Protesters who glued themselves to a city street last week have succeeded in having their bail conditions lessened – just in time for further demonstrations.
Protesters who glued themselves to a city street last week have succeeded in having their bail conditions lessened – just in time for further demonstrations.

Police come unstuck on bid to restrict glued protesters

Five women who glued their hands to the street as part of a climate change "mass disruption" have won the right to re-enter the CBD - just in time for two more planned protests.

On Wednesday, the Adelaide Magistrates Court overturned bail conditions that banned the group from entering the city precinct or speaking with one another.

SA Police had argued they sought not to restrict the group's constitutional right to protest, but to ensure city workers and motorists were not "disrupted" by their actions.

Magistrate Kym Millard, however, said he could "frankly see no reason" for the imposition of such "onerous" bail conditions on five people with no prior criminal records.

"Each of them has the lawful right to protest and, provided they remain within the bounds of the law, they cannot be prevented from protesting," he said.

"(These conditions) unreasonably fetter their lawful rights, including their lawful right to protest."

Extinction Rebellion has called for drastic emission cuts to avoid climate disaster. Picture: Matt Turner.
Extinction Rebellion has called for drastic emission cuts to avoid climate disaster. Picture: Matt Turner.

Sarah Elizabeth Cartwright, 70, Ngoc Mai Nguyen, 32, Rhonda Rees, 38, Jenny Ann Rees, 65, and Catherine Mary Mettam, 65, have yet to plead to one count each of failing to cease loitering.

The five were arrested, alongside Ian David Fox, following the group's CBD protest last week.

Extinction Rebellion has called on the Australian Government to drastically cut emissions by 2025 to avoid climate disaster.

During the demonstration, protesters glued themselves to Flinders St - it is further alleged they vandalised the Santos Building and set off smoke flares.

Traffic was delayed for several hours while SA Police used solvents to detach the protesters from the road surface and remove others from the building's first floor roof.

Fox, 64, of Flagstaff Hill, was released on bail the following day with a magistrate saying it was "important to democracy" he be allowed to "protest peacefully".

On Wednesday, Claire O'Connor SC, for the group, said the bail conditions imposed by police were designed to punish her clients by silencing them.

She said several of the women intended to attend - and even serve as COVID marshalls at - protests planned for this Friday and Wednesday of next week.

Protesters with their hands glued to the road near Santos headquarters, 60 Flinders Street on March 10, 2020 in Adelaide. Picture: Matt Turner.
Protesters with their hands glued to the road near Santos headquarters, 60 Flinders Street on March 10, 2020 in Adelaide. Picture: Matt Turner.

She said past High Court cases, upholding the right to lawfully protest, supported her bid to remove the restrictions.

"These are trivial offences … it's hard to see how you can 'fail to cease loitering' when you're stuck to something," she said.

Mr Millard removed the conditions and remanded the group on simple bail agreements to face court again in June.

Originally published as Police come unstuck on bid to restrict glued protesters



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