You might’ve seen some strange scenes on Angove Street last week, with figures in orange silently marching and then collapsing in North Perth Plaza. In this week’s Speaker’s Corner, FIONA MORAN, a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion WA’s North of the River group, explains why they took action.
WHAT do a school teacher, entomologist, community facilitator, medical doctor, chemistry professor, museum curator, Bowen therapist, small business owner, chemistry student, retiree, industrial chemist and software engineer have in common?
We were all out on the streets of North Perth this Saturday to show our solidarity with bushfire affected communities and our determination to make the government act on the science to protect us from the rapidly worsening impacts of the climate crisis.
After our quiet, respectful march down the Angove Street cafe strip and on to the North Perth Common, we donned hazmat suits and held a ‘Die In’ at the North Perth Plaza.
We’re members of a local group XRWA North of the River, part of Extinction Rebellion Western Australia, and we held this colourful, dramatic action at the Plaza to keep the focus on the crisis and let people know that our group exists and we want people to join.
Whilst our government’s swift action around Covid-19 was commendable it is terrifying that they are not paying heed to the science around global warming or informing the public about the emergency.
In the face of continued government inertia, citizens must move beyond concern about climate change to taking collective action that would persuade our government to act on expert advice and international agreements.
Decades of reports, rallies, submissions and petitions have not worked and that is why non violent civil disobedience was called for, but that that would only work if enough people got involved.
It takes courage to do things out of the norm, but our lives and the lives of future generations are worth it.
Our Die In may have been dramatic but it was not exaggerating the very real devastation that the climate crisis is causing.
Already hundreds of thousands of people around the world die annually from the effects of the climate crisis and we know that that figure is going to rise exponentially if we keep on the course we’re on with our increasing use of fossil fuels, including gas.
Change is scary but the fact that by 2100 the climate crisis is expected to kill more people every year than Covid-19 killed in 2020, if we don’t act right now, is far scarier (National Bureau of Economic Research, 2020).
The solutions are there, but to have them implemented we need people power to counter the vested interests that are keeping business and politics as usual in place.
It’s not impossible for us to come together and win and it’s definitely worth trying.
Our local group usually meets on Saturday afternoons at Woodville Reserve but today (Saturday February 27) you can find us at a broader gathering of interested people at Stirling Gardens in Perth at 3pm, all are welcome and encouraged to attend as this movement gears up for a big mass action.