Protesters gathered outside the Perth Magistrates Court on December 5 to protest the 15-month prison sentence handed to climate activist Violet CoCo for blocking traffic in Sydney.
Sophie McNeil from Human Rights Watch discussed the trend across the country for politicians and the legal system to criminalise peaceful protest in response to growing concern about the climate crisis.
Climate activist Petrina Harley also addressed the rally. Harley is facing court for her role in blocking access to the Burrup Hub at Murujuga in late 2021. She recently faced court in Karratha, where she and fellow activist Liz Burrow argued the climate emergency defence.
On the same day, five XR [Extinction Rebellion] Grandparents activists had their sentences handed down for their 2020 protest disrupting the Western Australian parliament when it passed laws supporting the Scarborough project, gas from which is planned to be processed at the Burrup Hub.
They also used the climate emergency as a defence of their actions.
The protest also heard from Megan Krakouer about the Perth Entertainment Precinct laws, which also threaten peaceful protest by empowering police to exclude anyone they deem to be a threat to public order from designated areas.