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More than 100 arrested following Port of Newcastle protest

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Despite having 30 hours to state their case, those involved in the People’s Blockade of the Port of Newcastle finally pushed their luck with the authorities.

The Rising Tide and School Strike for Climate activists were given the “green light” to peacefully protest between 10am on Saturday 25 November and 4pm on Sunday 26 November.

But, they refused to stick to that arrangement.

Now, more than 100 people have been arrested during a police operation.

As of 4pm, the Form 1 relating to an authorised assembly in the Port of Newcastle expired.

Police will allege in court that countless protesters purposely entered the harbour channel after this time, despite appropriate warnings and directions.

No injuries were reported during the arrest phase.

Subsequently, 109 people – including 49 males, 60 females, five of which were juveniles – were arrested.

Of that number, 18 people were taken to Newcastle, Waratah and Toronto Police Stations and 86 were taken to a nearby port facility.

They were all issued court attendance notices for operate vessel so as to interfere with others use of waters.

Two men, aged 23 and 65, were refused bail to appear at Newcastle Local Court on Monday 27 November; while the remainder will appear on Thursday 11 January.

The five juveniles were released and will be dealt with under the Young Offenders Act.

Earlier, Rising Tide organiser and spokesperson Alexa Stuart backed the activists’ stance.

“If the government won’t take action on climate change, the people will use civil disobedience,” she said.

“We wish we did not have to do this, but the Albanese government needs to understand we are serious.

“Unless it says no to new coal projects and agrees to tax coal export profits at 75% to fund the transition, we will continue to disrupt the fossil fuel industry.”

Newcastle local and Ms Stuart’s grandfather Reverend Alan Stuart threw his full support behind her.

“I am doing this for my grandchildren and future generations because I don’t want to leave them a world full of increasingly severe and frequent climate disasters,” the 97-year-old said.

“I’m so sorry that they will have to suffer the consequences of our inaction.

“So, I think it is my duty to do what I can and to stand up for what I know is right.”

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