SUV Drives Through Protestors. Image contrast enhanced from the original. Source Sky News, Fair Use, Low Resolution Image to Identify the Subject

Aussie Road Block Climate Protestor Sentenced to Actual Jail Time

Essay by Eric Worrall

Only 8 months – but it is a start.

Climate change protester who blocked Sydney Harbour Bridge sentenced to months in jail

By Danuta Kozaki

A climate change protester who blocked part of the Sydney Harbour Bridge earlier this year has been sentenced to a minimum of eight months in prison.

Protest action by Deanna Maree Coco, also known as Violet Coco, on April 13 saw a lane of traffic blocked by a vehicle she was driving and a distress flare ignited.

Coco was protesting as part of recently formed climate activist group Fireproof Australia, which describes itself as “a campaign of civil resistance proportional to the existential threat we face”.

Read more: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-12-02/nsw-climate-protester-deanna-violent-coco-sent-to-jail/101729456

The United Nations is “alarmed” that a climate protestor who set up an illegal roadblock is going to jail

If Deanna Coco and her friends had waved a few banners from the sidewalk, or coordinated with police to stage a well managed street march, to minimise disruption, I would have defended her right to public speech. But Deanna Coco went well beyond public speech.

Why did Coco and her friends cause all this disruption?

Surprisingly some of their demands are quite reasonable, on the surface. I actually agree with much of the first half of Fireproof Australia’s “about us” page.

A demand to boost Australia’s woefully inadequate aerial firefighting fleet is number one on Fireproof’s list.

The other demands on the top half of the page, smoke proofing hospitals, schools and aged care homes, and taking better care of people whose lives were ruined by inadequate government fire risk management, I could imagine myself signing a petition with a list like that.

But reading further down the page, “how we intend to get that”, it all goes off the rails. “… Fireproof Australia is a campaign of civil resistance proportional to the existential threat we face …”. Not a self description which conveys dedication to peaceful persuasion.

The group cleverly claims they will always move out of the way for ambulances and police fire trucks with their lights flashing – but if they block all the other traffic, how are police vehicles or ambulances supposed to get anywhere near the Fireproof Australia road block, so they can be allowed to pass?

In my opinion Fireproof Australia are a group of radical green fascists, who are trying to cloak themselves in a veneer of respectable policy demands.

Personally I don’t think 8 months is going to deter green radicals like Deanna Coco, but at least Aussie politicians have started to accept they have to get these people off the streets, to protect the public from their illegal road blocks and other acts of disruption. Hopefully pressure from furious members of the public will push up the jail time, until the penalty is a sufficient deterrent to convince green fanatics to behave within the law.

Correction (EW): Ambulances and fire trucks, not Ambulances and police. Their “blue light policy” might cover police, but the issue seems ambiguous.

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Tom Halla
December 3, 2022 2:09 pm

A few years cutting firebreaks in the bush?

martinc19
Reply to  Tom Halla
December 3, 2022 2:25 pm

Yep – with hand tools 🙂
8 months is a start. Even getting bail on appeal could still amount to 4.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 5, 2022 9:58 am

Doesn’t seem like Australia was meant for humans.

michael hart
December 3, 2022 2:13 pm

Did they say they wouldn’t block fire engines too?

Rud Istvan
December 3, 2022 2:22 pm

It is a start. Perhaps there is after all hope for Australia.

mleskovarsocalrrcom
December 3, 2022 2:38 pm

“Peaceful demonstrations” are any that don’t impact/affect other people. Once you start impinging on someone else’s freedoms you’re a criminal and should be treated as such.

Redge
Reply to  mleskovarsocalrrcom
December 4, 2022 9:01 am

Well said

Len Werner
December 3, 2022 2:41 pm

Spelling is off again. Shouldn’t that be Deanna Coocoo?

Mike
Reply to  Len Werner
December 3, 2022 9:32 pm

First thing I thought when I read the name.

Jit
December 3, 2022 2:54 pm

Fascists they ain’t. Get some perspective?

Jit
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 4, 2022 1:42 am

Force? Force is force. Blocking a road it ain’t. If you call these guys fascists, um, what do you call the actual fascists? This helps no-one.

These people do not need to be in jailed, they need an education: first, that the most extreme climate change you can think of could never cause human extinction; second, that civilisation depends on cheap reliable energy; third, the many uses of petrochemicals that would be difficult if not impossible to replace in a Net Zero world.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Jit
December 5, 2022 10:00 am

They won’t listen to any of your “education”. That information is readily available, but they choose to ignore it. Jail is the immediate solution.

CampsieFellow
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 4, 2022 4:38 am

“Intolerant group which believes in imposing its views on others by force rather than democratic persuasion.”
I think that such behaviour is/was not confined to fascists. Communists, for example, have also been pretty good at doing the same.

Mark Whitney
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 4, 2022 6:41 am

They are properly called terrorists, using violence to force political agenda. Blocking roads is a mild form of violence to be sure. Fascism more properly refers to a marriage of corporation and state, or as Papa Benito put it, “Everything within the state, nothing outside of it.” No doubt given the chance these terrorists would gladly adopt a fascist state model, however.

MarkW
Reply to  Jit
December 3, 2022 4:58 pm

Fascism is nothing more than socialism lite.

Duker
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 3, 2022 9:21 pm

Christian socialists run the German state of Bavaria since WW2.
They are a conservative party to the right of CDU who they have a federal level coalition.
National socialists we’re extreme right wing not left wing socialist
Remember the original word came from the Romans , socii which meant allies

Rod Evans
Reply to  Duker
December 4, 2022 12:26 am

Keep telling yourself that Duker if you like. You can even invoke some ancient society’s lexicon to help your delusion. Who knows, with a bit of luck, one day you may awake and realise National Socialism is like all other forms of socialism a left wing ideology trying to hide it’s poison under the banned of supposed good causes.

CampsieFellow
Reply to  Duker
December 4, 2022 4:51 am

The main party in Bavaria is the Christian Social Union. They are not socialists. The ‘Social’ has nothing to do with socialism.
Yes, the full name of the Nazi Party was the National Socialist German Workers Party and there were people in it who wanted a form of socialism. But the people who ended up running the Nazi Party (Hitler, Göring, Goebbels, Himmler, etc) had no time whatsoever for socialism. One of those pushing for socialism was Gregor Strasser. In 1925 he said: “We National Socialists want the economic revolution involving the nationalization of the economy…We want in place of an exploitative capitalist economic system a real socialism, maintained not by a soulless Jewish-materialist outlook but by the believing, sacrificial, and unselfish old German community sentiment, community purpose, and economic feeling. We want the social revolution in order to bring about the national revolution.” He was gradually eased out of the Nazi Party and was a victim of the Night of the Long Knives in 1934.

May Contain Traces of Seafood
Reply to  MarkW
December 3, 2022 6:46 pm

Socialism is the state being owned ‘by all’ and controlled by committees.

Fascism is the state being owned ‘by all’ and controlled by the party.

Private ownership is controlled. It is all about ‘the state’.

The only difference is how the control is enforced, the bottom line at the coal face (notice how people wanting the workers to rise up and never actually workers?) you have no real rights or freedoms beyond what the ‘leaders’ believe is good for you.

Deep down it is all just a variation on ‘Everything would be better if only *I* was in charge’.

Hivemind
Reply to  MarkW
December 3, 2022 7:36 pm

And not very lite at that.

climategrog
December 3, 2022 3:22 pm

Even if the “existential threat” bit is total BS, I don’t like the idea of heavy punitive jail time for relatively minor offenses. Australia has become a distopian totalitarian state since COVID. One I would never want to visit again. It was a a great place in the 80s and I love Aussies but I would not expose myself to what that state has become.

It is very simple for armed police to clear a street of a few idiots, the main problem is that they chose not to do so because the govt. is basically in bed with the AGW crap in the first place. Same for UK, France , etc.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  climategrog
December 3, 2022 4:07 pm

“relatively minor offenses”
What if it was YOU that was held up in traffic for hours when you had something important to do?

Janice Moore
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 3, 2022 4:30 pm

@ climategrog:

What if your loved one needed aid and paramedics couldn’t reach him or her in time?

A man who collapsed while waiting for Berkeley paramedics to arrive later died at the hospital, city employees have told Berkeleyside, after large protests that wracked the city earlier this month delayed first responders.

***

Several city staffers … confirmed that paramedics were delayed in their response to help the man who collapsed, and said he later died at the hospital.

(Source: https://www.berkeleyside.org/2014/12/19/exclusive-man-died-after-berkeley-protests-delayed-help )

They were just two minutes away, but it took paramedics 27 minutes during the Berkeley protests in December to … reach the man safely after he collapsed and struggled to breathe …

(Source: https://www.berkeleyside.org/2015/02/05/exclusive-23-minute-delay-for-paramedics-during-berkeley-protests-patient-later-died )

Prison is too good for such vile egomaniacs.

Last edited 2 months ago by Janice Moore
John Hultquist
Reply to  Janice Moore
December 3, 2022 7:59 pm

“They were just two minutes away, but it took paramedics 27 minutes”

Automated external defibrillator (AED) use is taught in first-aid classes and the units are increasing found in places such as shopping malls. Early use is important, and 27 minutes is beyond the need. Instructors usual say you have 10 minutes.
Those working in public places should have training and know where the AED is stored.

Streetcred
Reply to  climategrog
December 3, 2022 9:41 pm

The sentence is too light given the disruption caused. Each state has its own legal administration, this offence too place in Sydney NSW. The worst state for COVID response was Victoria where police used rubber bullets to disperse protestors, beat old people to the ground, sucker punched unsuspecting citizens from behind, laid into bystanders with rifle butts. 2nd Worst was Queensland. And, citizens of those fascist jack booted governments re-elected their Premiers … they like being abused it seems.

I like the response of the French public, firmly drag them off the street and dump them on the footpath.

ozspeaksup
Reply to  Streetcred
December 4, 2022 2:56 am

stockholm syndrome voters in Vic might be miffed soon
word is andrOOZE is mulling a melb lockdown for xmas

Chris Hanley
December 3, 2022 3:31 pm

The Fireproof Australia website carries the usual ‘acknowledgement’ rider: “We acknowledge that we are living and working upon stolen land and that sovereignty was never ceded. First Nations peoples have lived in harmony with the country and have been caretakers for thousands of generations. Learning from and working with First Nations peoples is vital in the struggle to heal and protect”.
Apparently they are unaware that indigenous people used fire extensively for land management, that most bushfires occur in sparsely populated areas in the north, that the vast majority of fires in settled areas are caused by humans either carelessly or deliberately and therefore preventable.

Last edited 2 months ago by Chris Hanley
MarkW
Reply to  Chris Hanley
December 3, 2022 5:04 pm

First off, those natives were killing each other in order to control the land, long before white men showed up.
Secondly, the only reason why it appears why the natives were living in harmony with the land was because there were so few of them.

May Contain Traces of Seafood
Reply to  MarkW
December 3, 2022 6:54 pm

Groups don’t constantly migrate for fun.

Do people actually believe that the less technologically advanced cultures actually enjoyed constantly walking? No, they enjoyed not dying of starvation. They moved around because they needed to constantly move into new food producing areas or die.

As for harmony? They were perfectly happy to live and let live with their neighbours… until the food ran out. They they either displaced their neighbours and used their food gathering ranges, or were displaced themselves by a stronger rival group, or starved.

That is effectively the entire history of pre-European Australia. There was no ‘Nations’ and the culture they lived by was if you really needed access to the land, you displaced your rivals.

Stronger more successful rivals turned up and displaced them. Life isn’t fair. Accept it.

YallaYPoora Kid
Reply to  Chris Hanley
December 3, 2022 10:51 pm

Large fires can occur anywhere where either long periods of no fire has occurred or after short periods when high growth has occurred without any fire management eg after sequential years of La Niña weather such as experienced in Eastern Australia the last 3 years. Victoria in the south regularly has large fires predominately due to seasonal strong and hot northerly summer winds fanning any fire that may arise manmade or otherwise. The map you referenced is a short period which by chance does not show all areas where fire can occur.

RickWill
December 3, 2022 3:38 pm

A demand to boost Australia’s woefully inadequate aerial firefighting fleet is number one on Fireproof’s list.

Dead wrong.

All fire fighting does is make the eventual fire more intense.

Fire prevention is best achieved through forestry management.

Reduction in loss of property and life is to have adequate fire breaks to those properties.

There are some silly council rules around tree protection that are inconsistent with reducing fire risk. Some rural councils have good standards about fire breaks but others are really bad for reducing fire risk.

Once the world wakes and realise we are at the end of the modern interglacial then sanity may prevail again. The notion of carbon sequestering in trees is a bad idea. Trees are good for the climate but are bad when they are not managed to avoid becoming fuel for intense fires.

RickWill
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 3, 2022 5:33 pm

Eric
Fire fronts where there is high fuel load cannot be stopped by any amount of “overwhelming” suppression – it does not exist. It is like saying you can contain an atomic bomb from causing damage using aircraft.

A fire front in southern forests in Australia can exceed 10MW/m of front. Taking just a 100km front, that is 1,000GW. About 7% of global average electricity output or the first atomic bomb every second.

After the 2019/2020, I did a calculation on the energy release and determined that energy could have met all Australia’s energy needs for two years. It was mostly released over two months but some days had extreme intensity.

Wood is a damn good fuel – probably underrated. Certainly under-utilised in Australia as a fuel source.

AndyHce
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 3, 2022 10:55 pm

The question is, as always, based on limited resources. What will result in less long term damage and greater long term benefits, proper management to markedly reduce fires or greater ability to combat fires once they start? Perhaps the answer depends on whether you are in the fire-fighters union or not — job protection is all.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
December 3, 2022 3:53 pm

There is a history in certain countries (India with Gandhi, the US with Dr Martin Luther King) of civil disobedience. The demonstrators were peaceful, and prepared to go to jail. Clearly, both aspects of civil disobedience ended in 1968 in Chicago.

Last edited 2 months ago by Retired_Engineer_Jim
Duker
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 3, 2022 9:25 pm

First arrests were in South Africa, not India
https://www.mkgandhi.org/chrono/arrestofmahatma.php

Joseph Zorzin
December 3, 2022 4:04 pm

“Peaceful protesters should never be criminalised or imprisoned.”
Blocking traffic and screwing up people’s lives isn’t peaceful.

I bet if some climate change skeptics blocked traffic- those same characters would call for severe punishments.

Janice Moore
December 3, 2022 4:44 pm

And all the serfs of Hayek’s Serfdom applauded! 😀

comment image

n.n
December 3, 2022 5:06 pm

Antifa, revisited. Some, Select [Black] Lives Matter, too. Down under.

dk_
December 3, 2022 9:03 pm

to protect the public from their illegal road blocks and other acts

Perhaps to protect them from themselves? Where various groups of political rioters expose the breakdown of law and order in the West, violence and vandalism against defenders, passersby, property owners, and even reporters goes unpunished, yet alone prevented. How long until the law abiding public get fed up, push the police aside and deal out some vigilante justice?

Rod Evans
December 4, 2022 12:15 am

Those who complain we should not use fossil fuel should be sentenced to a fossil fuel free life, until they apologise to the judge for their stupidity. I suspect the request from the protester to appeal their fossil free existence would take maybe one week.
The judge could then rule is one week’s abstinence from modern living is sufficient penance for the scale of the protester’s criminality.
Those who demand we live without use of coal, oil and gas should be allowed to try it as punishment for being so ridiculous.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Rod Evans
December 5, 2022 10:11 am

Basically send them out naked into the wilderness, not even with their glasses. That’s living without fossil fuels and all its derivatives.

ozspeaksup
December 4, 2022 2:50 am

she and the BF are serial offenders climatewise
loved the look on her face when her “emotional distress” over climate claim was refused
she was after the same get off card as the bird in sydney managed
love to see more meet that same sane judge

Joe Shaw
December 4, 2022 1:23 pm

A climate protester who blocked the Washington DC beltway was also recently sentenced to 60 days in jail (with 30 days suspended) and a year probation for his actions. It is interesting to note that the judge imposed a harsher sentence than the prosecutors requested. It is only a few data points but would be great if these are signs that the tide is beginning to shift on tolerance for disruptive behavior.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/climate-crisis-activist-sentenced-to-60-days-in-jail-for-dc-beltway-disruption-court/ar-AA14KfFi

edfix
December 5, 2022 4:50 pm

I’m sure Ms Coco is feeling al virtuous about her upcoming time in the slammer. She won’t learn a thing.

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