Commuters furious as climate activists again disrupt morning peak-hour

Police have used an electric saw and a grinder to cut through plastic pipes after climate activists used them to lock themselves together in the middle of a busy CBD intersection in one of two peak-hour protests.

10/10/2019 4:13:00 AM

Police had to use an electric saw and a grinder to cut through plastic pipes after climate activists used them to lock their arms together in the middle of a busy CBD intersection in one of two peak-hour protests. ExtinctionRebellion

Police have used an electric saw and a grinder to cut through plastic pipes after climate activists used them to lock themselves together in the middle of a busy CBD intersection in one of two peak-hour protests.

One said she was going to be late for work and was “f---ing pissed off”.“I support their ideas but not protests like this,” she said. “I’m going to be very late for work.”A taxi driver stuck on Spencer Street said he was on his way home to take medication when the blockade started.

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He said people have a right to protest, but not when it inconvenienced others.Police work to cut plastic pipes used by Extinction Rebellion climate activists to lock themselves together in Melbourne.Credit:Caroline HartnettPedestrians walking past were bemused. One man yelled for the activists get off the road, while another stopped to watch and told protesters they were “doing good work”.

There were set to be three actions on Thursday, including two disruptions in the morning and then a "people's assembly" about climate change at noon.About 100 protesters gathered outside RMIT University about 7am before breaking into small groups and heading to two secret locations which they planned to hold “for as long as possible”. One group left on bikes and the other on foot.

Another briefing with about 50 people was held simultaneously at Alexandra Gardens.Organisers advised protesters if they were followed by police on the walk to the secret locations, they should sit down at a cafe, have a coffee and wait for them to leave.

Extinction Rebellion activtists hit the road with their message on Wednesday.Credit:Jason SouthMelbourne social worker Kylie Riha-Jones said she was willing to be arrested at the Extinction Rebellion protest.She has attended protests for nine years trying to "get the government to address this climate emergency".

"But after nine years our emissions continue to go up," Ms Riha-Jones said. "Now I feel the only thing to do is to put my body on the line and be disobedient, to disrupt and to do everything I can to get our government to get out of the fossil fuel industry and start to address this emergency."

Another protester, Sienna Hyland, said the actions throughout the city were about "drawing attention to the fact that we are in a climate emergency".She said the government had not been taking the "emergency" seriously and it needed to "act now".

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The week of protest in Melbourne were "completely decentralised and every person is acting of their own volition", she said.She said the disruptions to commuters during peak hours were necessary."We would like to let those people know we are acting to halt climate change for the future of our children and their children as well," she said.

"We are doing this for our entire world."It comes afterrefusal to let the authorities know what they were planning has forced police to suspend proactive campaigns around crime prevention.LoadingMr Hansen said more police resources would be called upon late on Wednesday because of intelligence that disruption efforts by Extinction Rebellion protesters would "increase dramatically", which he warned could include protests at Melbourne airport and on public transport systems.

By Wednesday afternoon, a total of 69 protesters had been arrested so far in Melbourne for their part in three days of protests planned across Australia’s major cities – a campaign they dubbed the "Spring Rebellion".Organisers claimed some activists had been pressured into signing bail conditions based upon "erroneous" advice from the police present.

Mr Hansen said he was not aware of any undue or false pressures on the arrested activists.On Wednesday morning, climate activists used bikes to block intersections on Hoddle Street in Collingwood.Later that afternoon about 150 protesters met up near the State Library before heading out across the CBD to "swarm" at various intersections.

On Tuesday, police arrested 59 Extinction Rebellion protesters afterhundreds blocked the intersection of Spring and Collins streets.Eleven protesters were arrested on Monday night after thousands of activists shut down city streets during the afternoon's peak-hour commute.

Read more: The Age »

🤣 This nonsense is COSTING the Aussi taxpayers, and that's not ok. WE want our money back, so charge these kids, keep them in jail Or make them pay us back. So their commute is more important than their future survival on the planet. I'm with the activists on this one. OK - do these people realise the aleague is starting tonight - now that’s newsworthy 😜

I feel like the irony of protesting climate change inaction by disrupting trams and buses... that directly reduce cars on the road and as such pollution.... is completely lost on these extinctionrebellion protestors. People are furious that this government won’t act on scientific evidence that humans have caused the climate to change 65yearoldpensioner

Hit them with pepper spray. They will then unlatch themselves. Then arrest them. Speedbumps Oh please Daniel Andrews, what a ya gunna do about it....the soft approach or the tuff approach like QLD. Police should mot have to put up with this shot, they have enough to do. Get off your ads and do something!!!

Plastic pipes hey. Not very good for the environment the old plastic. I’m sure they had been using glass pipes before they left to cause the kaos. Just how many civil laws are being broken here? Causing a public nuisance, disrupting the peace, disorderly conduct? How long before such guerrilla tactics cause a serious accident? Everything is fine until someone gets hurt...

Are they copying students in Hon King? Just wondering🤔 Get a bloody forklift, lift these idiots up onto a pallet and put them in the local park and just leave them there still attached. Let’s see them cut themselves out. Please stop stroking their tiny egos rachaelhoulihan I saw the protests this morning and was delayed but certainly didn’t see any furious commuters, and I wasn’t furious with them. Overall vibe was supportive. I thought the most striking thing was that the police presence was over the top, as is the headline of your article

these furious commuters have the most cooked priorities imaginable When I think of those commuters robotic, conservative, narrow minded, wrong side of history comes to mind Who do we send the bill too? Get the water canons out Lets protest climate change by disrupting people commuting to work using mass transit and ignore the majority of car basedcommuters.

I've said it before, water cannons, that will clear them out of the way. How about a water cannon with dye that soaks into activist skin? Everyone will easily identify them as they get washed away. Meh. ‘Commuters’ are always furious. Ummm I’m assuming it would of taken a solid 30min for the protestors to prepare themselves. So where was VictoriaPolice for those 30min? Were they just standing there and watching? Why did they wait for the protestors to lock themselves? Surely they could of stopped them before?

They used plastic pipe which is bad for the environment, glue made from god knows what they stopped cars so more engine exhaust flumes go into the atmosphere as they are standing still. We know things have to change ie plastic but really annoying ppl isnt the answer. Nuclear is. Lots of cool comments here about brutalising the protesters. Seems like a totally cool and rational response to people trying to stop you boiling from the inside out. Just be late to work you pencil neck dorks.

Dumbfks used plastic pipes. They don’t really care about anything. Complaining is their religion. Idiots Put them in jail! Without power as they don’t want to impact the climate!!!! I hope the cop doing it was blindfolded. When’s the planned nudie run? Surely all the cold weather hasn’t put off the GlobalWarming XR alarmists? melbourne theage auspol

This will really bring everyone onside klimateklowns Nothing like grinding traffic to a halt to protest Climate change. They are in the wrong place they should be at the coal exporting terminal no coal here Don’t these protests actually cause more environmental harm by making cars take longer to get to there destination. Wasting more electricity kind defeats the purpose?

A shame if they miscalculated the length of their arms...

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Police fear 'unknown' climate protests about to hit MelbournePolice say they have dragged officers away from investigating crime and into the CBD after climate activists stopped communicating with them about planned disruptions for Wednesday afternoon. Do i smell 'antifa' ?, where they go violence & hatred follow. I have an alternative take on the situation: the police are prioritising the curtailing of civil liberties at the behest of an authoritarian government instead of doing their fucking job. Well, Vicpol have shown themselves to be a fearful bunch - seems 'curveballs' or upsetting PC applecarts aren't quite their thing...

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