UPDATE Wednesday 9 June 3:40 pm: The 28-year-old man arrested yesterday over the protest at the office of the Member for Bega Andrew Constance will appear in Bega Local Court on Tuesday, 29 June.
He has been charged with using intimidation/violence to unlawfully influence a person, entering enclosed land without lawful excuse, refusing/failing to comply with a direction, risking the safety of another by climbing onto a building/structure, and wilfully obstructing an officer in the execution of their duty.
UPDATE 4:30 pm: Five people have been arrested following today’s unauthorised protest at Andrew Constance’s office, while another group of protestors in attendance were given move-on directions.
The 63-year-old man from Tarraganda who had his hand released from the front door has been charged with malicious damage, resist arrest, refuse/fail to comply with a direction, use intimidation/violence to unlawfully influence a person, and wilfully prevent the free passage of a person/vehicle.
A 60-year-old Bega man was arrested for failing to comply with a move-on direction and was subsequently issued an infringement.
At about 12.45 pm, a 53-year-old woman was taken down from the roof and arrested.
She was charged at Bega Police Station with using intimidation/violence to unlawfully influence a person, enter enclosed land without lawful excuse, refuse/fail to comply with a direction, and risk the safety of another by climbing onto a building/structure.
At 1:20 pm, the last two men on the roof, aged 21 and 28, were removed, arrested and taken to Bega Police Station.
The younger man has since been charged with use intimidation/violence to unlawfully influence a person, enter enclosed land without lawful excuse, refuse/fail to comply with a direction, risk the safety of another by climbing onto a building/structure, and wilfully obstruct an officer in the execution of duty.
Charges are expected to be laid against the 28-year-old man.
11:30 am: Protestors have dumped a pile of woodchips in front of the office of the Member for Bega Andrew Constance to protest against what they say is inaction on climate change.
The Extinction Rebellion protest began at 8:45 am this morning on Carp Street, Bega. They also posted signs and placards, sat on the roof of the office, and an older gentleman glued himself to the glass front door of the office.
Legal observer Bell, who wished to remain anonymous, explained the man was ‘unglued’ by a team of friendly paramedics before being arrested by local police.
She said although police initially released the man, he was then re-arrested after failing to leave the area quickly.
“He said he would do this no matter what the personal cost to himself was,” she said.
Bell explained there were several local issues in which Andrew Constance was a key player, including land clearing, the Eden chip mill and the region’s high number of endangered animals.
Bell said the group was unsure how long the protest would last, as it depended on how the day went and what options authorities gave individuals.
In a video posted to the Extinction Rebellion Facebook page, a voice off-screen could be heard saying that all members of the group act in peace and do not wish to disturb any Bega residents who are simply going about their regular daily activities.
“We call for the truth and action about the climate emergency we are facing right now,” the voice said.
Police were on scene and closed the street.