A NEWCASTLE teenager on a 10-metre tripod blocked coal trains from entering Newcastle Port in the second climate change protest this week.
Ballyn Teagle, 17, was suspended from the tripod near Sandgate’s Hunter River bridge as part of a Frontline Action on Coal protest, only two days after three protesters at the same site were arrested by police for stopping rail movements to the port.
Wednesday’s protest, like Monday’s, was live-streamed by the group on social media.
In a statement released this morning Mr Teagle called on “executives and lobbyists to think outside their wallets and instead thing towards their children’s future”.
“I’m worried about my future and the future of my peers. The fact that we have no meaningful plan to transition from fossil fuels frustrates me beyond belief. We have had the technology for years and still our leaders drag their feet, actively ignoring the obvious warning signs of a world heating up.”
Mr Teagle initially refused police requests to get down from the tripod where he was suspended since 6am, but is being removed by Police Rescue.
About 6am (Wednesday 5 September 2018), police from Newcastle City Police District were called to a rail corridor after reports of two people trespassing.
Officers attended and arrested a 22-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy.
The man was charged with enter inclosed lands interferes with, or attempts or intends to interfere with, the conduct of the business or undertaking and cause obstruction to railway locomotive or rolling stock.
He was granted conditional bail and is due to appear at Newcastle Local Court on Thursday September 27.
The teenager was charged with enter inclosed lands interferes with, or attempts or intends to interfere with, the conduct of the business or undertaking, enter inclosed land or not prescribed premises without lawful excuse and cause obstruction to railway locomotive or rolling stock.
He was granted conditional bail and is due to appear at a children’s court on Monday September 24.
As this is the second event of its kind this week, Newcastle City Police District Commander Superintendent Brett Greentree, reminded people to keep their safety in mind when undertaking protesting activity.
“It is extremely dangerous to enter a rail corridor,” Supt Greentree said.
“We support the rights of individuals and groups to protest peacefully, but not when it impedes on their safety and the safety of others.”
“Ballyn is demonstrating the need for an urgent transition away from our reliance on coal,” a Frontline Action on Coal spokesperson said.
The group said the protests to stop coal reaching Newcastle port for expert are necessary while the Australian government refuses to legislate any meaningful emissions targets on an international scale.
“This failing impacts the world’s youngest and most vulnerable and is in severe contrast to the attitude of most everyday Australians who are taking personal action to prevent climate change,” the group said.
“Already the effects of climate change are being felt locally with NSW experiencing severe widespread drought correlated with one of the earliest total fire bans on record this winter. As the burning of fossil fuels continues, the trajectory of this extreme weather is predicted to exacerbate. The severity and scale of which will majorly impact the youth of today as they deal with a dying planet.”
On Monday university student Sarah Barron was suspended over the rail line which stopped train movements at Sandgate. She was one of three people arrested and charged.
At the time Newcastle City Police District Commander Superintendent Brett Greentree, said public safety was the first priority when it comes to protest activity.
“We support the rights of individuals and groups to protest peacefully, but not when it impedes on their safety and the safety of others,” Supt Greentree said.
“Entering a rail corridor is extremely dangerous and it’s lucky no one was seriously injured in the incident.”
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