14 October 2020

This time last year, NSW Police arrested a group of Extinction Rebellion protestors for blocking traffic, and subjected them to draconian bail conditions banning them from the Sydney CBD or attending any protests anywhere. Now the charges have finally made it to court — where they were summarily thrown out. The magistrate ruled [$] that because the protestors had a valid permit allowing them to be on the road, the police had no power to move them on, and the case against them was therefore doomed to fail: “'(The protesters were) already allowed to be on the road, (which is) why the road was closed,’ she said. ‘(I’m) not satisfied there could be a lawful conviction.'” Scott Ludlam — one of those arrested — said: “Nobody undertakes these kinds of actions lightly. But in the year since we were arrested, the evidence has grown even stronger that the Australian Government is captive to the resources sector. We spent January in the middle of catastrophic bushfires, which should have been the final trigger for the rapid phase out of fossil fuels. Instead, Morrison has handed the keys to our economy to the gas sector. My biggest fear is not that we’ll be judged by the future as being too radical, or too disruptive. It’s that we’ll be seen as too timid.”