Climate rebels ready to ramp

• Extinction Rebellion’s previous disruption in Hay Street mall last month; they’re vowing to ramp things up if the McGowan government doesn’t declare a climate emergency.

THE WA arm of the organisation that bought Brisbane’s CBD to a standstill on Tuesday with climate change protests could ramp up its Perth campaign next week.

Earlier this month Extinction Rebellion sent a letter to WA premier Mark McGowan threatening disruptive behaviour if his government didn’t declare a climate and ecological emergency.

Fremantle links

The organisation has strong links to Fremantle, holding its planning meetings at Replants on Wray Avenue and running a stall at the South Fremantle Growers Green market. Many members are veteran Save Beeliar Wetlands campaigners.

ER also demanded immediate action from the premier to reduce WA’s carbon emissions to zero by 2025, halt biodiversity loss and initiate a citizens’ assembly.

“WA is the only state in Australia whose carbon emissions have continued to increase,” ER said in its statement.

“While the IPCC [Intergovernmental panel on climate change] says we need to lower emissions by 45 per cent by 2030, WA’s emissions are up 23.4 per cent on 2005 levels.”

It gave Mr McGowan 14 days to respond, warning that non-violent disruption would follow.

In Brisbane more than 70 followers were charged on Tuesday (August 6) with contravening directions, obstructing traffic, obstructing police and breaching the peace after hundreds turned up to block streets and footpaths.

ER Perth spokesperson Jesse Noakes told the Herald he wasn’t sure what action would be taken on Thursday August 15, when the deadline expired.

Partly that’s “keeping our powder dry” but it’s also about the structure of the group, which doesn’t have a leadership team and relies on “momentum” to keep going.

“I’m not sure how many people will be at Parliament on the 15th, being a Thursday, but if we get 50 people down there, they will be 50 loud, gregarious people,” he said.

The organisation also played a role in organising a National Union of Students walkout and march which was planned for Forrest Chase in Perth yesterday (Friday August 9).

Mr Noakes said ER had received some informal support from MPs urging them on.

“It is dangerous for them, because we are set up as a strong voice of opposition to the current political stance.”

He says ER hasn’t put forward any climate solutions, wanting the government to set up the citizen assemblies.

by STEVE GRANT

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