Tasmania Police have arrested 27 demonstrators, including 11 youths, following a planned protest in Hobart’s CBD.
- The council approved the Dead Sea March, but police said it went longer than the agreed time
- But about 30 people continued protesting and lying across Murray and Collins streets
- Police physically removed protestors, leading to 27 arrests
About 150 people took part in the Dead Sea March on October 3, organised by climate activist group Extinction Rebellion.
The demonstration, highlighting the mass deaths of Tasmania’s kelp forests, had been approved by Hobart City Council and was expected to end on Murray Street.
Police say after the march ended, about 30 people continued to protest by lying across the Murray and Collins streets intersection for approximately half an hour.
Detective Senior Constable Angus Dobner said many of the demonstrators had to be physically removed from the intersection.
“The agreement that we had prior to the protest was that that would be where it ceased, but upon arrival, a group of approximately 30 people lay on the road in the middle of the intersection and refused to move,” he said.
“They just wouldn’t get up, wouldn’t move and as a result had to be carried to be moved off the roadway for everyone’s safety.”
Should you be allowed to break the law to ‘save the planet’?
Charged with traffic offences for blocking Brisbane streets during an Extinction Rebellion protest, this 23-year-old is arguing she should be allowed to break the law because climate change is an “extraordinary emergency”.
Police say 16 adults have been bailed to appear in court early next year charged with failing to comply with the direction of a police officer.
The 11 youths were charged under the Youth Justice Act.
Senior Constable Dobner said Tasmania Police was disappointed in the protestors’ actions.
“We obviously like people to have the opportunity to have their voices heard but would encourage everybody once that has been achieved to go about their business and do so lawfully,” he said.
According to police, the protestors followed COVID-19 social distancing requirements.
“From what was observed, especially during the actual planned part of the protest, there were safety measures being implemented by the group,” Senior Constable Dobner said.