Rebellion declared in WA parliament

Extinction Rebellion WA protest inside state parliament, in Perth on August 15. Photo: XR WA

Extinction Rebellion WA (XRWA) brought proceedings at state parliament to a halt on August 15 — dubbed “Declaration Day” — as about 500 people rallied outside while a group of XRWA activists delivered a message to Legislative Assembly members.

The campaign group had sent a letter requesting a meeting with Labor Premier Mark McGowan two weeks earlier, but he refused.

XRWA spokesperson Sabena Lund explained the purpose of the action: “Time is up for politicians to talk around this issue any longer — hey must tell the truth of the climate and biodiversity emergency, they must act now to bring carbon emissions to zero by 2025, and they must move beyond politics by establishing a Citizens Assembly to guide a just transition away from fossil fuels.

“The world’s indigenous people, scientific community, the United Nations Secretary General and Sir David Attenborough himself are calling on all governments to do everything in their power to halt carbon dioxide emissions and halt biodiversity loss at a time when the McGowan Labor Government is planning on developing a dangerous gas fracking industry, even more offshore LNG and are allowing the extinction of dozens of native species to build a uranium mine. This is lunacy.

“We are everyday people who can no longer accept the inaction of governments — our lives and the lives of the next generation are at risk and they are favouring corporate interests over community's safety.

“We declare the social contract between government and people to be broken. We Declare Rebellion.

“And we will embark on a campaign of non-violent disruption of business-as-usual until our demands for a safe future are met.”

The West Australian, an ever-faithful mouthpiece of the fossil fuel industry, went into overdrive to condemn XRWA for its commitment to conduct disruptive acts of civil disobedience, devoting an entire front page and double spread in its August 8 edition to XRWA’s “extremism”.

The West Australian has also been running a campaign against local councils that have declared a climate emergency or are simply seeking to reduce their emissions.

WA’s only daily newspaper also predicted violence at the university student rally on climate action that took place on August 9 without incident.