Climate Activists In Australia Face Jail Time: Court Day Arrives In Queensland

2 Mins Read harsha sharma 26 Oct 2023
Climate Activists In Australia Face Jail Time: Court Day Arrives In Queensland

Rob Keller, a 73-year-old retired teacher and small business owner, is facing a potential three-year prison sentence, but his biggest concern isn’t jail—it’s the worsening climate crisis. He’s one of 14 climate activists charged with disrupting Queensland’s parliament during a protest (Source: The Guardian). 

They displayed anti-fossil fuel banners and chanted for a few minutes. Among the group are retired professors, teachers, and small business owners, not hardened criminals.

For over ten months, these activists have lived with the uncertainty of being on bail. Some faced job threats, while others couldn’t get home insurance.

David Rasborsek, 59, and his 88-year-old mother, Judith, are also charged with disturbing the legislature. It’s a charge that hasn’t been used since the repressive reign of Premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen. David has already spent a week in jail for a separate climate protest and knows the dangers of prison.

His mother, despite her age, is ready to accept any outcome, even jail.

The group of 14 knows of other climate activists who’ve gone to jail for their cause, and they see a growing crackdown on activists across the country.

One of them, Violet Coco, is a prominent activist who was sentenced to 15 months in jail for blocking traffic in Sydney. Her sentence was overturned on appeal. She’s standing with the Brisbane activists in solidarity.

Lee Coaldrake, a retired anesthetist, one of the fourteen activists, claimed that the dedication to save the planet is beyond the courtroom. She spoke on behalf of the other protesters, saying “going to the prison means absolutely nothing,” she compared this to the “global catastrophe of climate breakdown.”

These activists are committed to fighting climate change, even if it means going to jail. Their dedication goes beyond the courtroom, as they’re willing to face the consequences for the sake of the planet.

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Harsha is a senior content writer with numerous hobbies who takes great pride in spreading kindness. Earning a Postgraduate degree in Microbiology, she invests her time reading and informing people about various topics, particularly health and lifestyle. She believes in continuous learning, with life as her inspiration, and opines that experiences enrich our lives.

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