Extinction Rebellion have been in the media lately – after the WA Premier Mark McGowan and the Minister for Community Services Simone McGurk did what politicians do, trying to spin their way out of their inaction on a critical issue: the widely documented homelessness crisis that manifested in a ‘tent city’ establishing in Fremantle through January.
In short – they claimed that Extinction Rebellion organised the camp, that we are professional protestors and anarchists. They repeated these statements, even after the tent city residents denied it, as usual, the Government refusing to listen to the people, and trying to dodge their responsibility. Sound familiar?
Here is our response:
Extinction Rebellion did not organise the Fremantle Tent City. The Premier is simply wrong and he knows this. He has repeatedly lied about Extinction Rebellion organising the camp and removing vulnerable people from homelessness services. His comments have been widely dismissed as a distraction from the homelessness crisis confronting us all. The people who were living at the camp are on the record as having made their own choice to be there, and of having no relationship with Extinction Rebellion. We demand that the Premier to quit the political spin, and to tell the truth.
We tell the truth, we are proud of what we do and you will know it’s us when we act. We are focussed on building our movement and demanding immediate and urgent action on the climate emergency.
The Premier has called Extinction Rebellion “anarchists”, “professional protesters” and “mad”. In fact, Extinction Rebellion is a broad movement, made up of volunteers from varied political backgrounds and walks of life. We are ordinary people who have heard the science and are working together to demand immediate action on the climate crisis. We are doctors, gardeners, the homeless, lawyers, parents and grandparents.
In his comments, the Premier has disparaged protest and demonised protesters. Protest is a right and an important part of democracy, especially when our governments are corrupt and failing to protect the people they represent, as our current state government is doing.
As well as urging the Premier to tell the truth about Fremantle Tent City, we also urge him to tell the truth about the climate and ecological emergency. It has a disproportionate impact on marginalised groups and vulnerable people, such as people without homes, who are already suffering from the effects of worsening heat waves.
Extinction Rebellion are committed to mobilising people from all walks of life to hit the streets in civil disobedience on 22 March in the Perth CBD because this is a climate and ecological emergency and the Premier has failed to take action that will keep us safe.