A climate activism movement that aims to “make it impossible to own a huge polluting 4×4 in the world’s urban areas” is picking up momentum and could soon be coming to Australian cities.

The Tyre Extinguishers, which originated in Europe last year, is a “leaderless, autonomous movement of groups” that is deflating tyres on “massive and unnecessary vehicles” in order to cause inconvenience to their owners.

The radical movement believes the government and politicians have “failed to protect us” and is taking matters into its own hands.

The fringe group frequently posts photos of SUVs with deflated tyres on Twitter. It has a step-by-step guide on its website, as well as a flyer that can be printed out and left on victimised vehicles.

The Tyre Extinguishers recently put a call out saying it needs people in Melbourne and wants to “get the party started there”.

This particular statement was in response to a Twitter user posting a photo of a Ram 1500 pickup protruding from a parking space into a bike lane.

When approached by news.com.au, the Tyre Extinguishers said the group has been faced with “no legal issues”, and then Australia is its “next big target”.

“It’s very hard to get caught doing this, unless SUV owners are going to stay up all night, every night defending their vehicle in the off chance we appear,” said a spokesperson to news.com.au.

“If someone is caught, there’s a debate about whether what we are doing is even illegal. In the UK, police forces are divided about whether it’s a crime to let the air out of a tyre or not.

“It may not even meet the threshold for criminal damage.”

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Jack Quick

Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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