Step-In to Step it Up on Climate Change

Community action to switch off the CPRS and switch on renewables in 2009

Step it up: 27th March 2009 March 24, 2009

Filed under: Helpful resources,How to 'step-in' to Step It Up! — hollycreenaune @ 2:12 am

switchoff_sitchon2

The Government is pursuing a climate change policy that will not result in swift and effective emissions reductions. We have held-hands around parliament, and now its time to take our protest directly to our elected representatives.

The Exposure Draft Legislation for the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme will be released in the coming weeks. Join communities around Australia sitting-in at their MP’s offices to demand better.

On this website, you can download a simple guide to help you plan your protest.

You can also visit Flickr and see how colourful, fun and family-friendly sit-ins can be.

If you’re on Facebook, find the March 27th events here.

There are other resources on this site to help you, and plans are already being made right around the country. Be part of history and take action to protect our children’s future.

(more…)

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How you can take action now December 15, 2008

Filed under: Helpful resources,Uncategorized — hollycreenaune @ 10:26 pm

1. Ring and/or fax your MP and Senators and tell them the Government’s emission reduction targets are unacceptable and the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme will lock us in to dangerously high greenhouse gas emissions.

You can find their phone number by searching here www.aph.gov.au/whoswho/index.htm

You can also email politicians – for example: Kevin.Rudd.MP@aph.gov.au, Wayne.Swan.MP@aph.gov.au, Peter.Garrett.MP@aph.gov.au, senator.carr@aph.gov.au, Martin.Ferguson.MP@aph.gov.au, JMacklin.MP@aph.gov.au, Tony.burke.MP@aph.gov.au, Julia.Gillard.MP@aph.gov.au, Lindsay.Tanner.MP@aph.gov.au, senator.wong@aph.gov.au, Tanya.Plibersek.MP@aph.gov.au

2.  Call talk-back radio and write letters to newspapers about the targets.

Here are some details for those outlets, and some talking points below.
Radio:
ABC Radio: 8333 2137, radio.news@abc.net.au
2GB: 8570 0000

Newspapers:
Sydney Morning Herald: 9282 2022, letters@smh.com.au (must include sender’s home address and day and evening phone numbers for verification. Ideally, letters will be a maximum of 200 words)
Daily Telegraph: 9288-3384, yoursay@dailytelegraph.com.au
The Australian: letters@theaustralian.com.au
AAP: newswire@aap.com.au, editors@aap.com.au, news.sydney@aap.com.au

3. Join the national climate movement. Check out the details at climatesummit.org.au

 

Get creative! October 14, 2008

Filed under: Helpful resources,How to 'step-in' to Step It Up! — hollycreenaune @ 4:42 am

Skits, creative stunts and costumes will help to communicate your message and keep the group entertained and active, and keep morale high. You could do these once you get inside for something to do, or outside as street theatre for the public. Some ideas for creative stunts and themes are as follows.

Disco theme:

‘Stayin’ Alive’ – We are trying to stay alive by demanding a safe climate future. Don 70’s gear, bring a disco-ball and a boom box, have a dance and look a little silly while you let your MP know you are serious about climate action.

Game show theme

Climate change is not a game but our politicians are treating it like one! Why not treat your MP like the guest on a game show?
– Deal or No Deal- the community say ‘No Deal’ to weak targets that will do nothing to secure the safe climate future that we deserve. Will your MP take the deal of 25% reductions by 2020? Or will s/he say ‘No Deal’ to this disastrous figure that locks us into dangerous climate change?
– Sale of the Century – our government is selling out the next century and all those to come by proposing such weak targets.

Emergency!

Fluoro vests, flashing lights and sirens, sandbags- it’s a climate emergency and your group have come to save the day by demanding real action from your MP. You could sandbag their office to protect it from rising sea levels that the governments’ targets are doing nothing to save us from.

Funeral theme

Your group could have a funeral for the Great Barrier Reef, which is guaranteed to perish under the governments’ proposed targets. Black clothing, veils, flowers and elaborate pantomime can communicate this tragedy. You could even deliver a eulogy stating what an asset the Reef was to Australia and the world- including a mention of the tourist dollars the reef brings in!

Using time

You could stay in the office, be silent, or sit down for 12 minutes (that’s how many months we have left until Copenhagen) or 350 minutes – 350 is the number of the safe up- per limit for carbon dioxide–measured in “Parts Per Million” in our atmosphere.

 

Kevin Rudd’s constituents occupy the PM’s office to save the Great Barrier Reef

Outside Kevin Rudd's electorate office

Outside Kevin Rudd

Brisbane: Kevin Rudd’s Office, September 2008

Brisbane residents staged a sit-in of the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Electoral Office in September 2008. A small group, comprised of the PM’s Griffith constituents, occupied the offi ce through the morning to highlight the consequences of the Federal government signing onto the interim emission targets recommended by the Garnaut review. They have requested a meeting with the PM as members of his electorate to discuss emission reduction scenarios after the release of the Garnaut review.

The diverse group of mums, dads, grandmothers, kids and students sat in Kevin Rudd’s office for three hours. There were no arrests, and the sit-in recieved national press coverage, highlighting the need for 2020 emission targets to stabilise dangerous climate change and to protect Australia’s natural heritage assets in perpetuity.

>> The Courier Mail: Protesters Storm the PMs Office
>> The Brisbane Times: PMs Office Targeted by Climate Protesters
>> The Brisbane Times: Activists Refuse to Leave Rudd’s Office

>> The Sunshine Coast Daily: Queensland Protesters Declare Climate Emergency

>> Also coverage in The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald and the West Australian and the Melbourne Herald Sun.

The launch was coupled with a public forum that evening in the CBD with some 50 representatives of social justice, student and environmental organisations for information sharing, cross-fertilisation and importantly to discuss principles, strategies and tactics to build upon the people’s movement for climate action in Queensland.

For video footage of the event, courtesy of QUT News, see here.

 

Sit In, Stand Up, Make History

Filed under: Helpful resources — hollycreenaune @ 12:30 am
Greensboro Lunch Counter Sit In

Greensboro Lunch Counter Sit In

Sit-ins have been used as a powerful form of civil resistance across some of the greatest social movements of our time…
…Indian Independence Movement
…American Civil Rights Movement
… Anti-war Movements

Etched in the global consciousness for advocating dignity in the face of oppression, strength in the face of repression, these peaceful movements were and still remain powerful for their respectful assertion of rights.

Operating under a broader strategy of non-violence, famously advocated by Mahatma Ghandi, sit-ins are a tactic which target illegitimate or irresponsible powerholders through occupying a recognised working space, as a symbolic protest or as direct intervention.

Perhaps the most well-known use of sit-ins is in the American Civil Rights movement. Sit-ins as a tactic began on February 1, 1960, when four black students now known as the “Greensborough Four” dressed in their Sunday best and sat down at the lunch counter of a local convenience store. The lunch counter was segregated for ‘whites only’ so the Greensborough Four were refused service, however they remained seated, nonviolent and respectful. A larger group of students returned the next day, and as the media picked up on the news, so too did other students around the country. Within two weeks, students held continual, daily sit-ins in eleven cities across the country. News spread North, and other students began solidarity pickets at targeted convenience store chains. Sit-ins also began at segregated bus terminals in Nashville.

By Easter, a national sit-ins conference was held and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was formed to lead and continue the effort. Sit-ins spread to movie theatres and other segregated public spaces, and by August 1961 the movement had involved 70 000 people and had resulted in 3000 arrests. They marked a tipping point for the civil rights movement. Sit-ins moved debate into the public sphere, into everyday life, and engaged and empowered everyday people.

Our climate, and indeed the very fate of the planet, is at a crossroads. Polluting industries are sending our futures straight to their hip pockets, while politicians stand blindly beside them advocating weak and disastrous targets. Climate change is here, has happened, and is continuing to happen on our watch. We are the last generations with any chance to prevent runaway climate change. Let’s sit down, stand up for climate justice, and rewrite history.

 

Writing a media release

Filed under: Helpful resources,How to 'step-in' to Step It Up! — hollycreenaune @ 12:17 am

Template Media Release

NAME OF YOUR GROUP (if you have one)

Media Release

TODAY’s DATE

BANNER: Be attention grabbing. Protest… action … demand … anger …

The first line should communicate precisely what is happening and why it is worthy of news: make sure you make it sound exciting, new or different.

The next line/paragraph will fill out the details left behind: if your first line says “today 50 residents of Campbelltown are conducting a sit-in at the office of Federal member of parliament XX demand that the Federal Government step up efforts to reduce greenhouse pollution” the second line could say “The protest comes a day after the Federal Government released its policy on greenhouse pollution, which has been slammed by scientists and environmentalists as too weak and timid”

Then you can launch into quotes: Mary from Climate Action Campbelltown said, “This is an issue on which the community is not prepared to compromise …. Etc etc ”

Carry on in this vein, communicating your message and key demands.

Make sure you fit the whole thing on one page only.

Put contact details at the bottom for someone who can answer the phone and give comment on what is happening.

_

Example Media Release from the recent occupation by Queensland residents of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s electorate office

.

…. media release…. media release…. media release….

Monday 22nd September 2008
Time: 10:45 AM
Location: Kevin Rudd’s office, Morningside

Rudd’s constituents occupy the PMs office to save the Great Barrier Reef

Residents of the Griffith electorate today sat in Kevin Rudd’s office to demand that his government’s climate change policies reflect the wishes of his constituents. The peaceful citizens refused to leave the office for over 3 hours, holding signs saying “Rudd: missing in action on climate change”.

“Our farmland, our lifestyle and our Great Barrier Reef are all threatened under the emissions reductions targets suggested to the government by economist Professor Ross Garnaut. We are taking peaceful action to get the message though to our politicians that this isn’t acceptable,” says Brisbane resident, Bradley Smith.

“While coal and corporate lobby groups have a seat at the negotiating table with our prime minister, we, everyday citizens, are appalled that our politicians are planning to jeopardize national icons like the great barrier reef,” says Kristy Walters, one of the group who refused to leave Rudd’s office.

Last week Prof Ross Garnaut recommended a 5-10% greenhouse gas reduction target to the Australian government. By his own admission, these targets are based on political expedience and would be expected to lead to the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef. This scenario would also see increased droughts which would have unacceptable effects on our farmers.

“In the next 3 months the Rudd government will be deciding on our domestic climate change policy as well as our international negotiating position. It is now or never for the citizens of Australia to tell our members of parliament that we won’t stand by while our national icons are negotiated away,” says Mr Smith.

The action marks the first day of national Climate Emergency Week. Events will be taking place across the country to highlight the need for effective action on climate change. For more Brisbane activities visit http://www.enoughhotair.com

Media Spokesperson: Brad XXX. Ph 04XX XXX XXX
Media Liaison: Clare XXX. Ph 04XX XXX XXX

 

Brief Legal Information

Filed under: Helpful resources — hollycreenaune @ 12:08 am

Different types of actions can have different legal issues and consequences. Most charges laid at protest actions are relatively minor. Some of the most common charges arising from protest activities include obstruction of a police officer, obstruction of a road, and trespass.

As constituents, you have a right to enter your MP’s office.  If you choose to remain for an extended period of time, staff may ask you to leave.  If you fail to leave, you may be committing the offence of trespass. If you are charged and go to court, the penalty is usually a small fine.

It is important in planning to consider that certain conduct may put people in a position where they are liable to be arrested, which may in turn result in criminal charges, court processes and potentially a criminal record. People should decide beforehand whether they wish to take this risk. Once charged, it is important to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity.

Being arrested: Police are not required to give you a warning prior to arresting you, but many times they will. Police must formally tell you they are arresting you.

Name and address: Police have the right to ask for your name and address if they reasonably believe that you have committed, or are about to commit any offence, or you may be able to assist in the investigation of an indictable (serious) offence.

Answering police questions: Apart from name and address, you have the right to refuse to answer any other questions. You can say ‘no comment’ or ‘on legal advice I have no comment to make’. Practice this & be prepared to be repetitive. There are no off the record conversations.

For more information, see www.activistrights.org.au.  You can also contact a lawyer, Community Legal Centre or the NSW Environmental Defenders office.