(Bloomberg) -- A group of protesters calling for radical action to cut Australia’s carbon emissions shut one of Sydney’s major roads on Monday morning, the beginning of what they’ve said will be a “week of resistance” in the country’s biggest city.
More than 100 demonstrators from the climate protest group Blockade Australia sparked chaotic scenes in Sydney’s central business district on Monday during the morning commute, when they blocked major roads including the Harbour Tunnel.
In videos from the scene, posted to social media by the group, activists said they were taking action because the world was “in a climate emergency” and Australia wasn’t doing enough to stop it.
“Ecosystem collapse is now, it’s happening now. It’s happening now and Australia is blocking it. And we’re here to block Australia,” one activist said on the Blockade Australia Facebook. While the demonstration cleared within an hour, the group has promised a “week of resistance” across Sydney.
In recent years, Australian state governments have introduced tough laws designed to punish climate action protesters such as Extinction Rebellion who attempt to highlight the climate emergency by disrupting public transport and business activities.
Under new laws passed by the state government of New South Wales, climate protesters who demonstrate without permission on public roads, rail lines, tunnels or bridges can face fines of A$22,000 ($15,200) and as long as two years in jail.
Sophie McNeill, Australia researcher at Human Rights Watch, described the new laws as “vindictive” in a statement on June 22, saying they violate protesters’ “basic rights.”
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.
BNN Bloomberg Picks
Rubik's cube is going digital as Spin Master buys out game studio
Jamie Murray's Top Picks: August 10, 2022
What to know about insurance in 'summer of travel hell'
Flight issues? What you need to know about compensation
Canadians seeking side hustles amid cooling jobs market: Nextdoor CEO
David Baskin's Top Picks: August 9, 2022