This morning, Niamh O’Connor (20) has abseiled off the Footscray Rd Bridge, blocking six lanes of traffic and the operations of the Port of Melbourne.

This is the third consecutive day that activists from Blockade Australia have organised simultaneous disruptions of major ports in Melbourne, Newcastle, and Brisbane.

Their banner reads “You can’t demand anything from the system.”

Niamh said:

“Blockade Australia has no demands because you cannot demand anything from a system that is designed to extract and exploit. The system that will always put profit above acting on the climate crisis. This system is the problem and the only way to create change is to stop it. By abseiling off the Footscray Rd Bridge and blocking the operations of the Port of Melbourne I am disrupting the system that must be stopped.”

“Stopping the extrativist machine that is Australia, by putting myself in front of an economic bottleneck that the system relies on, is a powerful tool of protest that effectively creates change.”

“I organised with School Strike 4 Climate. I stood with 150,000 other people and asked for change from the government, a tool of the system, to have no response. Asking the system that benefits from not acting doesn’t work. Acting to stop destructive industry is effective.”

A member of the Blockade Australia network said: 

“The ecosystems that support human and nonhuman life are under attack. Systems designed to extract and exploit are at fault.”

“Australia’s response to climate change is a death sentence disguised as action.”

“The climate crisis is a by-product of our current political and economic system.”

“Australia’s economic and political interests are incompatible with life.” 

The Blockade Australia network has organised periods of sustained disruption in the Newcastle Coal Port in 2021, the Port of Botany in 2022, and the Sydney CBD in 2022. This move is the latest in a long campaign to disrupt economic bottlenecks in the Australian system in order to stop Australia’s climate destruction.

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