Contributed by Joe Montero
Extinction Rebellion is back. COVID-19 and the lockdown had a major impact on the ability of the movement taking on the climate emergency to organise and act. XR, as it is otherwise known, is experiencing a revival in Australia and around the world.
Critics suggest that it has lost some contact with ordinary people. Whether this is true or not, XR still has plenty of supporters and is in a good position to bounce back and move forward.
When the movement took off some two years ago, it brought the idea that people getting together in large numbers and rebelling to bring about an end to the carbon economy could shake the establishment and bring about change.
Hitting the streets in April this year in the autumn rebellion, the rebels used their distinctive and creative style to get the message of the need for immediate and serious action on carbon reduction out to Australia.
Autumn Rebellion 2021
Video from Matt Hrkac
despite being de-activated by Covid-19, Extinction Rebellion maintains a solid support base within the Australian community.
Although largely de-activated by Covid-19, it has begun to emerge once more, re-claiming its place as one of the nation’s most important movements.
This week the federal budget was targeted. The focal point was Canberra, where attention was brought to the failure, once again, of the Australian government to act on carbon emissions.
Photo by Alex Crowe: Blocking access to politicians at the Fyshwick car park
Ready outside Parliament House before dawn on budget Day, rebels in place to disrupt at various points around the building and the car park at Fyshwick. They had the ‘climate emergency ‘ banner, and another that read “Budget as usual = death”. some chained themselves to a fence. Others to car wheels. A road leading to the parliament was blocked for a while.
Photo from AAP: Chained to the wheel
Why this sort of confrontation? To take the matter of the climate emergency up close to these politicians and demand some action in the budget.
This was broadcast live via Facebook.
One person was arrested for failing to give personal details to the police.
Over the past year, the climate issue has not received the national attention it deserves. This is understandable. The community has been preoccupied with the immediate issues of income, disruption to lives, and the risk of infection.
Concern over the ability to continue putting food on the table and keeping a roof over one’s head persists in the climate of economic stagnation, which is relegating concern over other matters into second place.
But the climate crisis continues to exist and must impose itself on our awareness. Thus, the renewed activity of Extinction Rebellion works to remind us of the need to respond effectively.
It turned out the budget completely ignored the climate and continued the policy of encouraging the growth of the carbon industry. This is why the ranks of the rebels are bound to grow again.