'No regrets': Protester who blocked harbour tunnel grilled by The Project hosts

·News Reporter
·3-min read

The 22-year-old woman who police say chained herself to her car and blocked entry to Sydney Harbour Tunnel on Monday morning says she has 'no regrets' about her decision to cause disruption and chaos.

Mali Cooper was one of ten climate activists arrested following Monday's antics that saw representatives from Blockade Australia storm Sydney streets in protest.

Ms Cooper was grilled about her intentions on The Project on Tuesday night after spending 30 hours in jail, but despite facing a hefty $22,000 fine and two years behind bars, she doesn't regret her decision.

Protester Mali Cooper from Blockade Australia
Protester Mali Cooper was one of 10 people charged on Monday after protesting in Sydney. Source: Blockade Australia/Channel 10

"I don’t regret anything," she told panellist Peter Helliar, but admitted she does "feel nervous about what the future holds".

"I don’t want to have to be in this position, I don’t want to be facing these things," she said.

"I do understand the implications and the way forwards, and I think that it is so important that at this point in time that we don’t stay silent and that people speak up and speak out."

'Anxiety' about the future led to extreme action

Ms Copper live-streamed herself from within her car which she'd parked across two lanes on the busy Sydney road on Monday morning.

Traffic came to a halt and delayed commuters en route to work, which left many furious by the disruption.

One man was seen approaching her car before hurling abuse her way. This made her "very nervous," she revealed to The Project panel, but she also felt "a sense of empowerment" being able to "speak my truth."

Ms Cooper said "anxiety about the way that the world is going and a lot of fear about the way we treat the planet" is what led her to take such extreme action she told panellist Georgie Tunny when asked.

Protest causing traffic at Sydney Harbour Tunnel entry
Traffic was brought to a halt on Monday when Ms Coppers chained herself to her car and block the Sydney Harbour Tunnel entry Source: Nine News

But when Host Kate Langbroek accused the activist of being "extremely divisive," she remained firm on her intentions.

"Mali, what do you think your disruption has to do with climate change though," Ms Langbroek asked.

"You talk about privilege but the ultimate privilege was probably you deciding when to get to work."

"There’s a bigger conversation that needs to happen about climate change and I think that not a lot of people get a chance to speak on national television about this really important situation that impacts all of us," Ms Cooper shot back.

"I recognise my privilege in the world and I recognise that I’m privileged talking to you," she added

"It is so important that I am here and I am having this conversation and we open up a discussion about how we move forward and how we take steps to support our life systems, support one another and ensure that we take climate action."

The Project Hosts Georgie Tunny and Kate Langbroek
The Project Hosts Georgie Tunny (left) and Kate Langbroek (right) grilled Ms Cooper about her intentions on The Project on Tuesday night. Source: Channel 10

Police push back against protesters

Protests continued in Sydney on Tuesday morning with videos showing NSW police shoving demonstrators to the ground.

Police confirmed "a number of protesters" were arrested, in addition to those on Monday.

An anonymous spokesperson for Blockade Australia told Yahoo News Australia that "Blockade Australia" was not a formal organisation, but rather a network of people.

The protesters are fighting for action to be taken on climate change.

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