• Heidi Pietschner

Blockade Australia protest: Selfish demonstrations or a necessary disruption?

10 people were arrested after protesters blocked the Sydney Harbour Tunnel.

A 22-year-old woman who allegedly locked herself to the steering wheel of her car, blocking the Sydney Harbour Tunnel, has faced outrage from politicians & commuters.


It's been reported that the driver, identified as Mali, lived in Lismore during the recent flooding crisis.


The car blocked many lanes of traffic, leading to the Harbour Tunnel being closed & creating inconveniences for commuters that morning.


As a result of this morning's protest, 10 people have now been arrested, and are reportedly facing up to 2 years in jail - in addition to large fines after new protest laws passed in April.


Regarding the protests, Assistant Commissioner and Strike Force Guard Commander Paul Dunstan said in a statement that "there is a way to do it and way they did it today is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated."

"Expect a knock on your door. We will be coming to arrest you."

Footage has shown people knocking over orange bollards put in place by the police to deliberately block police in their path.


As well as this, protesters have been reportedly throwing garbage bins across Sydney streets.

Blockade Australia, the organisers of this demonstration, have declared that protests of this nature will continue throughout the week, targeting coal imports and other industries.


Organisers say this protest has been in the works for month, and many other acts of defiance have taken place recently - including activists climbing cranes, resulting in the shutting of ports.


Last November, the Port of Newcastle was forced to temporarily shut, with the protestors getting released on bail after being sentenced to 4 months behind bars.


Many are in support of Blockade Australia's actions over the past few months and what they have been planning for the next few days - however there are others who have voiced their opinions, saying that these protests are too disruptive and inconvenient.


NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has stated that "these people are bloody idiots, and they will face the full force of the law," while NSW Transport Minister David Elliott has told 2GB the way Blockade Australia chooses to protest is "selfish."


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