‘Feared for their lives’: Cops circled, tires flat during raid on property of climate protest group
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‘Feared for their lives’: Cops circled, tires flat during raid on property of climate protest group

Officers claimed they were “fearing for their lives” when a planned raid on a climate protest group camp on the outskirts of Sydney took an unexpected turn.

Climate inaction protest group Blockade Australia was responsible for a series of extreme protests in March.

Camera icon Two people were arrested after police reportedly surrounded on Sunday while attending a home in Colo. 9 News Credit: Channel 9

'Feared for their lives'

The group had gained notoriety for hanging itself from bridges and over roads to disrupt Sydney’s transport networks.

Members had stressed that their actions sparked large-scale protest activities, which were set to begin on June 27.

On Sunday, investigations led police to a building in Colo, where they believed Blockade Australia volunteers were planning and preparing for protests.

There were reportedly 40 people on the property at the time.

Camera IconOfficers claim that there were up to 40 people on the property at the time of the incident. 9 News Credit: Channel 9

Police allege that the group “practiced, rehearsed and constructed objects to carry out similar protest methods” to those they executed in March.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Paul Dustin said police would allege a group approached them and began circling officers when they arrived at the property.

“They pushed, pushed, and pushed the police before they managed to get into their vehicle,” Mr. Dustin said.

“A group began damaging the vehicle, releasing the tires and preventing the vehicle from leaving the area.”

A struggle ensued, with police calling for urgent help from the Sydney area.

Two people were arrested, but several others are said to have fled to the forest.

Camera IconPolice claim that when they arrived at the site, a group of officers approached and started circling. 9 News Credit: Channel 9

“I can assure you that what I saw this morning was violence from this group,” said Mr. Dustin.

“The police who were attacked by that group this morning feared for their lives.”

No police were injured during the incident, but two people were arrested.

“This activity will not be tolerated by the NSW Police Force, we will not allow the police to be attacked in this way, and we will not tolerate under any circumstances the police being mistreated,” said Mr. Dustin.

In a statement, Blockade Australia claimed that 100 officers and helicopters, a dog brigade, a squadron with body armor and full-face helmets, camouflage squads, and uniformed police surrounded the forest area and began search and seizure procedures.

Climate activist Zelda Grimshaw claimed it was “insane police overrun”.

“There are no real crimes committed by the climate activists in the camp,” she said.

“This level of a police crackdown on the climate movement is unprecedented.”