They yell and shout and cry that life isn’t fair, but behind closed doors climate change activists who have caused chaos across Australia this week are having a laugh.
Commuters in major cities from Perth to Sydney have endured a nightmare as Extinction Rebellion protesters blocked roads and city streets.
Police used power tools to separate protesters from the Extinction Rebellion movement in both Brisbane and Melbourne, as the activists used similar techniques to chain themselves together at busy intersections.
A smiling activist from Extinction Rebellion is arrested during a protest in Melbourne on Wednesday. A closed Facebook page is littered with photos of happy protesters in the process of being arrested
Activists from Extinction Rebellion participate in a protest in Melbourne where some protesters glued themselves to the road
Activists hitting the streets are going armed with a handy cheat sheet of how to react when police come to take them away
Extinction Rebellion demonstrations are taking place in more than 60 cities around the world in response to what participants say is inadequate action on the ecological crisis the claims is facing our planet.
They say while their actions are peaceful, they’re aiming to disrupt ‘business as usual’ and are prepared to be arrested in order to send a message.
They’re also having a lot of fun doing it.
As well as using covert phone apps such as Signal and WhatsApp to plan their targets, others are taking to closed Facebook groups where they taunt ordinary Aussies.
‘It was great fun and a huge hit on social media already,’ one protester wrote of a disruptive march. ‘Just what the doctor ordered … joy and laughter.’
Others pose for photos happily outside police stations where they wait for their ‘hero’ mates who have been arrested to be bailed.
‘I had fun tonight in Ballarat with the new crew,’ another pest declared.
A closed Facebook page out of Melbourne shows scores of smiling activists being dragged off city streets by police.
Protesters brag they are having ‘serious fun’ blocking up the city .
Activists in Ballarat had a fun time causing chaos in the county Victorian town
Activists who avoided arrest in Melbourne wait for their ‘hero’ mates who were not so lucky. Although from some of the looks on the faces of those arrested, maybe they got lucky?
Nearly 60 protesters were arrested on Tuesday in Melbourne when they blocked the intersection of Spring and Collins streets.
Another 30 were arrested on Wednesday.
Extinction Rebellion began in April 2018 when a small group of British activists met in Bristol to discuss how to achieve what one early member called ‘radical social change’.
They began by occupying Greenpeace’s offices in London before a protest at London’s Parliament Square.
In the UK, the movement wants the government to ‘tell the truth’ and declare a climate and ecological emergency; reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025 and stop biodiversity loss.
In Australia, protesters patted themselves on the back for allowing an ambulance to cross their lines.
But a woman broke down in tears this week as rowdy climate change protesters barred her from reaching the home of her mum who died on Sunday.
‘I just want to get to the home so I can start organising all the clean-up, medicines and drugs that are there from the palliative care and the hospital bed that mum died in, and I’m sitting here,’ she told A Current Affair. ‘D**kheads, I don’t even know what they’re on about, what’s it for?’
The program also interviewed an elderly man who had been prevented from getting to hospital.
‘What a joke, won’t let people go around their own business,’ he said. ‘I’ve got an appointment for cancer at St Vincents, I’ve got to walk and I’m not allowed to go up there. They won’t let me go. What a joke.’
In Brisbane, protesters brought dozens of buses to a halt along a main road used to access one of its busiest hospitals.
Activists blocked the Greenslopes busway on Thursday morning as part of their week-long protest.
The busway services three of the city’s major hospitals; Lady Cliento, Mater Hospital and Princess Alexandra Hospital.
The buses were filled with healthcare workers on their way to work including a surgeon who was expected to be in the operating room for surgery at 9.30am.
Behind the scenes, protesters stated if people couldn’t get into a hospital because of them, it was their own fault.
‘If people tell you that protestors blocked access to hospitals or the like please remind them that climate change deniers are the ones who are responsible,’ an activist wrote.
‘If deniers accepted science facts and evidence then these protests would never have happened and there would be no disruption.
‘They are the ones responsible, they need to be adults and accept the blame.’
Activists brag on social media that they were kind enough to allow an ambulance pass its annoying lines
Television host Kerri-Anne Kennerley came under fire after she teed-off about protesters
Others tee-off at television host Kerri-Anne Kennerley, who slammed climate change protesters this week, suggesting motorists should ‘use them as a speed bump’.
Extinction Rebellion spokesman James Norman publicly condemned Kennerley’s comments, reminding everyone it was a ‘peaceful, non-violent organisation’.
Yet many comments online, suggest otherwise.
‘Kerri Ann is really Alan Jones in drag,’ one wrote.
‘Ok who can print life sized photos of Kerry Anne to be super glued to the road!’ another states.
‘And left there to be run over,’ comes the response.
Serious fun: Many posts behind closed Facebook pages discuss what a laugh activists are having blocking up city streets
An activist from Extinction Rebellion is arrested during a protest in Melbourne this week. Dozens of activists have been locked up across the country
Activists are having ‘great fun’ causing chaos across the country while hard working Australians struggled to get to work
A protester in costume is arrested at one of the busiest intersections of Melbourne
Troublemakers from across the Tasman have taken to the sites to ask for advice for when they are arrested.
‘I am a New Zealand Citizen and getting arrested could result in me being charged with something and deported to NZ,’ an activist posted. `I would rather this didn’t happen so are there any Kiwis or people with legal expertise than can comment on the likelihood of this and how I should behave.’
Explanation cards advising law breakers on their rights have also been posted.
‘Remain calm,’ they advise. ‘You do not have to consent to searches. If forced, do not resist.’
Others complain about being detained by police.
‘My friend lily was held in custody for 26 hours. She was refusing to sign bail conditions which would have banned her from associating with rebels and going to protests,’ one moaned. ‘I think we should refuse to sign such draconian bail conditions.’
While some offer new ways to annoy the public, including hunger strikes, one activist ponders why ordinary Australians might be bothered by their protests.
‘One thing that we are criticised for is not having a viable solution to offer to combat global warming whilst still serving the needs of the growing population,’ he wrote.
Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton, blasted Extinction Rebellion activists for ‘thumbing their nose at taxpayers’.
He called for Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, to hit the protesters with the ‘full force of the law’.
‘These people are anarchists and fringe-dwellers and they should be feeling the full force of the law instead of the wet lettuce that’s being thrown at them by Annastacia Palaszczuk at the moment,’ he told Sydney radio.
An activist from Extinction Rebellion is arrested during a protest in Melbourne on Wednesday. Activists caused chaos across the city all week
Another one bites the dust: An activist is dragged off a busy Melbourne street during protests this week