Image: Brianna Melville.
Listen: Protestors chanting “stand up fight back.”
Audio Capture: Brianna Melville

Environmental activism group Extinction Rebellion (XR) staged a mass “die-in” on a major intersection in Perth on Monday, disrupting traffic in a call for climate action.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in the Supreme Court Gardens, before marching up Barrack street to the intersection on St Georges Terrace, where they lay on the ground to simulate an extinction.

Twenty seven of the participants were arrested by police for failing to move on when told to do so.

Police presence numbered in the hundreds, surrounding the group as they marched up Barrack street and gathered at the intersection.

Listen: Emma Sangalli articulates XR strategy.
Audio Capture: Brianna Melville.

Mounted police were also dispatched to the event, although they kept their distance from the main group of protesters.

The whole event was peaceful and police mediated calmly with marked XR police liaisons as they moved in to arrest people who chose to refuse police orders to move on from the intersection.

Some protesters cooperated with police during their arrest, while others had to be carried to the police vehicles.

XR key organiser Emma Sangalli said causing disruption and warranting a large police presence were some of the group’s main objectives.

The demands outlined by XR are that the state and federal government declare a climate emergency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025, and create a Citizens’ Assembly on climate justice.

Listen: Ms Sangalli. Audio Capture: Brianna Melville.

Ms Sengalli explains the concept of a Citizen’s Assembly on climate as a way to push through change that the government would otherwise hesitate on.

The event is part of Extinction Rebellion’s three-day campaign for climate action in the Perth CBD.

On Tuesday, they plan to “swarm the city” dressed as yellow canaries, while on Wednesday they will stage a ‘funeral’ for life on Earth, before hosting dancing and meditation.

Listen: Ms Sangalli on the use of creativity in protest. Audio Capture:
Brianna Melville.

Similar protests were staged in other Australian cities on the same day.

Extinction Rebellion is known for organising elaborate costumes and sometimes theatrical displays.

Ms Sangalli said artistic expression is fundamental to XR’s strategy.

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All images: Brianna Melville

Brianna studies broadcasting, politics and international relations at ECU, and is passionate about topics including modern slavery, the climate crisis and equality. She is working towards a journalism career in all forms of media. She has done some recent volunteer work for Noongar Radio and has worked on promotional videos for Unisport Australia. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Bri on a netball court or at a recycled fashion market.

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