Activists say this will be a ‘week of resistance’ in Australia’s biggest city
Ten minste 11 people were arrested during a climate protest in Sydney when a group of environmental activists blocked a major tunnel in the north of the city.
Chaos reigned as protest group Blockade Australia used a car to block the North Sydney entrance of the Sydney Harbour Tunnel at rush hour.
The group has promised a “week of resistance” in Australia’s biggest city and have called for radical action to cut the country’s koolstofvrystellings and “resist climate destruction”.
The protests came after the New South Wales government announced it would crack down on demonstrators disrupting traffic.
“Southbound traffic on the Warringah Freeway and Gore Hill Freeway remains heavy back to Artarmon,” Sydney’s Transport Management Centre said in a statement.
“Motorists should continue to allow plenty of extra travel time as traffic eases.”
Protesters were also filmed throwing debris at police officers and speeding up to avoid capture.
9News reported that “the tactic seems to be keeping their speed up so police can’t contain or surround”.
The deputy premier for New South Wales, Paul Toole, said in March that new regulations would make it an offence to disrupt any bridge or tunnel across Greater Sydney.
On the Facebook page of Blockade Australia, one activist wrote: “Ecosystem collapse is now, it’s happening now. It’s happening now and Australia is blocking it. And we’re here to block Australia.”
The demonstrators were reportedly cleared from the area within an hour.
Sophie McNeill, Australia researcher at Human Rights Watch, told Bloomberg that the new laws were “vindictive” and violate protesters’ “basic rights”.
Australia is one of the world’s biggest carbon emitters on a per capita basis and is the world’s top exporter of coal and liquefied natural gas.