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Byron Shire
March 30, 2023

CSG activists ‘stand strong’

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Protesters at the Glenugie anti-coal-seam-gas (CSG) blockade have moved camp from the site where 18 people were arrested earlier this week but have vowed to continue their fight against Metgasco’s gas-mining plans.

They have also called for pro-bono lawyers who can help their campaign, especially in defending the ‘courageous people who offered themselves up for arrest on Monday’.

A group estimated at over 200 people tried to stop drilling rigs and related vehicles entering Metgasco’s test-drilling site on Monday.

Amica Sanday, from the CSG-Free Byron Shire group, told Echonetdaily the Glenugie camp moved yesterday morning to a private property around 800 metres north of the blockade site.

Ms Sanday urged northern rivers locals to ‘come and support’ and to ‘stay if they can’, as some of the protesters who’d been there for some time began to leave this week.

‘People who participated in the action on Monday are feeling strong and there is a general consensus that our commitment to non-violent direct action was successful in the face of very challenging police behaviour. Everyone is to be congratulated and should feel very proud of how our community was able to stand strong under pressure,’ she said.

‘There needs to be an ongoing presence at the rig as the flow of people and visitors past is constant and those people need have someone to talk to.’

Ms Sanday urged ‘anyone who was at the action and experienced or witnessed police misconduct’ to write statements about what they saw.

‘There is also a need to monitor and document activities, with video and photos, to make sure that the company adheres to its obligations to operate according to its licence conditions and work health and safety laws. ‘Any observations should also be documented in writing.’

Pro-bono lawyers are asked to contact Adam Guise on 0402 431 521 to show their support for the six men who had been held in police custody.

All six, who represented themselves in court, had either refused bail or failed to comply with bail conditions set down by police after they were arrested at the Glenugie anti-CSG blockade on Monday.

The charges against the 18 arrested on Monday related to either hindering police, obstructing vehicles or pedestrians, and/or entering private premises.

Six of the group, who refused to accept bail conditions not to return to the protest site and were kept in police custody overnight, were bailed the following day after appearing in Grafton Local Court.

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