Bridge-Blocking Climate Change Activists Jailed Down Under

Nils Versemann /
Nils Versemann /

If there’s one thing the Australians get right, it’s the speed of their justice system.

With three climate change activists blocking Melbourne’s West Gate Bridge on the morning of March 5th, the trio were arrested and taken away. Facing charges for causing major delays that resulted in issues with their emergency response services, they started their message at 7:45 am. Blocking 3/5 of the West Gate Bridge with a box truck, the trio displayed banners that said,  “Declare a climate emergency” and “Climate breakdown has begun.” Removed by a cherrypicker roughly two hours later at 9:45 am, they showed no remorse.

Known Extinction Rebellion activists Deanna “Violet” Coco, 33, and Bradley Homewood, 51, both pled guilty to two counts of public nuisance by obstructing motorists and obstructing police and emergency service workers during morning rush hour. Wasting no time, these two were sentenced to 21 days in prison. Also pleading guilty to the same charges was Joseph Zammit, 68, but he was released on bail with the guarantee he would not attend unlawful protests and sever ties with Coco and Homewood.

Short, sweet, and to the point, this used to be the American justice system. People who broke the law stepped right up, took ownership of it, and did their time. They knew what they chose to do was wrong, but they were willing to accept the consequences. Getting a fair and speedy court proceeding is what the nation used to be all about.

These climate activists love protesting in places like Australia because they know what to expect for consequences. In their minds, the time in jail is worth it since it means they’ll get their message spread to more people from the news coverage.