Extinction Rebellion protesters block Melbourne's King Street (Image: AAP/Erik Anderson)

It’s only a little over four months since Australia’s traditional media was waving the banner of freedom of expression in response to the AFP raids on journalists at News Corp and the ABC. Now, too many in the media are happy to sit back and watch while that same banner is hurriedly pulled down in the attack on Extinction Rebellion.

One minute, freedom of expression is fundamental. Next minute, well, free movement of traffic is much more important.

Some media commentators have gone further, using their platforms to deny the right of climate change demonstrators to use peaceful assembly as their own platform for free speech. Most spectacular was Kerri-Anne Kennerley's suggestion -- “in jest” apparently -- that the demonstrators be treated as speedbumps or put in jail and not fed.