A 22-year-old coal activist has been sentenced to 12 months jail – six months without parole – for taking nonviolent direct action as part of the Blockade Australia mobilisation in Muloobinba/Newcastle.
Sergieo Herbert was arrested last week after he stopped a coal train for 5 hours by climbing on top of it.
He was then arrested under suspicion the following week on Kooragang Island, walking in the National Park.
He was charged with Assist in Obstruction of Rail Locomotive and Hinder Mining Equipment.
The sentencing magistrate was Janine Lacy, wife of NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham.
Regarding his action, Mr Herbert, said:
‘We’re taking our future back. When the government decides it’s going to destroy its people through ecocide- the people will rise up.
‘This is what real democracy looks like. This is what a real vote means. We all know that Australia’s rigged democracy does not represent us. It is time we take our power back by getting in the way of economic arteries across this continent.’
In the last 2 weeks activists have been given charges that carry 25 year sentences.
Blockade Australia said Mr Herbert’s action was taken to oppose the role Australia plays in the climate and ecological crisis.
‘This response from the legal system only further exposes Australia as a deliberately designed racket that is intent on self-preservation and the protection of the ruling class.’
‘Without people like Sergeio who push back against state repression and harsh application of the law, the state will continue to punish people without accountability or consequence.’
The decision comes after Blockade Australia completed two weeks of nonviolent direct action at the massive coal port in Newcastle.
The collective is calling for supporters to participate in mass, disruptive action in Sydney next year June 27 – July 2nd.