Providing legal advice, information, and advocacy to those fighting climate change.
During the increasing popularity of the Extinction Rebellion in late 2019 in South East Queensland, a small group of law students straddling the law and climate activist world became concerned about the lack of readily available legal information for protesters engaging in direct action.
Many long-time activists are aware of the risks and can confidently assert their rights during interactions with the police. Until Extinction Rebellion gained popularity, most actions were planned and ‘bunnies’ (arrestees) had the time and resources to learn their rights and get prepared. However, the model of Extinction Rebellion was for mass arrests of everyday people, until the issue could not be ignored. While a number of people were involved in planning, a lot more decided to show up and get arrested with minimal pre-planning. This was a rapidly changing landscape for climate activism, and Action Ready was concerned about people’s capacity to consent to engage in arrestable actions where they lacked information about potential consequences, and about their rights.
Action Ready was born from these concerns. They put together an “Activist Legals 101” flyer, with the assistance of pro bono lawyers, to hand out at protest actions, summarising some of the basics when interacting with police, what happens when you’re arrested, and the right to protest. Having this information available ensured people felt a little more prepared and supported, whether they were intending on taking arrestable action or not.