the name of the international 'Critical Mass' cycling event that has recently re-started in Melbourne to promote acceptance of, and support for cyclists on the road.
‘Kidical Mass’ bike ride - photo by Matt Hrkac
XR rebels scaled a massive pile of Chep pallets at the Dandenong South mill where the pallets are produced from sources that contribute to the destruction of Victoria's forests. Logging and transportation of timber to the mill is subsidized by the taxpayer, which means that Chep pallets can undercut sustainable alternatives such as pallets made from plantation timber or recycled plastic. Unsustainable hardwood pallets will continue to be made as long as our state forests are still available to plunder as cheap feedstock for a private company, and as long as big supermarkets like Coles, Woolworths and Aldi continue to use them.
XR Rebels at the Chep Dandenong mill - photo by Danielle Judd
Next, we joined our allies from 350.org Australia at the Commonwealth Bank's AGM at the MCG. Eight climate activists infiltrated the meeting as a flash mob choir and were escorted out after breaking into song with climate-themed lyrics urging the bank to stop funding life-destroying fossil fuels.
Climate activists singing outside the Commonwealth Bank AGM - photo by Matt Hrkac
Mass Rebellion Monday saw 43 'Rebellion of One' actions, complemented by a 'street parade'. Traffic was blocked at ten locations simultaneously around the CBD to sound the alarm on the climate and ecological emergency. 'Rebellion of One' is a tactic, initially developed by Extinction Rebellion in the United Kingdom, that is now in use around the world.
A Rebellion of One during Mass Rebellion Monday - photo by Matt Hrkac
As a mark of respect for Uncle Jack Charles, XR did not participate in any actions or events on 18 October.. There is no climate justice without First Nations justice. RIP Uncle Jack Charles.
At the Forests come to the City action on day 13 of the Spring Rebellion, climate and forest activists from around Victoria rallied at the Bourke Street office of VicForests today to demand an immediate end to logging native forests and a just transition for forest workers. Several koalas were arrested. Also see our News item XR tells Government-owned VicForests: Stop destroying native forests immediately. Just STOP IT!
Koalas hanging on high tripods to escape VicForests destruction - photo by Danielle Judd
Rebels visited the offices of Origin Energy to highlight their disgraceful practice of putting profits ahead of people’s lives and the environment. This dirty industry isn't cheap, clean, natural or renewable.
Fossil Fuel companies like Origin Energy deceive us about the continuing need for gas for our homes and businesses. They don’t want to talk about solutions for reducing energy costs like insulation and using more efficient technologies. They certainly don’t want to talk about the extent of the climate crisis or the impact of fracking which threatens water supplies. The price of gas will keep rising and so will emissions until we shut this dirty industry down.
Origin Energy has recently said it is “getting out of gas exploration in the Beetaloo Basin in the Northern Territory and other projects in Queensland”, however it will be buying this gas once it's been mined and will then sell it to consumers at high prices. This ‘business as usual approach’ has to stop. The protest at the Origin Energy office highlighted the company's complicity in the damage happening on their own doorstep and on their watch.
Our final Spring Rebellion ’22 action was in Ballarat, where rebels took to the streets for a Climate March. A coalition of groups from Ballarat was involved, including Extinction Rebellion Ballarat, BREAZE, the Ballarat Climate Action Network, Ballarat Trade Unions and Environment Victoria.
Ballarat climate march - photo by Matt Hrkac
The Spring Rebellion was a time for excitement and and solidarity as we came together for city-based and regional actions to put the climate crisis back in the news. Check the Spring Rebellion ’22 summary in the Rebellions section of this website.
The Guardian newspaper recently provided a reminder of why we rebel ‘Hope amid climate chaos: ‘We are in a race between Armageddon and awesome: Renewables, decarbonisation, activism, cooperation … The challenge is immense, but the situation is far from hopeless’.
What we do now affects how the future will look. It will never be too late to act. However high global temperature rises, every tenth of a degree that is avoided means someone somewhere suffers less. “We need to knuckle down as much as we can to prevent every 0.1C rise”
A reminder that Rebelling comes with a price tag, and donations for the costs we incurred the Spring Rebellion ’22 are very welcome.