Extinction Rebellion Protestors 'Lie Dead' On Busy Melbourne Road For Climate Rally
A busy Melbourne road was shut down earlier today (March 22) by Extinction Rebellion protestors.
It was a part of a nationwide Autumn Rebellion that aimed to unite people across Australia and raise awareness for the plight of the planet.
Dozens of people in colourful outfits gathered on Spring and Bourke Street and some pretended to 'lie dead' on the road with white sheets across their bodies.
It was meant to signal the lives that could be lost if climate change predictions come true.
Ahead of this morning's protest, police warned they would remove any protestor who was caught breaking the rules.
Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius told 3AW: "We will issue a direction for them to cease their obstruction and if they don't comply we will move in to arrest people."
Despite the threat, only one person was arrested.
This won't be the only day of disruptions, with the protestors hoping to launch a week of similar demonstrations. They're encouraging supporters to take a week off work and join them.
The Age reports around 2,000 police officers have been rostered on to monitor the various events.
Commissioner Cornelius said that wasn't the best use of police resources.
"To ensure public safety over the course of those events, that's 2000 members who would otherwise be out in local police stations keeping the community safe," he said.
"Policing such a significant and disruptive protest over such an extended period of time has a huge impact on community safety."
Extinction Rebellion wants state and federal governments to acknowledge a climate and ecological emergency is looming and to enact change to ensure we can mitigate it as much as possible.
The group wrote about the Autumn Rebellion on Facebook, saying: "Our government has failed to protect us. We must intervene.
"We will be disrupting Melbourne as part of a co-ordinated national rebellion in all state capitals.
"Help us make this a massive act of civil disobedience that no one can ignore. We can't afford anything less."
However, their exercise this morning was slammed by Melbourne's Lord Mayor Sally Capp as well as state government ministers for being needlessly disruptive.
"Their whole point is civil disobedience, it's to break the rules rather than follow them. We have tried to liaise with them as closely as we can but ultimately their aim is disruption and to maximise disruption," Mayor Capp said.
"This is a critical time for local businesses to be able to recover, it's a critical time for people to be coming back into the city, particularly workers. But this sort of protest isn't effective.
Featured Image Credit: XR Darebin Group/Facebook