8 October 2019

Climate protesters occupy Commonwealth Avenue

| Michael Weaver
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Extinction Rebellion protests in Canberra

The Red Rebels lead the climate protest across Commonwealth Avenue on Monday. Photo: Martin Ollman.

While Canberrans were enjoying Floriade on the Monday public holiday, more than 500 protesters held a ‘die-in’ across the Commonwealth Avenue bridge to signify the death of thousands of species.

Organised by the ACT chapter of a global movement called Extinction Rebellion, the protest involved a peaceful walk from Albert Hall across the Commonwealth Avenue bridge.

More than 500 protesters then rallied beside the lake between the National Capital Exhibition and Commonwealth Avenue to the sounds of loud voices, bagpipes and live music performers on the pink Soul Defender truck.

ACT Police closed off the bridge to traffic from 11:00 am for about one hour.

Extinction Rebellion is a global movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to rein in human-induced climate change and biodiversity loss.

Protesters in Canberra

Protesters during the ‘die-in’ on Commonwealth Avenue on Monday. Photo: Extinction Rebellion ACT Facebook.

The ACT group joined fellow protesters around the world in an international rebellion to decry what they say is “the criminal inaction of our federal government regarding the climate emergency”.

The protest involved people of all ages and backgrounds and was led by a group called the Red Rebels, who represented the blood of the children who will die as a result of climate inaction.

Extinction Rebellion ACT spokesperson Pete O’Rourke said the protest was organised to bring attention to the climate crisis that threatens the flowers and the nature of those enjoying events such as Floriade.

“Thousands of species are dying under our watch. Our planet will soon be unrecognisable. The human race is hurtling towards extinction,” said Mr O’Rourke.

“Australians have everything to lose from continued inaction. But politicians continue to ignore our safety, in favour of the interests of big business and their own short-term political gain.

“Today we’re telling them, enough is enough. Tell the truth. Act now. It’s time to step up and show leadership.”

Mr O’Rourke said traditional forms of protest are not being heard by governments, so the group is aiming to create a citizen’s assembly that acts on climate issues.

“The latest IPCC report has shown that the situation we are facing is even more dire than previously thought.

“Sea levels are rising more than twice as fast as they were last century. With more frequent and extreme weather events already disrupting the life we know and love in Australia, it is clear that our government is failing to protect us and our children from the climate emergency.”

Extinction Rebellion ACT says its next protest will occur on 11 October, with a bike ride starting at 7:45 am from Ainslie Football Club, down Northbourne Avenue to London Circuit. Another ‘die-in’ is planned at an undisclosed location.

ACT protesters

The next protest will involve a bicycle ride on Friday. Photo: Extinction Rebellion ACT Facebook

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These are just climate bullies, using intimidation tactics to impose their views on the best of us. They are no different from religious fanatics throughout history in their arrogant beliefs and chanting zealousness: ‘What do we want. When do we want it. Now.’ ‘Repent, repent, the end of the world is nigh!’
The way to deal with any religious or political fanatic is not to be a coward, but to stand up to them and maintain our right to our own opinions. They may shriek about heretics or climate deniers etc, but many others throughout history have stood up to dogmatic fanatics threatening dire consequences and punishments. Those who opposed tyrants, despots and mob rule gave us the rights we have today, including the right not to be bullied, harassed, intimidated, detained and importantly the right to hold alternative views. That is what a democracy is and what we all have to defend.

hmm, according to the CT, there were in excess of 5000 at the first ‘Climate Strike’ (held on a school day) and ‘more than 500’ at this one (held on a public holiday).

Draw your own conclusion from that.

rationalobserver8:50 am 09 Oct 19

I can not believe that participants in this folly are serious about climate change.
To act in a way that leaves middle Australia less favourably disposed to your cause simply defies logic.
This is little more than anarchy masquerading as peaceful protest. Imagine if every interest group out there acted the same way just because their pet subject wasn’t in the headlines.

Capital Retro3:21 pm 08 Oct 19

In a new study by Harvard University, researchers found that extreme heat makes it harder to think! The study was published in the July 10 edition of PLOS Medicine as part of a special issue on climate change and health.

These people are obviously already displaying the symptoms in mild, seasonal weather so I reckon when the normal hot weather arrives they will be fulfilled by a “die-in”.

It’s all good fun until then though – just look at the smiles.

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