Climate activist jailed over coal protests

A climate activist who stopped a coal train for five hours in the Hunter has been sentenced to 12 months in jail.

22-year-old Sergeio Herbert was arrested last week after halting the train by climbing on top of it. He was then arrested last week under suspicion the following week on Kooragang Island, where he was charged with Assist in Obstruction of Rail Locomotive and Hinder Mining Equipment.

Blockade Australia organised the now infamous protests over ten days which saw 28 people arrested and over 65 hours of disruptions to coal operations.

In a statement the collective says this was “the first significant jailing of a climate activist in this continent’s history”.

“Sergeio’s action was taken to oppose the role Australia plays in the climate and ecological crisis.

“This response from the legal system only further exposes Australia as a deliberately designed racket that is intent on self-preservation and the protection of the ruling class,” The statement said.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce praised the tough new approach in Parliament during Question Time on Tuesday.

“I’m pleased to see that the coalition government at a state level has made a dramatic stand against these people.

“There’s no longer going to be a $200 slap on the wrist. Some of them by reason of these dangerous actions, putting at risk not only our economy, but the lives of people who work on the railway lines this may involve an incarcerated term,” Mr Joyce said.