“You should have the right to occupy the streets for a just cause”, Greens state MP David Shoebridge told demonstrators protesting the state Coalition government’s latest anti-protest laws outside NSW parliament on August 15.
Greenpeace representative Holly Dawson said: “We should have the freedom to take action when governments do the wrong thing. We will never stop protesting while governments put profits before people.”
She explained that under new laws that were passed in March, activists stopping a coal ship could be jailed for 20 years for “sabotage” while protesters interfering with illegal logging could be charged with “espionage”.
Lock the Gate Alliance’s Naomi Hogan condemned the laws, which she said are aimed at stopping farmers and environmentalists from “standing up against coal and coal seam gas, and defending their groundwater”.
Other speakers included state Labor MP Mick Veitch, Nathan Moran from the Metropolitan Land Council and representatives from the NSW Civil Liberties Council and the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association.