Activists demand climate justice at rally and blockade
27th March 2018, 7.15 am
Activists demand climate justice at a rally and blockade of the oil summit
People from across Aotearoa are rallying together in a call for climate justice today outside the Oil Industry Summit at TSB Arena in Wellington. Approximately 120 people have joined the rally and blockade, which was moved to a start time of 5am.
Two arrests have been reported as of 7.15am and one protester was awaiting medical treatment for neck injury and concussion following excessive force by the police. An ambulance has been requested multiple times over the course of an hour.
Spokesperson Emily Bailey says, “We’re thrilled to have so many people turn out to take action against the companies responsible for causing climate change. We have ordinary people from all over Aotearoa - mums, dads, grandparents, students, children - who are standing up for climate justice and disrupting the business of the oil and gas industries.
“We are not prepared to allow ‘business-as-usual’ while these companies make billions in profit while causing climate change. We are using Non-Violent Direct Action to get in the way of delegates attempting to attend the conference.
“Oil and gas drilling and exploration needs to stop. It is clear, we cannot burn all the fossil fuels which we’ve already found, let alone be exploring for more.
“Our prime minister has indicated she takes climate change seriously. That’s great - but we need her to back up her words with actions, and ending block offers is just the beginning. We need a dissolution of all existing drilling permits, and a pathway for a just transition for workers and communities must be put in place.”
The Rally for Climate Justice is calling for the following:
1: To the government: Commit to no new permits, and stop all drilling and prospecting for oil and gas as part of a just transition for workers and communities.
2: To the oil and gas industries: Stop drilling and prospecting; clean up the damage you have caused and make amends to the communities you’ve harmed.
3: To the people: Join with us to stand up for climate justice - demand that global solutions to climate change centre on and support those who bear the brunt of it.
“We are aiming to stay here all day,” said Emily. “We’d invite everyone who can make it to come down and join us. We’ve got plenty of food, speakers and activities happening throughout the day. Anyone can be a part of the action - there are no special skills required except a desire to see urgent action to address climate change.
“We are joined by a broad range of groups who’ve come from all over Aotearoa to protest the expansion of oil and gas in Aotearoa: Climate Justice Taranaki, Te Ara Whatu, Pacific Panthers, 350 Aotearoa, Auckland Peace Action, Peace Action Wellington, People Against Prisons Aotearoa, Oil Free Otago, Berrigan House, Coal Action Network Aotearoa, It's Our Future Manawatu, Unite Union, Our Climate Declaration, Frack Free, Oil Free Otautahi, and Unions Wellington.
“There will never be a better time to take action than now. You can be part of making a better future for all of us."