The federal government began ending financial support for anti coal demonstrators who continue to disrupt busy city streets on October 2.
Centrelink confirmed it has stopped Newstart payments to at least one Extinction Rebellion protestor after the group continued to commit acts of public nuisiance and civil disobedience in the Brisbane CBD. The government warns it will stop more Newstart payments.
Living on the dole
The move came following widespread media reports the majority of people who support environmental movements like Extinction Rebellion are actually living on the dole and not in paid employment.
Queensland Police confirmed with the Nine Network that only two out of six protesters arrested were actually in paid employment when they erected barricades, chained their necks with bike locks and superglued their hands near the Jade Budda Restaurant on Eagle Street.
Officers had to call the public safety response team to use specialist tools to cut the protestors free.
“The police have arrived on scene as you can see will be cut out of the d-locks that are around our necks on this barricade,” serial protestor Eric Herbert said on a Facebook live streamed video before being banned from entering the CBD again. “They have to be bolt-cutted or grinded out.”
Fellow protestor Tom, who was dressed in high-visibility work clothes, said the group was targeting the headquarters of resources companies and financial institutions.
“These skyscrapers here house the big banks, mining companies, the head offices of the rich and the people who work here the employees are rich too, they have got to be held accountable,” he said on the video. “They are either complicit or responsible for nearly all the environmental destruction that is happening here in Australia … so we have got to disrupt business districts, big business, this is not just ordinary people this is disrupting the economy.”
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Week of chaos looms
The group now plans to hold mass protests and road blockades across the Brisbane CBD area from the October 7 Queen’s Birthday public holiday through to Friday the 10th. Activities will start from as early as 7:30am and motorists are being urged to make alternate travel arrangements to avoid being stuck in traffic.
Extinction Rebellion is demanding the government to reduce carbon emissions by 100 per cent and become carbon neutral by the year 2025 through using renewable energy, admit there is a climate change crisis, preserve native plants and animals, and dismantle “colonial systems of exploitation” by giving land owners greater powers.