Adani protester’s video plea: ‘It’s time for us to rebel’

Anti-Adani activists have filmed a video calling for people to attend civil disobedience 'training days' and promised months of disruptions in Brisbane including a major event in August.

In the video filmed yesterday, Extinction Rebellion SEQ spokesman Tom Howell urged supporters to prepare for action.

"Now it's time to put away those petitions, stop calling on the government to make a change," he said.

"It's time for civil disobedience. It's time for us to rebel."

His plea followed yesterday's approval of the Adani megamine.

Mr Howell said Extinction Rebellion now has groups across the country, and would support other anti-Adani collectives in demonstrations against the mine.

"There have been talks happening which explain Extinction Rebellion and why we possibly may be extinct by 2100 if we carry on on our current trajectory, and explaining the civil rights movements of the past that have created social change through civil non-violent disobedience," he said.

"We've been doing these talks up and down the coast and lots of people are starting to attend because they're fed up with politics not changing."

Mr Howell said training sessions had also been run where the group explained some of the issues around being arrested.

"We go through all the fears and barriers of what it's like to be arrested, and we go through some of the disruptions people have gone through in the past, whether it's blocking coal trains or blocking streets or just making a lot of noise, then we cover people's rights - how to talk to the police, what can be expected when you're arrested," he said.

Tom Howell from Extinction Rebellion SEQ.
Tom Howell from Extinction Rebellion SEQ.

"There's been a training almost every week for the last two months, and there'll be more to come. It's all about empowering people to make the decision about whether they want to take the course of action which is civil disobedience."

"We're not pushing people into doing it. If you're interested, come to a training and this is what it could mean and this is why it's effective to fight for social justice or fight against climate change, because petitions and marches just haven't had the effect."

Students will stage a mass rally in Brisbane's CBD next Friday, but Mr Howell promised more disruptive action is to come.

"There might be a bit of civil disobedience (at the rally) but that's more like an organised march moreso than a disruptive action," he said.

"But I can say there's going to be some disruptive action over the coming weeks and months. Some will be publicly announced and some of them won't be leading up to a really big day of civil disobedience in August in Brisbane's CBD."

Mr Howell stressed the action would be peaceful and non-violent, although he expected there would be arrests.

"People have different limitations, but there are people who intend on getting arrested in large numbers over the coming weeks and months," he said.

"It's about making a big statement and making the Queensland government and other powers that be respond to it in a way that they don't when there's a petition or a march or something. It's something you can't ignore," he said.

"People are looking for direction in terms of what they can do because they don't want to see new coal mines built in 2019 and they want to do something meaningful."

Mr Howell said the movement is attracting everyone from First Nations people, to the elderly and families with young children.

"They're coming to us because this is seen as the only thing that might work now."