Update August 6, 2019 – 1:58pm
Police say they have charged 56 people following traffic disruptions in Brisbane this morning during the planned Extinction Rebellion (XR) protest action.
The report from Queensland Police says the protest commenced in William Street shortly after 7am and moved to the intersection of Margaret Street where a number of people blocked traffic.
Just before 8.30am police arrested 15 men and 12 women aged between 19 and 65 for offences including contravene direction, obstruct traffic, obstruct police and breach of peace.
Officers have since arrested another 29 people for similar offences in the CBD aged between 19 and 73.
William Street remains closed to traffic until at least 2pm.
The Queensland Police Service (QPS) says in the report that they acknowledge the right to lawful and peaceful protest, and they are committed to working with groups that are cooperative and facilitating protest through lawful activities.
Police say they and their partner agencies are working closely to manage the protest and minimise as much as possible disruptions to transportation networks.
Local climate activist Murray ‘Muzz’ Dreschler has joined the Extinction Rebellion climate change protestors today in Brisbane as they attempt to ‘shut down’ the city. The Northern Rivers Extinction Rebellion group bussed up to Brisbane to highlight the climate emergency that is taking place on a global level.
‘We are using the same model as London because we need change and we need action,’ said Muzz.
‘We are facing not only the extinction of millions of other species but ultimately of ourselves. We have been talking about this for over 40 years and governments are still not acting. We are running out off time.’
Multiple groups gathered around the city and started ‘swarming’ this morning to create as much disruption as possible. By 9.30am there were already around 20 arrests with Queensland police saying that there have now (midday) been at least 28 arrests of people between the ages of 19 and 65.
‘First you have to stop the government corruption,’ Muzz told Echonetdaily.
‘We have a corrupt government that won’t make change and this is why we are now having to do this. The government needs to stop taking donations from corporations and businesses, stop privatising utilities including electricity and water, and stop the influence of lobbyists that have a “revolving door” to government,’ he said.
Protest to continue
Protestors are currently blocking Williams Street in the Brisbane CBD accompanied by a large police presence. They have been told they can legally stay there until 2pm. However, it is understood that Extinction Rebellion plans further protests throughout the city until about 9pm tonight.
Find out more on Extinction Rebellion at Aus Rebellion or get updates on Twitter and Facebook.