Climate change pest that blocked one of Australia’s busiest roads

The climate activist who paralyzed Sydney by chaining herself to her steering wheel during rush hour on one of the city’s busiest streets has escaped punishment after a judge accepted she was suffering trauma from climate change.

Mali Cooper, 22, was one of Blockade Australia protesters who was slapped with multiple disability and disturbance offenses after sensationally blocking the entrance to the Sydney Harbor Bridge in June.

They were charged with disrupting traffic and obstructing drivers or pedestrians following a Blockade Australia protest in Sydney’s central business district and near the bridge in June.

On Tuesday morning, the 22-year-old appeared in Lismore Magistrates Court, where she risked being slapped with a two-year sentence and a $22,000 fine.

Judge Jeff Linden dismissed the charges without a conviction under the Mental Health Act and released Mali Cooper into the care of a psychologist for six months.

Mali Cooper, 22, was one of Blockade Australia protesters who were hit with multiple disability and disturbance offenses after blocking the entrance to the Harbor Bridge in June

Mali Cooper, 22, was one of Blockade Australia protesters who were hit with multiple disability and disturbance offenses after blocking the entrance to the Harbor Bridge in June

“We are very relieved that the court calmly considered all of the facts in this case, including the psychological impact of climate change on young people like Mali,” her attorney, Mark Davis, said in a statement.

He said the court gave “full consideration” to his client’s pre-existing anxiety disorder, which was “so badly affected and aggravated by the Lismore floods and her concerns about climate change that she was clinically diagnosed as PTSD following the Lismore floods.” . .

“To see (their) hometown of Lismore destroyed twice in the months leading up to (their) action triggered a trauma for (them) that was a crucial factor in today’s decision.”

He said Cooper “probably went a step further than she intended” when it came to the protest and that she regretted the distress he caused for people stuck in traffic.

He said she “decided to do something she might not have done in a more sane state” after seeing Lismore “obliterated twice in just a few short months.”

Cooper had said they witnessed the city they loved being decimated by a climate catastrophe.

“The terrifying reality of climate collapse is here, this city is still living it,” they said.

Ms Cooper was accused of parking a white rented hatchback (pictured) diagonally across from the entrance to the busy tunnel, causing a 20-kilometer traffic queue

Ms Cooper was accused of parking a white rented hatchback (pictured) diagonally across from the entrance to the busy tunnel, causing a 20-kilometer traffic queue

Ms Cooper has been instructed to attend two-week counseling sessions over the next six months, with the option to extend treatment if necessary.

The activist live-streamed the protest on her phone and was even approached by an angry motorist who told Ms Cooper she was “screwing everyone’s day”.

The police are here,” she told the camera. ‘Not sure if you can see. Thank you to everyone who listened.

“I’m not sure how much longer I can hold this phone and this room. There’s a big day ahead.’

She was eventually dragged from the rented accommodation and arrested and appeared before Central Local Court where she was granted freedom on strict terms to return to her home near Lismore in north NSW and appear between 10pm and 6am to keep a curfew.

Blockade Australia announced on Tuesday in a jubilant Facebook post that the judge had dismissed all charges against Ms Cooper (pictured renting the 22-year-old at the entrance to the bridge).

Blockade Australia announced on Tuesday in a jubilant Facebook post that the judge had dismissed all charges against Ms Cooper (pictured renting the 22-year-old at the entrance to the bridge).

A dramatic vision from her arrest in June showed the activist being pulled from the car and pinned face down on the tarmac after specialists from police rescue units were eventually forced to pry her from the wheel.

Critics of the stunt said there could have been emergencies such as ambulance calls or women in labor being caught in the stall.

After a night behind bars, Ms Cooper told The Project hosts she had no regrets about the protest but was “nervous about what the future holds”.

After spending last night behind bars, the 22-year-old said she was glad to have the opportunity to speak out on climate issues.

Ms Cooper is said to have chained herself to the steering wheel with a bicycle lock

An outraged commuter broke out at a climate activist after blocking traffic

Ms Cooper chained herself to the steering wheel with a bike lock (left) and caused a mile-long gridlock while an angry commuter shouted disgusting insults at her (right)

Host Waleed Aly then asked if Ms Cooper’s intention was “to cause chaos, maybe get arrested and then go on TV to be able to talk about these issues”.

She countered that disruption itself is the goal because “it has been shown time and time again to have an impact that enables change.”

“We need radical change to save the planet.”

Blockade Australia announced on Tuesday morning in a jubilant Facebook post that the judge had dismissed all charges, which was warmly received by their supporters.

“Wonderful – thank you again for your courage Mali to take action and face justice,” commented one woman.

“Climate criminals and fossil fuel industry profiteers should go to jail. No protesters fighting for a livable planet,” said another.

“Thank you Mali! I am so sorry you had to risk your freedom to raise awareness of the climate and environmental crisis we are facing,” wrote a third.

The group, which describes itself as a network set up in response to Australia’s response to the “climate crisis”, took the opportunity to call NSW’s new anti-protest laws “draconian”.

The laws were introduced to deal with dangerous and disruptive protests.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11253181/Climate-change-pest-blocked-one-Australias-busiest-roads.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Climate change pest that blocked one of Australia’s busiest roads

Bradford Betz

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