The Extinction Rebellion (XR) Red Brigade was present in Kingston on Thursday, October 10 as Kingborough members declared their rebellion against the government and politicians for what they see as not facing up to the realities of climate change.
Beginning at the Channel Court upper carpark, the group proceeded to the office of the Premier of Tasmania, the Honourable Will Hodgman MP, although were unable to gain entrance.
Many of the protestors were singing and handing out flyers as they followed the Red Brigade and drummer to Channel Court Shopping Centre where the doors had been locked in an attempt to divert them.
The procession gained entrance to the centre through a store and continued down the escalators, past the library and into the Kingborough Council offices.
After leaving the council building, the protestors crossed the road to the office of Senator Catryna Bilyk at Coles Plaza.
The XR group visited each political office with the aim of delivering their demands.
In their ‘Congratulations and Demands’ document, XR acknowledge the Kingborough Council’s declaration of a climate emergency as well as demanding further action urgently including the creation of a Citizen’s Assembly with the purpose of developing a plan to drastically reduce emissions.
“Our home is on fire and our governments are failing to protect us,” said Clare Melody and Tristan Sykes of Extinction Rebellion Tasmania.
“We are in an ecological and climate crisis that scientists call the beginning of the sixth mass extinction.
“One million plants and animals and now even humans are facing extinction before the end of this century; we are running out of time.”
The Mayor of Kingborough, Cr Dean Winter was not present to receive the demands of the protestors.
“Our Council believes in climate change because we see its impacts every day in the work that we do,” said Mayor Winter.
“It is important that we continue to explain what climate change means and the impact it is having at a local level.
“I don’t think the climate change action cause is helped by demonstrations which negatively impact people as they go about their business,” said Mayor Winter who urged XR to ensure demonstrations do not unduly impact local residents.
Although the Kingborough XR group said the aim this time was not to cause disruption with their protest, there was some inconvenience to Kingston motorists and pedestrians as the large group progressed along the course of their march.
“We apologise that you might be inconvenienced by the upcoming actions,” said Ms Melody and Mr Sykes.
“We are left with no other choice.
“We hope that you understand it is our moral duty to rebel for life, especially for our children’s lives.”
Police and security for Channel Court were present and assisted in maintaining public safety on the roads and in the carpark through the stages of the march.
XR member Mel Stanger said that it is time for Kingborough residents who care for their community and the future of their children to rebel.
“We’re entering a time of environmental collapse and mass extinction that now threatens my daughter’s future and our safety as a community.
“As a member of Kingborough Extinction Rebellion I just want our governments to tell the truth, it’s an emergency and we’re almost out of time,” said Ms Stanger.
The office of Senator Eric Abetz also received a visit from XR protestors during an afternoon, funeral procession that took place in Hobart which XR stated was an expression of their grief over the death of children’s futures.
XR Tasmania said that they will continue to use nonviolent, civil disobedience as a tool to achieve the radical changes they hope will minimise the risk of human extinction and ecological collapse.
“It is our moral duty for to fight for the right to life, that is what is being endangered by governments who do not act on the climate and ecological emergency,” said Ms Melody and Mr Sykes.
“Governments have the power to make the changes required, they need to act now.”