Climate activist jailed in Australia for disrupting coal port

Climate group Blockade Australia has been protesting in Newcastle, demanding end to coal exports, climate action

09:27 - 9/07/2024 Tuesday
File photo
File photo

A 21-year-old climate activist was sentenced to three months in jail on Monday for disrupting the coal port in Newcastle, southeastern Australia.

Blockade Australia, a climate group, has been protesting in Newcastle since late June, demanding end to coal exports in the region and climate action.

Laura Davy, the first convicted person of the 30 protesters arrested so far, was jailed after shutting down the port's loading facility on Sunday, according to a written statement from the climate group.

The group claimed to have stopped coal trains, adding up to more than 100 hours of disruption.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation said the protests delayed more than 500 passenger trains. Moreover, trains on a major rail line will be suspended until early Tuesday due to a police operation in the region, a local rail operator said on Monday.

The right to protest in Australia is not absolute and can be subject to restrictions. The government of New South Wales, which includes Newcastle, passed a law in 2022 that criminalizes a range of protests around "major facilities," including ports, train stations, airports and power stations.

In 2023, another climate protester received a 15-month sentence for blocking a lane on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This sentence was later overturned on appeal.

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16 days ago