A group known for hosting attention-grabbing protests has sprung a “snap” rally on Melbourne.
Extinction Rebellion, the same group behind large-scale disruptions in London last month, is expected to converge on Victoria’s Parliament House at midday today.
More than 5000 people have responded to an invitation to attend the “climate emergency rally” which organisers say “is a major event” and is expected to cause “disruptions throughout the CBD”.
“Organisers are anticipating large crowds, where attendees will meet at 12pm in front of Parliament House to protest against the government’s inaction on climate change,” the group said in an email.
“A march will then proceed throughout Melbourne city, followed by a mass ‘die-in’ where demonstrators lie ‘dead’ on the ground, acting as physical reminders of Earth’s sixth mass extinction which scientists have attributed to climate change.”
The tactic is nothing new for the group, who held a similar event in Paris earlier this month.
On May 12, protesters in Paris lay on the ground in fake blood with flowers discarded around them.
The group said the rally was “organised in response to the Australian federal election results”, which saw the pro-coal Liberal government return to power.
“The Climate Emergency is not a political issue, it is a scientific fact,” the group said, before calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the federal government to take immediate and drastic action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
Victoria Police has been made aware of the protest and told Fairfax they are “well equipped and prepared to deploy resources, respond and intervene when needed”.
“A number of traffic management points will be in place with Bourke, Swanston, Collins and Flinders streets to be affected at various times from approximately 12pm until 3pm,” Victoria Police said.
“Individuals have the right to lawfully attend events and protest, however we ask that people do so peacefully and respectfully without impacting on the rest of the community.
“Victoria Police will not tolerate those who break the law or engage in anti-social or violent behaviour.”
Ten days of protests organised by Extinction Rebellion in London last month saw activists glue themselves to trains and chain themselves to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s home, the BBC reported.