NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet may be pleased that a Sydney magistrate jailed protestor Deanna ‘Violet’ Coco on Friday but he is out of step with international and Australian human rights and climate change groups and activists. City Hub's Wendy Bacon reports.
On Monday, protests were held in Sydney, Canberra and Perth calling for the release of Coco who blocked one lane of the Sydney Harbour Bridge for half an hour during a morning peak hour in April. She climbed onto the roof of a truck holding a flare to draw attention to the global climate emergency and Australia’s lack of preparedness for bushfires.
One of those attending the protest was Josh Pallas, President of NSW Council for Civil Liberties. NSWCCL has been defending the right to protest in NSW for more than half a century.
In a media release, he said, “Peaceful protest should never result in jail time. It’s outrageous that the state wastes its resources seeking gaol time and housing peaceful protestors in custody at the expense of taxpayers. Protestors from Fireproof Australia and other groups have engaged in peaceful protest in support of stronger action on climate change, a proposition that is widely supported by many Australians across the political divide and now finding themselves ending up in prison. Peaceful protest sometimes involves inconvenience to the public. But inconvenience is not a sufficient reason to prohibit it. It’s immoral and unjust.”
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