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Blockade Australia climate change pests are forced to call off protests

Radical climate group Blockade Australia has called off its organised protests in NSW.

The activists spent Monday and Tuesday protesting in Sydney’s CBD, causing major disruption and resulting in multiple arrests, and group members ran from police on Wednesday after their picnic in Tempe was targeted by officers.

‘We have made the hard choice to end the mobilisation and wait until next time when we are bigger and stronger,’ they said on the Telegram messaging platform via the Blockade Australia: Resist Climate Inaction channel on Thursday.

‘We call on people to continue to take disruptive climate action in any way they can.’

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has called the activists ‘bloody idiots,’ saying their actions did not aid their cause.

The group thanked those who had taken part in the disruptions on Monday and Tuesday.

‘We have endured extreme state repression. It has challenged our plans and further exposed what Australia will do to protect its own interest. We are tired but not broken, and moved by all the solidarity and support,’ the message said.

Protesters who disrupt major roadways, ports and railways can be charged with newly-legislated penalties of up to two years in prison and a fine of $22,000.

A total of 32 people have been arrested since NSW Police set up Strike Force Guard in March to prevent, investigate and disrupt unauthorised protests.

 It comes as one of the Blockade Australia activists alleged to have caused havoc across Sydney has moaned about being given a cheese sandwich after her arrest.

Blockade Australia activist Harley McDonald-Eckersall has moaned about being given a cheese sandwich after her arrest for her part in allegedly causing rush hour havoc in Sydney 

Vegan animal rights extremist Harley McDonald-Eckersall, 24, raged online after she was denied bail and held overnight in a police cell after allegedly bringing the city to a standstill.

Vegan animal rights extremist Harley McDonald-Eckersall, 24, raged online after she was denied bail and held overnight in a police cell after allegedly bringing the city to a standstill.

Vegan animal rights extremist Harley McDonald-Eckersall, 24, complained online after she was denied bail and held overnight in a police cell for allegedly bringing the city to a standstill.

She was fuming that she had spent the night sobbing in a cold cell – and outraged over the food options offered to her, and the fact she wasn’t offered a book to read.

‘Just an fyi to the Surrey hills police station that dry cereal and fruit is not food and that a cheese sandwich is not vegan,’ she wrote on Facebook under her pseudonym, Holly Eckells.

‘Get some real food pls, thanks. Also like, a book would be nice.’

 The Melbourne eco-warrior was one of 10 people arrested after Mali Cooper allegedly stopped rush hour traffic by blocking the entrance to Sydney Harbour Tunnel with a car on Monday morning.

The Melbourne eco-warrior was one of 10 people arrested after Mali Cooper allegedly stopped rush hour traffic by blocking the entrance to Sydney Harbour Tunnel with a car on Monday

The Melbourne eco-warrior was one of 10 people arrested after Mali Cooper allegedly stopped rush hour traffic by blocking the entrance to Sydney Harbour Tunnel with a car on Monday 

Elsewhere in the city gangs of protesters added to the turmoil in a series of rolling demonstrations through the city designed to disrupt traffic and police

Elsewhere in the city gangs of protesters added to the turmoil in a series of rolling demonstrations through the city designed to disrupt traffic and police

The former teen model allegedly padlocked herself to her rental car’s steering wheel and had to be cut free by Police Rescue specialists while the city ground to a halt.

Footage from Cooper’s livestream of her protest revealed one furious commuter confronting her in the car and venting his frustrations at the chaos she was allegedly causing. 

Harley McDonald-Eckersall was furious to be given a 'non-vegan' cheese sandwich to eat by police

Harley McDonald-Eckersall was furious to be given a ‘non-vegan’ cheese sandwich to eat by police

Elsewhere in the city gangs of protesters added to the turmoil in a series of rolling demonstrations through the city designed to disrupt traffic and police.

McDonald-Eckersall was one of the protesters arrested and fumed online about being denied bail and the conditions she had to endure.

In a lengthy post with a selfie of herself apparently in a police station toilet, McDonald-Eckersall whinged about her treatment and admitted she spent the night weeping in her cell.

‘I was arrested with four others after under 30 minutes of moving through the streets,’ she said. ‘This was fine for me. I knew I was risking arrest and was prepared for that. 

‘I was not however prepared to be refused bail. Because I was denied bail I spent 29 hours in police custody.

‘About half of that time was spent in what was essentially a see-through box which looked out on the custody desk and gave me enough room to lie flat with my head pressed against one wall and my feet against another. 

‘The other half was spent in a cell with constant cold air blowing and thin blankets.

‘I am angry. This is how people who stand up for our planet and all life are being treated in this country…Do I deserve it? Will I deserve it?’

She added: ‘The only thing that made me cry silently into my blanket was 7 hours in when I had the crushing thought no one would be waiting for me on the outside.’

She said her immediate plans were to ‘to take a rest, eat ice cream in bed and probably cry a lot.’

Harley McDonald-Eckersall’s comments were lashed by NSW Police Minister Paul Toole who slammed the activist for expecting hotel treatment in custody. 

‘If these protesters are so concerned about their dietary requirements, they should heed the multiple warnings not to engage in illegal and unauthorised protests,’ he said. 

Elsewhere in the city gangs of protesters added to the turmoil in a series of rolling demonstrations through the city designed to disrupt traffic and police

Elsewhere in the city gangs of protesters added to the turmoil in a series of rolling demonstrations through the city designed to disrupt traffic and police

’Law abiding citizens rightly expect to see these offenders arrested and held in police cells, at the pleasure of Her Majesty, not the Marriott. 

’The patience of drivers caught in their chaos has worn thinner than any blanket in the cells, and our hardworking police have done a great job in disrupting their protests. 

‘These professional pests are on notice – if you don’t like the cereal or fruit served in custody, stop your economic vandalism and get a real job.’ 

McDonald-Eckersall was finally released from custody yesterday but as she was set free, fellow activist Mali Cooper was re-arrested for allegedly breaching her bail conditions.

Police stopped a car in Petersham and found her inside, allegedly contravening her bail conditions which required her to return to Lismore and observe a 10pm to 6am curfew.

A white hatchback was parked sideways over two lanes of traffic - causing chaos for the thousands of people who use the tunnel every hour

A white hatchback was parked sideways over two lanes of traffic – causing chaos for the thousands of people who use the tunnel every hour

Cooper, 22, was taken to Surry Hills Police Station for questioning and was held overnight.

Her legal firm Sydney City Crime tweeted: ‘Police re arrested our client today, climate protestor Mali Cooper, as she was driving to Lismore around midday. 

‘Police calculated that she would be in breach of her bail as she wouldn’t arrive in Lismore by evening. Oh Pleeease! Sorry Mali, in their cold cells again tonight.’

NSW Police declined to comment on McDonald-Eckersall’s remarks but said she could make a complaint at the police station if she wished. 

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