Climate ‘pests’ FLEE from cops as Blockade Australia protesters gather in a park


Climate ‘pests’ FLEE from cops as Blockade Australia protesters gather in a park on their ‘rest day’ – but leader insists they were just having a PICNIC

  • NSW Police raided a park in Sydney chasing Blockade Australia protesters 
  • They received intelligence members of the group had been gathering there
  • Zelda Grimshaw, 56, leads Blockade Australia in its radical climate protests 
  • She claimed that members of the group had just been having a picnic 

Blockade Australia climate activists who’ve spent the past two days protesting in Sydney‘s CBD, resulting in multiple arrests, have run from police after being spotted in a park in Sydney’s inner west.

NSW Police told AAP officers arrived at the park in Tempe on Wednesday after receiving intelligence members of the group had been gathering there.

One woman was arrested nearby Turella Reserve, however it remains unclear if she was connected to the group, a police spokeswoman said.

Zelda Grimshaw, a communications professional linked to Blockade Australia, said police had raided a peaceful picnic attended by 30 members of the activist group.

‘Police came … with helicopters, unmarked cars, plainclothes officers, and pulled people off pushbikes and threw people to the ground and detained and searched people who were peacefully having a picnic in a park,’ Ms Grimshaw said.

In another interview, she also denied being the leader of the group. 

‘I am quite a background person and media professional. It’s a large network and I am one person in that network,’ she told the Cairns Post.

‘I am no way a mastermind or figurehead.’

One person was arrested for having graffiti implements after police discovered felt tip pens, and another had been asked to leave NSW after police found gardening implements in their car, she said.

NSW Police arrived at a park in Tempe, Sydney, on Wednesday after receiving intelligence members of Blockade Australia had been gathering there

NSW Police arrived at a park in Tempe, Sydney, on Wednesday after receiving intelligence members of Blockade Australia had been gathering there

One person was arrested for having graffiti implements after police discovered felt tip pens, and another had been asked to leave NSW after police found gardening implements in their car

One person was arrested for having graffiti implements after police discovered felt tip pens, and another had been asked to leave NSW after police found gardening implements in their car

One woman was arrested nearby Turella Reserve, however it remains unclear if she was connected to the group, a police spokeswoman said

One woman was arrested nearby Turella Reserve, however it remains unclear if she was connected to the group, a police spokeswoman said

Zelda Grimshaw, a communications professional linked to Blockade Australia, said police called a helicopter to the scene

Zelda Grimshaw, a communications professional linked to Blockade Australia, said police called a helicopter to the scene

Zelda Grimshaw, 56, is the figurehead of Blockade Australia, a radical group that causes mayhem around Australia to draw attention to climate change

Zelda Grimshaw, 56, is the figurehead of Blockade Australia, a radical group that causes mayhem around Australia to draw attention to climate change

‘We feel like we’re in a car driving at rapid speed towards the cliff, and what we’re being asked to do is to protest, you know, nicely,’ Ms Grimshaw said.

Ms Grimshaw said she hoped further protests would go ahead on Thursday and Friday but could not say what was planned.

Organisers said Wednesday would be a day of rest for the activist group, after two days of marches and demonstrations in the CBD resulted in 21 arrests.

‘We have made the call for tomorrow to be a day off,’ they said on the Telegram messaging platform via the Blockade Australia: Resist Climate Inaction channel.

‘We want people to have a chance to rest, regroup and support one another as well as connect with those who share our common purpose of resisting climate destruction.’

WHO IS ZELDA GRIMSHAW?

Zelda Grimshaw is the figurehead of Blockade Australia, a radical group that causes mayhem around Australia to draw attention to climate change

She has waged war against the Adani coal mine, written bizarre protest music and once condemned the whole idea of ironing clothes.

She was also nearly hacked to death by militia during a massacre in East Timor and campaigned against weapons sales by calling war ‘peak toxic masculinity’.

Ms Grimshaw last week invoked American civil rights hero Martin Luther King to call for 10,000 people to join the protest in Sydney.

‘To paraphrase Martin Luther King, when climate destruction becomes laws, resistance becomes duty,’ she said.

The group shut down the main freight route in and out of the Port of Botany in March and blocked freight trains carrying coal in Marrickville and Tempe in May.

Ms Grimshaw has been active in various protest causes for decades, mostly in Queensland where she lives in Cairns.

Her activism has involved opposing: the Adani coal mine in Queensland, cuts to arts funding, military spending and weapons production, forest logging, an wealth inequality.

Profiles by other activist groups credit her with being a driving force behind the Stop Adani group that waged a war of attrition against the mine by blockading trains and freight routes and harassing its financial backers.

She also protested in support of indigenous rights and sovereignty, human rights for natives in West Papua, feminism, and for refugees to be settled in Australia. 

Her West Papuan activism came from when she was United Nations observer during the 1999 East Timor independence referendum where pro-Indonesia militia massacred 1,500 civilians, and had to be evacuated to Darwin.

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

Protesters who disrupt major roadways, ports and railways can now 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.

Daily Mail Australia previously revealed that the woman leading the climate protests that paralyzed Sydney during Monday peak hour is a career activist with a colourful history. 

Grimshaw, 56, has waged war against the Adani coal mine, written bizarre protest music and once condemned the whole idea of ironing clothes.

She was also nearly hacked to death by militia during a massacre in East Timor and campaigned against weapons sales by calling war ‘peak toxic masculinity’.

Now the Queenslander, occasional firefighter and cabaret dancer is the figurehead of Blockade Australia, a radical group that causes mayhem around Australia to draw attention to climate change.

Protesters on Monday parked a car sideways over the entrance to the Sydney Harbour Tunnel and marched through the CBD hurling debris at police, with 11 arrested.

Blockade Australia has promised a week of disruption to ‘blockade the streets of Australia’s most important political and economic centre and cause disruption that cannot be ignored’ and is armed with a $75,000 legal war chest.

Ms Grimshaw last week invoked American civil rights hero Martin Luther King to call for 10,000 people to join the protest in Sydney.

‘To paraphrase Martin Luther King, when climate destruction becomes laws, resistance becomes duty,’ she said.

The group shut down the main freight route in and out of the Port of Botany in March and blocked freight trains carrying coal in Marrickville and Tempe in May.

Ms Grimshaw has been active in various protest causes for decades, mostly in Queensland where she lives in Cairns.

Her activism has involved opposing: the Adani coal mine in Queensland, cuts to arts funding, military spending and weapons production, forest logging, an wealth inequality.

Profiles by other activist groups credit her with being a driving force behind the Stop Adani group that waged a war of attrition against the mine by blockading trains and freight routes and harassing its financial backers.

She also protested in support of indigenous rights and sovereignty, human rights for natives in West Papua, feminism, and for refugees to be settled in Australia. 

Her West Papuan activism came from when she was United Nations observer during the 1999 East Timor independence referendum where pro-Indonesia militia massacred 1,500 civilians, and had to be evacuated to Darwin.

Protesters parked a car sideways over the entrance to the Sydney Harbour Tunnel (pictured) and marched through the CBD hurling debris at police, with 11 arrested

Protesters parked a car sideways over the entrance to the Sydney Harbour Tunnel (pictured) and marched through the CBD hurling debris at police, with 11 arrested 

Ms Grimshaw last week invoked American civil rights hero Martin Luther King to call for 10,000 people to join the protest in Sydney

Ms Grimshaw last week invoked American civil rights hero Martin Luther King to call for 10,000 people to join the protest in Sydney

Her West Papuan activism came from when she was United Nations observer during the 1999 East Timor independence referendum where pro-Indonesia militia massacred 1,500 civilians (pictured at the 2019 anniversary)

Her West Papuan activism came from when she was United Nations observer during the 1999 East Timor independence referendum where pro-Indonesia militia massacred 1,500 civilians (pictured at the 2019 anniversary)

‘I was on foot. The militia had begun shooting people. They hacked a man to death in front of the UN headquarters and broke the arm of a BBC journalist, and I dived into the gully,’ she said at the 2019 anniversary.

‘My sister rang and said ‘you have to get out of there, it’s not safe’. I’m trying to reassure her, saying: ‘You only see the worst on TV’, when I was in a ditch with shots ringing overhead.’

Ms Grimshaw and two other Australians, a documentary film crew, were rescued from hiding in the ditch when locals broke through the militia lines in a ute and drove them to safety. 

Ms Grimshaw's activism has opposed the Adani coal mine in Queensland, cuts to arts funding, military spending and weapons production, forest logging, an wealth inequality

Ms Grimshaw’s activism has opposed the Adani coal mine in Queensland, cuts to arts funding, military spending and weapons production, forest logging, an wealth inequality

Ms Grimshaw’s day job appears to be as an artist, having performed cabaret, dances, and as a comedian as well as writing and performing a handful of songs.

Her music acts as an extension of her activism with titles like ‘Eat the Rich’, ‘Never Gonna Build that Mine’, and ‘The Ballad of Gina Rinehart’.

One of her songs ‘Down the Abbott Hole’ was promoted as ‘calling for the head of Tony Abbott’ – in reality just his resignation – over his environmental policies.

‘We speak for millions of Australians in saying that Tony Abbott is a national embarrassment, and an environmental disaster,’ she said at the time.

‘Since Australia fell down the Abbott hole, we have become the first nation in the world to overturn our climate change policies. 

‘Refugees are treated as though they are the very terrorists they are escaping from, and human rights are being trampled on in the name of ‘security’.’

She also made a submission to a Senate inquiry into the impact of the 2014 and 2015 Budget decisions on the arts sector, defending grassroots projects that needed government money to exist.

‘These projects have no claim to ‘artistic excellence’ in the sense of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra or Opera Australia,’ she wrote.

‘Yet these are the sorts of projects that drive cultural and social change, by connecting with communities in an inclusive arts practice.

‘By bringing divergent human experiences together in the peaceful zone that is arts expression, and by resolving social tensions and pain through the media of song, dance, poetry, and drama: acting together.’

One post in 2018 bragged about how she hadn't paid an electricity bill in years because her solar panels generated more power than she used

One post in 2018 bragged about how she hadn’t paid an electricity bill in years because her solar panels generated more power than she used

Her music acts as an extension of her activism with titles like 'Eat the Rich', 'Never Gonna Build that Mine', and 'The Ballad of Gina Rinehart'

Her music acts as an extension of her activism with titles like ‘Eat the Rich’, ‘Never Gonna Build that Mine’, and ‘The Ballad of Gina Rinehart’

Come watch me play! With myself. All alone, in my lounge room. With a virtual cast of fabulous performers from Aus and…

Posted by Zelda Da on Thursday, June 11, 2020

Ms Grimshaw’s social media is loaded with activist messages and shared posts of protest photos and videos from Blockage Australia, Black Lives Matter, and various climate and environment groups.

One post in 2018 bragged about how she hadn’t paid an electricity bill in years because her solar panels generated more power than she used.

‘Tell me again, ScoMo (then-prime minister Scott Morrison), how coal keeps prices down for the consumer?’ she wrote.

Another post railed against the entire concept of ironing clothes, and bizarrely asked if it was invented by Mr Abbott.

‘Seriously, what a s**t invention and horrible waste of human and energy resources. And ironing boards are downright diabolical,’ she wrote.

Another post read: ‘I dreamt I was posing as a cyborg in order to infiltrate and disrupt an evil cabal of military-industrial psychopaths who were intent on destroying our planet (sound familiar?)

‘But I got sprung, because they were able to smell me! and then I had to fight them to the death (without the benefit of cyborg powers).’

Ms Grimshaw has been active in various protest causes for decades, mostly in Queensland where she lives in Cairns

Ms Grimshaw has been active in various protest causes for decades, mostly in Queensland where she lives in Cairns

Ms Grimshaw on her Facebook once railed against the entire concept of ironing clothes, and bizarrely asked if it was invented by Tony Abbott

Ms Grimshaw on her Facebook once railed against the entire concept of ironing clothes, and bizarrely asked if it was invented by Tony Abbott

Advertising a performance alongside indigenous artists at the Bulmba-ja Arts Centre in Cairns, she posted a protest poem.

‘We are the tide flowing into the future. No barnacled old sea wall can hold us back. We are global citizens of every age gender color hairstyle and sexuality,’ she wrote.

‘We are the culture makers and we are the game changers. We are here.’

Ms Grimshaw also wrote articles condemning war and weapons production, one of which was published in The Guardian.

That article told the story of Izzy Brown, whose former ASIO agent father worked for Thales, one of the biggest arms manufacturers in the world.

Ms Brown had discovered that Thales sold weapons to Indonesian special forces, which were accused of terrorising, torturing, and murdering natives in West Papuan, where her husband was from.

‘I was suddenly painfully aware that my father is paid by a company that sells weapons that may be used against his own grandchildren’s family,’ she said.

Guide to how your commute is going to be a DISASTER almost every day this week 

TUESDAY 

Train drivers will refuse to drive faster than 60km/h in the Sydney suburban area, which threatens to clog the network. 

Suburban lines on Tuesday are expected to run on an amended timetable with a reduction of up to half of normal services during the peak period.

There will also likely be significant delays for NSW intercity and long-distance regional services. 

NSW TrainLink promised to directly contact customers who have bookings on regional train services to advise them of expected delays. 

Passengers are advised to limit their use of those services to essential travel.

WEDNESDAY   

Train drivers will be indefinitely banned from moving back to the rail operations centre. 

There will also be an indefinite ban on work relating to Sydney Metro. 

Despite this Wednesday is shaping up as the least disrupted day. 

THURSDAY 

Drivers will only work from their current depot and this will cause a significantly reduced timetable with delays. 

In addition commuters are warned trains are set to have altered stopping patterns and cancellations are likely.

Intercity and regional services to the Central Coast, Newcastle, Hunter, Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands and South Coast lines is also expected on Thursday June 30 and Friday July 1. 

 

FRIDAY 

Drivers will refuse to operate any foreign-built trains, which make up about 70 per cent of the fleet and operate 75 per cent of services. 

This will lead to drastic reduction in train services across NSW, however there will be limited replacement buses will in some areas.    

Train users are advised to keep checking transportnsw.info for updated information.

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union is taking the protected industrial action voicing concerns over occupational health and safety matters to do with the trains imported from South Korea.

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