As part of a Global Climate Strike day of action, school-age protesters have lay “dead” in the heart of Melbourne as thousands rallied in capital cities to call for urgent federal government action on the environment.
The two-hour protest on Friday took in the CBD streets of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, with protesters holding up posters saying: “Denial is not a policy” and “How dare you steal our future”.
The group wants the federal government to declare a climate and ecological emergency and reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025.
The rally, hosted by a group called Extinction Rebellion, included demonstrators lying “dead” on Swanston Street to show the Earth’s sixth mass extinction.
“The climate emergency is not a political issue, it is a scientific fact,” a statement from the rally organisers says.
“Our government isn’t acting in accordance with what science and history tells us,” the group said ahead of the rally.
— RedGrid (@RedGrid_io) May 24, 2019
“We have a moral duty to rebel, whatever our politics. History shows us that peaceful civil disobedience is an effective way to bring about change.”
Greens MP Adam Bandt said Australia must adopt renewable energy to avoid digging up and burning more coal, the single biggest contributor to climate change.
People are “demanding governments step up and take action” to avoid more bushfires and longer droughts, a lack of food and rising sea levels, Mr Bandt told reporters in Melbourne.
“We’re exporting coal to the rest of the world at a rate of knots and that is making global warning worse. ”We need to leave coal, oil and gas in the ground.”
The action coincides with the Global Climate Strike, also on Friday.
Similar protests were held in Wellington and Auckland in New Zealand, in India and Hong Kong. The so-called “die-in” stunt also was seen outside Westminster Abbey on May 2, where 200 anti-nuclear protesters took part.
TODAY is the day! We can’t wait to see you out there 💚💪🤙 pic.twitter.com/h6Qs9bvEvm
— School Strike 4 Climate NZ (@schoolstrike4c1) May 23, 2019
#ClimateStrike happening now in Delhi. Students are demanding #ClimateAction for clean air and water, safe food and clean energy to mitigate climate change.#ClimateActionNow ✊🏽 pic.twitter.com/PsHW1YPvCb
— Greenpeace India (@greenpeaceindia) May 24, 2019