Australia: I'm an Extinction Rebellion protester and I'll be disrupting your work commute. Here's why - PressFrom - Australia
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Australia I'm an Extinction Rebellion protester and I'll be disrupting your work commute. Here's why

23:41  07 october  2019
23:41  07 october  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

Protesters lock their necks to barricades in Brisbane CBD

  Protesters lock their necks to barricades in Brisbane CBD Police arrest seven climate activists after another disruption to peak-hour traffic by members of Extinction Rebellion.The protest began about 8am at Creek Street and the scene was cleared by police within the hour.

a person standing in front of a brick wall: Chloe Adams will join the Extinction Rebellion protests this week. (Supplied: Chloe Adams)© Provided by Australian Broadcasting Corporation Chloe Adams will join the Extinction Rebellion protests this week. (Supplied: Chloe Adams) This week thousands of ordinary Australians, and many thousands more across the globe, will disrupt major cities with rolling blockades to draw attention to the climate crisis.

They will do so under the name of Extinction Rebellion (or XR for short), a new environmental movement.

As a result of their actions, your life may be disrupted. You may be forced to wait or find another route. You may even become angry.

Inevitably these protesters, myself included, will be reduced by some news media to just another bunch of climate activists.

Extinction Rebellion rally in Sydney marred by arrests as protesters block road, chain themselves to water tank

  Extinction Rebellion rally in Sydney marred by arrests as protesters block road, chain themselves to water tank Police arrest dozens of protesters during a climate change demonstration in Sydney today, including elderly participants who were dragged away by force. The rally, organised by the Extinction Rebellion movement, is one of several protests across the country today, calling for more government action on climate change.Hundreds took part in the Sydney demonstration which began at Belmore Park near Central this afternoon. 1/7 SLIDES © Provided by Australian Broadcasting Corporation Police arrest a man during the protest in Sydney.

I want to tell you though, that term "climate activist", whilst true, is limiting.

It certainly doesn't capture the truth of who I am or why I joined XR. It doesn't tell you that I am a mother of two small children. Or that I have lived a law-abiding life.

Or that truth be told, I had only ever been to a handful of protests before XR, and never one where I risked being arrested.

It doesn't give you any insight into who I am at all, really.

You wouldn't know for instance, that I am haunted by one image: the moment my children are old enough to understand the gravity of the climate crisis, and they look me in the eye and ask, "but what did you do Mummy?"

Because unlike the cover-ups of the past — tobacco, asbestos, those supposed weapons of mass destruction — this cover-up is being perpetrated by all of us, every day.

Scott Ludlam's Extinction Rebellion bail conditions thrown out

  Scott Ludlam's Extinction Rebellion bail conditions thrown out Police had banned the former Greens senator from going within 2.5km of the city and participating in any more protests.High-profile barrister, Greg James, QC, who represented Mr Ludlum and protester Kim Warner, said during a short application at the Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday that the conditions were designed to lock-down political expression of those in the movement.

Yes, governments are failing us, but we are all complicit. The facts are quite literally a tap of a keyboard away from our discovery.

Indeed, they are splashed across the news each night.

The "fires" in sub-tropical Queensland and high-altitude rainforests of NSW.

The "drought" across eastern Australia. Loss of species so dramatic scientists are calling it Earth's sixth mass extinction.

In a recent report, the World Meteorological Organisation warned that climate change is accelerating faster than expected.

And the most terrifying part, everything we are experiencing now was written into our destiny several years ago, due to the lag between carbon being emitted into the atmosphere and its effect on the climate.

We are in desperate times and nothing else has worked

We are stuck between past mistakes and future horrors and we pretend it all away.

We pretend it away because we are too busy, or because we feel we have no power, or because our puny imaginations can't truly grasp the meaning of the threat, or because it is just too painful to face.

Serial protester arrested for 11th time in Brisbane climate action

  Serial protester arrested for 11th time in Brisbane climate action Paramedics had pleaded with activists, who had wire tied around their wrists, to remove themselves, fearing they would injure themselves if they fainted. The action was in direct response to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s claims that protesters had been using dangerous devices that were putting the lives of emergency services at risk.Mr Herbert, who chatted with the police officer minding him, said he would never intentionally endanger the life of a first responder.

Denial has become our greatest defence. But will it help our children?

I want to tell you that after much soul-searching, and endless cycling between fear, anxiety and denial ("surely our leaders will do something?"), I have come to see that my inaction is an act of betrayal committed against the people I love most in the world, my own children.

And so, I rebel. I lose sleep at night, wrestling with the discomfort of what I am doing. Will I lose friends? Will people hate me? Will it even work?

And while I grapple with all these questions, I am strengthened by one thought. We are in desperate times and nothing else has worked.

Some of the greatest minds in the climate and environmental space — Sir David Attenborough and Tim Flannery among them — have spoken out in support of non-violent civil disobedience (or in other words, disrupting business as usual to force a public conversation).

History tells us such methods do work.

One might only consider the Suffragettes or the civil rights movement of the 1960s. And already we are seeing it work in the climate space too.

Since Extinction Rebellion was launched in the UK last year, more than 1,000 jurisdictions around the world have declared a climate emergency which is the first of XR's three demands.

Climate activists prepare to shut down William Jolly Bridge

  Climate activists prepare to shut down William Jolly Bridge On the final day of International Rebellion Week, protesters are preparing to shut down a key Brisbane bridge.More than 1500 people indicated on social media that they planned to join the climate activists on the bridge and peacefully occupy it from 10am, blocking the key bridge entirely until 6pm.

It is comforting to know that I am far from alone in my worry.

In just one year, Extinction Rebellion has sprouted chapters in more than 70 countries and is now operating in every state and territory across Australia.

And of course, we in XR follow and acknowledge the many who came before us — the climate scientists and environmental advocates who have worked tirelessly for decades, and before them the traditional custodians of this land who cared for it for millennia.

We are the powerless trying to find our voice

It is both an outrage and a tragedy that because collectively we have ignored the experts, and since our political leaders refuse to act, it is falling to ordinary people like me now to tell the truth of our climate emergency.

Indeed, it is this ordinariness that is perhaps the most compelling aspect of Extinction Rebellion.

We are 80-year-old grandparents, and 40-year-old parents and 20-year-old tradies.

We are psychologists and truck drivers and electricians.

We are ordinary people who can't sleep at night worrying about the climate emergency.

We are grown men who cry when asked about the future.

We are stepping way out of our comfort zones because we feel we must.

We are the powerless, just like you, trying to find our voice in a world that defers always to the powerful.

As Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish schoolgirl who triggered mass global school strikes told the UN last week, "the world is waking up".

And I believe, with that waking up comes personal responsibility.

Chloe Adams is a climate change protester and journalist.

Extinction Rebellion activists form logo on sand at Bondi Beach .
Climate activists have formed the shape of an hour glass on the sand at Bondi Beach this morning. The symbol, formed collectively by dozens of protesters, is the Extinction Rebellion logo. © 9News Protesters sit in the shape of an hour glass, the Extinction Rebellion logo, on Bondi Beach. The action comes after a week of protests in capital cities across the country and the world.Protesters marched with flags and signs, chained themselves to cars, boats and train tracks, blocked roads, suspended themselves from bridges, and thrust their heads in the sand at Manly Beach.

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