Some people sat down in the middle of Lonsdale Street and blocked the intersection with Russell Street for 25 minutes. Then they blocked the intersection of Russell and Collins streets. A little later, police stopped the people outside Flinders Street Station, eventually arresting 11 of them. Trams were diverted, traffic was held up.
No doubt someone was late for something that was important to them. Some people felt frustrated at being stuck in traffic (though you don’t need a climate protest to feel frustrated in Melbourne traffic, or indeed to get stuck in it); others might even have become angry at this disruption to the expected flow of their day. It was all very inconvenient.
The next day, the protesters blockaded the Treasury, and 56 people were arrested. Premier Daniel Andrews said the protests, part of Extinction Rebellion’s Spring Uprising, aren’t winning the climate cause any friends. His government’s tunnelling and road building are causing enough disruption for Melburnians already. Please don’t add to the inconvenience with your climate concerns.
Perhaps the Premier thinks Extinction Rebellion could hold off for a few years until the tunnels are built? That would be entirely consistent with the general government approach to the climate emergency in Australia, which has been to put off really thinking about it too much because there always seems to be something more pressing to deal with than the future of life on Earth.