More than fifty people braved downpours on July 11 to stand with Tim Cumins, father of imprisoned environmentalist Max Cumins, who called for his son and activist Tim Neville to be released from Silverwater jail.
Blockade Australia activists Max and Tim were sent to Silverwater jail after police raided their camp in Colo in June.
The speak out, chaired by Anastasia Shevchuk from Legal Observers, was addressed by Tim Cumins and Hannah Cumins.
Amnesty International campaign manager Tim O’Connor, president of the New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties Josh Pallas, the Nature Conservation Council’s Ed Mortimer and Sydney Extinction Rebellion activist Lily Campbell also spoke.
O’Connor criticised the excessive bail conditions imposed on Blockade Australia protesters, including banning communication with friends, being required to hand over passwords on personal devices and being unable to leave home after 9am.
Cumins said he was “proud of Max and Hannah and all those climate activists who are saying this climate crisis is real”.
“The government has been sweeping [the climate emergency] under the carpet. But who knows where the trigger point is, when the point of no return is? We know it is soon so every bit that we do, collectively, that can potentially save this planet, is important. That’s what people like Max are fighting for.”
Pallas said the purpose of the Bail Act is “to ensure that people attend court. It should not be used for the purpose of segregating people who otherwise show no risk of failing to attend court from participating in society”.
O’Connor said: “Everyone should be concerned about increasing repression of public assemblies and protests in NSW, and elsewhere around the country. Peaceful protesters should not be met with forceful responses and periods of incarcerations.”
Ten Blockade Australia activists faced Penrith Court on July 12. Cumins and Neville were released from custody on bail, but were given draconian bail conditions.