Environmental activists have called for several protests in Victoria and New South Wales states between Friday, December 13, and Sunday, December 22, to raise awareness for climate change as destructive bushfires have raged across eastern Australia since early November. On Friday, participants plan to hold a sit-in at 12:00 (local time) on Burwood Highway in Wantirna South (Victoria state). On Saturday, December 14, demonstrators are due to meet at 10:30 at Victoria Market in Melbourne (Victoria state). On Wednesday, December 18, activists plan to meet at 17:30 at the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne (Victoria state). On Friday, December 20, participants plan to gather from 08:00 at George Street in Sydney (New South Wales). On December 22, activists are due to hold a die-in from 14:00 at the Eastland Shopping Centre in Ringwood (Victoria state).
A heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions are expected near all protest sites.
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. At least four people have died due to the wildfires that broke out across eastern Australia since early November 2019. Around 20,000 people participated in a protest against climate change in Sydney on December 11.
Individuals in Victoria and New South Wales are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all protests as a precaution, anticipate transportation disruptions, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities.
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