Two arrested after police raid bush property connected to climate protest group

Police have claimed they “feared for their lives” when they were allegedly circled by climate protesters on a property in Sydney’s outskirts. 

Officers claimed they “feared for their lives” when a planned raid of a climate protest group camp on the outskirts of Sydney took an unexpected turn.

Climate inaction protest group Blockade Australia were responsible for a series of extreme protest actions throughout March.

The group had gained notoriety for suspending themselves from bridges and over roads to disrupt transport networks across Sydney.

Members had stressed their actions were leading up to large-scale protest activity, scheduled to begin on June 27.

On Sunday, investigations led police to a property in Colo where they believed Blockade Australia volunteers were plotting and preparing for protest action.

40 people were allegedly at the property at the time.

Police allege the group were “practising, rehearsing and constructing items to conduct similar methods of protest” to those they executed in March.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Paul Dustin said police would allege a group approached them and began to circle officers when they arrived on the property.

“They pushed, shoved, jostled police before they managed to enter their vehicle,” Mr Dustin said.

“A group of people commenced damaging the vehicle, letting down the tyres and preventing the vehicle from leaving the area.”

A struggle ensued during which time police called for urgent assistance from Sydney Metropolitan area.

Two people were arrested but a number of others allegedly fled into bushland.

“I can assure you that what I saw this morning was violence from this group,” Mr Dustin said.

“Those police that were attacked by that group this morning feared for their lives.”

No police were injured during the incident but two people were arrested.

“This activity will not be tolerated by the NSW Police force, we will not allow police to be attacked in this manner and we will not tolerate police being manhandled in any circumstances,” Mr Dustin said.

In a statement, Blockade Australia claimed 100 officers and helicopters, a dog squad, a squad with body armour and full face helmets, camouflage squads, and uniformed police surrounded the bush property and commenced search and seizure procedures.

Climate activist Zelda Grimshaw claimed it was “insane police overreach”.

“No actual crimes have been committed by the climate activists at the camp,” she said.

“This level of police repression of the climate movement is unprecedented.”

Originally published as ‘Feared for their lives’: Officers allegedly circled, tyres let down during raid on climate protest group’s property

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