Protesters outside Parliament in Melbourne.
Protesters outside Parliament in Melbourne.

Protesters shut down CBD in snap rally

More than 1000 people marched through the Melbourne CBD to lay "dead" at one of the city's busiest intersections this afternoon.

Holding placards and banners that read "don't burn my future" and "too late you bastards we're done asking nicely", the so-called snap ended at Bourke and Swanston streets for a "die-in".

The climate emergency rally was organised by Extinction Rebellion, the same group behind large-scale disruptions in London last month.

More than 5000 people responded to an invitation to attend but less than half of that number showed up.

Among them were hundreds of school students - including a pair who climbed on top of tram stop shelters to enjoy the view.

Father Bob Maguire spoke on the steps of Parliament House, telling activists he woke up this morning and realised "we're all in this together".

Australian musician Lisa Mitchell performed a song for the crowd before the march down Bourke Street.

There was a large police presence and organisers told news.com.au they had been in constant communication with Victoria Police in the lead-up to the event.

The riot squad shut down Bourke Street, Spring Street and Swanston Street to traffic as activists chanted: "Coal, don't dig it. Leave it in the ground, it's time to get with it."

 

Protesters gather in central Melbourne. Picture: Rohan Smith
Protesters gather in central Melbourne. Picture: Rohan Smith

 

The demonstration is billed as a ‘climate emergency rally’. Picture: Rohan Smith
The demonstration is billed as a ‘climate emergency rally’. Picture: Rohan Smith

 

Protesters outside Parliament in Melbourne.
Protesters outside Parliament in Melbourne.

The "die-in" tactic is nothing new for the group, which held a similar event in Paris earlier this month.

On May 12, protesters in Paris lay on the ground in fake blood with flowers discarded around them.

The group said the rally was "organised in response to the Australian federal election results", which saw the pro-coal Liberal government return to power.

"The Climate Emergency is not a political issue, it is a scientific fact," the group said, before calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the federal government to take immediate and drastic action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.

Victoria Police has been made aware of the protest and told Nine they were "well equipped and prepared to deploy resources, respond and intervene when needed".

"A number of traffic management points will be in place with Bourke, Swanston, Collins and Flinders streets to be affected at various times from approximately 12pm until 3pm," Victoria Police said.

"Individuals have the right to lawfully attend events and protest, however we ask that people do so peacefully and respectfully without impacting on the rest of the community.

"Victoria Police will not tolerate those who break the law or engage in anti-social or violent behaviour."

Ten days of protests organised by Extinction Rebellion in London last month saw activists glue themselves to trains and chain themselves to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's home, the BBC reported.



‘Best little carols around’ return after hiatus

premium_icon ‘Best little carols around’ return after hiatus

The Christmas event giving Southern Downs singers a professional place to shine.

Hope brews as recycled water saves family farms from drought

premium_icon Hope brews as recycled water saves family farms from drought

STRUGGLING producers will receive tens of thousands of litres of donated stock...

MAJOR CRIME BUST: 45 people charged as police raid homes

premium_icon MAJOR CRIME BUST: 45 people charged as police raid homes

GOONDIWINDI police crack down on regional drug and firearm trafficking. Gallery...