In the wake of last Friday’s climate strike, Peter McKenzie had an article in The Spinoff about protest strategies. The school strike movement is “polite” and cooperates with those in power because that’s its kaupapa – its led by schoolkids who understandably don’t want to risk arrest. But there’s more than one way to protest, and as the climate crisis bites, then continued government inaction is likely to push people towards more confrontational styles of protest. The UK got a taste of that earlier in the year, when Extinction Rebellion shut down a chunk of central London just by sitting down and refusing to get up. The shutdown went on for ten days, despite over a thousand arrests (last night the same group sprayed 1800 litres of fake blood over the UK treasury). And on Monday, the same impolite protest tactics are coming to Wellington:
Monday morning commuters could face delays, with climate change activists set to “disrupt Wellington” with protest action in the central city from 7am.
Police, Wellington City Council and NZTA are gearing up in anticipation of the protest, which is part of what has been called a “global rebellion”, with Wellington the first of more than 60 cities worldwide targeted for climate activist disruption.
Extinction Rebellion Wellington spokesperson Dr Sea Rotmann said the New Zealand branch would disrupt Wellington traffic with a street party and expected arrests.
Participants were expected to meet at Midland Park on Lambton Quay at 7am, before moving to “undisclosed locations”.
And if you think this is going to be inconvenient, well, climate change is going to be pretty bloody inconvenient too.
If you care about the climate crisis, and want the government to act, join in. You don’t need to volunteer to be arrested. I’m hoping to be there, and maybe I’ll even have figured out how to live-tweet it by then.