“May I just say to all delegates I apologise for the way this process has unfolded and I am deeply sorry. I understand the deep disappointment but I think as you have noted, it’s also vital that we protect this package.” – Alok Sharma, President of 2021 United Nations climate change conference (COP26).
I found both the tears by Alok Sharma and the standing ovation from the COP26 delegates after he shed them a bit hard to take. Especially given the failure of the UN to get two of the biggest emitters, China and Russia, to the conference. Meanwhile in Brisbane Qld coppers do what they do best, arrest marchers trying to give solidarity to Sergeio Herbert (Blockade Australia) thrown in prison for a year (he has since been granted bail to appeal the sentence). NSW police came up with the ludricous charge of ““intent to kill or injure person on railway” against Sergeio and his friends.
There’s a peaceful climate justice protests (sic) down on the street in the city; police have been very rough. I haven’t seen the police be this rough in quite some time. They’ve arrested people, they push people, they provoke people … – Jonathan Sri, councillor for the Gabba Ward BCC.
Chants: “This is not a police state, demand the right to demonstrate.”
As you might have been aware, a climate activist … was arrested down in New South Wales and given 12 months in prison, just for participating in nonviolent civil disobedience. – Jonathan Sri, councillor for the Gabba Ward BCC.
The councillor went on to describe the reason for the march and ensuing arrests:
It wasn’t even a huge group of protesters. It was literally like probably about 100, maybe less. gathered on the roadmap, actually, and peacefully raising concerns about the fact that their friend down in New South Wales has just been given a 12 month jail sentence for a peaceful participating in non violent civil disobedience against the coal industry.
Climate Action is important. But even if you don’t think it’s important, surely you would agree that people have the right to peaceful protests in a so called healthy democracy.
Here is a recent article in the The Echo about activist who has been jailed for participating in Blockade Australia.
Coal activist given 12 month jail sentence over Newcastle action
A 22-year-old coal activist has been sentenced to 12 months jail – six months without parole – for taking nonviolent direct action as part of the Blockade Australia mobilisation in Muloobinba/Newcastle.
Sergieo Herbert was arrested last week after he stopped a coal train for 5 hours by climbing on top of it.
He was then arrested under suspicion the following week on Kooragang Island, walking in the National Park.
He was charged with Assist in Obstruction of Rail Locomotive and Hinder Mining Equipment.
The sentencing magistrate was Janine Lacy, wife of NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham.
Regarding his action, Mr Herbert, said:
‘We’re taking our future back. When the government decides it’s going to destroy its people through ecocide- the people will rise up.
‘This is what real democracy looks like. This is what a real vote means. We all know that Australia’s rigged democracy does not represent us. It is time we take our power back by getting in the way of economic arteries across this continent.’
In the last 2 weeks activists have been given charges that carry 25 year sentences.
Blockade Australia said Mr Herbert’s action was taken to oppose the role Australia plays in the climate and ecological crisis.
‘This response from the legal system only further exposes Australia as a deliberately designed racket that is intent on self-preservation and the protection of the ruling class.’
‘Without people like Sergeio who push back against state repression and harsh application of the law, the state will continue to punish people without accountability or consequence.’
The decision comes after Blockade Australia completed two weeks of nonviolent direct action at the massive coal port in Newcastle.
The collective is calling for supporters to participate in mass, disruptive action in Sydney next year June 27 – July 2nd.