This is going to sound really harsh, but that Restore Passenger Rail protestor who was put in jail for two weeks yesterday deserved exactly what she got.
I bear no ill will whatsoever to Rosemary Penwarden. She's a mum and grandmother, she seems like a nice lady, she's been nothing but lovely and polite every time she's been on the show and I admire her conviction, in a weird way.
But she and everyone else in that group have been incredibly selfish every single time they glue their hands to the road in rush hour and deliberately stop Wellingtonians from being able to get to work or to medical appointments or to get their kids to school.
What happened yesterday is significant, because the courts have been very tolerant with these protestors and constantly given them another chance. Suddenly, they’ve had enough.
And as far as we can tell, it is the first time a climate protestor has ever been sent to jail in New Zealand.
But these guys have been warned. When they pulled the hand-gluing stunt back in April, one of them landed in front of judge Noel Sainsbury in the Wellington District Court. He warned them that the same rules applied to them as everyone else.
And so one of them got sent home with an ankle bracelet on with the warning that next time, it’s jail.
But – again - the protestors were out doing the same thing yesterday.
Rosemary herself was pushing it with the law. She's already been charged at least once over the protests, and was let out on bail.
And generally, the conditions of bail are that you don’t do it again, otherwise you’re in the clink. And yet, she was back a week later in April- into a cop car and taken to the station. And then she was back at it again yesterday.
- Restore Passenger Rail is 'frustrated' following their meeting with Transport Minister
- Wellington protester who 'cemented' hand to road appeals declined bail application
- Restore Passenger Rail protester: We'll continue to push for action
So she has probably breached bail conditions at least once, if not more.
Absolutely, it is harsh to put protestors in jail. But if you don’t, you run the risk of things escalating to the point the UK was facing recently, where climate protesters were shutting down main roads for 36 hours.
And in the end, they had had enough and sent a Kiwi in London to jail for three years, so two weeks is getting off lightly.
I hope Rosemary getting sent to jail scares these nice protesting people into quitting with the hand-gluing, because jail isn’t nice.
Clearly Rosemary herself isn’t loving it- her lawyer’s launching an appeal already try to get her out of jail and on home D with an ankle bracelet instead.
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