A furious commuter has driven his car through a pack of climate change protesters – while another has unleashed a torrent of abuse at a young woman who chained herself to her hatchback while blocking traffic though the Sydney Harbour Tunnel.
Extraordinary footage captured in Sydney’s CBD on Monday morning shows the moment members of the extremist Blockade Australia group were almost hit by an SUV while standing in the middle of an intersection near Wynyard Park.
The enraged driver drove straight through the demonstration, as protesters fruitlessly tried to stop the vehicle and chase it across the road – almost getting run over in the process.
The scenes unfolded when dozens of demonstrators hit the streets of the city – wreaking havoc and disrupting innocent Sydneysiders on their way to work in an attempt to raise awareness about climate change.
Mali, 22, parked her white hatchback across the road leading into the busy tunnel and brought hundreds of drivers to a standstill on Monday.
She began to livestream the protest when an angry driver walked up to her window and began to verbally abuse her with a string of swear words before storming off.
‘You’re f***ing everyone’s day up,’ he yells. ‘Get the f*** out of the way!’
An outraged commuter erupted at a climate activist after she chained herself to the steering wheel of her car and blocked traffic outside the Sydney Harbour Tunnel
She began to livestream the protest when an angry driver walked up to her window and began to verbally abuse her before storming off
The woman’s white hatchback was parked sideways over two lanes of traffic – causing chaos for the thousands of people who use the tunnel every hour
An unfazed Mali continues to look at the camera before she responds: ‘To this man I would say I stand with you. It is for you, it is for your family that we do this.’
Mali staged the protest as dozens of Blockade Australia demonstrators marched through the streets in the CBD, disrupting traffic and clashing with police.
One fed-up driver was filmed edging their car through the crowd forcing people to jump out of its way with one protestor banging on the hood of the car as they were pushed backwards.
Mali, who moaned about climate destruction in her livestream, then sipped water from a plastic water bottle as she continued her protest on the other side of the city.
‘The police are here,’ she said into the camera. ‘Not sure if you can see. Thank you everyone who has listened.
‘I’m not sure how much longer I’m going to be able to hold this phone and hold this space. It’s a big day ahead.’
A driver has rammed through a climate change demonstration taking place in the middle of Sydney (pictured)
Protesters marched down the street before a car drove through the intersection and almost hit two activists carrying a banner. Protesters then chased the car as it drove past
She then looks out the window to check on the police officers circling her car before the angered commuter walks back up to her car.
The commuter screamed at her that she was ‘f***ing selfish’, then yelled a phrase at her about ‘jail’ that is so obscene it cannot be published.
Mali continues to look away at her phone and tries to ignore the commuter hurling insults at her.
The commuter then walks away before Mali urges her viewers to join her cause.
‘Come and stand in solidarity. Find your voice,’ she said.
A police officer then walks up to her window and politely asks her for identification.
The tunnel is one of the major thoroughfares taking commuters across the city’s harbour, and is used by up to 2,000 cars every hour.
All traffic had been diverted via the Harbour Bridge and drivers were backed up for several kilometres.
Police officers surrounded the white hatchback as blocked traffic backed up for several kilometres
The woman was eventually arrested by several officers and the tunnel reopened around 9am
The tunnel was reopened after the car was later removed, the Transport Management Centre said.
Mali was one of dozens of Blockade Australia demonstrators that stormed the city, after vowing to create a week of misery for commuters by disrupting traffic with police frantically tried to stop the protest with barricade fences.
In a statement, the radical group said their week-long protest activities had ‘begun’ with ‘its Sydney mobilization to resist climate destruction’.
‘Sydney is where Australia’s operation began, and for more than two centuries, it has been where Australia’s destruction of this continent has been most intense,’ a spokesperson for the group said.
‘The institutions of Australia are concentrations of coercive power that enable this exploitation. Our collective survival rests on organised opposition and the use of strategic direct action to stand against this project of destruction.
Protesters hold a sign outside the Sydney Harbour Tunnel as a car blocks off traffic
Dozens descended on Sydney’s centre, carrying signs and chanting as they demanded action for climate change
‘Blockade Australia will continue to cause disruption and resist climate destruction in the days to come.’
Meanwhile, furious Australians have flocked online to slam the group for interrupting society with ‘dangerous’ antics.’
‘These Blockade idiots need to think better,’ one person tweeted.
‘Even though many support Climate Change, still most of Australia is against these fools. Ban their public welfare if the want to put lives in danger blocking traffic and transport.’
‘I’m sorry but #BlockadeAustralia is 10yrs too late & giving climate change activism a bad name,’ another said.
Another man pointed out the protests meant people were spending longer in their cars with the heaters using petrol on due to the road blockage, which ironically was bad for the environment.
A police officer picks up milk crates left on the street as demonstrators were seen throwing bins and objects into the path of police to slow them down
A man picked up a barricade fence and ran away as protests choked traffic in the CBD on Monday
‘It’s all well and good to protest but to harass the broader community is just selfish,’ a fourth wrote.
As commuters began heading into the city for work, throngs of protesters descended on Elizabeth Street before marching around Hyde Park towards NSW Parliament.
The crowd was forced to disperse when it was blocked by police at the intersection of George and Bridge streets, blocking access to the Harbour Bridge.
Blockade Australia said it would hold a press conference at 2.30pm at Redfern Park.