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Byron Shire
April 12, 2021

Locals arrested at Byron bypass and Brisbane protests

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Paul Bibby

Seventeen locals have sacrificed their liberty for environmental causes in the last 24 hours.

At the Rebellion Day protest in Brisbane yesterday around 15 locals were arrested and detained.

Mullumbimby resident Laing Kerns-Stokes was among those arrested for failing to obey a police direction while blocking a busy intersection in the Brisbane CBD.

‘I was willing to get arrested for what I believe is an ethical choice,’ he said.

‘If we just simply participate in the capitalist society we’re contributing to potential extinction.

A protester at the Rebellion Day rally in Brisbane yesterday. Image supplied

‘Something needs to change drastically. We need to cut fossil fuels and end deforestation. The government is not taking that into account, so it falls to the people to make a statement and the only way we really have available to us to do that is by getting arrested.’

He was held in the Brisbane police watch house for 14 hours.

Police say they charged 56 people overall during the protests following traffic disruptions, though protestors put that number at 72.

Bypass protest

At the Byron bypass protest two men in their 30s were arrested and detained yesterday after a man not connected to the protest made a complaint to police.

One of the men, Liam Manley, was forcibly arrested, with police reportedly using capsicum spray.

Mr Manley said that he was arrested after seeking to protect his fellow protester.

‘They just grabbed him, two or three of them, just kept trying to arrest him – I just said you’ve no jurisdiction to do this,’ he said.

‘They started forcing him into the paddy wagon.

‘I started pushing from behind him. A cop came through the middle and sprayed me with capsicum spray. I just pushed them all out and they were just all on me. I raised an arm and connected with the shoulder of a police officer.

‘They said that was assault of a police officer.’

‘I grabbed onto a pole, then a fourth police officer came in and eventually they got me down. I didn’t put my arms behind my back as they asked me. They tried to pull my arms out and rebroke my wrist.’

Mr Manley was charged with resisting police, assaulting an officer while in execution of duty, and resisting an officer while in the execution of duty.

He was then taken to Byron police station and held in the lock-up for a number of hours.

Construction of the bypass continues.

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  1. So all these people that went and protested etc….how’d you all get there..????…did you all drive, or bus, or walk..????…do you all think that what you’re doing isn’t going to change anything….?….how’d you all get back home afterwards….

  2. 15 arrested & detained at Rebellion & 2 at
    Byron Bypass… still it’s got to be done
    since our Federal & State Governments
    just continue to play dead. Can’t they
    understand that the people of this land
    are ‘on strike’ & will not stop until those
    we employed sit up, wake up or leave.


    Erratic chimes!
    clock down!
    lock down!

  3. So I wonder where our Greens Councillors stand on the XR protestors ? … ’cause we know where they stand on the environmentally destructive bypass.

  4. A massive thankyou to all those who are standing up and being counted in the fight to save our planet and protect life as we know it. You are HEROES.
    As for the nitpicking weaklings that snarl and snipe from the sidelines, the lives of your grandchildren are on the line, too, if/when climate catastrophe hits. So wake up, grow a spine and stand up for once in YOUR lives.

  5. Brendon, 2 buses, three well stacked cars, and an EV or two. It’s called doing your best with what you’ve got.

    Will more people respond to the accute scientific warnings? Will people, you, reconsider what they are going to do with their spare time over the next few months: go off on holidays and dream while our world crumbles around us? Or will people reschedule their time at this most critical moment in the evolution of humanity?

    We need two hundred thousand people on the streets in Brisbane. This is our last chance to quell the fire before our house burns down. It’s your choice sit in your house or come out on the streets and make our loudest statement to the governments. We the People demand immediate emergency action on carbon emissions reductions. We will accept nothing less for our children and the future of the Earth.

  6. The Byron by pass will all be under water in 50 years if we don’t so stop burning fossil fuels, Therefor one protest is vital i salute the protesters, the other is futile.

  7. ignorance is bliss and active indifference is killing us all…this BS council are greenwashing liers who are here to do the bidding of big hotel developers and peoperty speculators.. furthermore there is a company called “Sons of Bavaria” who have just set up shop at 20A Gardens street Mullumbimby.. they have Exploration liceses and plan to mine the upper catchments of the Clarence River for cobalt nickel, copper and other metals..EVs may not use fossil fuel but the battery bank needs to be replaced every four years and the minerals have to come from somewhere.. not to mention the tons of embedded carbon and Indirect Land use change …a question to the electric car enthusiasts in Northern NSW. ..are you really willing to sacrifice the the hwadwaters and the Mighty Clarence River?? for the feel-good sensation of driving a silent vehicle? i think you have all been conned once again by the Petroleum companies who dominate global trade i futures stock and are telling us that burning native forests for electricity to drive the EVs is a good thing…Biomass is NOT green and NOT clean and NOT renewable…wake up Ashtraylia!

  8. it has been an empowering day of civil disobedience in non-violent direct action in brisbane, in particular my (maiden) arrest, but… we need many more for the numbers it takes to make people power in the spirit of Gandhi’s satyagraha work. this is my holiday, Brendan & other doomsayers. i don’t need any other. to know in my heart that i’m doing nature justice is more than enough to have me stand up & stand on the ground staunch.

  9. So much for a peaceful Byron Bay bypass protest.
    Assaulting a Police Officer during the execution of duty is a serious charge. Not much smarts when this bloke admits the details to the media.
    He’ll probably just get a fine but a Control Order should be put in place.
    Maybe we should stop Centrelink payments to those convicted of an offence.

    • Criminal Law ” Callous disregard to the impacts of an Act that causes death is an act of Murder” There are people dying from the climate impacts of global warming, perhaps we should be arresting the murderers

      • Spare us the drama. This is a protest about using a street for a bypass and because an existing street is being used the removal of vegetation is minimised. The core issue is not related to the swamp which is south of the street.

        It is time you learnt to sort out your local planning issues without needing to call the police.

  10. The only work done on the Byron bypass has been the construction of two fences and they mistakenly cut down a cypress pine. Send the bypass down the old rail line, study said it could handle the bypass & rail trail, flat ready to go and done in a month.

  11. What work has been done on the bypass ? Two fences and mistaken felling of a cypress pine. Just send the bypass down the old rail line, it can handle it and the rail trail and be done in a month.


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