As you may have seen in the news, Nicolle Flint will not be contesting her seat of Boothby at the next election. One of the reasons Flint cited for leaving politics was ‘harassment’ by activist groups such as GetUp.
Media coverage and comments by politicians in the Liberal Party have suggested that XR were involved in the sexist harassment, personal threats, and intimidation that Flint has received. This is simply not true.
Last month rebels held an action in front of her office in which they sang, gave a speech, and spray-chalked messages onto the outside of her office building and the footpath. These messages were applied with chalk which can easily be washed off with water. After the action, rebels left a printed copy of the speech on the front desk.
In keeping with XR’s principles and values, the protest was strictly non-violent. There were no threats, intimidation or violence. The messages spray-chalked read:
- “Climate Action Now”
- “Climate Crisis – 2050 is too late”
- “Zero Emissions by 2025”
- “2050 is a death sentence”
- “Our kids need a future!”
The action at Flint’s office followed a similar protest held just a few days before at the office of Senator Simon Birmingham. Needless to say, neither action was in any way personal. It is the duty of XR to hold politicians to account, no matter their party or personal details, for failing to address the climate crisis. XR was, is, and always will be beyond politics.
We were disappointed to see Flint label us as ‘ferals’ and fund raise off our action. In the past Flint has called environmental and animal rights activism ‘a scourge’. Given her voting record on these issues, such comments are unfortunately not a surprise.
Furthermore, we have been appalled by coverage in the press, such as on ABC’s Insiders (28/02/21), that has disingenuously conflated our peaceful protests with the unacceptable sexism and harassment that Flint has received. No woman should have to endure the sexism or harassment that Flint has.
The toxic worldview causing climate breakdown is the same worldview that fosters a culture of inequality for women.
XRSA will not be deterred in its continuing work for a safer world for all people.
Extinction Rebellion South Australia