Two protesters who blocked peak hour traffic have chosen to stay in custody, rather than agree not to take part in any more unlawful protests.
Two protesters who blocked peak hour traffic have chosen to stay in custody, rather than agree not to take part in any more unlawful protests.

Extinction Rebellion protesters’ act of defiance in court

Two protesters who blocked inner-city Brisbane peak hour traffic for hours on Monday have chosen to stay in custody, rather than agree not to take part in any more unlawful protests.

Wenzel Auch and Eric Herbert, who were on a truck that blocked traffic at the intersection of Edward and Queen Sts for two hours from 7am, pleaded guilty to a series of charges in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Mark Gorton said the prosecution would be seeking thousands of dollars in compensation for extra police and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services officers who were called to the scene.

 

The Extinction Rebellion protest in Brisbane CBD on Monday. Picture: Peter Wallis
The Extinction Rebellion protest in Brisbane CBD on Monday. Picture: Peter Wallis

 

The two Extinction Rebellion protesters attached themselves to the top of a truck and were linked together with a "sleeping dragon'' arm device, at the intersection of Edward and Queens Sts.

Wenzel Auch, 28, pleaded guilty to causing an obstruction to a driver, obstructing police and contravening a police requirement to move off the road.

Eric Herbert, 21, pleaded guilty to obstructing a driver, contravening a police direction to move, obstructing police and contravening a police requirement to state his full and correct name.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Mark Gorton said they could not be sentenced yet because police were seeking substantial compensation and the amount was yet to be calculated.

 

The protest caused delays for peak hour traffic. Picture: Peter Wallis
The protest caused delays for peak hour traffic. Picture: Peter Wallis

 

Sgt Gorton said Queensland Fire and Emergency services equipment had to be used to take the protesters off the truck and numerous police and fire officers were called to the scene.

Acting Magistrate May allowed Auch and Herbert bail on one condition, that they not participate in any unlawful protest or assembly while on bail.

Auch told the magistrate she could not give him a bail condition that denied him the right to protest, saying it was not legal.

Ms May said it was up to Auch whether he signed the bail condition or whether he wanted to spend time in custody.

 

Emergency services at the scene. Picture: Peter Wallis
Emergency services at the scene. Picture: Peter Wallis

 

Later Herbert also objected to the bail condition and said neither he nor Auch would be signing that bail condition.

He told the magistrate that they would remain in custody, saying he and Auch understood that rebellion meant suffering.

"We will suffer with honour for our generation and our children,'' Herbert said.

"I will continue to do this activity to ensure we survive this climate collapse.''

The two men will be sentenced on December 15.

 

 

Originally published as Extinction Rebellion protesters' act of defiance in court


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