A climate activist has been given a suspended prison sentence in the Bowen Magistrates Court today for stopping a train loaded with coal from Adani’s controversial Carmichael mine last December.
Kyle Magee and Franz Dowling both plead guilty to three offences related to stopping the coal train. Mr Dowling was fined $1200, while Mr Magee was fined $1000 and given a three month prison sentence suspended for twelve months. Both were required to pay $500 compensation for coal they shovelled off Adani’s carriage.
Mr Dowling said “future generations will be shocked when they find out that polluting industries who make millions from knowingly destroying our planet are given government subsidies to do so; while the ordinary people who try to stop them are arrested, fined and thrown in prison. But that’s exactly why we need to take dramatic actions like these to protect our planet, and that’s why prison sentences will not deter people with a conscience from resisting this destructive industry.”
Mr Magee is the fifth climate activist to be given a custodial sentence in Australia in the last six months. He follows Juliet Lamont in Bowen and Sergeio Herbert in Newcastle last December, and Max Curmi and Andy George in Sydney last month.
Mr Dowling said there are many ways police and courts repress climate activism, not all of them obvious: “on top of the charges we plead guilty to today, we were also charged with fraud which was completely nonsensical. We offered to plead guilty to the three charges if fraud was dropped, but the prosecution refused, only to drop the charge on the day. So we were forced to go through the time and expense of formulating a legal defence for a charge that the prosecution knew would never have held up in court. The police prosecution’s dirty tactic of laying spurious charges just to attempt to scare off activists shows not only contempt for our time and resources, it makes a mockery of the legal system itself.”
“Real justice will come when our government and legal system start to place the rights of people and planet as equal to that of corporate profits. Until then, it is up to ordinary people to stand up for what’s right and highlight the hypocrisy of those who make and maintain the laws.”