More than thirty protesters were arrested on Monday at the Extinction Rebellion protest, some of whom were detained overnight.
The rally, which involved the use of nonviolent civil disobedience in order to spark government action against climate change, was attended by approximately 500 people. The arrests occurred when protesters were holding a sit-in on the road outside UTS.
According to a media release from Extinction Rebellion Youth, protesters as young as 13 were arrested by the police.
While some of the protesters were released without bail upon arriving at the police station, others were held overnight at Surry Hills Watchhouse after refusing to sign bail conditions which they deemed “draconian and outrageous.”
Extinction Rebellion Youth activist, Flynn (18), said “These conditions are a blatant attempt by the police to trample on the democratic rights of people to associate, to travel, to organise and to protest.”
“How dare they say that peacefully sitting on the road to save the planet means that all your democratic rights are forfeit.”
Based on a video of the arrests released by the University of Sydney Socialist Alternative, the National Union of Students LGBTI Officer and University of Sydney student Lily Campbell was dragged off by police from the sit in.
Campbell was subsequently detained by police for over 24 hours.
Her initial bail conditions included a ban on associating with other Extinction Rebellion members, a ban on attending any other Extinction Rebellion events and a two kilometre exclusion zone in the Sydney CBD.
Honi has heard reports that the aforementioned bail conditions were eventually dropped without new bail conditions being offered to Campbell for over five hours. She therefore remained in detention with bail being neither refused or granted. A member of Extinction Rebellion informed Honi that police had attributed the absence of new bail conditions to an ‘unspecified delay’. New South Wales Police did not comment in time of publication.
Speaking to Honi, Amy Lamont, a spokesperson of Extinction Rebellion Youth, said that the official charges pressed against the arrested protesters were obstruction of traffic and failure to comply with police directions. Lamont added that police were violent in carrying out these arrests, dragging protesters away while putting others in painful wrist locks.
NUS Ethnocultural Officer, Hersha Kadkol, stated “civil disobedience heroes of the past weren’t cowed by repression and today’s climate protesters will continue to fight.”
More than 250,000 people have signed an e-petition demanding Parliament declare a climate emergency. You can sign that petition here.