Wednesday, December 07, 2022

A bad sign

On Friday, a New South Wales court heard the case of Violet Coco. As part of a protest against inaction on climate change, Coco had blocked a Sydney motorway for 25 minutes. Using anti-protest laws passed by NSW's fossil-fuel-funded government, the judge jailed her for 15 months, with a minimum non-parole period of 8 months. The outrageous sentence has been condemned around the world, and has drawn more attention to Australia's attacks on the right to protest and transition into a fossil fuel tyranny. And now, the National Party wants to bring that tyranny here:

A new member’s bill will be lodged in the ballot that would make obstructing state highways, major roads, tunnels and bridges a crime.

The bill proposes up to two years in prison, a $20,000 fine, or both.

After disruptive rail protests on Wellington state highways, National are taking a stand against further obstructions.

Its only a member's bill, but member's bills tend to become official policy. Which makes this a very bad sign. At a time of increasing climate crisis and ongoing catastrophe's, National's answer is not to cut emissions, but to jail those demanding they do so. In addition to being grossly undemocratic, that simply does not seem to be a credible response.

Update (8/12/2022): Apparaently NewstalkZB memory holes its interviews really quickly, but fortunately the Wayback Machine had it, so I've updated the link. There's also a press release on Scoop for those looking for more information.