Major disruptions planned for Sydney have come to a halt after a police raid and dozens of arrests northwest of the city.
Officers monitoring Blockade Australia’s climate change activists say they were forced to act when they were allegedly ambushed by members of the group in Colo, in the Hawkesbury.
Dozens of police officers cut off the road leading to and out of a remote property on Putty Road on Sunday.
Officers besieged and then raided a makeshift camp, where climate activists were apparently planning their next big move.
An undercover police unit looked at the group early Sunday morning. Activists reportedly attacked the officers and cut their tires, leaking their cover and forcing them to intervene two days ahead of schedule.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Paul Dunstan said the police involved “feared for their lives” as they were “pushed, pushed and pushed”.
“This activity will not be tolerated and we will not allow the police to be assaulted and we will not tolerate the police being assaulted under any circumstances,” he said.
Ten days ago, dozens of members from across the country are believed to have started gathering at the private site 50 miles northwest of Sydney.
Neighbors say more people have shown up to practice what they intended to do.
Blockade Australia said on Facebook that the camp was raided by “groups of agents in cammo gear with guns”.
“The police are raiding our beautiful camp,” the message reads.
“Dog brigade, riot police, helicopters and fully militarized police are all over us.
“This is how a system based on climate destruction responds to a movement of peaceful climate defenders.”