A climate change protester who blocked part of the Harbour Bridge in April has been sentenced to a minimum of eight months and a maximum of 15 months in prison.
Deanna “Violet” Coco was sentenced after she pleaded guilty to seven charges.
Coco blocked a lane of traffic on the Harbour Bridge for 25 minutes with a truck. She stood atop the truck and lit a flare.
Coco’s sentence follows the introduction of harsher penalties in NSW for protesters who cause disruptions to roads, public transport or major infrastructure. These new laws were supported by the NSW Government and Opposition.
Under the legislation, protesters will face a maximum penalty of two years in jail, a fine of up to $22,000, or both.
Coco’s lawyers have lodged an appeal against her sentence, with a hearing set to be heard in March 2023.
In the meantime, she will remain in custody after being refused bail.
NSW Government response
Speaking today, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet labelled the sentence as “not excessive”, adding “if protesters want to put our way of life at risk, then they should have the book thrown at them and that’s pleasing to see”.
The Premier suggested the sentence is a “clear lesson” that “everyone has the right to protest, but do so in a way that doesn’t inconvenience people”.