60 arrested in Perth climate change protest

Picture: Jon Bassett
Picture: Jon Bassett

SIXTY people have been arrested as climate change protesters took their march to the streets of Perth CBD this morning.

Activist group Extinction Rebellion marched through the CBD throughout the day to bring awareness of the climate emergency.

According to their website, Extinction Rebellion is an “international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimise the risk of social collapse”.

Among the protesters was former federal MP Scott Ludlam, who was arrested in Sydney earlier this week at a climate protest and said it was worth it.

“I’m willing to put my body on the line,” Mr Ludlam said.

The protesters also handed out flyers apologising for the “inconvenience”.

“We are in a climate and ecological emergency,” the flyer read. “We need the government to make changes now and they are not listening.

“Non-violent disruption is the only morally acceptable tool we have left.”

The ‘Flood the City’ march started at Elizabeth Quay at 8am and has moved to The Esplanade and Yagan Square.

Conservation Council of Western Australia (CCWA) Director Piers Verstegen said it was WA’s biggest polluters that should be prosecuted, not people protesting about climate change.

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“A government that prosecutes climate protesters while doing nothing about the companies damaging our climate every day has its priorities very wrong,” he said.

“Here in WA, the climate is being damaged by tens of millions of tons of carbon pollution every year from companies like Chevron, Woodside, Shell and BP.”

Police closed several major roads this morning, including William Street between The Esplanade to Wellington Street.

At 12.30pm, police released a statement saying the protest was still ongoing.

“Since 8.30am this morning, WA Police Force  has been in attendance at protest activity taking place within the Perth CBD,” they said.

“WA Police with the assistance of Department of Transport and Main Roads have been assisting with the flow of traffic in the area to mitigate disruption to motorists.

“Currently protesters are disrupting both motorists and pedestrians in the Hay and William Street area.”

The ‘Flood the City’ march started at Elizabeth Quay at 8am and has moved to The Esplanade and Yagan Square.

Police have closed several major roads this morning, including William Street between The Esplanade to Wellington Street.

Mounts Bay Road and St Georges Tce reopened by 10am.

Transperth posted CBD bus services were experiencing significant delays and routes 41, 42, 48, 55, 60, 67, 68, 950 have deviated their courses.

The Red, Green and Blue CAT services have changed their routes and bus routes are experiencing significant delays.

Picture: Jon Bassett

There is heavy police presence this morning with several arrests already made.

Shadow Minister for Environment Steve Thomas said today’s rally was small in comparison to the 10,000 people for the “school strike for climate” on September 20.

“Today’s rally for action, which was the grand finale for what was called a week of activism, attracted something over 300 people,” he said.

“This kind of publicity seeking is more about attention seeking than engaging in a mature and sensible debate on climate change.”