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May 13, 2021

‘Enjoy it while you can’: XR protesters blockade Byron lighthouse

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Tourists had some time to reflect on the future of Byron’s most popular attraction on Saturday afternoon, as Extinction Rebellion blocked the road leading to the lighthouse for just over ten minutes.

Brandishing a banner reading ‘Enjoy Byron while you can’, activists stopped traffic going in both directions and handed drivers flyers with information about Cape Byron or Walgun (‘The Shoulder’) as it was originally known.

Protesters from Extinction Rebellion Byron Bay blockaded the road to the lighthouse on Oct 26. Image: XR

Extinction Rebellion spokesperson Emma Briggs said reactions to the protest ranged from support to annoyance, with most motorists being patient, turning off their engines and waiting quietly until the road was cleared.

‘The Cape plays an important part in Arakwal Dreaming stories and was a special place for ceremony as well as providing precious food and shelter,’ said Extinction Rebellion spokesperson Emma Briggs.

‘Since 1828 when colonial cedar cutters first began setting up camps nearby, ecosystems have been decimated and burial sites, middens, scarred trees and ceremonial Bora rings have been destroyed by sand-mining and development.’

‘Thanks to the hard work of local Bundjalung people over the past decades, much of the cultural and natural heritage has been restored. ‘However now, along with every other ecosystem on Earth, Walgun faces its biggest ever threat as human-induced climate change brings rising sea levels, coastal erosion, extended droughts, lethal bushfires and devastating floods to our region.’

Ms Briggs said carbon dioxide concentrations were rising faster than at any other time in history and were at the highest level the Earth had experienced in three million years.

‘Together with pollution, land clearing and resource extraction, climate change has increased extinction rates by up to one thousand times,’ she said.

‘Governments are failing to stop the crisis from happening. Emissions keep rising and leaders are not hearing our demands for a serious and rapid response to this emergency.’

She said that, despite what opponents of XR might say, the movement was based on social science which had found that mass non-violent civil disobedience was the quickest and most effective way to achieve change on a large scale. ‘Like the Suffragettes and the Civil Rights movement, we resist our unjust systems and sacrifice our liberties in order to make ourselves heard,’ Ms Briggs said.

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  1. Thank you rebels for spreading the truth and keeping up the pressure on our governing bodies and leaders to ACT NOW.
    Going about with business as usual is killing us. The science has been known for over 30 years and still our emissions are rising. Coal is history. We can’t keep raping and pillaging our earth, oceans and forests.
    Our children deserve a healthy planet.
    Time for everyone to wake up, educate yourselves on how dire this really is. And then join the fight and be a part of non-violent civil disobedience to force systemic change.
    There are no options left.

  2. Thanks Paul…… reflection is needed since the world
    itself is controlled by arrogant minded politicians &
    a fan-club of mint-sniffing coal/gas guzzlers. Surely
    the tourists got the message our protesters handed
    on. The land [Walgun] is the place of dreaming &
    shelter for first Nation People & Climate Crisis is
    serious stuff. There’s nothing all that strange about
    a Civil Rights connection either. Civil Rights go back
    to Ghandi & even Tolstoy. So many things just need
    to be done & Rebellion – along with so many other
    groups – is doing it. Another high note too… The so
    very great “U” Rock climbs has stopped.

  3. My understanding is that the Aust aboriginals were great at lighting uncontrolled bushfires. Seems a bit hypocritical to blame climate change on a comparatively much less damaging coal fired power station.

  4. That’s a bit slap-happy, Grahame. Perhaps the fault lies with
    misunderstanding as I doubt the ‘lit fires were uncontrolled’
    by people who knew the land. No First Nation inhabitant
    would risk their own life & limb or animal. One does not harm
    a Totem or muck-up the food chain. Secondly, this ‘Coal Is
    Gold’ is sickening. You know as well as I do what its down
    -fall’s all about. It’s the ‘loot’… & bugger our population &
    the world’s. It’s not ‘Just killing us softly’, it’s a premeditated
    cash grab.

  5. One has to chuckle at how well these Extinction Rebellion shmucks are being played. If they had any intelligence, they’d realise that the money is dwindling in coal and oil. There’s trillions to be made in green energy. Why do you think there is such a huge push on this scam – despite 50 years of failed predictions?

    Well done, morons. You are pawns being sacrificed by the elite wealthy. ???

  6. 10 minutes closure, 5 days to make there sign’s, 30 seconds to do there hair, 3 hours at center-link, 55 minutes at the free yoga, time goes bye and still no one cares for the future.

  7. Full support to the XR protesters. Ecocide is rapidly occurring. The history of social change evolved through consciousness raising and civil disobedience. Let the youth lead the way for a better world and show support. Politicians are locked in hubris and cannot address Climate Change policies…appalling. Onwards for the sake of the Planet.

  8. Great! We got John Booth publicly saying it’s well-intentioned, D Gray saying we should care about the future, Matt saying the fossil fuel elite should switch their money to investing in renewables, Sue suggesting that we block Ewingsdale Road again,
    and Grahame Wheatley struggling with the fact that coal fired power stations are actually creating the evaporative conditions for damaging bushfires That’s a great return on ten minutes of inconvenience!

  9. Failed predictions?…….. Go & get a life for the sake of
    those who care about the country that’s been eroding
    for the last decade. No – I’m not on the dole. I’ve most
    likely employed more people than you have family or
    friends so just quit trying to preach; it’s an annoying
    ongoing whine & totally irrelevant in the here & now.
    And – who is being selfish? Use your head. Those
    who sit off side & support an Orwellian Skid-row while
    others carry the fate & state of things… there’s not
    one original thought or action in the ‘anti set’ of
    numbers. Yes – coal & oil & gas use is dwindling; if
    you thought differently then it’s a foolish thought.
    Still, you still support it. Make dollars from it. Tell the
    rest of the planet it’s okay to choke on it. Dictatorial
    mindset’s are dangerous as well as heartless.

  10. Women had the vote in Australia at the time of federation. Civil rights was an American thing. So, Emma, show me some studies as to how mass social disobedience works in Australia? What change in Australia was brought about by it? I can’t think of any.

  11. What a strange and ignorant attitude,
    Have you heard of ‘the forty hour week’ ,’sick pay’,’ holiday pay’ , compensation for death or injury, the Vietnam Moratorium, ‘the green ban’?
    None of these were bestowed by a benevolent government or enlightened employers, people died for these concessions. The national parks are largely a result of civil disobedience started in Terania Creek,
    So get over your smug ,self entitled ignorance of the real world, where others have died providing you benefits that you have no appreciation of, nor even intelligence enough to ask how this society has come to be this way.

    Do some study ! G”)


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