• The Extinction Rebellion Aotearoa protest is taking place in Wellington today
  • The Wellington protest starts an "international wave of climate and environmental civil disobedience" say organisers, with protests occurring in more than 60 cities around the world.
  • Protesters have marched up Lambton Quay and Willis Street, occupying a bank and the Majestic Centre - where an oil company's office is located.
  • Activists occupying a branch of the ANZ bank on Lambton Quay glued their hands to the windows of the bank
  • Protesters blocked off Stout Street in central Wellington and turned workers away from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
  • Activists glued their hands together at the entrance to the government department, and other activists blocking Stout Street were connected by pipes.
  • Protesters then staged a sit-in at the end of Lambton Quay, blocking traffic in all directions.
The group has three demands of Government:
  1. Tell the truth and declare a climate and ecological emergency,
  2. Act Now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse emissions to net-zero by 2025, and
  3. Go beyond politics and set up a Citizen's Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

Scores of climate change activists have taken their protest to a central Wellington bank.

On Monday about midday, protesters from the Extinction Rebellion rebellion movement marched from Stout St to an ANZ bank on Lambton Quay, where they laid down silently on the bank's floor as an act of remembrance for those who have been affected by climate change. 

Earlier the protesters made the central Wellington office of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) the epicentre of their demonstration.

Protesters glued together around a boat on Ballance Street.

The protest is part of a wave of international disobedience planned for more than 60 cities around world to draw attention to climate change issues.

Extinction Rebellion protesters have arrived at ANZ Bank, where protest spokesman Simon Oosterman said it's time to draw the line at climate change. "Some might call us protesters, I call us protectors."

"You can't just say you're going to do one or the other, we've to draw the line and you need to make a stand, because we can't just tweet it and we can't just share it on Facebook. 

"We have to take our feet and we have to put them on that line ... and we've drawn the line at ANZ Bank." 

Protesters taking part in the Extinction Rebellion demonstration lie down in an ANZ bank on Lambton Quay.

Oosterman said the United Nations has said there's 11 years left to make a difference. "If we don't meet that 1.5 degrees [reduction] target, we could have widespread human misery."

Another group of about 200 protesters stormed the Majestic Centre on Willis St then marched back down to Lambton Quay a short time later. 

The Wellington demonstration has seen hundreds of climate change protesters occupy Stout St, where MBIE's head office is based, since the early morning.

Protesters were blocking all entrances to the building, where 1800 MBIE staffers usually work, prompting officials to lock it down.

At about 7am, protesters moved to block off the intersection of Stout St and Ballance St in central Wellington, near major retail street Lambton Quay.

The protesters put a three-metre pink boat in the middle of the intersection of Stout and Ballance, and a pink car at the Lambton Quay end of Stout St.

Protesters taking over ANZ bank on Lambton Quay after stopping traffic have glued their hands to the windows.

In a statement, Extinction Rebellion said six people were attached with metal pipes to the pink car at the Lambton Quay end of Stout St. The car's wheels had been removed. One person was attached to the boat, and 16 people were attached to each other surrounding the boat in a circle.

The number of protesters grew through the morning. A Stuff reporter at the scene estimated that by 9am somewhere between 500 and 1000 were outside the MBIE building and in nearby

Protesters block Featherston Street.

On at least two occasions Lambton Quay was blocked for several minutes at a time, while protesters have also blockaded nearby Whitmore St.

There has been a major emphasis on non-violence at the event, with the action being described as a street party.

Explaining their choice of location, the protest group said MBIE was "New Zealand's ministry for oil, gas and minerals".

MBIE staff exit the backdoor after being in lockdown for the morning.

In notes given to members of the public, Extinction Rebellion apologised for any disruption and explained the reason for their occupation.

"Our governments are not doing enough to combat the threat of the climate and ecological emergencies, and so we are standing up to demand action - now."

In an early morning briefing at nearby Midland Park, protesters were given advice on what to do should they be arrested, as well as given a leaflet with contact phone numbers of lawyers on standby to assist.

While there has been a strong police presence in the surrounding areas, no arrests have been made.

The Extinction Rebellion protest in Stout and Ballance Sts in Wellington.

Climate Change Minister James Shaw said civil disobedience and protest is a critical part of a healthy democracy, and had resulted in outcomes like the women's right to vote, the eight hour working day, and a nuclear-free New Zealand.

"At a time of mass extinction and a climate crisis, I can understand the frustration that brings people out onto the streets".

Protesters take over the intersection of Stout and Lambton Quay.

However, National Party climate change spokesperson Scott Simpson said inconveniencing workers and the public would only damage to the protesters' cause.

"There is more to be gained by working sensibly on constructive climate change solutions than on protests like this. Extinction Rebellion should be calling on the Government to be working harder to find cross-party support for their Zero Carbon Bill."

06102019 ROBERT KITCHIN/STUFF L-R: The Extinction Rebellion disruption protest in Stout and Ballance Sts in Wellington this morning. Several streets were blocked and traffic had to wait.

"This sort of protest is just drawing attention to themselves at the inconvenience of hardworking Kiwis going about their daily business."

Article: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/116360580/live-extinction-rebellion-climate-campaigners-take-to-the-capital
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