Last Friday, a young woman who briefly blocked one lane of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in a protest over governments’ refusal to halt climate change was jailed for 15 months and then denied bail for an appeal, WSWS's Mike Head reports.
NSW Council for Civil Liberties president Josh Pallas condemned the ruling, pointing out: “Peaceful protest sometimes involves inconvenience to the public. But inconvenience is not a sufficient reason to prohibit it.”
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet yesterday brushed aside such objections and personally hailed Coco’s jailing. “If protesters want to put our way of life at risk, then they should have the book thrown at them and that’s pleasing to see,” he said.
The NSW government, through Attorney General Mark Speakman, has backed this criminalisation of dissent. Speakman issued a statement on Friday evening claiming that “the government supports the right of all individuals to participate in lawful protest and dissent.” But, he insisted, “this had to be weighed against the right of ordinary members of the public to move about safely and freely in their day-to-day lives.”
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