Some 20 local and international activists – calling themselves the Byron G20 – ‘occupied’ Cape Byron lighthouse on Saturday (November 15) to send a message to world leaders meeting at the G20 summit in Brisbane: ‘Planet before profit’.
The activists wore koala, cartoon and Halloween masks to suggest that they were speaking on behalf of people everywhere who wanted real action on programs to address income inequality, exploitation of the earth’s resources for profit and the climate change crisis.
According to one of the organisers, world leaders ‘must pay close attention to the health of the planet and the wellbeing of all, not just the profit margin’.
‘The planet is not a commodity; nor are people pawns to be sacrificed to feed corporate greed, he added.
The group said they selected Byron Bay lighthouse as ‘an iconic spot from which to broadcast our message’.
Another participant commented, ‘They are the G20, but we represent the seven billion and 20. We were wanting to give a voice to people across the globe who never get a seat at the summit table, not to mention all our ecological cousins, the flora and fauna of the earth.’
The group plans to make a video of a rap created by Francis Einstein and Ha ha, which in part proclaims, ‘We will not be goverened/We will not be ruled/By the pampered pimps of state/ We will not be fooled.’
The action was part of a series of events highlighting civil societies’ concerns about the fate of the world in the context of the G20 in Brisbane. – Harsha Prabhu