Climate change rallies have been held in most capital cities around Australia in the wake of the bushfire crisis, with thousands of protesters criticising Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s handling of the fire emergencies in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
Protesters were criticised by politicians and police, who said resources had to be diverted from bushfire fronts to manage the crowds at the rallies.
The Uni Students for Climate Justice organised the protests that were intended to shut down parts of the CBD during peak hour in those capital cities.
Organisers said they wanted to “sack Scomo”, and secure compensation for volunteer firefighters, as well as emergency housing and compensation for those paying for accommodation after their houses burnt down. They also demanded the Federal Government end the multi-billion-dollar fossil fuel subsidy.
Rallies across the country
In Sydney, thousands of climate protesters packed into the area around Town Hall.
Several people told the ABC it was the first protest they had ever attended because they were so upset about bushfires and the climate change situation.
Sydney father Lachlan James told the ABC he hoped the rally sparked a political response.
“I’m doing this for my daughter really,” he said.
In Brisbane, emotions ran high at the climate change rally where more than 3,000 people gathered in King George Square to demand Mr Morrison’s resignation.
Carrying a sign saying ‘A Quite Angry Australian’, the Connoly family said Mr Morrison’s actions had fallen “completely short” of “what’s expected of a leader”.
In Melbourne, despite rain, there were at least 5,000 people blocking off the middle of Melbourne’s CBD and part of La Trobe Street.
Some people held signs with pictures of animals that had died in the nation’s bushfires while others held up photos of the Prime Minister calling for him to be sacked.
Premier not happy with timing of rally
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews criticised the organisers for pushing ahead with the protest in Melbourne, putting pressure on police resources during the fire emergency.
“The protest against advice of police in the middle of a disaster —that’s when you start losing public support, not adding to your public support,” Mr Andrews said.
“Common sense tells you that there are other times to make your point.”
Victoria Police would not confirm how many officers were covering the Melbourne protest, due to operational concerns. However, they confirmed no police officers were pulled back from the bushfires in Victoria for the protest.
Sourced by: ABC News