‘Time to wake up’ – Extinction Rebellion demands emergency declaration

Extinction Rebellion protesters took to the street in Woodend recently in a display of polite civil disobedience to raise awareness of our climate emergency.
On December 28, nine protesters with the well-known logo printed on their flags shared the High Street crossing with pedestrians as part of global protests demanding action on climate change.
Traffic was disrupted for an hour around midday, although nobody was seriously delayed and the mood was one of community good spirit.
Protester Charley Gros said that all around the world, XR was demanding governments told the truth about what was happening.
“We want a climate emergency to be declared, and we must get emissions down to zero by 2025,” Mr Gros said.
“We have almost run out of time to do this.”
Organiser Jenny Zimmerman said the group was concerned that business, media and political leaders were pretending that it wasn’t happening.
“In the meantime Australian farmers are going under, rural towns are without water, and every state in the country is experiencing bushfires like never before,” Ms Zimmerman said.
“We have lost a third of Australia’s koala population just in the past few weeks in New South Wales.
“We want people to stop pretending it’s ‘business as usual’ and start demanding serious action from our leaders.” The protest action took place in smoke-affected conditions as south-east Australia sweltered through week after week of record-breaking heatwaves and bushfires.
“Recent history tells us that next summer will be even worse. It’s time for Australia to wake up!” one protester said.
In keeping with the holiday atmosphere in Woodend, disruption to traffic was minimal.
One pedestrian commented: “This is the politest civil disobedience I’ve ever seen!”
Mr Gros said there was a limit to how disruptive you could be in a small town, when it was your next-door neighbour in their car wanting to get to the supermarket.
“Today’s action is simply about raising awareness,” he said.
In 2018 the United Nations warned that the world had only 12 years left in which to limit global warming to below 1.5 degrees and avoid unstoppable environmental tipping points that will lead to mass starvation, the death of major ecosystems and the end of human civilisation.
According to risk analysis conducted by Macedon Ranges Shire Council, temperature rises above 1.5 degrees will cause catastrophic effects including a 21 per cent reduction in rainfall.
Ms Zimmerman warned that Extinction Rebellion had many further acts of protest planned for 2020.
Macedon Ranges Shire Council has committed to achieve net zero emissions by 2030.
The state government has committed to zero net emissions by 2050.
The federal government has committed to reduce emissions to 26-28 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030.
To join the local Extinction Rebellion branch, email xrwoodend@protonmail.com or find them on Facebook – XR Woodend

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