Climate change protester who blocked traffic on Sydney Harbor Bridge avoids jail after sentence overturned
A jail sentence imposed on a climate protester who blocked a lane on the Sydney Harbor Bridge with a truck has been overturned.
Deanna ‘Violet’ Maree CoCo, 32, was given a 12-month probation order on Wednesday after District Court Judge Mark Williams heard that she had initially been jailed on false information provided by the New Wales police from the South.
CoCo and three others drove a Hino truck onto the Harbor Bridge in the morning rush hour on April 13, 2022, as part of an environmental protest against climate inaction by Fireproof Australia.
Climbing onto the roof of the vehicle alongside Alan Russell Glover, the couple lit orange flares and broadcast the protest live.
Two others, Karen Fitzgibbon and Jay Larbalestier, sat on the ground in front of the truck and pressed their hands to the road.
Violet Coco (photo center) had her jail sentence overturned after blocking traffic on the Sydney Harbor Bridge.
On Wednesday, Judge Williams heard CoCo’s appeal of the 15-month jail sentence imposed in the Local Court last December.
He noted that the police had included a ‘false fact’ and a ‘false claim’ in their case against CoCo that an ambulance with sirens and flashing lights had been prevented from crossing the bridge in an emergency due to the protest.
With his jail term overturned, CoCo remains convicted on two counts of resisting police and using an unauthorized explosive.
At the same time, Judge Williams heard an appeal by Glover, now 61, of an 18-month community correction order.
The judge vacated Glover’s convictions and imposed a 12-month probation order, hearing that this was his first criminal offense and that the charges had resulted in his removal from work as a volunteer firefighter.
Ms. Coco (pictured above) was part of a two-car convoy that blocked traffic on the bridge to raise awareness about climate change.
His conviction came after the New South Wales government passed laws to punish disruptive climate protests earlier in the year, with activists facing fines of up to $22,000 and two years in prison.
Human Rights Watch researcher Sophie McNeill called Perrottet’s comments “incredible.”
“It is incredible that Dom Perrottet finds it ‘nice’ that a peaceful climate activist has been given eight months in jail,” Ms McNeill wrote.
Former Bachelor host Osher Gunsberg warned that Perrottet was on a “slippery slope.”
“Protest is vital in a democracy, and considering what is at stake, the level of protest was probably not even close to an appropriate response. It’s a slippery slope from here sir,’ the TV presenter wrote on Twitter.