Monday was an exciting day. Waking up ridiculously early the JT group proved we could pack our tents before the sun rose and headed off from Cowra. With some careful planning we made our way to Federal Parliament in Canberra and at 11am joined the climate action sit down in front of the main entrance.
For almost four hours we sat here. Different politicians came for the media circus; Fielding and Heffernan incited much debate (without a doubt being their intention). Bob Brown raced up to meet as at what seemed the last minute and was greeted with applause and cheers. His words of encouragement and praise helped in the last moments before the police started to remove people. This it turned out was going a drawn out process. One by one, working from the back rows coming forwards, the police slowly asked if you would stand up and leave or resist – and thus be – arrested.
So many people said they wouldn’t stand up until the Rudd Government stands up to the demands of climate change.
The action showed that support for strong emission reduction targets is shared by such a diverse range of people. Our common ground, so aptly symbolised on the steps of federal parliament house, was our shared interest in responding rapidly to prevent further climate change. The Copenhagen climate may prove to be nothing more symbolic gesture, but a real commitment is needed and immediately – this was our cause.
For those of us who supported Monday’s action, the sit down was our commitment to this cause. For the Just Transition Tour group participating achieved one part of what our tour was about: to demand action. As our banner read, “There’s no future in coal”.
Photo by Connor Ashleigh