Climate activists arrested after protest action at Parliament House and the Lodge

Lottie Twyford 10 August 2021 65
A woman kneels next to a burning pram

A pram was lit on fire in the forecourt outside Parliament House this morning. Photo: Extinction Rebellion.

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.

Graffiti at Parliament House

Extinction Rebellion protested at Parliament House. Photo: Extinction Rebellion.

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.

'Duty of Care' graffiti at entrance to The Lodge.

The Lodge was also graffitied with the words “Duty of Care”. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

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.


READ ALSO: Former CSIRO scientist vows he will continue to break the law to protest 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.

Staff covering up graffiti with paper at Australian Parliament House.

The graffiti at Australian Parliament House has since been boarded up. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

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.


READ ALSO: CPSU calls for tougher stand on bullying and sexual harassment at Parliament House


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.


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65 Responses to Climate activists arrested after protest action at Parliament House and the Lodge
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whatwik whatwik 3:58 pm 12 Aug 21

If we could only harness umbrage, from both extremes.

johndm johndm 8:47 am 12 Aug 21

It is 48.8C today in Italy today. These temperatures are headed our way according to The IPCC report. These brave protestors are alerting us to the urgency of the situation. They have said they do not want to be the last generation. I think it is time for us to face climate change together and constructively, using the energy and enthusiasm of these protestors.

    jwinston jwinston 10:12 am 12 Aug 21

    There have been numerous occasions in the last 100 years where temperatures in parts of Italy have hit higher than 40°C.

    You have no proof that the temperatures there today are caused by man made climate change.

    DJA DJA 2:24 pm 12 Aug 21

    Pick the person who has not spent time in the outback? Heat … and flies!

    GrumpyMark GrumpyMark 6:50 pm 12 Aug 21

    Sorry, johndm, if you are expecting me to join a bunch of ratbags who have no respect for the rule of law, well it ain’t gonna happen. While I am disgusted with the mealy mouthed lip service that ScoMo pays to action on combatting climate change, and I fully support peaceful protest, I do not support vandalism in the name of anything. We still live in a democracy and the best protest is at the ballot boxes. Already conservative groups like the NFF are onboard and those unruly school kids who protested around the country will be old enough to have their say.

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 7:14 pm 11 Aug 21

Aside from being an oh-so-satisfying way of letting off large amounts of righteous steam, counter-productive episodes like these presumably also serve as a version of Australian Survivor for would-be Greens candidates.

But at least no horses were (allegedly) punched.

MERC600 MERC600 12:45 pm 11 Aug 21

When I first saw the picture pram on fire, I immediately thought that Karens pram has gone up in flames because of brake issues.
Faulty brakes can cause fires.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 5:48 pm 11 Aug 21

    So can EV batteries and chargers.

    GrumpyMark GrumpyMark 6:57 pm 12 Aug 21

    So can oil wells and coal mines, CapitalRetro – so what?

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 8:59 pm 12 Aug 21

    Oil wells and coal mines don’t carry people like prams and EVs, that’s what.

Heavs Heavs 9:56 am 11 Aug 21

Admire them for not going further. In five years we are going to look back on stuff like this and think of how quaint it is.

Oiledpengu Oiledpengu 9:15 am 11 Aug 21

I’m sure everyone caught in their traffic blockade is now fully onboard with their cause…..

Acton Acton 8:47 am 11 Aug 21

These ER nutters could be employed by the coal industry to discredit the cause.

    GrumpyMark GrumpyMark 9:35 am 11 Aug 21

    I was thinking something similar, Acton. They are obviously not going to change the mind of the hard right climate deniers. By engaging in acts of vandalism, it gives the moderates, who are slowly (perhaps grudgingly) coming to understand and accept the science of climate change, reason to delay their complete conversion. A delay the planet cannot afford.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 7:58 am 11 Aug 21

Perhaps a well meaning but hopelessly misguided group of ratbags who should have been demonstrating outside the Chinese Embassy about 500 metres away.

China is singlehandedly creating the bulk of the world’s pollution, not Australia.

    GrumpyMark GrumpyMark 9:24 am 11 Aug 21

    Like you said, CapitalRetro, don’t let the facts get in the way of the narrative … Australians are still amongst the highest per capita emitters of CO2 emissions, at double the rate of China. Is your next gambit going to be a rerun of how to use rice from ‘Cooking the Planet with Alan & Peta’

    chewy14 chewy14 10:16 am 11 Aug 21

    Grumpymark,
    The problem is the planet doesn’t care about per capita emissions, the only thing that matters is total emissions.

    So unless we have workable global agreements that balance both the costs and benefits across the world with an aim to lower total global emissions, nothing we do would make a difference.

    That’s where our government’s efforts should be directed but at present it seems like they (and voters) have other things on their mind.

    GrumpyMark GrumpyMark 2:43 pm 11 Aug 21

    Chewy, we are going to respectfully agree to disagree on this one. However, IMHO Charlie Pickering (https://junkee.com/weekly-alan-jones-climate-change/205586) makes more sense than Alan Jones, on the subject of our (and other small percentage emitters’) contribution to the whole problem. Even the longest journey begins with a single step.

    chewy14 chewy14 4:26 pm 11 Aug 21

    Mark,
    Linking a Junkee article about Charlie Pickering? Really?

    That’s the exact kind of emotionally based virtue signalling that ensures that appropriate action will never be taken.

    Alan Jones is no worse than that or indeed no worse than these Extinction Rebellion imbeciles who claim that humans will be wiped off the planet unless we go back to the stone age tomorrow.

    Of course we shouldn’t “do nothing” but neither should we engage in actions which have no discernible benefit to changing the course of climate change, just because it makes some people feel good.

    Total emissions is all that matters. Evidence based plans at a global level to address total emissions in all countries is all that will work.

    Personally I think market solutions would be the easiest way to drive that change but our government is going the opposite way.

    And then when you consider the global politics and ulterior motives of some countries, I don’t have much confidence.

    GrumpyMark GrumpyMark 4:49 pm 11 Aug 21

    Gee Chewy, I thought Charlie put the “collective action” theory quite well. Obviously you disagree which is your right. Cheers.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 4:00 pm 11 Aug 21

    Thank you chewy14 for getting this debate into perspective. Grumpymark turns a blind eye to China’s status as a “developing country” and the concessions the (unelected) UN give them to emit and pollute. They are still commissioning new coal fired electricity generators too. Australia’s position is insignificant.

    GrumpyMark GrumpyMark 4:51 pm 11 Aug 21

    As I said in another post in this thread, the hard right climate deniers are never going to be convinced. Thank you for your contribution.

    GrumpyMark GrumpyMark 4:53 pm 11 Aug 21

    Obviously, CapitalRetro, the hard right deniers post was my response to you.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 9:49 am 12 Aug 21

    Be careful with the use of that word “denier”, GrumpyMark.

    GrumpyMark GrumpyMark 6:34 pm 12 Aug 21

    So unless you’ve had a ‘come to Jesus’ moment, re climate change, since you posted your rock scientist revelation I think I’ve used ‘climate change denier’ in perfect context
    Extract from the Macquarie Dictionary:
    “climate change denier
    noun ? climate sceptic.

    Also, climate denier. –climate change denial, noun”

johndm johndm 9:29 pm 10 Aug 21

These are brave protestors. Let us all work together to provide a safe climate for our children. Let us listen to the science as we do when combatting Covid. Climate change disturbances will be much worse than Covid. Nitpicking the minor disturbances of idealistic protestors will not help develop the solutions arising from the climate emergency. When will the government listen to the scientists? One young man thinks he might belong to the last generation. He may well be right if the government refuses to listen.

    Frank Spencer Frank Spencer 5:50 am 11 Aug 21

    Brave? Nope. Idiotic I think.

    jwinston jwinston 6:43 am 11 Aug 21

    The only scientists who “believe” in this bunkum are the ones pocketing millions from government handouts – including BoM, who changed historical temperature records to fit the climate change agenda.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 7:59 am 11 Aug 21

    Don’t let facts derail the narrative.

    GrumpyMark GrumpyMark 9:18 am 11 Aug 21

    I’m with you on this CapitalRetro – I’d like to see jwinston’s facts to support his argument

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 5:56 pm 11 Aug 21
    chewy14 chewy14 12:16 pm 12 Aug 21

    Capital Retro,
    That’s meant to be a joke right?

    “Research” is not attempting to selectively choose evidence that supports your argument.

    The idea that the BOM has engaged in some wide scale conspiracy to hide data rather than recognising that the monitoring equipment of 100years ago was nowhere near as accurate as modern sensors is ridiculous. They have completed thorough audits of the data and removed some points that clearly suffered from anomalies that didn’t match up with other data of surrounding areas.

    And none of this really makes a difference to the wider science around climate change. It’s real and uts happening. The only thing to debate is how best to deal with it.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 10:03 pm 12 Aug 21

    The BOM selectively ignored the high temperature shown in that link so it’s OK for them, is it? “Thorough audits” are just a tool to cover their intentions and you have been sucked in.

    JS9 JS9 1:16 am 13 Aug 21

    Well there we have it – the absolute definitive evidence that climate change isn’t real. All because one day 110 years ago was really, really hot…… wow why have clever people wasted so much energy doing research when a simple spot observation tells us everything we need to know…..

    If only there was a facepalm emoji on here…. but I guess for some, the difference between a spot observation and the concept of averages is a bit of a stretch hey?

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 8:43 am 13 Aug 21

    The voice from the fantasy world of emojis again.

    Funny how the climate alarmists are banging on about “Italy’s hottest day ever” on this same thread. That’s acceptable, apparently

    Oiledpengu Oiledpengu 9:20 am 11 Aug 21

    Burning a plastic pram? That’s good for the environment lol

Jane Cozcowzki Jane Cozcowzki 6:11 pm 10 Aug 21

Starting fires, using aerosols, spreading paint that will require harsh chemicals to remove. . . Are they sure they are fighting FOR the environment?? Pollution is pollution no matter what the cause.

GrumpyMark GrumpyMark 3:33 pm 10 Aug 21

I’m wondering if the policewoman in the picture is pointing out to the protester that he has misspelt “Duty” and made him correct it (a la ‘Life of Brian’)?

nobody nobody 3:01 pm 10 Aug 21

How about some “Duty of Care” towards Parliament House and the Lodge. XR protestors should instead get a job, save some money, then invest those savings into renewable energy companies.

    johndm johndm 9:34 pm 10 Aug 21

    Are all 77 year old people expected to work? I hope Nobody will keep working for the good of the community when they are 77? We need to work together, as this man has all his life, to assist future generations.

    nobody nobody 8:54 am 11 Aug 21

    Johndm, graffiti, pram burning, letting off flares, glueing hands to surfaces, are the actions of clowns.

Spiral Spiral 1:35 pm 10 Aug 21

Burning a pram to protest climate change.

Yeah, that really makes sense.

If the government’s policies make muppets like that feel they are unable to breed, then at last the government is doing something right.

    johndm johndm 9:41 pm 10 Aug 21

    What a disrespectful comment! I know many young people who have voiced these concerns. The government has a duty of care for young people, as we all do. Teachers have told me that all their young children know about climate change and are worried about it. Let’s all work together to assist, and take constructive actions to lower emissions and reduce climate change while there is still time.

    Spiral Spiral 5:40 am 11 Aug 21

    My comment was way less disrespectful than their actions.

    And I bet their comments about the people in power us exceedingly disrespectful.

    They burnt a pram!

    Apart from the obvious point of needlessly lighting a fire to protest climate change, did they consider the effects of burning the plastics and other synthetics on the environment?

    Or is it Ok for them to do it because they are special?

    Their actions contribute to climate change.

    Here is a suggestion for them. Australia is acknowledged to be one of the highest emitters of global warming gasses on a per capita basis.

    I agree we should be changing that (like many people I’m not opposed to their base message, just their childish methods).

    An obvious path would be to prevent all immigration to this country. I’m not saying target any source country. I’m saying from all countries. Why would we be encouraging more people to come to here and increase their per capita emissions?

    So where are their anti-immigration protests?
    Or are they not really serious about their goals?
    I’m waiting to see.

    johndm johndm 8:51 am 11 Aug 21

    I admire you for acknowledging your disrespect to the young woman. I dislike the use and burning of plastics and try to minimise them. I also admire you for addressing our main concern, climate change, as the current IPCC report highlights: “inevitable, irreversible, and irrevocably cased by humans”. The report does present solutions, but I am not sure that restricting immigration was one of them; it is a world issue, we can not use a ring of steel to protect us.

    Spiral Spiral 9:37 pm 11 Aug 21

    My apologies johndm. I often make the mistake of attributing a higher level of literacy to people than I should, so sorry for the confusion.

    My point is that Australia is often claimed to be the highest per capita contributor of global warming gasses.

    Thus anyone moving here is likely to cause more harm than they would if they remained where they were, or went to another country.

    Of course we should be reducing our emissions but a dramatic reduction will take time to achieve.

    Until we have reduced our per capita emissions to a satisfactory level, then having more people here will do more harm than if they were somewhere else.

    What is controversial about that concept? Adding a million more people to the the highest per capita emitter will be more harmful than those million being in a lower emitting area.

    If climate change is really such the looming disaster that these people claim, then it is obvious we should be restricting immigration. Especially as it is a relatively easy win. It’s not as though we have to do something really expensive or difficult. We just have to not let people move here. Of course it does cause issues, but solvable ones.

    I would expect the these protestors have already thought of this idea and support it, after all they are apparently very dedicated to their cause.

    Perhaps you could contact them and get back to us on their policies regarding this.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 8:55 am 11 Aug 21

    Well informed and balanced comment, Spiral.

    jwinston jwinston 8:47 am 11 Aug 21

    See my previous reply to your other response. Climate change is bunkum.

    Oiledpengu Oiledpengu 9:22 am 11 Aug 21

    Spirals right and you are very wrong my misguided foolish friend

    jwinston jwinston 9:30 am 11 Aug 21

    Oiledpengu – how am I wrong?

    GrumpyMark GrumpyMark 9:41 am 11 Aug 21

    jwinston might be misguided and ill-informed, Oiledpengu, but it’s a bit harsh to call him foolish 😉

    jwinston jwinston 11:40 am 11 Aug 21

    Misguided? Possibly. Ill-informed? Not in regards to climate change. Foolish? You’ll have to ask the other circus acts I work with.

    But in all seriousness I listen to, and believe, facts.

    Do humans produce pollution? Yes – but not enough to change the climate.

    Did the Bureau of Meteorology change historical records to fit the climate change agenda? Yes, they most certainly did.

    Are the oceans rising due to the ice caps melting due to climate change? No, they are not. Oyster farmers on the south coast have been keeping records for around 100 years. They haven’t risen at all.

    Are bushfires getting more frequent and worse than before? (A caveat on the Yes) and no. More people live in bushfire prone areas than before. It affects more people so it may seem they are more frequent due to the 24hr news cycle. The Australian bush has evolved over millions of years to adapt and flourish after bushfires. In fact, most of the bush flora NEEDS bushfires for their species to survive.

    The planet’s climate is an ever evolving and changing beast. Not so along ago (11,700 years ago) the last ice age ended. Before that there have been many more ice ages. The Earth’s climate is controlled by the cycles of the sun – nothing more, nothing less.

    GrumpyMark GrumpyMark 2:32 pm 11 Aug 21

    jwinston – Misguided? Yes if you only get your information from Sky Right-at-night? Ill-informed? Refer to previous sentence.

    jwinston jwinston 3:59 pm 11 Aug 21

    GrumpyMark – unlike others on this site I am not persuaded by the media. In fact I don’t listen to the radio or watch TV (except for Netflix, Disney+ and Bluetooth my phone to my car stereo – ELO blaring).

    I make informed decisions based on ALL the information I gather from experts on both sides. I have decided to follow the evidence of the last couple of billion years – not the snapshot of the last couple of hundred where institutions like the BoM have rewritten history.

    I’m happy to have conversations with people like yourself and exchange ideas in a meaningful and peaceful manner. However, Extinction Rebellion are a group left-wing thugs who do not want a conversation – they scream abuse at anyone with a differing opinion, destroy and deface property and spout lies about all kinds of issues – including Covid.

    GrumpyMark GrumpyMark 5:11 pm 11 Aug 21

    Yeah, jwinston, that’s where we are never going to reach agreement, as I agree with the experts who have shown (admittedly I accept they have shown, you don’t accept it – which is an opinion to which you are entitled) that man’s impact in the last 200 years has accelerated what nature intended to take tens of thousands of years. We agree on one thing “Extinction Rebellion are a group left-wing thug” – I even posted that I thought there actions were destructive to the climate action cause, because it gives those moderates who are slowly coming around, cause to delay their ultimate conversion. You know, jwinston, it’s not a very scientific stance, but as a simple guy, I figure if the ‘climate deniers’ are right and we didn’t really need to address climate change, then it’s cost us a bit more for energy and the like – but if the proponents of climate action are right and we don’t do something soon, it’s cost us the planet. Either way, I probably won’t be around to know the true answer, but those school kids who get out and protest peacefully will be around – and hopefully their grand kids. Emotional claptrap? Probably, but as I said I’m a simple guy.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 6:13 pm 11 Aug 21

    Recommended reading for climate alarmists which confirms there has been no man made climate change in Australia since European settlement: Australian Landforms
    By C. R. Twidale, Elizabeth Mary Campbell

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 5:58 pm 11 Aug 21

    Correct.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 9:48 pm 11 Aug 21

    Recommended reading for climate alarmists which confirms there has been no man made climate change in Australia since European settlement: Australian Landforms
    By C. R. Twidale, Elizabeth Mary Campbell

    GrumpyMark GrumpyMark 8:52 am 12 Aug 21

    Hmmm, CapitalRetro, “Australian Landforms” – a book about rocks published by a couple of geophysicists. If they are both geophysicist. A google on “twidale geophysicist” reveals that Charles Rowland Twidale is in fact, a Reader in Geology and Geophysics, University of Adelaide – and he has published a lot of books on rocks and related topics. A google of “Elizabeth Mary Campbell” and “Campbell geophysicist“ reveals … well nothing much at all really. (Actually, I did find out an Elizabeth Mary Campbell went missing from Glen Burnie, Maryland on March 16, 2017. If you think this might be the same Elizabeth Mary Campbell, I’m sure the Anne Arundel County Police Dept in Millersville, Maryland, USA would love to hear from you). So, if I’m looking for proof that Uluru (that’s Ayers Rock to you far right wingers) is not melting, I’d definitely consult Professor Twidale – but I don’t believe even the most rabid leftie greenie has put forward the theory that it (Uluru melting) is happening as a consequence of climate change. So, if you expect me to hit the snooze button on my climate alarm on the word of a geophysicist, who, I concede, might dabble in climate science in his spare time, and his … ummm … errr … friend(?), you’ve got rocks in your head – pun intended.
    Oh but thank you for the referral, in browsing the book using Google Books, I did see it has some very nice pictures, including of Uluru (as captioned in the book).

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 10:28 am 12 Aug 21

    Perhaps you give more climate change credibility to Tim Flannery, the paleontologist. A self-appointed climate expert who the credulous adore.

    jwinston jwinston 12:52 pm 12 Aug 21

    Bravo Cap – Tim Flannery should be called out for all the climate panic he has caused.

    You, Chewy and I are trying to have educated conversations with GM whose only comeback is insults about being right-wing, Sky News watchers or that we might call Uluru Ayers Rock. I suspect he is a card carrying ER member.

    GrumpyMark GrumpyMark 3:24 pm 12 Aug 21

    Actually, jwinston, while I would not dispute the inclusion of Chewy and, even grudgingly, CapitalRetro, in a group capable of educated conversation, it is really pushing the limits of credibility when you include yourself … especially when your contributions to date have been “Climate change is bunkum”, a sycophantic ‘yeah – what he said’ (re CapitalRetro’s Flannery comeback) and the truly hurtful (I’m actually being sarcastic) assertion that I’m a “card carrying ER member”. Perhaps you should sit back and watch Chewy and CapitalRetro, who, even though I often disagree, are capable of prosecuting an argument – and you can even cheers from the sidelines.

    GrumpyMark GrumpyMark 3:30 pm 12 Aug 21

    Yeah … nah, CapitalRetro … I don’t believe I have ever referred to Tim Flannery, in supprt of an argument – but I have every confidence that you will prove me wrong if I have. Nevertheless, you trot out a rock scientist (and I’m still not sure who Elizabeth Mary Campbell is) as having absolute proof that “there has been no man made climate change in Australia since European settlement”. Like I said – yeah … nah!

    GrumpyMark GrumpyMark 3:43 pm 12 Aug 21

    I do owe you the courtesy, CapitalRetro, of at least countering your rock scientist with someone I believe has credibility in the climate change space. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend a couple of talks on climate change, delievered by Dr Clem Davis, former Officer-In-Charge Canberra Meteorological Office and Honorary Lecturer, Fenner School of Environment and Society at ANU. You can check his credentials and details of 3 very relevant (to climate change) papers he has co-authored with Dr Liz Hanna (an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the same school)here – https://fennerschool.anu.edu.au/people/visiting/dr-clem-davis

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