Sunday Feb 05, 2023

Sydney climate activists resume protest


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Climate protesters have resumed their campaign of mass disruption in Sydney’s CBD as NSW Police maintain a heavy presence on Sydney’s major roads and bridges.

A group of around 40 people from Blockade Australia congregated in Sydney’s Hyde Park at 8am on Tuesday and started marching east up William St, the major thoroughfare to Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

Police are stationed on every corner, including the riot squad, mounted police and the PolAir helicopter is hovering above the demonstration.

Ten Blockade Australia protesters were arrested in Sydney on Monday, including a 22-year-old woman who chained herself to the steering wheel of her car at the entrance to the Sydney Harbour Tunnel.

The activists, seven of whom were refused bail, face multiple obstruction and disruption charges and will appear in court on Tuesday.

Blockade Australia spokesman James Woods issued a statement on Tuesday endorsing the action which will continue all week.

“Resistance will continue. Blockade Australia will again take to the streets tomorrow, to continue disrupting Australia’s destruction where it began,” he said.

Premier Dominic Perrottet says the action is “disrespectful” and won’t be tolerated.

“It has to stop, the police are out in force today and they’ll make the arrests and my expectation is they will face the full force of the law,” he told Sydey radio 2GB.

Police Minister Paul Toole said it was infuriating.

“I’m furious. The public are furious,” he told the Nine Network.

“These are professional pests.

Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek says it’s important that people respect the law while protesting.

“I understand people feel strongly but you’ve also got a right to make your views publicly known,” she told ABC radio.

“You don’t have a right to break the law while you’re doing it.”

Blockade Australia spokesman Jonah Shabtay told AAP the protests were designed to demonstrate the effects of the collapse of the climate.

“(The protests are) really for making it quite known and unavoidable that disruption is going to come from climate collapse, in which Sydney’s economy is largely responsible,” he said.

“In order to respond to that we’re choosing to disrupt the city.”

Mr Shabtay said the group had moved away from its previous tactic of targeting ports and was focusing on roads in Sydney’s CBD.

“It’s essentially going to be traffic disruptions that we’ll see throughout the week.”

Protesters who disrupt major roadways, ports and railways can be charged with newly legislated penalties of up to two years in prison and a fine of $22,000.

– AAP





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