Why I glued my hand to the William Jolly Bridge

October 12, 2019
Extinction Rebellion protest on the William Jolly Bridge. Photo: Keri Okanik.

A few hours ago, I was released from custody after spending a night in the Brisbane Watch House. On October 11, I glued my hand to the William Jolly Bridge. I was one of hundreds who took part in the Extinction Rebellion action calling for genuine climate action. Approximately 50 of us were arrested.

At the same time as we were blocking the bridge, the Queensland Labor government was holding a rushed committee hearing on its latest anti-protest bills.

This was at the end of a week of #SpringRebellion. All week, these politicians — and, to their shame, journalists — have been focused on "what do we do about the protesters” rather than “what do we do about climate change”.

Greens MP Michael Berkman reported that the government is using ficticious excuses to deprive peaceful protesters of our democratic rights.

By contrast, the dangers of not taking climate change seriously are very real.

The climate emergency is here: NSW towns are running out of water; dangerous fires are rampaging Queensland and NSW in Spring; Ice sheets are melting and the 20 warmest years on record happened in the last 22 years.

Governments here and elsewhere are showing time and again that they are working for the 100 companies that are responsible for 71% of emissions. They are not working for our interests.

The only hope — literally — we have is if people step onto the stage of history to protest. We have to resist the climate criminals and their governments and, ultimately, build our own people-powered alternative.

We need a climate revolution, and mass protests and civil disobedience are the first steps.

I ended up spending a night in the Watch House because the police wanted me to sign bail conditions that would have prevented me going into the CBD and Southbank.

On October 12, the magistrate gave me bail with no conditions — a small win.

I am considering my options, including pleading not guilty on the grounds of extraordinary emergency. I am seeking legal advice.

But that is why I glued my hand to the William Jolly Bridge.

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