Eight Extinction Rebellion activists have been arrested after protests this morning outside Parliament House and the Lodge.
A small group of Extinction Rebellion members gathered at Parliament House where they spray-painted the words “no time climate duty of care” on a concrete wall and set fire to a pram glued to the forecourt fountain.
People had also glued themselves to the forecourt.
It’s alleged they also attempted to spray paint the same phrase on the pillars of the facade of the building itself, but were stopped by police before they could complete it.
The graffiti at Parliament House has since been covered by white sheeting and hosed down.
A protest also occurred at the Prime Minister’s Canberra residence. Red spray paint was again used to write “duty of care” on the outer wall of the Lodge and flares were set off.
The actions of the Extinction Rebellion Protestors came in the wake of the release of the landmark United Nations report which warned of the dire consequences facing Australia from climate change.
Police responded to reports of protest activity at Parliament House at 8:50 am and 9:20 am at the Lodge.
Five people – three men and two women – were arrested at Parliament House, and three men were arrested at The Lodge. All have since been taken to the ACT Watch House.
AFP Search and Rescue personnel attended to assist in removing the people who had glued themselves to the ground.
Police expect to lay charges, including a Commonwealth charge under the Public Order (Protection of Persons and Property) Act 1971 in relation to alleged property damage, as well as breach of bail conditions.
In a statement released by Extinction Rebellion, 59-year-old activist Lesley Mosbey claimed the group are not the extremists, the Federal Government is.
Mosbey was fined $200 last week for defacing public property at the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.
Another activist, Violet Coco, set a pram on fire to symbolise her “burnt dreams” of bringing a child into a world where the Government remained “beholden to the fossil fuel lobby”.
This morning’s activities follow a week of protest actions from the group’s ACT branch, including disrupting morning traffic on Barry Drive and the Kings Avenue bridge during evening rush hour. They also occupied the foyer of the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment where several people threw red paint, glued themselves to the floor and covered themselves in tomato sauce.
Ten protesters were arrested in Canberra following the disruptions last week.
The group is demanding Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley drop an appeal against a recent landmark judgment delivered by the Federal Court which determined that the environment minister owes a duty of care to young Australians to protect them from future physical injury caused by climate change.
Eight children took action through a class action case on behalf of all Australian teenagers and children against Ms Ley to prevent her from approving the Whitehaven coal mine extension project.
Police ask that anyone who has information that can assist police regarding planned protest activity is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or via the Crime Stoppers ACT website. Information can be provided anonymously.