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Activists will be deported for anti-mining protest says authority

Blockade Australia protesters Tom and Arno
Blockade Australia protesters Tom and Arno

Foreign environmentalists who resorted to civil disobedience will be expelled from the country after unlawfully demonstrating against the resources sector.

Two German-born Blockade Australia protestors will be deported from Australia after suspending themselves high above the ground near Port Botany’s shipping terminal on March 22 and 23.

“We have cancelled those visas and then the Australian Border Force will be affecting their removal from Australia as soon as possible,” Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said citing so-called ‘good order grounds’ according to the Australian Associated Press (AAP).

Acting New South Wales Premier Paul Toole slammed the group for what he called shockingly unacceptable stunts that blocked peak-hour traffic at the terminal and surrounding Sydney suburbs.

“Over the last few days we have seen protesters around this state and clearly they have no respect for the law … enough is enough,” he said according to AAP. “These kinds of acts are just disgraceful.”

State Opposition Leader Chris Minns called the group’s behaviour disturbing.

“They are not disrupting billionaire coal barons, they are actually hitting ordinary Australians who are just going about their work,” he said according to Fairfax Media.

The pair, known as Tom and Arno, could have been jailed for up to two years and fined a maximum of $22,000 under new anti-protest laws.

Tom and Arno’s supporters criticised the Premier State’s tough stance as “anti-democratic” and a violation of free speech. They vowed to continue disrupting commuters, to stop the nation’s “exploitation and climate vandalism” as early as June.

“Immigration Minister Alex Hawke cancelled the visas of Tom and Arno who blockaded Port Botany earlier this week. They now face detention and deportation to Germany,” Blockade Australia said on Facebook.

“The minister’s decision to squash dissent to Australia’s operation further exposes that this system is geared for profit and the protection of capital over the community. There are no borders to the climate crisis [and] you cannot deport the climate resistance.”

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