NSW climate activist Violet CoCo arrested in Perth
Violet CoCo has been arrested in Perth after spraying Woodside logos on a police station. Photo: AAP
High-profile NSW environmental activist Violet CoCo has been arrested after travelling across the country and spraying a gas company’s logo on a Perth police station.
Activist group Disrupt Burrup Hub said it was an act of solidarity as local campaigners had been targeted by Western Australian police amid an escalating crackdown on protesters.
Video released by the group allegedly shows Deanna “Violet” Maree CoCo on Wednesday using a stencil to spray four yellow Woodside Energy logos on the front windows of the Perth Police Centre.
“I am a survivor of the authoritarian crackdown on environmental protest on the east coast and I have come over to WA to sound the alarm and stand in solidarity with campaigners facing the same police state repression here,” Ms CoCo said in a statement.
She said police “repression” of peaceful protest was rapidly escalating in WA in the same way she has repeatedly experienced in NSW.
In March, the NSW District Court wiped Ms Coco’s 15-month prison sentence for parking a truck on the Harbour Bridge and blocking a lane during morning peak traffic in April 2022. The blockade was part of an environmental protest against climate inaction.
Ms Coco was issued with a 12-month conditional release order after the court heard she had initially been imprisoned on false information from NSW Police.
She was among the first people charged after the NSW parliament hiked penalties and expanded the reach of laws targeting those who block traffic on major routes.
Disrupt Burrup Hub said environmental campaigners had been subject to increasing police overreach in recent months in response to a campaign targeting Woodside’s Burrup Hub project.
This has allegedly included house raids, data seizure and excessive charges.
The group has called for industrial development on the Burrup Peninsula, about 30 kilometres west of Karratha in the Pilbara region, to be stopped, including Woodside Energy’s expansion of the Pluto gas plant.
Ms CoCo claimed the WA government was using the police force to protect fossil fuel polluters, including Woodside Energy.
“Woodside love to slap their logo on the prized cultural institutions in this state at the same time they spray their toxic emissions all over sacred First Nations rock art and our children’s future,” she said.
“But the biggest sponsorship deal in this state is between Woodside and the WA government, who use the WA police as Woodside’s personal protection service.”
Disrupt Burrup Hub has released video of Ms Coco’s arrest. WA police have been contacted to confirm if charges have been laid.
The Burrup Peninsula, known as Murujuga to traditional owners, contains the largest and oldest collection of petroglyphs in the world.