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Byron Shire
August 5, 2021

Lock-on at Bottlebrush Crescent 5G upgrade site

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About 80 protesters have gathered around a sleeping-dragon lock-on device at the Bottlebrush Crescent communications tower site. Photo supplied.

So far there have been five arrests as a group of about 80 activists from SAFE TECH and members of the local community have gathered this morning to hold a peaceful blockade at the Bottlebrush Crescent communications tower in Suffolk Park shortly after Telstra technicians arrived to start a planned 5G upgrade.

Aaron from Mullumbimby locked himself into the ‘sleeping dragon’ device before workers arrived this morning. Photo supplied.

Police and rescue services are on-site to manage a man who has locked-on to a ‘sleeping dragon’ device – a car with no wheels, that has been anchored into the ground – which was put in place at the site over the weekend.

Northern Rivers for Safe Technology spokesperson Rinat Strahlhofer said that two mothers and three men who were protecting the lock-on have been arrested.

Ms Strahlhofer said that Byron Bay was widely regarded as an anti-5G stronghold, and the community would do everything in its power to keep it that way.

‘Telstra are blatantly disregarding community opposition to the water tank upgrade at Bottlebrush Crescent despite receiving more than 3,025 online objections and 228 objecting petitions.

‘The magnitude of corporate greed playing out across the 5G landscape is beyond belief. This is an untested technology that will involve the deployment of 26-28 GHz infrastructure, millimetre waves and small cell antenna which have never been researched for long-term health risks or cumulative exposure on humans and other living beings.

Ms Strahlhofer said existing levels of wireless radiation already raise red flags in terms of biological impacts. 5G will take things to a whole new terrifying level, all in the name of faster download and mobile speeds.’

SAFE TECH say the Suffolk Park tower is less than 50m from residents’ homes, less than 300m from Byron Bay Preschool and the Skate Park, and 100m from the vulnerable flying-fox camp in Beech Drive.

Anti-5G signs in place at the site.

‘Telstra’s decision to push on with the 5G roll-out in the Byron Shire represents negligence of the highest order. The safety of 5G mobile phones and millimetre wave exposure for children has never been tested. However, it has been scientifically proven that children absorb twice as much radio frequency electromagnetic radiation than an adult,’ said Ms Strahlhofer.

‘Parents have a right to demand health and safety for our children, and to question the relentless quest for “bigger, better, faster”.’

Rescue workers are currently digging out the sleeping-dragon car. Photo supplied.

To date, the only tower activated in the Byron Shire is at St Helena Road in McLeods Shoot, which SAFE TECH says was installed under the radar without any direct consultation with local residents.

‘Telstra has notified Northern Rivers for Safe Technology that it plans to complete 5G upgrades across all its proposed sites in the Byron Shire by early September. Sites still to be upgraded include Byron Bay, Byron Art and Industry Estate and Mullumbimby.

Ms Strahlhofer said the community needs to continue its vigilance, now more than ever. Telstra has recently been reported in mainstream media saying that it will not give up on rolling out 5G networks to areas where residents fiercely oppose 5G because it believes residents will eventually warm to it.

‘We are here to say that after more than two years of advocacy, lobbying and active campaigning, we will not back down because we’re fighting for our children’s future.’

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  1. I’m amused by the way the Echo reports all these hysterical claims and nonsense without ever noting that they are completely unsupported in the science literature.
    That’s not responsible journalism.

  2. No social distancing and not a mask in sight. How very socially conscious of them . I hope the all got fined as well as arrested
    I’ll bet not one of them has had a covid test or a vaccination either

  3. No masks and where are their alfoil hats? Hate to be cynical but didn’t these people use the internet for their research but didn’t look up inverse square rule for radiation. Did they use their mobile phones?

  4. So Clinton Northey, a Senior Town Planner for a corporate company in Victoria and apparently speaking for Telstra, states in his letter to those opposing the 5G in our neighbourhood (many thousands of kilometres from Victoria), that Telstra and Ventia (whoever the hell they are) are relying on studies done on mobile technology from over 10 years ago… at least 5 years before 5G technology appeared. Well that makes total sense.
    Now we have the police blocking off a private road, providing protection for corporate workers who are actually endangering our community. More great optics for the Police! And they wonder why we don’t trust them.
    This is looking more like fascism than democracy!

  5. What a bunch of left wing impeciles. Hypocritical to dump a car on the trail along with concrete and metal, great for the environment. Most of the community want and need the Telstra upgrade and most are disgusted at the way you minority keep hindering it. Get a life. I bet you get your welfare payments through your internet which you use.

  6. to all you eager believers in what-the-gubbamin-promotes-has-to-be-true: deflecting from the issue – here: the human right to protest (against a radiation-contaminated environment) – has to be done smartly. at no outdoor events do masks have to be worn in the northern rivers.

  7. C’mon Echo, how about a balanced view? The Flat Earth Society is an amusing collective, but to throw any kudos their way is irresponsible.
    They’ve obviously not been to school with kids who’ve had polio.
    I find this type of dogma appalling, unfortunately the downside of the internet.

  8. Cue the comments from basement-dwelling gaming addicts who think that the primary purpose of 5G is faster Internet. Hint: it isn’t.

  9. The US National Institute for Science, Law & Public Policy: “NISLAPP considers it a mistake to place new high-frequency radiating antennas in local communities, in very close proximity to homes, offices and schools, when no pre-market health testing at scale has been conducted on the effects of the radiation emitted….”

    Professor Trevor Marshall, Director of the Autoimmunity Research Foundation, California: “Allowing this technology to be used without proving its safety is reckless in the extreme, as the millimeter waves are known to have a profound effect on all parts of the human body.”

    Brussels region Environment minister Céline Fremault: “The people of Brussels are not guinea pigs whose health I can sell at a profit. We cannot leave anything to doubt.”

    Joel M. Moskowitz, director of the Center for Family and Community Health in the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley: “We should support the recommendations of the 250 scientists and medical doctors who signed the 5G Appeal that calls for an immediate moratorium on the deployment of 5G and demand that our government fund the research needed to adopt biologically based exposure limits that protect our health and safety.”

    Professor Emeritus Martin Pall from Washington State University: “Putting in tens of millions of 5G antennae without a single biological test of safety has got to be about the stupidest idea anyone has had in the history of the world.”

  10. A few of the leading Anti 5G protestors drive cars with anti collision systems that emit 77Ghz mm radar frequencies for a distance of 250 metres from the front of the vehicle and 27Ghz from the rear . Watching the helicopter parents dropping off their children at the Steiner School with Anti 5 stickers plastered over their cars and yet they are spraying the children with 77Ghz radar , oh what a conundrum and hypocrisy

  11. They were using bluetooth speakers that utilise wireless electromagnetic radiation to function…but that’s OK right?.
    If you talk to this lot, they have absolutely no understanding of the science, they reference some articles but don’t understand the science and simply don’t care.
    Its so damaging to positive protest movements for real issues like climate change.

  12. “it has been scientifically proven that children absorb twice as much radio frequency” – really? State your source or give a reference – otherwise this is just another nonsense ambit claim.

  13. The knockrow tower I lived under for 12 years has given me seizers I will have them for the rest of my life .
    Up until 2018 I had never been sick a day in my life , good luck with this dribble people

      • Electrosensitivity is a real issue, despite what you may hear from a celebrity pro-industry scientist. There is not justification in insulting people who are likely to be suffering from it.

  14. We (as a family) believe in peoples right to protest the unbridled machine of electromagnetic radiation.
    But we (he /him) don’t agree with their right to use high frequency Bluetooth speaker and high radio frequency hand held communication devices without undertaking the appropriate post doctorate research in long term biological effect of radio frequency.
    We (her/she) also believe they should remove themselves from lower frequency electromagnetic radiation sources close to the Tropic of Capricorn and migrate southwards to avoid genetic mutations in their skin which underpin Malignant tumours of the skin such as squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.

  15. I do get insulted when these protesters are called left wing. More likely right wing qanon conspiracy wackos. You do know everyday we receive much more electromagnetic radiation from the sun, hence up warnings.

  16. Wow so many ignorant comments. People just love to project nonsense diatribe onto others – any excuse. The fact is that we have absolutely no proof at all that this experimental technology is safe… in fact, growing bodies of scientists internationally are calling it into question such as Professor Emeritus Martin Pall from Washington State University: “Putting in tens of millions of 5G antennae without a single biological test of safety has got to be about the stupidest idea anyone has had in the history of the world.” He’s probably spot on.

    Also, the 5g network lays the foundation for the fourth industrial revolution (internet of things, robots, Ai systems etc) There are a vast amount of people in the community that want to have a broader and deeper conversation about this before it rolls through the entire globe! Fair enough?


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