Australian climate activists claim police injured two campaigners with an unmarked police car during a protest.
Police arrested seven people at a Blockade Australia camp in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney on Sunday.
Police said they were conducting investigations into “planned unauthorised protest activity” at a property in Colo when they were surrounded by a crowd who damaged the tyres of a police vehicle.
However, Blockade Australia, a climate protest group that takes direct action at “economic bottlenecks and centres of political power”, claims two activists were injured when the car sped away.
A statement put out by the group said members saw two people in full camouflage gear hiding in the bush and approached them, but the pair did not respond to questions.
The statement added: “The two armed, camouflaged people found hiding above our campsite did not speak to us or identify themselves to us or offer any sign to indicate that they were police officers.
“At 9am a large black car sped down the private driveway to our campsite. The two camouflaged people ran towards it.
“The vehicle and its occupants had no police markings. We asked the persons to identify themselves but none of the four occupants spoke with us.
“The vehicle then accelerated and sped towards people standing on the road. Two people were struck by the car and injured.
“At no point did any of the climate activists harm or threaten to harm the camouflaged intruders or occupants of the vehicle.
“It is possible that the unmarked car was dented when it smashed into our bodies however we cannot verify this. The police claim made on 19/06/22 that officers experienced fear or felt threatened is disingenuous. We were not the ones with the guns.
“We will not be intimidated by the militarised police who squash dissent to the system that fuels the climate crisis. We will not cave to fear tactics.”
NSW Police allege the officers were surrounded by a group of people and the tyres of an unmarked police vehicle were damaged, rendering it undriveable.
Seven people were arrested and taken to Windsor police station. They have been charged with a range of offences including affray, assaulting a police officer without actual bodily harm, intimidating a police officer, and property damage.
In March the protestors caused blockades at Port Botany in Sydney to disrupt fossil fuel production.
NSW police acting assistant commissioner Paul Dunstan said the activists were “practising, rehearsing and constructing items to conduct similar methods of protest that they conducted during the March protest activity, where you saw elaborate objects being formed and put in the middle of the roadways to ultimately disrupt vehicle activity and trains around the Sydney area”.
Source Link Climate activists ‘injured by police’ in clash with officers ‘hiding in bushes to monitor camp’