Extinction Rebellion demonstrators from an international environmental movement disrupted traffic in Melbourne’s CBD. They assembled in single file at a crossing on the Montague Street off-ramp just off of the West Gate Freeway around 7:30 a.m. and unveiled large banners with slogans like “Climate code red for humanity” and “we need disruption to end the destruction” while chanting. Local police arrived on the scene within the hour to clear the way and remove nine protestors who received penalty notices for obstructing a roadway.
This is the third consecutive day that the protestors have demonstrated in Melbourne’s CBD. They marched through major roadways, took to the streets in both morning and evening peak hours, and continued with plans for a demonstration of 200+ protestors on Saturday. According to Extinction Rebellion Australia’s website, the “Slow March For Climate” will take place between 1-4 p.m. where protestors will walk from Treasury Gardens to Flinders Street Station. Organizers are also planning a show of “Mass Civil Disobedience for Climate,” where they hope 300 people will take part. The protests come in conjunction with the COP 28 conference currently being held in Dubai.
The movement’s protests are taking place just three months after the group’s major obstructions of traffic in Adelaide’s CBD. In late September, one of the protestors involved was arrested for abseiling off of a bridge in the city center and later pleaded guilty to obstruction of a public space during a demonstration that took place outside of a gas and oil conference held by the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA).
Brad Homewood, a spokesperson for the Victorian Branch of Extinction Rebellion, expressed his apologies to those impeded by the group’s protests but believes they are a necessary measure. “We genuinely apologize to the public, we don’t like doing this, we wish it didn’t have to come to this,” Mr. Homewood said, reported nine news. “Writing letters, signing petitions..they can ignore that. They can’t ignore this.”