Greenpeace is calling for members of the public to take part in a co-ordinated demonstration of peaceful civil disobedience at the annual petroleum conference at SkyCity in Auckland.
This morning the organisation launched the campaign, described as an “escalation in protest tactics”, which will culminate at the conference on March 21.
Climate campaigner Steve Abel says despite years of public opposition and a failure to find any deep sea oil, John Key’s Government has continued to invest in deep sea drilling.
“Everyone who is concerned about this should come and join us for civil disobedience at the oil conference. Every year for the past three years, thousands of New Zealanders have marched up to the petroleum summit to show they are not ok with this Government’s oil agenda,” he says.
“It’s reached the point where we need an escalation. We can’t sit by while climate-change drives extreme flooding, storms and droughts that threaten our communities and livelihoods.
“If we are to have a future, the oil industry can have no future. It’s plain mad that John Key continues to prop it up. Climate change is the defining struggle of our generation and it needs to be dealt with now.”
Abel says public participation is one of the most effective tools for creating change.
“We should take inspiration from people like Gandhi, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr, and the movements here in New Zealand that opposed apartheid and made us nuclear free,” he says.
“In the face of Government inaction it’s going to take people power to secure the future we urgently need – one that’s run on 100% clean energy.”
Yesterday, Greenpeace hinted at the peaceful civil disobedience event when a short video appeared on its social media pages.
The clip features people wearing black-tie attire at SkyCity, holding a large card that reads, “What’s on the cards here at the oil conference on March 21?”
Abel says Greenpeace isn’t publicly releasing specific details of what the peaceful demonstration at the petroleum summit will look like.
“We want some things to be revealed to Key and his oil industry chums on the day, but we will be giving ongoing information to all those who are interested in being part of this.”