XR WA rebel undeterred by Magistrate's inability to assess climate evidence
Extinction Rebellion Australia, 23 June 2023
This week rebel Liam faced Perth Magistrates Court for the final decision in the trespassing case for XR WA's November '22 glue-on at the offices of the WA Premier and Cabinet. Liam said the penalty will not affect his decision to take part in further disruptive action.
By the time media teams and more than 20 police showed up to Dumas House in West Perth in November 2022, the five protesters had already sprayed Stop Fossil Fuel Subsidies and the Extinction Rebellion logo across the front doors of the offices- see the article on this site 'Protesters spray chalk messages and glue onto WA government offices.'
When his case was heard this week, Liam pleaded not guilty based on the 'Extraordinary Emergency' defence which stipulates that a crime has not been committing if the act which is forbidden under the law was necessary as a response to a sudden or extraordinary emergency.
The magistrate stated that there wasn't sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the act of trespassing was a necessary response to the climate emergency because of the ability to protest through legal avenues and because the Federal Government had passed net zero targets prior to the protest taken place.
This response demonstrates a clear lack of understanding that the scientific consensus, statements from the IPCC and the UN General Secretary have confirmed thate 2050 is too late and that emissions need to be halted by 2030 as global temperatures are continuing to rise faster than anticipated.
The magistrate presented no evidence to show how net zero targets being put in place successfully reduces emissions. The WA State Government successfully lobbied to have the Scarborough Gas Project exempted from the government's safeguard legislation and the projected emissions of this project are more than our entire carbon budget allows.
Laim said: "Regardless of whether the court sees the legitimacy of non-violent civil disobedience and its absolute necessity in calling attention to the climate crisis and forcing our leaders to act, we will still do what we need to in order to stop the planet from reaching a point of irreversible climate breakdown. Non-violent protest has been an essential part of every successful social movement and we have seen that the act of breaking the law has worked in calling attention and forcing governments to act."
Liam received a spent conviction and a suspended fine of $700 conditional on a 6 month period of 'good' behaviour, but has every intention of continuing non-violent civil disobedience actions.
The action by the five WA rebels also highlighted the assistance the WA Government provides to climate criminals to greenwash their activities - see the news item from November '22 on this website.
A media statement from Extinction Rebellion WA said that billions of fossil fuel subsidy dollars could instead be put towards infrastructure that is 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'.
If you want to support XR WA rebels and take part in direct action then follow this link to see how to get involved - or donate to XR WA.