Melbourne Extinction Rebellion (XR) organised three days of actions on the climate crisis, beginning on May 25 with a series of workshops on non-violent direct action, legal rights, creative art activities and First Nations cultural competency.
The action component included small groups “painting the streets” with posters and undertaking pop-up occupations aimed at encouraging passers-by to envisage a better world.
Scooter and wheelchair riders rode through the CBD on May 26 to demand more and safer infrastructure. Canoes sailed on Birrarung (Yarra River) on May 27 with two messages: “Climate Action Now” and “We are up shit creek”. Groups of dancers with “No music on a dead planet” messages, descended on unsuspecting city dwellers.
A slow and vibrant march from Parliament gardens through the CBD and ending at the State Library attracted up to 400 people and a mix of generations. A huge koala half-skeleton, emitting smoke, led the march.
Women clad in red followed. Drummers made it very lively. They were followed by a huge bee, which attracted the attention of the very young. There were many banners and posters and the XR flags.
Climate activists addressed marchers and onlookers at several stops along the way. Greens leader Adam Bandt gave a passionate call for action at the Victoria Markets, attracting a lot of attention.
At the State Library, Jacob Andrewartha from the Socialist Alliance pointed out that while Labor MPs say they take climate change seriously, in practice they help to prop up the fossil fuel industry by subsidising it and supporting new coal and gas mines.