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Byron Shire
October 19, 2021

Dying bees and arrests as XR protests continue

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QLD police arrest an XR climate action protester on Monday. PHOTO: Facebook

Protests and arrests continue this week as climate action advocates again take to streets around the world as part of Extinction Rebellion’s (XR) ‘international rebellion’.

More than a hundred protesters in Sydney dressed as bees Tuesday morning and pretended to die in Hyde Park, with six arrested, while protesters in Brisbane blockaded peak hour traffic on George Street and police negotiated with a man suspended ten metres from the Story Bridge.

‘For people under 40, our retirement plan will be to somehow survive and not starve to death or die of heat stroke before we reach old age,’ XR South East Queensland spokeswoman Laura Harland said in a media release.

Members of XR SEQ said they occupied Brisbane’s Victoria Bridge and casino on Monday, while a woman called Alison ‘made an extremely courageous stand as a mother from Toowoomba’ by getting arrested in Queens Park, the group’s press release said.

XR protesters in Brisbane on Monday. PHOTO: Facebook

A ‘privilege’ to choose arrest, XR activist says

XR SEQ said police had arrested more than 160 people protesting in Brisbane since April.

‘We acknowledge it is a privilege to be able to choose to be arrested and we are choosing to weaponise this privilege,’ Ms Harland’s sister Izzy Harland said in another press release.

Meanwhile, NSW police said they arrested 30 protesters in Sydney’s CBD on Monday, while the XR Sydney group said on Facebook there were more than 50 arrests.

‘One man had to be taken to hospital for a hand injury, and another woman had to be taken for wrist injuries, both from the police,’ the group said.

‘People can only be held for 6 hours by law and that time is nearly going over,’ the social media post read, ‘police are giving severe bail conditions’.

Police said alleged offences ranged from obstructing traffic to disobeying a reasonable direction.

NSW police assistant chief says protesters can expect ‘full force’ of law

‘Anyone who chooses to flout the rules and cause trouble should expect to feel the full force of the law,’ Assistant Commissioner Mick Willing APM said in a press release.

Assistant Commissioner Willing said public safety was the number one priority for police during any protest activity.

‘While police respect the right of individuals and groups to protest, we have a responsibility to the community and local businesses to ensure they can go about their normal activities without being impacted on or put at risk,’ he said.

‘Unfortunately, despite the warnings issued by local police and our colleagues from across the country, this group continues to set out to break the law and put themselves and others at risk.

‘We are aware that this particular group of protesters intend to cause significant disruption to the community, and any future activity of this nature will not be tolerated by NSW Police.’

Climate crisis is not a ‘view’ says XR

Protesters are demanding zero greenhouse gas emissions and for all energy to come from renewable sources by 2025.

They are also calling for nature to receive legal rights and for an end to land clearing.

Their list of demands includes truth in climate change reporting and replacement of ‘oppressive government structures with systems of self-management and true participatory democracy’.

Earlier this week, XR SEQ spokeswoman Izzy Harland, also a representative for the Northern Rivers branch, said members were left with no other choice but to engage in disruptive and sacrificial acts of civil disobedience if they wanted a chance at averting a sixth mass extinction already underway.

‘Right now, most of NSW is in drought and ten Australian towns are out of water,’ Ms Harland said in a media release.

‘The fact that we are facing the climate crisis is not a “view’’, it is science and Extinction Rebellion is backed by hundreds of Australian scientists’, she said.

Byron and Ballina threatened by climate change

The group said it was urging ‘everyone’ to consult climate change science and used the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report as an example.

‘Just one staggering figure from the report was that a historical 100-year flood event will happen annually by 2050 even in the most optimistic scenario,’ XR SEQ said in its press release.

A recent report from the Climate Council referred to Coastal Risk Australia data showing much of Byron Bay, including Belongil, and Ballina’s CBD would be flooded by 2100 if current climate change trends continued.

‘For decades, people have tried to demand meaningful action on the climate crisis though petitions, letters and non-disruptive marches,’ Ms Harland said, ‘yet the systems set up by those in power have failed to protect us from the corporate interests driving ecocide’.

Turnbull blames coalition climate ‘denialists’ for government inaction

In Victoria, Premier Daniel Andrews questioned XR actions, asking whether or not they were the most effective methods for spreading awareness, while Federal Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton last week called for protesters receiving Newstart to have their payments cancelled.

By Sunday morning, Mr Dutton had the support of both the employment minister and the minister for family and social services.

Former Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull then spoke to The Australian, saying his biggest regret in terms of leading the country was a failure to reform energy policy.

Mr Turnbull said the coalition was influenced by an inner group of climate denialists.


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7 COMMENTS

  1. While Federal & State Governments are shambolically stupid
    & rough-necking the public purse we have protesters doing
    their best to get this country & the world-vision back on track.
    It’s a ‘choice-less situation’. Science has spoken & is NOT
    being listened to. We are at the ‘cross roads’ & there is no
    turning back.

  2. Mr Turncoat Turnbull !! You and your son are heavily
    Invested in Renewables.. stands the reason for your opinions…these people are a pain in the backside !! Most of them are not employed by choice.. but some do work , however have been
    Brainwashed by this hysteria !! Professional
    Protesters..blocking the paths of health care
    Professionals transporting patients to hospitals
    Some critical!! All for what cause ?? Their mantra
    Of climate emergency is a load of shit ..even the IPCC , and the UN are not declaring a climate emergency as suggested!! Leave those idiots
    Who super glue themselves to the roads for a few days, or a week .. !! Just beyond belief what is going on worldwide.. now all you protesters go back over history and look at all the doomsday Predictions from climate alarmist!! And crunch the numbers for the truth of how many predictions have come true ?? ZERO is the answer ..just Google
    Tim Flannerys predictions thats enough to convince you all .. by the way Joachim any answers
    For the Roman Warm period!! Cant avoid this Question forever

    • Highly sophisticated data collectors are registering the increasing carbon pollution as a percentage of the air. the increasing density of transparent gas’ let light through but insulate the subsequent reflected heat. Its the Laws of Physics. Your denial of the science only illustrates you Mr Barrow, not on the actual facts of the situation

  3. The Secretary General of the UN, on the 23rd
    of September, asked that all governments &
    businesses address ‘The Global Climate
    Emergency.’

    • So the Secretary General chose to ignore the advice
      From 500 scientists worldwide? All in agreement
      That there is no climate emergency!! Totally ignored for their expert research!! Expect anything less from this virtue signaling left wing organisation
      Also Stefanie do some research on the Secretary General he is a hypocrite in the first order .

  4. They don’t care about the planet because adaptable AI is being created to serve those in power, so who needs us weak humans any more.

  5. See ‘The Climate Emergency Evaluation’……….

    1 Read – …The IPCC Special Report.
    2 See ‘Denial Shapes Public Opinion
    On Global Warming’ ie; “Climate
    Skepticism Taking A New Form” on
    CBS News Sept. 28th 2019
    3 ‘The Climate Contrarians hold key
    political positions’ – They are saying
    “We can’t do anything about it” or
    “It’s not important enough to do right
    away.”

    All of the above admits there IS a
    Climate Emergency but no-one in
    high office wants to admit to that
    fact because there’s nix dollars to
    be made from the admission.

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