Scott Morrison has called the animal rights activists “un-Australian green criminals” following the protests around Australia, including a significant one in Melbourne which led to the arrest of 38 people.
If any landholder wanted to launch a legal action against animal right activists protesting on their farms, Australia is prepared to join a legal challenge with them said the Prime Minister.
Morrison lashed out activists recently during a campaigning in Brisbane calling them “green collared criminals” and declared “if there are pastoralists, farmers, graziers, that are in a position to bring a civil action against these groups looking to undermine their livelihood, the commonwealth is totally open to supporting them in a test case to show these green criminals [it is not on]”.
About 100 activists brought a busy CBD intersection to a standstill following the comments of Morrison in Melbourne on Monday morning.
Two 17-year-olds, a 15-year-old and 36 adults were charged with offences including obstructing a roadway and resisting police force. Other protests in Victoria targeted abattoirs at Pakenham, Corio, Bacchus Marsh and Laverton North.
Around 9 people have been charged in the recent series of protests across the country for chaining themselves to machinery at an abattoir run by southern meats in Goulburn, New South Wales. Police was called after a few minutes to rescue the protesters free. The group included 3 men, two 22 and one 46, and six women aged between 21 and 61.
Another major incident took place when protestors say that they were tailed by the police to a Queensland abattoir where they broke in and chained themselves before anyone could negotiate further on their course of action along with 3 sheep.
However, in another scenario at the Carey Bros abattoir near Warwick, no one was charged or arrested after 19 activists invaded the place before dawn on Monday. But, Gregy Carey, the owner of the business indicated that he wanted to charge the activists for their doing.
“They are trying to bring our primary agricultural industry to its knees using stand over tactics … this is un-Australian and harms the livelihood of many,” he told the ABC.
With situation rising and activists going rogue, Morrison has also urged state governments to take strict action against them. After an investigation, two people were charged with trespassing following a mass protest at a southern Queensland feedlot last month.
A few café owners in Victoria said they had to close due to “constant harassment of nearly four months” which was linked to the ongoing rage and nationwide protest for animal rights.
Protestors blocked the intersection of Flinders and Swanston streets in the central place of Melbourne for quite a few hours on Monday morning. The vegan protestors chained themselves to vehicles at about 7am preventing any trams and cars from getting through with help us signs saying: “This is a peaceful protest” and “SOS animal emergency climate emergency”
Vans draped in black and emblazoned with the web address of a vegan documentary that was parked in the middle of the intersection. Protestors had set up a television screen which was playing the footage at the site of the intersection.
The police covered some of the protesters in blankets while they used angle grinders to cut the chains, before arresting them into custody. Police confirmed later that 38 people, including a 15 year old and two 17 year old, were also arrested.
Joanna Lee, one protestor told Guardian Australia the demonstration was simply to shed some light on animal cruelty and meant nothing harmful.
“Obviously there are some people who are a bit upset about their morning commute to work but the greater issue here is animals are losing their morning commute to work but the greater issue here is animals are losing their lives in their billions,” she said.
“Someone being disrupted on their morning walk to work is probably an inconvenience, what’s happening to animals is more than an inconvenience – it’s systemic oppression.”