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17 Jan 2020 | 08:50 PM UTC

Australia: Environmentalist rallies planned in Sydney February 22, March 13 /update 2

Environmentalist activists plan to hold further rallies in Sydney on February 22 and March 13; heightened police presence and localized disruptions expected

security
transportation
AUS

Event

Multiple environmentalist groups are planning to hold additional rallies in Sydney on Saturday, February 22, and Friday, March 13. February’s demonstration is being held under the banned of “Climate Crisis National Day of Action” to demand that the government take immediate action to address climate change. Participants are expected to gather outside of the Town Hall from 14:00 to 17:00 (local time). University students are organizing the rally in March, which will be held at Henry Deane Plaza from 13:00 to 15:00.

A heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions are expected near the protest site. Similar protests are possible in other major urban areas in the coming weeks.

Context

Over 3 million hectares (7,413,161 acres) of land have been burned, and at least 1298 houses destroyed since the wildfires broke out in NSW on October 9. At least 15 people have also died in the region as of January 1. Authorities have indicated that the fires were due to high temperatures and droughts.

Wildfires are an annual event in Australia between December and February; however, authorities have been on high alert since September 2015 over unseasonably warm temperatures, prompting scientists to speculate that climate change could be extending and increasing the intensity of the fire season.

Advice

Individuals in Sydney and in the wider Sydney region are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests and demonstrations, anticipate disruptions to transportation, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.