Climate activists have targeted cities across Australia in two days of a week-long action campaign.
However, Sunrise host Samantha Armytage is not impressed.
In a Sunrise interview with climate change activist Miriam Robinson on Tuesday morning (8th October), Armytage questioned how the movement would affect everyday Australians getting through their day-to-day routine.
“We saw protesters cause major problems across the country yesterday. How bad is it going to get today?” she asked.
The activist reaffirmed that there were “lots of actions” planned for Tuesday, and took offence at Armytage’s choice of the word “bad”.
“I don’t know if the right characterisation is to say how bad it is going to be,” she said.
“There will be some disruption but it is important we do this to get a message through about the climate emergency.”
Robinson proceeded to apologise for any inconvenience the protests may have on commuters but said the disruptive action was essential in bringing attention to the climate emergency.
“Unfortunately, these are the measures we are driven to to get this message out,” she added.
In response, Armytage asked whether there was “harm” in her message.
“So you deliberately want to annoying people, so you appear on national television… what is your message? What are you trying to do?” she asked.
Robinson explained that the group’s initial message was to force the government to expose the truth about the seriousness of climate change.
“A lot of people do get annoyed by what we do but you’d be surprised by how many people are supportive of us. A lot of people say ‘thank goodness someone is finally doing something about this’,” she said.
Protesters dressed as bees swarmed Sydney’s Hyde Park on Tuesday to kick off the second day of a week-long series of events to draw attention to climate change and its consequences.
Thirty-eight people – aged between 19 and 75 – were arrested on Monday during the Extinction Rebellion demonstration in the city’s CBD.
They’ve been charged with failing to comply with a direction under NSW’s Road Transport Act.
The campaign group has planned an Australia-wide “Spring rebellion” running until Sunday including marches and other protests aimed at blocking traffic.
Michele Radinovic, 33, from Sydney was among those arrested during Monday’s demonstration as activists sat on the road.
Ms Radinovic on Tuesday said she was put in a “wrist-lock” and spoken to “quite aggressively” by officers. She was shocked by how protesters were treated.
“(But) I’m willing to put my liberty on the line for this,” she told AAP.
“This is the biggest issue of our time.”
In a message directed at the police, she said: “I just want to remind them that we are peaceful and we’re doing this for our future, for their children’s future.”
The action was needed to “wake the public up”, Ms Radinovic added.
#ExtinctionRebellion – as u shut down main roads leading London hospitals, I walked 20mins with some 1 who has CANCER so they could get to hospital for a procedure, as the car couldn’t get thru. 20mins might not sound long but when u hav CANCER IT IS! Thanks Extinction Rebellion! pic.twitter.com/kqbkfASRos
— Adelina Ad (@AdelinaAd1) October 7, 2019
Peter Matthison – a bee-keeper and avocado farmer from the state’s mid-north coast – joined other farmers in Sydney on Tuesday to “demand our leaders take strong action on climate change so that we have a future in farming in this country”.
The 38-year-old said he was not setting out to be arrested but was willing to be detained.
“As a farmer, I have no other option but to put my body and my liberty on the line,” he told AAP.
“I will receive fines, I will get a criminal history which I’ve never had before, and I’m completely fine with that as long as we secure a safe future on this planet.”