Extinction Rebels defended in court over Spring Rebellion 2019 actions in Sydney
By Extinction Rebellion Sydney, on 12 October 2020
Today, 12 October 2020, 12 Extinction Rebels fronted District Court at Downing Centre Sydney, charged with alleged offences including obstructing traffic and disobeying reasonable direction.
After a hearing that went from 9.30am to 4.30pm, the magistrate dismissed all charges against the 12 rebels. Police had relied on the wrong law to give the move-on direction so the case was dismissed.
The hearing was related to an action that took place on Monday 7 October 2019 as part of the Spring Rebellion, which saw hundreds march from Belmore Park towards Broadway. The group stopped at Central Station to sing and chant, while four members chained themselves to a water tank, with traffic along Parramatta Road disrupted for more than an hour.
Former Western Australian Senator Scott Ludlam, who took part in the action said: “Nobody undertakes these kinds of actions lightly. But in the year since we were arrested, the evidence has grown even stronger that the Australian Government is captive to the resources sector. We spent January in the middle of catastrophic bushfires, which should have been the final trigger for the rapid phase out of fossil fuels. Instead, Morrison has handed the keys to our economy to the gas sector. My biggest fear is not that we'll be judged by the future as being too radical, or too disruptive. It's that we'll be seen as too timid."
At the time, scientist and Rebel Dr Martin Wolterding said he felt the police were heavy handed in their approach and more brutal than necessary when arresting Rebels who were part of the blockade.
“I’ve studied – and understand clearly – the dire nature of the environmental emergency. And I’m in a good position to do something about it,” told Dr Wolterding Sydney Criminal Lawyers last year. “As I no longer have a family that depends on me, and being semi-retired, I have the luxury of time. I’ve lived a wonderful life and to be blunt, now I’m expendable.”
The court case comes as Extinction Rebellion Sydney kicks off its 2020 Spring Rebellion. Actions began on Sunday 11 October and will continue until 17 October.