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Climate Protesters Block West Gate Bridge

Members of the Extinction Rebellion group blocked three lanes of the West Gate Bridge during the morning commute, causing significant disruptions for thousands of Melburnians. 

The protesters, armed with banners declaring “climate breakdown has begun” and “declare a climate emergency”.

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The group said the blockade was strategically timed to coincide with the ASEAN Summit in Melbourne this week.

Members parked a truck on the bridge. One of the protesters, Brad Holmwood said: “We’ve tried all the conventional methods of campaigning, none of them have worked, so we are engaging in non-violent civil resistance.” 

Mr Holmwood called on the Albanese government and ASEAN leaders to acknowledge the scientific reality of climate change and formally declare a climate and ecological emergency.

Deanna “Violet” CoCo, one of the protesters, was sentenced to 15 months in jail for blocking the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

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“The government must choose which side of history they will be on,” she said in a statement released by Extinction Rebellion.

She highlighted Australia’s position as the world’s third-largest exporter of fossil fuels, contributing substantially to the environmental crisis affecting low-income countries in South East Asia.

While the protesters argued for urgent action, frustrated commuters stuck in traffic jams expressed mixed sentiments. 

“If they think that this is going to make any difference whatsoever, they are dreaming.” One commuter, Raj told ABC.

VicTraffic reported that three inbound lanes were blocked during the protest, causing delays for commuters. 

However, two lanes remained open, allowing some traffic to pass through.

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