Climate activist imprisoned after stopping trains near the world’s largest coal port


Environmental activists involved in several days of operations to block the passage of coal trains near the world’s largest coal export port in New South Wales (NSW) have been imprisoned for 12 months.

22-year-old Eric Serge Herbert pleaded guilty to attempting to interfere with the railroad locomotive, obstruct the operation of mining equipment, and assist in obstructing the railroad locomotive.

Herbert participated in an 11-day organized operation by Blockade Australia, shutting down railroads 20 times and arresting more than 20 members who could face 25 years in prison.

“”[Herbert] This afternoon, he was sentenced to 12 months in prison and 6 months without parole for taking direct nonviolent action as part of the blockade Australia mobilization in Murubimba / Newcastle. Blocked Australia I have written With an update.

“He was arrested once during the first week of mobilization after climbing onto a coal train and stopping for five hours.”

Epoch Times Photo
Activists wearing Blockade Australia’s Hazmat will stop coal trains near Newcastle Port in Australia on November 11, 2021. This is the eighth railroad blockade since November 8th. (BlockadeAustralia)

Blockade Australia described the ruling as an unprecedented overkill of power. The group also expressed concern that it was the relatives of politicians who had previously expressed support for coal production who were involved in this process.

“The judge was Janine Lacy, wife of Mark Latham, leader of One Nation, New South Wales,” the group said.

Climate change shadow minister Pat Conroy called the protest a form of “eco-terrorism.”

“This is a gradual blockade to completely distort and destroy legitimate activity. Coal mining that brings billions of dollars in income and income to workers and families in our area,” he said. I reported. Newcastle Herald..

New South Wales Police Force Commissioner Mick Fuller said protesters would be charged with life-threatening acts, including climbing trains and hanging on large tripods, for up to 25 years.

Epoch Times Photo
New South Wales Police Commissioner Mick Fuller spoke at the COVID-19 update and press conference on July 30, 2021 in Sydney, Australia (Resummary Williamspool / Getty Images).

“It’s unacceptable,” Fuller said. 2GB.. “I understand that people have the right to protest … but given the danger that some of these passenger trains on these lines travel 160 kilometers an hour, notice about these tripods. I wonder if it will not reach. I could see hundreds of people dying. “

Following the event, police devoted themselves to intercepting individuals attempting to disrupt the railroad, with a code called Touhy consisting of police rescue, traffic and highway patrol headquarters, public order and morals, riot squads, and PolAir officers. Formed a new task force named.

Since then, Newcastle Herald has reported multiple raids on suspected MTFs involved in the blockade of Australia.

New South Wales Police had previously been scrutinized for overuse of force in implementing COVID-19 blockades.

In early August, after several months of blockades in Sydney, Fuller named the restricted protesters “anarchists” shortly before police summoned 800 Australian Defense Force personnel to maintain public health orders.

Daniel Kumerev


Daniel Khmelev is a Perth-based Australian reporter working on energy, technology and politics. He has a background in mathematics, physics and computer science. Contact him at [email protected].