Extinction Rebellion (XR) and other climate activists began a fortnight of protests and disruptive actions on October 17 to call out the federal government’s failure to address the climate emergency in the lead up to the COP26 international climate negotiations.
The actions in Canberra aimed to put the spotlight on Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who initially said he would not attend the talks — until global pressure forced him to change his mind.
XR spokesperson, John Wurcker, said: “[Australia] has one of the worst records for deforestation and species extinction in the world. We are the third largest exporter of the fossil fuels that are cooking our planet.” He said Australia is an “international disgrace”.
The fortnight of actions began with a pram vigil to draw attention to the threat climate change poses to future generations. “If we don’t act now, our children’s and grandchildren’s future is lost,” Wurcker said.
Australian Federal Police blocked the protesters from entering the forecourt and threatened them with arrest.
Activists confronted the PM at the entrance to Parliament House on October 19, dressed as popular Pokémon character Pikachu. The next day, they dressed up as koalas to highlight the loss of wildlife after the devastating Black Summer bushfires.
More actions are being planned, including a fossil fuel brigade, a second pram action and an occupation of areas surrounding Parliament House.
“The climate emergency is real and we are all in grave, imminent danger,” Wurcker said. “We need real, emergency action and we need it now.”
[To find out more or join the actions, visit XR Australia on Facebook.]