Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The Government of the Australian state of Victoria has urged climate protestors to cancel their planned protest on Friday, to avoid diverting police away from bushfire emergencies.
Victorian ministers urge climate activists to cancel protest on high fire danger day
Emergency services minister says it’s ‘reckless and selfish’ to rally when police are busy in bushfire-affected communities
The demonstration has been set down for Friday night in Melbourne’s CBD in response to the bushfires, which have blackened more than 1.2m hectares of Victoria.
Authorities on Wednesday urged Uni Students for Climate Justice organisers to call off the action, change the date or at least confine it to one spot.
The emergency services minister, Lisa Neville, said she was stunned to hear the protests were going ahead when fire conditions were expected to worsenand urged organisers to reconsider.
“This is a really reckless and selfish thing people are doing,” she said.
“I don’t want to see police having to pull people out of [fire-affected] communities to come in and manage a protest.
“There is a time for protests. It’s not this Friday.”
Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jan/08/victorian-ministers-urge-climate-activists-to-cancel-protest-on-high-fire-danger-day
Police are needed to help people evacuate, to direct traffic, and deter looting in evacuation zones.
Climate protestors shouldn’t have had to be told; forcing police and emergency services to divert resources to managing climate protests in the middle of a bushfire crisis is selfish and irresponsible.
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