Coal protesters blocking railroads sentenced up to 25 years

New South Wales (NSW) police have formed a new strike force aimed at targeting environmental protesters who continue to block trains near Newcastle Harbor, the world’s largest coal export hub.

Codenamed Touhy, the operation consists of police rescue, traffic and highway patrol headquarters, public order and morals and riot police and PolAir police officers, after police arrest 19 members of the Australian blockade. Carbon dioxide emission industry. It also includes intelligence resources to support extensive surveillance and patrol of railway lines.

The rail line that carries coal to the Port of Newcastle is revitalizing Australia’s coal export economy, with a total of 4,400 ships carrying 164 million tons of cargo each year.

Epoch Times Photo
An Australian blockade activist locked on a railroad-side pipe near the Port of Newcastle, Australia, on November 15, 2021. (Australia blockade)

A spokesperson for the Australian Railroad Maintenance Company told The Epoch Times in an email that 15 incidents over a nine-day period caused significant losses to companies delivering goods both domestically and internationally.

New South Wales Police Force Commissioner Mick Fuller charged up to 25 years after group members climbed trains, hung on large tripods, and used other tactics to stop transport and passenger trains. Said to be.

“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. “

Epoch Times Photo
An Australian blockade activist suspended from a tripod blocking a train near the Port of Newcastle, Australia, on November 14, 2021. (Australia blockade)

“These issues will hopefully come up in court,” Fuller said. “There are some young women who were released on bail yesterday and laughed out of court. They will face those accusations today.”

New South Wales Police Deputy Secretary Peter McKenna outlined that 17 had already appeared in court, some of which were sentenced to 7 to 14 years in prison.

McKenna also said many of the protesters had traveled from the interstate highway, a member of Extinction Rebellion, a group of environmental activists who blocked Australia and closed roads in major cities earlier this year and destroyed the Capitol. He said there was a “provisional connection” with him.

Epoch Times Photo
The image shows a woman burning a baby carriage during a protest of Extinction Rebellion outside the Capitol in Canberra, Australia, on August 10, 2021. (Provided by AAP image / Extinction Rebellion)

Blockage An Australian spokesperson argued that the long ruling was unjustified.

“Intimidating protesters with a 25-year prison sentence for blocking a coal train without causing any physical harm to anyone is a radical overkill for police power,” a spokesman said.

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.

Blockade Australia has not stepped back from that effort and said, “We will continue to take sustainable and destructive action as long as necessary in response to Australia’s leading role in climate and ecosystem crises.”

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 daniel.khmelev @