From Watts Up With That?
Essay by Eric Worrall
Deanna “Violet” Maree Coco, who used a truck and flares to set up an illegal road block on Sydney’s main harbour crossing, has just walked free from jail on appeal.
Court revokes ‘false’ jail sentence for Harbour Bridge climate change protester
A protester who blocked the Sydney Harbour Bridge to raise awareness about the climate crisis has successfully had her jail sentence quashed on appeal.
Published 15 March 2023 at 2:24pm
- Coco and three others drove a Hino truck onto the Harbour Bridge on 13 April 2022 as part of an environmental protest
- Judge Williams noted police had included a “false fact” and a “false assertion” in their case against Coco.
- He also said she was channelling her diagnosed climate anxiety into productive community work.
A 15-month jail sentence handed to a climate protester who blocked a lane on the Sydney Harbour Bridge with a truck has been quashed.
Deanna “Violet” Maree Coco, 32, was issued with a 12-month conditional release order on Wednesday after District Court Judge Mark Williams heard she had initially been imprisoned on false information from NSW Police.
Coco and three others drove a Hino truck onto the Harbour Bridge in morning peak traffic on 13 April 2022, as part of an environmental protest against climate inaction for Fireproof Australia.
Climbing onto the roof of the vehicle alongside Alan Russell Glover, the pair lit orange flares and live-streamed the protest.
He noted police had included a “false fact” and a “false assertion” in their case against Coco that an ambulance with sirens and flashing lights were impeded from crossing the bridge to get to an emergency because of the protest.
…Read more: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/court-revokes-false-jail-sentence-for-harbour-bridge-climate-change-protester/s8gamn2z4
What’s next on the agenda of these climate extremists? Will they use mortars instead of flares for their next protest? Maybe blow up the next bridge rather than simply blocking it? Does someone actually have to die before they see some real jail time?
I’m not criticising or questioning the legality of Justice Williams’ decision, but this decision may have serious political consequences. In my opinion Coco’s interaction with the court system will likely be perceived by Coco and her fellow extremists as an empowering experience for disruptive climate protestors.
Maybe “Coco” has learned her lesson, and doesn’t plan to break any more laws. But given her long history of extreme climate action, I somehow doubt it.
I’m guessing Sydney can look forward to a lot more disruptive climate protests in 2023.
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