Friday 18 October 2019

Greenpeace protesters dangle from Sydney Harbour Bridge

The activists apparently had 24 hours of supplies but were yanked back up after three.

(@spudheadcapital and @JoDodds6/Twitter)
(@spudheadcapital and @JoDodds6/Twitter)

By Edd Dracott, Press Association

Protesters in Australia suspended themselves on ropes from Sydney Harbour Bridge in an effort to persuade prime minister Scott Morrison to declare a climate emergency.

The Greenpeace protesters were seen dangling from the bridge early on Wednesday, trailing large orange and red flags and holding signs that read “100% renewables and “make coal history”.

According to Greenpeace the protesters were stocked with enough provisions to last for 24 hours, but they were pulled back up on to the bridge by police after three hours.

Jo Dodds, a councillor in Bega Valley Shire, New South Wales, joined many on the banks of Sydney Harbour in supporting the protest, which she described as “very effective”.

“We’ve had most of Australia’s major media cover the story today,” she told the Press Association. “They’re interested because our upcoming national election has become our first climate election.

“Communities across the nation are waking up to the grave dangers we will face should we continue to mine and burn coal… the worst contributor towards climate damage.”

Ms Dodds said her community in Tathra has been directly affected by bushfires, losing 69 homes in one “catastrophic” blaze last year.

“I watched the homes of countless friends and neighbours burn to the ground,” she said.

“Our fire authorities and experts are all warning that climate change will increase these dangers exponentially.

“So today’s action was to demand that our political leaders declare a climate emergency and take urgent action to stop coal.

“I was there because I never want to see another community go through what we experienced last year.”

(Jo Dodds)

The protest on Sydney Harbour Bridge is the latest in a series of demonstrations across the world against climate change, such as Extinction Rebellion’s disruption of Central London in April.

Ms Dodds, 56, added she is “incredibly grateful to see so many people across the world stepping up and speaking out against climate destruction”.

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