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Anti mining activists win court battle to close busy intersection and defend their right to protest

Jonathan Sri anti crackdown protest
Jonathan Sri anti crackdown protest

A Queensland councillor organised dozens of anti mining activists to interrupt city traffic because they fear they are about to lose some of their rights to protest on August 28.

Greens Brisbane City Councillor Jonathan Sri dodged a legal bid from city Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner to block his planned traffic-stopping demonstration on Queen Street against the State Government’s recent crackdown on anti mining protests that use “dangerous devices”.

‘Serious public disorder’

Council claimed such a demonstration would cause “serious public disorder”.

Schrinner said he just wanted to help improve travel times during peak hour.

“People have the right to protest but not at the expense of the travelling public,” he said according to the Australian Associated Press (AAP). “I refuse to let Brisbane residents fall victim to Cr Sri’s extreme tactics to disrupt the daily lives of Brisbane residents.”

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Court rejects council claim

Sri accused council of appearing to disagree with the protest instead of being worried about traffic.

“I don’t think we want to get into a situation where we say, ‘negative impacts on traffic, therefore no protesting,'” he said in court according to AAP.

In the end Brisbane Chief Magistrate Terry Gardiner rejected council’s claim because it was unnecessary.

“I’m not satisfied that the refusal of the assembly is necessary or reasonable in a democratic society, in the interest of public order,” Gardiner said in court.

Sri previously allowed Extinction Rebellion activists use a meeting room at his ratepayer-funded office because they were as entitled to use the space as any other community group.

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