Life Science Environment ‘Direct action’ climate activist arrested on fifth day of rolling anti-coal protests

‘Direct action’ climate activist arrested on fifth day of rolling anti-coal protests

blockade australia newcastle
Dangling from bridges, like this 2021 Newcastle protest, is a favourite Blockade Australia tactic.Photo: Blockade Australia
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Climate activists have struck for the fifth day in a row outside a Sydney shipping terminal used to transport coal.

A 29-year-old suspended himself from the Botany Road bridge, disrupting road and rail traffic early on Saturday morning.

Police said they arrested the man within 20 minutes of arriving at the scene but two city-bound lanes of Botany Road remained closed to traffic.

The Queensland man was refused bail to appear at Parramatta Bail Court on Sunday.

Eight protesters, including the man arrested on Saturday, have now been charged for their involvement in the protests, which have been taking place on a daily basis since Tuesday.

On Thursday, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke announced two German nationals would be deported on “good order grounds” for their involvement in a similar incident.

Three protesters will face Parramatta Local Court after being arrested and charged on Friday for their parts in the protests.

In a statement from the group organising the protests, Blockade Australia, Saturday’s protester, identified only as Wenzel, said the only way to address the climate crisis was by hindering commercial operations.

‘Living through climate collapse’

“Other methods of protest don’t work,” he said. “Direct action does, as we have seen throughout history.

“We are living through climate collapse, it’s here now and it’s more important than ever to take collective action.”

The protests have sparked a beefed-up response from the NSW government, with the threat of two years in jail and $22,000 fines for disrupting traffic.

NSW Acting Premier Paul Toole on Thursday dubbed the protests “disgraceful”, while Greens MP David Shoebridge said the government’s response was a “politically motivated crackdown on legitimate political expression”.


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