Greenpeace supporters abseil off bridge unfurling banners calling on political parties to declare a ‘climate emergency’
— Thirteen people have been arrested after environmental activists abseiled off the Sydney Harbour Bridge to demand action on climate change.
The Greenpeace supporters launched themselves from a public walkway on the western side of the structure at dawn on Tuesday, calling on the major federal political parties to declare a “climate emergency”.
They unfurled banners emblazoned with “100% renewables” and “make coal history” as they dangled beneath the bridge.
Officers from NSW Police, with help from PolAir, marine and rescue crews, removed several protesters from the bridge by 8am and arrested 10 people.
Three activists remained hanging off the bridge on ropes but were removed and arrested by 9.30am.
I am here under a symbol of hope – the Sydney Harbour Bridge – with seven of my fellow Australians who represent the hundreds of thousands of our nation’s people who have already experienced climate disaster.@ScottMorrisonMP it’s time to declare a #climateemergency pic.twitter.com/i0mNumOAYv— David Ritter (@David_Ritter) May 13, 2019
All 13 were taken to local police stations for questioning.
“Charges are expected,” NSW Police said in a statement
Greenpeace Australia Pacific’s chief executive, David Ritter, dismissed questions about the legality of the protest action.
Activists on the #sydneyharbourbridge are calling for Scott Morrison to declare a climate emergency and take action. Coal is the biggest cause of climate change: we need 100% renewables, stat.— Greenpeace Aus Pac (@GreenpeaceAP) May 13, 2019
Follow the action >> https://t.co/8tjPOm5k6H#changeiscoming pic.twitter.com/E24VFbDz7w
“The activities today are like a smoke alarm when the house is on fire … it’s a wake-up call to the prime minister who is not acting in the face of this climate emergency,” he said. “He still has time before polling day to make a statement.”
Ritter said Australia needed a prime minister who showed leadership and would phase out coal-fired power stations.
The protest comes four days before Australians head to the polls in the federal election.
The federal Labor senator Kristina Keneally said she didn’t condone the illegal protest but understood the activists’ frustrations.
“Right now people are wanting action on climate change, they want a government that takes the issue seriously and takes real action,” she told Sky News on Tuesday.
“I don’t agree with these protesters’ methods, (but) I understand their frustrations; it’s one shared by the Australian people.”
by Australian Associated Press | The Guardian