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Byron Shire
February 27, 2021

Climate activists refused bail

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Protesters, Spoon and Jack, successfully stopped a coal train from entering Brisbane port. Photo Extinction Rebellion South East Queensland Facebook.

Scout Wallen

In a Queensland first, three climate protesters have been refused bail in a Brisbane magistrate court on the evening of December 4.

Two Extinction Rebellion (XR) protesters, known as ‘Spoon’ and ‘Jack’, successfully stopped all coal from entering Brisbane Coal Port for over an hour by standing on top of a train in Wynnum on Wednesday December 4.

Both were charged with trespass and obstruction of a railway, but only Jack was also charged with the serious assault of a police officer.

It is the third time this year that Queensland police have charged XR protesters seriously assaulting police officers.

Challenging the norm

Max Curmin, a spokesperson for XR said that the Queensland government had been taking a more hardline approach to climate protesters.

‘They’re trying to make an example out of these people to stop people fighting for a safe future,’ said Mr Curmin.

‘As negative as this is, this is the sort of thing that happens when you start to challenge the power of the establishment.’

Refusal of bail

Extinction Rebellion media spokesperson, Emma, has been refused bail. Photo Extinction Rebellion South East Queensland Facebook.

Emma, a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion, was charged with both trespass and obstruction of a railway.

Questions have been raised about the validity of the refusal of her bail as her charges were so minor they could be punishable by a fine.

The three are being held in remand at Brisbane Watch House until they appear in court via video link, on December 19.

This means they will be incarcerated for at least three weeks.

The effects of new protest legislation

This unprecedented decision comes after controversial protest laws were swiftly moved through Queensland parliament at the end of October which criminalised ‘locking devices’ and expanded police powers to search suspects.

Member for Maiwar and the first Greens representative elected to the Queensland Parliament, Michael Berkman, was the only member of parliament to vote against the introduction of these new protesting laws.

New Queensland laws have prohibited the use of ‘locking’ devices. Photo Extinction Rebellion South East Queensland Facebook.

According to Mr Berkman, the political discourse around the anti-protest laws is ‘feeding into the way police are trumping up charges and bringing a really heavy handed approach to this.

‘To now see that the discourse has shifted so that police decisions and court decisions are actually appearing to be affected by the politics is really shocking and I think a scary reality for us,’ said Mr Berkman.

‘By cracking down on particular groups protesting there is actually a real risk of creating greater division.’

Extinction Rebellion held a rally on 5 December to show support for and stand in solidarity with the jailed activists. Over 200 people attended the rally.

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  1. Bit stunned to observe Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s regime being reactivated by Labor.. does Morrison really need the competition?
    Interesting times indeed.

  2. Why has Emma been refused bail? What current
    QLD law supports this? Is it legal? I could go on
    questioning forever to no avail. Meanwhile…
    The Great Southern Land is on fire. Canada &
    the USA are here supporting our fire fighters
    because they are understanding of the ‘Climate
    Change’ problem when our own state & federal
    governments can’t be bothered by recognising
    the problem & just choose to ‘kiss’ a coal God.
    I see the flag & cross-bones in the distance.

    • How is it hysteria when exactly what has been predicted by scientists is now happening in Australia with the current state of the fires exacerbated by the climate trends. Someone has their head in the sand. People are losing homes and lives lost. Yeah nothing to see there, apparently. Just ignore the science. Carry on.

  3. Do we still have ‘rule of law’, even though we are in a ‘climate crisis’, or would people really prefer anarchy? At least the justice system works, regardless of your views, whereas anarchy would certainly not work for anyone.

  4. To stop people fighting for a safe future? You are not residing in some communist country where if you did try and protest, dragged away, with the possibility of spending 20 years in the slammer!
    Or worse !! Look its everyone’s free right to protest
    In Australia . “However you do not have the right to stop every day people going about there business ”
    Seriously go do something commendable and help the 40.000 teenagers homeless on the streets
    In Australia at anyone time !!

  5. Really proud of these activists… creative loving bunch, aren’t they?
    These rallies might seem extreme to those walking round with buckets of sand dribbling into their ears… reminds me of a wonderful Sea Shepherd attempt in the Southern oceans to intervene with chocolate mouse canons.

    These people are loving, creative & passionate about the planet we have the privilege to live on & are doing their absolute best to shine light on issues that self serving politicians are seriously lacking. University does not breed intelligence, unfortunately. In fact, given that most politicians, not all, are University trained, they have no respect for the institutions that have trained them. Things like research in Earth Sciences for example being replaced by psychological points of view, predecessors like Abbot & Howard attached to some group, a few years ago apparently, to conveniently attempt to tell Australians & the rest of anyone whom will give them any attention, miners & mining companies for example, that climate challenges are a mass psychological fad & well, what I say to them is, self interest, career interested, pension motivated politicians, miners & blind faith… look around at our beautiful country. Thanks for coming.. retire & leave the place to the people who care. There are a lot that are not institutionalised in blindness. It takes effort, personal responsibility & gratitude.
    It is very simple… the NSW Government intentionally removed financial resources 6months prior to summer that potentially would have given firies some more staff & equipment. We know that. If this were hypothetically, a business manufacturing vehicles, with a triage policy of say 5%.. we know it’s flawed, let’s do it anyway, it may never happen, these people would be in producing for negligence. Oh well! This is why there is no personal accountability.

    The federal position is like a bunch of hand me downs of the worst of the worst bunch in a squall of not present & unaccountability unless it’s changing laws to stop those who think for themselves.

    It’s a good day in Australia. We have the greatest blessing of home here. Let’s love our beautiful home. We are so very lucky to be here.

    Thank you to all those who love our planet.

  6. That a protester is arrested for serious assault will give readers shows how ER are alienating themselves from the QLD community, the overwhelming majority of whom believe in climate change. Success in the next election will go to those who show leadership on climate change, not those who violently force their response to climate change on the public

  7. I got arrested once – way back in Townsville, Qld.,
    simply for talking to 2 other people. We were on
    the footpath. J.B.P. had called a State Emergency
    & 3 humans meant a protest was ‘in play’. See how
    easy it is to get drop-kicked.


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