Throughout the past few months, several rallies have been held in cities around Australia calling for action against the growing climate crisis.
Most recently, in Brisbane, a rally led by Extinction Rebellion led to the arrest of 56 protesters. This rally saw a rise in civil disobedience with protesters arguing that it is the only way to shift the social paradigm and generate change.
Extinction Rebellion is an activist movement aimed at non-violently causing social disruption in protest against climate change, ecological and biodiversity loss. The organisation while originating in the United Kingdom in 2018 has expanded to international levels operating in multiple countries including Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Sweden, France, and Germany.
In Melbourne throughout the year, multiple protests have been carried out and more are scheduled to take place culminating in the “Disrupt The City” rally scheduled for October 7th, 2019. The rally is intended to be a prolonged disruption of the city. During the earlier solstice rally, leaders expressed that arrests should be welcomed as a necessary sacrifice towards the greater good of creating social change.
The solstice rally was supported by spoken word artists, incorporating art as an effective tool to create social change. Attendees wrote in chalk on the street sharing their sentiments about the climate crisis.
Speaking at the Rally coordinators called for radical action in the form of civil disobedience. Multiple smaller rallies will be held throughout Australia culminating in the Major rally scheduled for October 2019.
“Be prepared to be arrested!” one spokesperson said.
Extinction Rebellion has coordinated with the University of Melbourne and on August 9th held a student walkout for climate action. The student and youth demographic is prominent in effecting social change.
Climate change continues to be a contentious issue globally. The rallies intend to raise awareness and create positive action.