Activist jailed following Blockade Australia protests against coal

Sergeio Herbert becomes the first significant jailing of a climate activist in Australia’s history. Photo: Blockade Australia.

 

ON Monday 23 November, Sergeio Herbert, 22, was sentenced to twelve month’s imprisonment, six months no parole, for taking nonviolent direct action as part of the Blockade Australia mobilisation in Muloobinba/Newcastle.

This is the first significant jailing of a climate activist in this continent’s history.

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Sergeio was arrested last week after he stopped a coal train for five hours by climbing on top of it.

He was then arrested under suspicion the following week on Kooragang Island, while walking in the National Park.

He was charged with Assist in Obstruction of Rail Locomotive and Hinder Mining Equipment.

The sentencing magistrate was Janine Lacy, wife of NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham.

“When the government decides it’s going to destroy its people through ecocide – the people will rise up.

“This is what real democracy looks like; this is what a real vote means.

“We all know that Australia’s rigged democracy does not represent us, it is time we take our power back by getting in the way of economic arteries across this continent,” Sergeio shared.

Over ten days of protesting, over 28 people have been arrested with more than 65 hours of sustained blocking of coal operations.

Northern Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Peter McKenna, said police will continue to target, identify and charge protestors as a priority.

“The actions of this group and individuals involved are placing lives at risk.

“Illegally entering rail corridors and expecting trains that are over 1.5km in length to stop for people placing themselves in front of them is outrageous and incredibly dangerous behaviour.

“We will continue to use the full force of the law to locate and arrest any persons involved in this criminal activity,” Assistant Commissioner McKenna said.

Sergio was granted bail on 25 November and is pending appeal of his twelve month sentence.

 

By Tara CAMPBELL

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