Thousands lay “dead” in the streets of Melbourne, desperately urging the federal government to declare a climate emergency.
Thousands of protesters- many of them school-aged — lay “dead” during a Melbourne rally for climate change on Friday, AAP reports.
Led by advocacy group Extinction Rebellion, the rally began at Victoria’s Parliament House on Friday afternoon. The group them marched through the streets, chanting for urgent federal government action on the environment.
The demonstrators caused major disruptions to commuters across the city and coincided with the Global Climate Strike (also on Friday).
“The climate emergency is not a political issue, it is a scientific fact,” a statement from the rally organisers says.
Demonstrators held 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. “Our government isn’t acting in accordance with what science and history tells us,” the group said ahead of the rally.
“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.”
And some MPs are listening.
People are “demanding governments step up and take action” to avoid more bushfires and longer droughts, a lack of food and rising sea levels,” Greens MP Adam 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 organisation shared pictures of various strikes from around the world, as many took part in what they hoped would be a global movement.
Major cities to participate included London, Madrid, Turkey, Auckland, Milan, Rome and Pakistan.