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Climate change protests shuts down busy Auckland intersection

Publish Date
Tue, 16 Apr 2019, 3:26pm

Climate change protests shuts down busy Auckland intersection

Publish Date
Tue, 16 Apr 2019, 3:26pm

Protesters briefly brought a central city Auckland intersection to a halt today rallying in support of urgent action against climate change.

The group gathered at the busy intersection of Victoria St West and Queen St in the CBD close to midday.

About 40 people stood in the intersection with a banner that boasts the words "Rebel for Life".

Extinction Rebellion Aotearoa New Zealand spokeswoman Lynne Dempsey said the Auckland protest went well with the group only briefly holding up traffic.

No governments had listened when they had held peaceful protests, she said.

"So we now have to be socially disruptive, non-violent civil disobedience, but disruptive of traffic and things like oil outlets."

The point is that governments were there to protect the people and "we are not being protected" because they were not taking any action to urgently address carbon emissions.

Speaking from Christchurch a group spokesman said a string of protests in New Zealand were a part of a movement across the world demanding an urgent response to avert climate and ecological catastrophe.

Extinction Rebellion Aotearoa New Zealand spokesman Rowan Brooks said for decades people had tried to gently make change but carbon emission had risen and ecological degradation had continued.

"Those methods of asking gently 'can we do something?' haven't really been working," Brooks said.

"We are prepared to do what's necessary to change the conversation to get people to prioritise the living Earth.

"What's right to do right now isn't necessarily legal."

What was right was to grab the attention of powerful decision makers and get rapid structural change, Brooks said.

"It's time to tell the truth about the climate and ecological emergency we're in.

"We're rebelling because governments are leading us towards catastrophe when we need action."

To stop mass extinction we need a massive, rapid, mobilisation for zero carbon by 2025, Brooks said.

Some 23 events are planned around the country this week including action in Auckland, Thames, Tauranga, Masterton, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin.

"Extinction Rebellion has grown rapidly in Aotearoa, with people drawn to a movement that is courageous enough to name the emergency and do what we can," Brooks said.

"We will use creative and increasingly disruptive mass civil disobedience to motivate the speed and scale of response we believe is necessary to avert catastrophe, even if that means arrest."


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