11 October 2019

Extinction Rebellion activists say protests are here to stay

| Michael Weaver
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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.

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

rationalobserver8:14 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 Retro8:40 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.

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

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.

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…


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.

Capital Retro6:20 pm 12 Oct 19

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

Capital Retro5:20 pm 12 Oct 19

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

Speed humps?

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

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.

Capital Retro5:44 pm 11 Oct 19

Why are you giving these people publicity?

Ignore them and they will go away.

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