Climate extremist group Tyre Extinguishers targets SUVs in Melbourne suburb of Toorak
activists have deflated the tyres of at least 15 SUVs in an affluent neighborhood. The Tyre Extinguishers group left messages on the windscreens of the vehicles in Toorak, claiming the 'gas-guzzlers' contribute to environmental harm while encouraging owners to consider using public transport as an alternative. The group confirmed on Friday that 'concerned citizens' had taken action to 'disarm' vehicles in Melbourne 'in the first action in a new wave of climate protest in Australia'. 'The Tyre Extinguishers is a new movement springing up across the globe, encouraging people to take action against urban SUVs,' the statement said. 'The Tyre Extinguishers are a leaderless group where citizens take action in their local area by using a website to learn how to deflate the tyres and to print off a leaflet to leave at the SUV to inform the owner of what has happened, for their safety.' Victoria Police are now investigating the incident. 'At least 10 four-wheel drive and sports utility vehicles in the vicinity of Tintern Avenue were tampered with,' a police spokeswoman said. 'Notes were also left on the vehicles describing the environmental impact of these types of vehicles. The investigation is ongoing.' One impacted owner bought his new vehicle just three days ago. 'I'm angry, disappointed, annoyed ... I tried to get to work nice and early and then this happened,' the man told 3AW. 'When I first read the note I laughed and said 'you've got to be kidding me'. 'They're taking more time and energy and pollution in printing these, and wasting people's time and energy.' The note left on windscreens read: 'ATTENTION your gas guzzler kills'. 'We have deflated one or more of your tyres,' the note read. 'You'll be angry, but just take a minute to think about why your car is a big problem. 'Car companies try to convince you that we need massive cars, but we don't. Driving around urban areas in your massive vehicle has huge consequences for others. 'SUVs and 4x4s are also a disaster for our climate. SUVs are the second-largest cause of the global rise in carbon dioxide emissions over the past decade more than the entire aviation industry. 'Even if you don't care about the impacts on people far away from you, perhaps think about the impacts around your neighbourhood. SUVs cause far more air pollution than smaller cars. 'SUVs are more likely to kill people than normal sedans in collisions. Psychological studies show SUV drivers are more likely to take risks and put others at risk. SUVs just aren't necessary, especially when most of us live in overcrowded cities. 'The world is facing a climate emergency. According to scientists and the United Nations, millions of people are already dying from the consequences of global heating droughts, fires, hurricanes, floods, forced migration and starvation. 'While the impacts on you so far have probably been minimal, everyday millions of people are directly affected. Emergency action is needed to reduce emissions immediately. 'That's why we've temporarily stopped you driving your SUV. Your tyre isn't damaged and you will have no difficulty getting around without your gas guzzler. Maybe try walking, cycling or using public transport.' Tyre Extinguishers said the group was taking action because SUVs were a 'climate disaster'. 'If SUV drivers were a country, they would be the sixth largest polluting country in the world,' it said. 'The Tyre Extinguishers want to see bans on SUVs in urban areas, pollution levies to tax SUVs out of existence, and massive investment in free, comprehensive public transport. 'But until politicians make this a reality, Tyre Extinguishers action will continue. We have no leader anyone can take part, wherever you are.' Police urge witnesses or anyone with CCTV or other footage to contact Crime Stoppers. It comes weeks after group members damaging the tyres of at least 60 SUVs at a car dealership in the UK. They justified their actions as a response to the tragic deaths of two eight-year-old schoolgirls. These girls lost their lives when a woman, while driving her Land Rover, crashed through a fence and into their school in southwest London on July 6. 'This act of retaliation is intended as a peaceful and nonviolent demonstration to draw attention to the presence of grossly-inappropriate private vehicles in our towns and cities,' the activists said. 'Tyre Extinguishers firmly believes that their action is a necessary escalation to try and stop these vehicles from wrecking further lives and continuing to push the worsening climate crisis off the cliff edge.'