Police have charged 26 people following anti-coal demonstrations in Newcastle yesterday, including a man, aged 96, and a woman, aged 72, in the early hours of the morning.
Operation Tuppin was established in response to planned protests at Newcastle to ensure the safety of the community and local businesses.
Just after 7am (Saturday, September 15), police were called to the Tighes Hill Rail Corridor following reports that two people were on the tracks.
A 96-year-old man and 72-year-old woman were arrested and taken to Newcastle Police Station, where they were both charged with hinder working of mining equipment, cause obstruction to railway locomotive or rolling stock, enter inclosed lands interfere conduct of business, and armed with intent to commit indictable offence.
Shortly after, police responded to reports of unauthorised protests at Teal Street, Newcastle, and Kooragang Island.
A 62-year-old woman and a 36-year-old woman were arrested at Teal Street and charged with enter inclosed lands interfere conduct of business, hinder working of mining equipment, and armed with intent to commit indictable offence.
17 protestors who scaled machinery at Kooragang Island were arrested, including a 23-year-old man who was suspended from a conveyor belt.
The 17 protestors were all taken to Newcastle Police Station and charged with offences including enter inclosed lands interfere conduct of business, and hinder working of mining equipment.
Five additional people, also at Kooragang Island, were issued with Field Court Attendance Notices (FCANs) for offences including trespass, and interfere with mining equipment.
All have been granted conditional bail and will appear at Newcastle Local Court on Thursday, October 4.
Officers from Newcastle City Police District, the Marine Area Command, the Public Order and Riot Squad, the Operations Support Group, Police Rescue, and other commands were deployed to ensure peaceful and lawful demonstrations.
Operation Commander, Superintendent Brett Greentree said public safety is the number one priority for police during any protest activity.
“While police respect the right of individuals and groups to protest, we have a responsibility to the community and local businesses to ensure they can go about their normal activities without being impacted or put at risk.
“Unfortunately, despite the warnings, some demonstrators continued to set out to break the law and put themselves and others at risk,” Supt Greentree said.