Vibrance, power, intensity - Melbourne did the Rebellion proud on Monday, blocking up the city for hours, drawing attention to our ecological crisis where we face biosphere collapse if the world doesn't act on climate forthwith.
Melbourne rebels poured into the CBD, blocking the streets, to tell Australia that business as usual risks runaway climate change. The current ecological crisis is brutal. Emissions continue to rise. Species continue to die. Global temperatures continue to go up because we refuse to transition our economies away from fossil fuels. And to cap it all off, our Government wants to pour public money into new coal.
The city buzzed with colour, massive banners and drama, rebels successfully holding Melbourne intersections for several hours.
In the morning, after a welcome to country and silent meditation, Extinction Rebellion members set up Camp Carlton, blending art, philosophy, flags and sandwich boards to create an example of regenerative culture, a counter to the possible slide into facism that could occur when climate impacts accelerate drought, disease and hunger.
Many spoke and listened. Kids are welcome, there are daily XR talks and NVDA briefings.
Why disruption? Decades of policy making, lobbying and protest us have got us nowhere, emissions are still going up.
Fossil corporates have delayed our transition to their profit, buying off whole governments and controlling mainstream media, especially in Australia. And now the UN tells us we have 11 years to radically reduce emissions or all bets are off - we risk "a cascade of feedbacks could push the Earth System irreversibly onto a "Hothouse Earth" pathway."
The Spring Rebellion is borne out of participants love for our natural world and desperate desire to save it, and carve out a liveable future.
Monday's theme highlighted the desecration or our oceans and rising sea levels.
Local groups had worked for months on their ideas, theming and props, and many had had dress rehearsals, learning how to hold public space, like the recent XR Darebin Drown In.
As Roger Hallam says, for a rebellion to be effective, it must be peaceful, highly disruptive and most of all fun!
The rebels walked down to Russell and Bourke Streets, holding the intersection for several hours.
The Red Brigade bore silent witness to the ongoing devastation of our environment.
The police assisted wonderfully in the blockade, preventing traffic flowing through Swanston and Flinders Street intersection all by themselves!
The crowd cheered as a dozen were arrested for peacefully blocking the street with their bodies.
Extinction Rebellion is strictly non violent and only uses peaceful tactics. For the most part police played their role well, although a woman in Sydney screamed when she was dragged on her knees across the street.
Another world is possible, but we must stand up and fight for a true democracy in which our voices are heard.