Extinction Rebellion activists say protests are here to stay

Michael Weaver 11 October 2019 124
Extinction Rebellion protest in Civic

One of the protesters who joined today’s Extinction Rebellion protest about inaction on climate change in Civic. Photos: Michael Weaver.

Extinction Rebellion protesters and activists who disrupted peak hour traffic along Northbourne Avenue and in Civic today say we have not heard the last of their voices speaking out against political inaction on environmental threats to the climate.

“Australians can see the effects of climate change all around us,” said Emma Roberts, who led today’s protest of between 150 and 200 people riding bikes from Ainslie to London Circuit in Civic where they staged a ‘die-in’ for about half an hour.

Emma Roberts

Emma Roberts of Extinction Rebellion ACT led today’s protest from Ainslie into Civic.

Today’s protest capped off a week of action around Australia and the world by Extinction Rebellion protesters.

They say that if the climate emergency is not addressed, the public will continue to see sea levels rise, land drying out, wildfires, water shortages, crop failures, extreme weather, disease, and a higher risk of war and conflict.

Despite similar protests in Melbourne and Sydney seeing a number of protesters arrested, today’s event stayed true to Extinction Rebellion’s mission of holding non-violent demonstrations that disrupt public activities.

'Die in' in Civic

Extinction Rebellion ACT’s Emma Roberts speaks out during today’s protest and ‘die-in’ at Civic.

Ms Roberts told Region Media that while it has been concerning to see people arrested in other cities, it is actually a very important part of their tactics.

“Arrests around the world will not deter us from drawing attention to the climate emergency,” she said.

“It’s actually very powerful when you see people such as grandmothers, students, young people and professionals being arrested and saying ‘this is what I have to do to draw attention to our government’s inaction on our climate’.

“We’ve been really grateful for the cooperative police response here so far and we are still aiming for no arrests.

“Our politicians continue to let us down, putting profits before lives and livelihoods. We will no longer remain silent by hoping for a miracle,” said Ms Roberts.

ER protesters

Extinction Rebellion ACT protesters during today’s protest and ‘die-in’.

Ms Roberts joined Extinction Rebellion (XR) because of its non-violent methods, which had a huge and immediate effect in the UK, where the movement started. The first protest of 14 people resulted in the British government declaring a climate emergency.

“I think it’s incredibly effective to be disruptive,” says Ms Roberts. “What we’ve seen in the last 30 years of protesting is that petitions don’t work and we haven’t achieved the change we need.

“The reason I got involved with XR over other movements is that this one actually gives me a real sense of hope and a sense that we can do what we need.

“I think the fact that XR is explicitly non-violent has meant that more people feel comfortable and able to participate. For this to be successful, we do need every single person, so that is one of the reasons why non-violence is so important.”

Peter Elliott

Extinction Rebellion ACT protester Peter Elliott.

Fellow ACT Extinction Rebellion protester Peter Elliott said the peaceful protests allow him to raise his concerns in a constructive way.

“I feel like we’re sleep-walking into a potential disaster and that we have an opportunity to do something about it right now, whereas in 10 years’ time, the actions that we take are going to be too late,” Mr Elliott said.

“I think this raises the whole conversation about climate change. I believe peaceful protests are the way to go by putting ourselves out there on the streets of Canberra.

“It might disrupt people’s morning drive to work, but we’re doing it peacefully and we’re not aiming to be violent in any way. I think it’s just a great way of making the issue really public,” he said.

Police escort protesters

Extinction Rebellion protesters were escorted by police along Northbourne Avenue during today’s protest in Civic.

What's Your Opinion?

Please login to post your comments, or connect with
124 Responses to Extinction Rebellion activists say protests are here to stay
Ctl_Alt_Del Ctl_Alt_Del 9:00 am 18 Oct 19

The negative comments here are seriously stupid. Unless of course you don’t believe in the science then it all makes sense.

rationalobserver rationalobserver 8:14 pm 13 Oct 19

Amazing how they are all wearing helmets today. Wouldn’t have anything to do with the police escort would it?
Normal behaviour returns tomorrow.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 8:40 am 13 Oct 19

Why don’t they start their own community like the hippies did 50 years ago? That way, they could show us how a productive lifestyle is possible without relying on all the things they are protesting about. Then I might take an interest.

Acton Acton 8:17 am 13 Oct 19

Spoilt, conceited and privileged middle class whites displaying their stupidity. Where’s the diversity?

John Hutch John Hutch 3:07 am 13 Oct 19

The protesters and activists could instead help to provide alternate employment opportunities and solutions so that the jobs vs environment factor can be neutralised, and not inconvenience, patronise, condescent and put people off the cause and not want to support it.

It’s not a peaceful protest if they are potentially blocking critical life saving work and vehicles, such as urgent blood transfer, pathology vehicles, pharmaceutical delivery vehicles and patients attempting to commute to hospitals or medical facilities. Many of these vehicles are unmarked. It shows a lack of understanding and reflects poorly upon the protesters by not choosing to protest in parks or take out advertising to convey the message clearly instead of the cacophony of placards.

Robert Robert 8:23 pm 12 Oct 19

Why can’t they just find another planet to protest on, like Venus ( blanketed in CO2 and super hot) and leave it to Governments of the world to deal with.

Take a look at some of the fringe dwellers, anarchists and criminals disrupting our daily commute…


Lucy Baker Lucy Baker 8:09 pm 12 Oct 19

I’d rather see these people producing evidence that they have holidayed locally (taking the bus or train), declined to fly overseas, declined to buy a bigger house, declined to extend their house, given up driving a car, resisted upgrading their iPhone and, most importantly, supported moves to have China declared a developed country not a developing country, so it will be required to meet emissions targets. They could also support research into the viability of nuclear power for Australia.

Rodney Weber Rodney Weber 7:30 pm 12 Oct 19

Until they're not :-)

Capital Retro Capital Retro 6:20 pm 12 Oct 19

They are arresting them in other state capitals so, why not in Canberra too?

Capital Retro Capital Retro 5:20 pm 12 Oct 19

“We’ve heard the concerns, can we hear some solutions?”

Speed humps?

Dave Willcox Dave Willcox 4:31 pm 12 Oct 19

Stop the traffic for a couple of hours then jump in there cars and drive home.

MERC600 MERC600 2:11 pm 12 Oct 19

Extinction Rebellion activists say protests are here to stay

But when it’s raining ?
OK not when it’s raining.
Or when it’s too hot ?
OK not when it’s raining and too hot.
Or cold ?
OK no protests when it’s raining or too hot or too cold… So apart from when it’s raining or too hot or too cold, the protests will continue!
But what about public holidays and weekends ?
OK So apart from when it’s raining or too hot or too cold, and public holidays and weekends , the protests will continue.
But there’s a Jimmy Barnes concert coming up ?
OK So apart from when it’s raining or too hot or too cold, and public holidays and weekends , and the Jimmy Barnes concert, the protests will continue.

and so on ..mention of thanks to Monty Python

gooterz gooterz 8:25 am 12 Oct 19

All wearing new clothes and all the mod con’s. How many walked to the protest wearing an animal skin without a mobile phone.

They’ll do nothing then when global warming blows over they claim victory.

Byron Carn Byron Carn 7:43 am 12 Oct 19

We’ve heard the concerns, can we hear some solutions?

    Benjy Murphy Benjy Murphy 3:27 am 13 Oct 19

    Byron Carn but that would require actually doing something, it’s a lot easier to just complain

Barbara Hughes Barbara Hughes 5:03 am 12 Oct 19

People, in 100 years time we wont be here. Will our great great grandchildren? Lets do it for them

    Phillip Scharf Phillip Scharf 7:54 am 12 Oct 19

    Barbara Hughes of you want humanity to be around in 100 years time so listening to these dip shits and listen too science. You know Copernicus never had scientific "consensus" but that doesn't mean the sun rotates around the earth, climate change is science not an opinion piece.

    Barbara Hughes Barbara Hughes 7:25 pm 12 Oct 19

    So what? do we just lay down, be quiet and let planet earth slowly demise?

    Phillip Scharf Phillip Scharf 8:25 pm 13 Oct 19

    Barbara Hughes no I'm not saying that at all. We should focus on actual pollutants that are leading to the Earth's demise, CO2 is not one of them. In fact CO2 is also known as plant food and all photosynthesising organisms have been starving for centuries, if we didn't start burning fossil fuels they would have become extinct... Yet people want a carbon tax?

    There is a lot of environmentally conscious activity going on and to say that we are laying down and killing our planet is ignorant at minimum.

    Phillip Scharf Phillip Scharf 8:26 pm 13 Oct 19

    Barbara Hughes and btw sorry for the typos in that first post, my phone doesn't always allow me to see what has been written before posting

    Barbara Hughes Barbara Hughes 11:31 pm 13 Oct 19

    Point taken Phillip Scharf we could argue the pros & cons forever, only time will tell if we did the right thing. Pax

Sue Ellen Sue Ellen 11:09 pm 11 Oct 19

How does holding up traffic help the environment? Surely all it does is increase emissions.

Ray Young Ray Young 10:19 pm 11 Oct 19

1st World whinging... go live in China and do it.

Russell Smith Russell Smith 8:43 pm 11 Oct 19

I love these protesters ... “stop a traffic lane” anywhere anytime you want.

Daniel Duncan Daniel Duncan 7:42 pm 11 Oct 19

So a question for the XR people on this post. You want to stop Climate Change. So why stop peek hour traffic with all that fuel being burnt for no reason? Has anyone read the XR manifesto? What is the short and long term goals of the movement? (Other than stopping CC)

Peter Mackay Peter Mackay 7:38 pm 11 Oct 19

Just looking at some of the criticisms about these people wearing nylon, plastic helmets etc.

How stupid. Look at a bike and all the cycling kit, and then look at a car and all the petrol and stuff that goes with it. A garage to store it in, for example. Carparks at work and while shopping.

The environmental footprint of a serious bike rider is tiny in comparison to someone driving their own car.

They don’t have to be wearing wool and riding wooden bicycles to make a big difference. Just not be driving a car in stop-start traffic every day.

    Peter Mackay Peter Mackay 8:15 am 12 Oct 19

    Canberra Snakecatcher You know, I think these folk don’t care about looking a teeny bit hypocritical in your eyes. That sort of barb just bounces offa their thick skins, because they got bigger fish to fry, and the fact that people use that rubbish as an argument means they don’t have anything better to use.

    Dick Ransom Dick Ransom 12:24 pm 12 Oct 19

    Canberra Snakecatcher no it's not ... it's only hypocritical if you have no idea what the word 'hypocrisy' means.

    Dick Ransom Dick Ransom 8:52 pm 12 Oct 19

    Canberra Snakecatcher, you seriously can't tell the difference between advocating that governments take effective action on climate change and utterly abandoning technology? Really?

    Dick Ransom Dick Ransom 8:54 pm 12 Oct 19

    FWIW, if the "general public" is more offended by travel inconveniences than the obliteration of over half the species living on the planet then they probably all deserve to die anyway.

    Peter Mackay Peter Mackay 2:18 am 13 Oct 19

    Mookie Blaylock People don't generally see themselves as personally responsible for destroying the environment. It's too big a task for any one person.

    The big problem is that there are seven billion of us, and our food animals and farms, and most of those want a better - read more things and more energy consumption - lifestyle.

    How do you tell these billions that they and their children don't deserve to live, let alone have the things we Canberrans take for granted, like mobile phones and a wanky tram?

    We Australians only produce 1% of global emissions. Wait a month or two and world population goes up by a percent, nullifying any possible savings we can make.

    Tell me to stop driving to Sydney and bike there instead, and I'll tell you that you have your brains installed incorrectly and you're missing the point.

    Dick Ransom Dick Ransom 9:54 am 13 Oct 19

    That's fascinating, Snakecatcher. Things I have learned from you: protestors aren't part of the public; advocating for greater government action on climate change is the same thing as saying that all people should stop using all technology; only humans and consumer goods matter, animals and the environment can be ignored if they threaten the former; conformity is king; travel inconvenience is worse than environmental destruction. Thanks! You're obviously a really smart guy!

    Peter Mackay Peter Mackay 10:06 am 13 Oct 19

    Mookie Blaylock Well, given that they didn’t say any of those things at all, I think your useful contribution to the discussion has ended.

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Region Group Pty Ltd

Search across the site