Climate of change

ANGELA, a Hilton resident, and JANET, a Hamilton Hill resident, were arrested at parliament last week as climate change activists Extinction Rebellion ramped up their campaign in Perth. They were among 15 rebels who interrupted parliament to ask WA premier Mark McGowan to “tell the truth and act now to declare a climate emergency”.

Angela’s story

LAST week I was arrested.

With a bunch of people we interrupted parliament to declare rebellion in person and ask the politicians to talk to us.

I was invited to walk out to avoid arrest, but instead I chose to be arrested.

This was a strategic choice to help support a movement that I believe can help make change.

I don’t like it. I’m sad that we are currently at this point but something needs to be done.

What the future may look like in 20 or 30 years with an increase of 1.5 degree warming is heartbreaking.

Our ecological systems will not be the same. When you open your heart and are willing to look at what the future looks like with such increases in temperature it’s alarming.

I don’t understand why this isn’t on the news every day. Why are we not preparing?

Why are we not doing everything we can to protect what is alive, prioritising the current ecological environment.

In WA we are still logging old trees, destroying wetlands and clearing land at an alarming rate.

Our gas mining and export is WA’s biggest polluter. LNG companies produce more pollution than every car, truck, train, bus, plane in WA combined.

We need way more than changing our lightbulbs, recycling and riding our bikes. Business as usual has to stop.

Governments have been warned of this future for the past 30 years. They have let us down.

Extinction Rebellion is a global movement of non-violent direct action. Will it work? I don’t know.

But it’s clear that movements where people are willing to get arrested and stand up for change are effective.

As a woman, I can vote only thanks to women and men who were willing to sacrifice to create change.

Last week was a rollercoaster. Moments of fear, shame, confusion and pain from the process of being arrested.

Yet surprisingly, I walked out empowered, happy and full of hope. I was looked after so well by the Extinction Rebellion community.

If normal people like myself find the courage to do what we did yesterday and join in on nonviolent disobedience, we can put the pressure needed on government. We can be a part of history and stand for change, now.

In 20 or 30 years my children will be my age.

I don’t want them to be responsible to clean up our mess.

I don’t want them living on a country that can’t grow its

own food anymore, uses

military to deal with climate refugees and was not prepared. We need to act now.

Thanks to the WA police that arrested me.

They were kind, respectful and made a very scary situation feel completely okay.

I’m so grateful to all the rebels who joined me last week. What a great start for WA.”

Janet’s story:

“I got arrested yesterday. I have never been arrested before.

It was pretty intimidating, and I didn’t enjoy it. But I made the positive and informed decision to make myself ‘arrestable’ because I believe we are running out of time to deal with the climate emergency we have created, and because our elected political leaders are failing to act.

In general, I believe in democracy, but our democratic processes have revealed themselves to be too much beholden to special interests, especially in the mining- and resources-driven state of WA.

The West Australian thinks we went too far when we went into the Legislative Assembly yesterday and asked to speak to premier Mark McGowan.

But we had sent him a very nice letter 14 days before, and he had told us through the media that he would not meet with us, so we had no choice but to go to him.

He is my premier, he works for me, and he is not protecting my interests, or the interests of any Western Australians.”

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