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News > Australia

Australia: Police Arrest Extinction Rebellion Climate Activists

  • Climate change activist is removed by Police during a demonstration on Princes Bridge in Melbourne, Australia, Sep. 14, 2019.

    Climate change activist is removed by Police during a demonstration on Princes Bridge in Melbourne, Australia, Sep. 14, 2019. | Photo: EFE

Published 14 September 2019

The absence of effective policies to halt global climate change has prompted hundreds of people to protest in Australia and Germany on September 14.

Approximately 300 Extinction Rebellion activists blocked the Princes Bridge in Melbourne on Saturday, as they demanded that Australia's Prime Minister Scott John Morrison address the ongoing climate change emergency. The government's immediate response, however, was to arrest of dozens of the activists.


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“We are in a climate emergency. Life on Earth is in crisis. Our climate is changing faster than scientists predicted and the stakes are high,” Extinction Rebellion said and added that “we are running out of time, and our Government has failed to act.”

“Activists descended upon the bridge to call for action... Victoria Police formally warned them twice that if they did not move they would be arrested... Dozens were arrested and searched at the scene,” The Guardian reported.

The police repression, however, did not prevent Extinction Rebels from delivering their message. Holding banners proclaiming that "we have a moral duty to rebel," the Australians demanded that their country's government "act now and tell" the truth.

"Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change. Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025."

On Saturday environmental activists also protested in Frankfurt, Germany against climate-damaging cars as the city hosts the Frankfurt Auto Show (IAA), which includes the exhibition of new models of electric vehicles.

While these products would seem at first glance very friendly to the environment, electric cars do not contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions if they are not accompanied by new infrastructure and production modes.

"Electric cars only make sense if their power comes from renewable energy sources. They do not make sense if it come from lignite," the Green Party parliamentary group leader, Anton Hofreiter, said.​​

Previously, on September 10, Greenpeace East Asia and Greenpeace Germany released a report showing how the car industry is driving the climate crisis.

"What’s most infuriating about the car industry is its complete unwillingness to address the climate emergency... They are totally failing in the transition away from diesel and petrol cars. Promoting hybrid cars and improving efficiency are nothing but band-aid solutions," the Crashing the Climate report holds. 

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