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.
‘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.
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.