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Worst-case state of affairs isn’t jail however local weather breakdown, Queensland activists say as day in courtroom arrives Categorical Instances

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Rob Keller, a 73-year-old retired trainer and small enterprise operator, will arrive at Brisbane magistrates courtroom on Monday going through the prospect of three years in jail.

However that isn’t what worries him most.

“The worst-case state of affairs isn’t jail,” he says. “The worst-case state of affairs is local weather breakdown.”

Keller is one in all 14 local weather activists who’ve been grappling with the prospect of imprisonment as they head to courtroom charged with disrupting Queensland’s parliament in a quick however raucous protest final November.

The group unfurled banners with anti-fossil gasoline banners from the general public gallery and interrupted query time by chanting for about three minutes.

Amongst their quantity are retired professors, medical specialists, working academics and small enterprise homeowners. Although hardly hardened criminals, jail for them isn’t an summary idea.

For greater than 10 months, every has needed to grapple with the implications of being on bail – some had been threatened with dropping their jobs, others couldn’t reinsure their properties.

David Rasborsek, 59, and his 88-year-old mom, Judith, are amongst these charged with disturbing the legislature – a cost not laid for the reason that reign of the notoriously repressive premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen.

Rasborsek spent per week within the watch home in June for blocking visitors in a separate local weather protest and says the prospect of imprisonment isn’t one thing he takes flippantly.

“Jail is a harmful place, watch homes are harmful locations,” he says. “Individuals die in there fairly frequently. I positively don’t need to return there.”

His mom, the oldest of the 14 accused, is ready to take no matter comes.

“In fact I don’t need to go to jail,” she says. “But when they do sentence me to jail, so be it. What else are you able to do?”

Every of the 14 is aware of different local weather protesters who’ve been put behind bars for his or her activism and all discuss of an more and more repressive local weather for activists across the nation.

Rasborsek says a pal of his in Sydney was imprisoned for a number of months for his position in a Blockade Australia protest – and overwhelmed whereas in jail.

Of their fellow activists with expertise behind bars, none is extra outstanding than Violet Coco. Coco, who will attend the Brisbane magistrates courtroom on Monday in a present of solidarity, was sentenced to fifteen months in jail for blocking one lane of visitors in Sydney final April. Her sentence was quashed on enchantment.

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Lee Coaldrake at an Extinction Rebellion climate protest in central Brisbane in March. Photograph: Darren England/AAP

“It was very traumatic for her,” Lee Coaldrake – one of the Queensland 14 – says.

A retired anaesthetist, Coaldrake is the wife of the former Queensland University of Technology vice-chancellor, Peter, who last year led a review into the integrity of the public service and the Queensland government.

Of course, she says, an amount of time in jail is a life-altering experience – “but you have to be resolute about that”.

Because prison is “absolutely nothing” compared with the looming global catastrophe of climate breakdown.

“Me going to jail is of no consequence,” Coaldrake says. “If that makes a difference, then I would happily go to jail.”

Keller says that regardless of the verdict, each of the 14 are likely to remain not only unremorseful, but unrepentant.

“I see the government as criminals here, not me,” he says. “And if I got jailed, I still wouldn’t see me as the criminal. They are the criminals.”

The 14 will be represented by the Environmental Defenders Office and will plead not guilty.

As well as disturbing the legislature, several of the accused face charges associated with using recording devices and carrying props for the protest into parliament.


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