Greens MP Michael Berkman has called on Police Minister Mark Ryan to explain how and why the Queensland Police Service is involved in a NSW Police operation targeting climate activists, some of whom have no arrest record.
Around 30 people have reportedly been visited at their homes by NSW, Victoria, Qld and ACT police ahead of the International Mining and Resources Conference beginning in Sydney today, even where there is no evidence they plan to attend the conference or are involved in any illegal activity.
“We are seeing a steady and frightening escalation of policing and legislation that is deliberately designed to intimidate and target climate activists.
“Minister Ryan and Police Commissioner Carrol must explain why the QPS are assisting this anti-democratic operation, and how peaceful protesters with no arrest record have apparently ended up on a ‘Persons of Interest’ list.
“This brutish and disproportionate response is only being deployed because these peaceful protesters pose a threat to the fossil fuel industry’s vice grip on our democracy.
“Political expression and protest is legal. And from the suffragettes to unions, land rights campaigners and environmentalists, history has shown that non-violent civil disobedience wins positive social change.
“Instead of gagging, threatening and punishing peaceful climate protesters who are fighting for their future, governments should start listening to their demands to get out of coal and gas.
“It’s devastating to watch governments use their power to protect these fossil fuel corporations instead of protecting ordinary people from dangerous climate change.”