12 Jan – Police have clashed with protesters at the Roe 8 building site, after the fences guarding the area were pushed down, a woman holed up in a tree platform and more people chained themselves to machinery.
Protests ramped up on Thursday morning in Coolbellup, where clearing of bushland is due to continue to make way for the controversial Roe 8 road, which is part of the planned Perth Freight Link.
Journalist Belinda Cameron said a large amount of people had gathered at the site early in the morning, singing and chanting “give it up Colin”.
“Things have really kicked off this morning. When I arrived there were about 1000 people lining the gates that surround the site.”
She said that at about 7am protesters pushed down the fences surrounding the bulldozers at the building site.
“Police were quite outnumbered and several arrests were made,” she said.
“At the moment there are about 200 people still here who performed a sit-in around the equipment.
“There are also people who chained themselves to the machinery.
“I saw several elderly women walking around the site which has been partially cleared – openly crying, seeing what’s happened to their bushland.
“There have also been a few flare-ups between police and protesters and security has been brought into the site with several large German Shepherds now guarding the equipment.”
Reports say a young woman called Jacinta had set up in a platform on a tree, which is tensioned across access tracks. Any clearing work conducted would be dangerous to her safety.
Two other people called Koro and Jan had attached themselves to machinery.
By 10:30am police had made over a dozen arrests, with six people charged for trespassing and resisting arrest.
City of Melville councillor Tim Barling and City of Fremantle councillor Sam Wainwright were among those arrested on Wednesday, with protesters wanting work to stop until the March state election.
More than 100 police officers attended the protest, including plain-clothed detectives, mounted police and the dog squad.