CBD protesters’ video: ‘We had to do something’
The protesters who shut down Brisbane's CBD this week by gluing themselves to a pedestrian crossing have released a video of the incident.
Ebony - who will front court next month over the incident - said she first heard about the group behind the protest - Extinction Rebellion - last year, but that the megamine's approval inspired her to act.
"Someone had an idea and it was proposed, and I was like, okay, I'm ready. There was just no question about it, that we had to do something to raise awareness," she said.
"I thought I'd be more nervous to be honest. I was having a lot of fun, and that's the beauty of peaceful protest."
Ebony said she only met her fellow protester - Eric Serge Herbert - last week before the pair arrived at a Queen St pedestrian crossing on Tuesday where they locked their hands together inside a pipe and glued their free hands to the road.
"It all ran pretty smoothly, although I was starting to get hypothermia," she said.
"I was really shaky and became a bit vague because I'd been avoiding drinking water since the night before because I didn't know how long I'd be there."
Ebony at the Extinction Rebellion Brisbane road block to take a stand against extinction: “I’m not fighting, I’m speaking up for Mother Earth. We have to stop all of this bullshit that’s hurting. We can all feel it. We cannot lie anymore, we have to tell the truth... pic.twitter.com/zQEm98lKZw— Extinction Rebellion Australia (@XRebellionAus) June 17, 2019
The 24-year-old was buoyed by the support of the public, with some standing there for over an hour to watch the events unfold.
"Someone said 'go sister!' but there were definitely some unpleasant comments," she said.
"There was the usual 'get a job!' That was said two or three times."
Ebony said she was studying and had two businesses, including one that sells vegan gluten-free organic food at markets and events.
The part-time belly dancer said she wants to get involved in more actions, although she'll have to miss the student-led protest being staged in the city on Friday because of bail conditions banning her from the CBD.
"We're rebelling against mass extinction. We don't need to accept this death wish from corporations," she said.
"I'm ready to do whatever I can to heal and save our planet so our kids can have a chance."
Ebony's co-accused was fined $550 in the Brisbane Magistrates Court yesterday after he pleaded guilty to being a public nuisance and contravening a direction.
Eric also spent a night in the watch-house after he refused to sign bail documents.
He said he dropped out of university to devote his time to being a climate activist, which involved spending months in Bowen protesting against the Adani coalmine with the group Frontline Action on Coal.
"I studied really hard at school. I was school captain, I aced physics, I loved science. So I dropped out of studying nano science to commit myself to rebelling against extinction because this is how we win," Eric said.
"For me, there's no point building a career if in 20 years the ecosystem is collapsing."
Eric said safety was the top priority when planning any sort of civil disruption.
"We need to design it so that people aren't in harm's way, and that's why we chose to do it on a pedestrian crossing," he said.
"We walked onto the crossing with a metal pipe and bracelets around our wrists that we would be locking ourselves together with inside the pipe. Then we super glued one of our hands to the road."
"We had heaps of people giving us support and offering us food."
Eric said he would be attending Friday's student rally with his father and other relatives.
"I think it can be confusing to some people, and it definitely was to my parents. But I showed them the truth, I showed them the science and they are extremely proud of me," he said.
The 19-year-old promised to be involved in more protests in the future.
"I am definitely going to do this again and I invite people to stand by me and rebel against extinction."