OPINION: CLIMATE CHANGE PROTESTERS GO TOO FAR

OPINION: CLIMATE CHANGE PROTESTERS GO TOO FAR

 

Climate change activists have been at it again, frustrating members of the public with more protests.  Supporters of the 350 Aotearoa movement decided to block customers trying to enter a Dunedin bank. They’ve done this before and were in Auckland today sitting outside a Queen Street bank. But it seems their latest antics in Dunedin have gone too far. The protesters thought it was a good idea to stop elderly people from going about their lawful business, preventing them from entering the bank. Police were called and an officer had to help elderly people into the bank by holding their arms and navigating their way through the protesters. It was a sad sight to see an elderly person, who could barely walk, being escorted by police while student protesters sat there with vacant looks on their faces. Why didn’t police arrest them for obstructing the public in the first place? Perhaps they were keen to limit negative media exposure. The group’s apologised for their actions, but their sorry note is too late. They think that if they cause disruption to everyday New Zealanders, their climate change message will be taken seriously. It’s a strategy that doesn’t work. All it does is create an “us verse them” social environment, alienating protesters from reasonable minded people who might have taken an interest in their views. But is media attention an effective way of causing change? Not really. Once the protesters start repeating their actions, the novelty wears thins. These protesters know that their actions won’t interfere with the operations of the financial institutions they so hate. But they don’t care. Their need to feel worthy takes over. It’s more about having feelings of self-worth, by attaching themselves to a movement that doesn’t actually affect change. Do you think that protesters have the absolute right cause civil disobedience or are their actions counter-productive?