Protestors gather at MCEC as mining conference kicks off

Police are prepared for further disruption following the recent Extinction Rebellion protests with activists pledging to cause havoc at a major mining conference which kicks off at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre today.

The Blockade IMARC Activist Alliance, which has more than 1000 attendees on their social media accounts, is planning “disruptive” behaviour and “civil disobedience” at the International Mining and Resources Conference, which has attracted 7000 delegates from around the world.

This morning a small group of protesters gathered outside the MCEC, but police have prepared for the worst, with extra officers brought in from other regions to help keep the peace.

The IMARC Activist Alliance have stated they are looking to shut down as much of the event as they can, saying these are “urgent times and they call for an urgent mass response”.

“Blockade IMARC Alliance organisers aim to use mass civil disobedience to disrupt the climate and corporate criminals,” they said in a statement.

Yesterday saw 80 activists meet to outline their strategy for disruption using decoy groups to distract police, blocking entrances to the centre and attempting to get into the conference itself.

There are reports that the protest organisers may have also got hold of the internal email list of the conference, as they look to find ways to disrupt the conference schedule.

“Our intelligence would suggest we’ll see significant and sustained protest activity,” Acting Commander Tim Tully said.

“We will act and we will act swiftly. Our intention is to facilitate a peaceful protest.”

Blockade IMARC Activist Alliance spokeswoman Emma Black said their action was necessary to “highlight the climate emergency”.

“We refuse to be intimidated,” she said.