We can’t agree to good behaviour, XR protesters tell court

Jeff McKinnon
EXTINCTION REBELLION: City Baptist Church pastor Jeff McKinnon speaks before nine protesters faced court for the October protest. Picture: Frances Vinall

Eight out of nine Extinction Rebellion protesters told magistrates they could not agree to undertake 12 months of good behaviour.

“This [arrest] was a matter of conscience, and I don’t think I could in good conscience tell you that I would not participate in another peaceful action against climate change,” protester Susan Aulich said.

The nine were charged with failing to comply with the direction of a police officer on October 11, following an Extinction Rebellion protest against government inaction on climate change.

On Wednesday the protesters faced the Launceston Magistrates Court, where five were seen by magistrate Sharon Cure. Of those the four who declined good behaviour were fined $100 plus costs.

Four were seen by magistrate Ken Stanton, and were each fined $150 plus costs after declining good behaviour.

Extinction Rebellion had a permit to protest from 4.30pm to 5.30pm at St John Street on October 11. The arrests took place about 5.39pm.

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Protester Ross Flint said police, emergency services and buses were aware of the plan, and a diversion around the protest took 90 seconds.

Mr Flint said prior to deciding to be arrested, he had tried signing petitions, writing submissions to inquiries, and engaging with politicians about climate change.

“It feels like it has all been a waste of time,” he said.

The protesters were Susan Aulich, Graham Bailey, Anthony Bell, Gordon Cuff, Graham Palmer, Ross Flint, Helen Hutchinson, Jeffrey McKinnon, and Wendy Miller. No criminal convictions were recorded.

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