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'Despair Ends and Tactics Begin': Extinction Rebellion Aims to Shut Down Brisbane With Mass Civil Disobedience

"Our rebellion must happen to disrupt the business as usual of a system that is accelerating the existential threat."

Demonstrators with the global Extinction Rebellion movement block a street in November 2018. (Photo: Julia Hawkins/Flickr/cc)

On the heels of the hottest month in recorded history, activists with the global Extinction Rebellion movement are planning to grind the city of Brisbane, Australia to a halt Tuesday to pressure political leaders to act on the climate crisis.

"The climate crisis is already affecting lives and destroying ecosystems," Extinction Rebellion said in a statement ahead of the city-wide demonstrations, which are set to kick off at 7am local time Tuesday morning (5pm ET Monday).

"Non-violent civil disobedience is morally and materially functional—it is the only option we have left to force the change that may just save us all from extinction."
—Extinction Rebellion

The group described the protests as an act of peaceful "mass civil disobedience."

"Non-violent civil disobedience is morally and materially functional—it is the only option we have left to force the change that may just save us all from extinction," said Extinction Rebellion.

Brisbane authorities are reportedly preparing for major disruptions throughout the city and warning commuters to plan for significant traffic jams.

Extinction Rebellion acknowledged its action is expected to disrupt people's day-to-day lives, but said "our rebellion must happen to disrupt the business as usual of a system that is accelerating the existential threat to all of Earth's species, including humans."

"Government and industries are continuing the destruction of our only planet," the group added.

As the Brisbane Times reported, Extinction Rebellion activists have in recent weeks "glued themselves to roads, blocked city intersections, and put a canoe on the Victoria Bridge" to demand swift and bold climate action from their political leaders.

"Despair ends and tactics begin," reads an Extinction Rebellion sign designed for the Brisbane action.

The movement's civil disobedience has gone global since 10 U.K.-based environmental activists launched the group last year.

As Common Dreams reported last month, Extinction Rebellion activists glued themselves to doorways in the halls of the U.S. Congress to disrupt votes and demand that American lawmakers declare a climate emergency.

"Sorry for the inconvenience," said one activist, "but we're not going back to business as usual until we declare a climate emergency and get climate justice for everyone, everywhere."

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