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Why Sydney CBD’s climate protesters don’t care if they bring traffic to a halt

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Hardcore climate protesters realize that blockades at peak times will “annoy people” – but they don’t care.

As far as they’re concerned, commuter rage is the best way to take a stand against climate change.

Sydneysiders traveling into Sydney’s CBD around 8am Monday morning were greeted by the sound of helicopter blades and sirens blaring as the extreme protest group Blockade Australia took the city by storm.

Police patrolled the streets in high-visibility vests in a desperate attempt to prevent a group of 60 from blocking access to the Sydney Harbor Tunnel, leaving workers trapped in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

A 22-year-old woman named Mali put a bicycle lock on her head and secured herself to the handlebars of her white hatchback while using the vehicle to block traffic from entering the tunnel.

She and ten others have been arrested and taken to police stations in the city, where officers will allege they took part in an unauthorized protest.

The protest ended just before 9:00 am when a protester “dispersed!” — and the group tore away in different directions.

Despite enraged drivers honking their horns and yelling ‘you guys are a bunch of losers’ at the group, Genevieve, 59, told the Daily Mail Australia that she thinks angering employees is an effective way to get her message across.

Mali, 22, (pictured) blocked the Sydney Harbor Tunnel and locked herself on her handlebars with a bicycle lock

Genevieve, 59, (pictured) felt compelled to join the protest to support her son, who is refusing to have children because of climate change

Genevieve, 59, (pictured) felt compelled to join the protest to support her son, who is refusing to have children because of climate change

“Of course this will annoy people, but I can’t think of anything else but going into politics, which I won’t do because I don’t have the temperament for it,” she said.

“I feel like this is the best I can come up with right now — if something else becomes available, I’ll do it.”

The local Sunshine Coast, which flew to Sydney during the protest to support her family, lamented that she will not have grandchildren because her son and daughter-in-law believe the world is too far away.

“My son is here today with his girlfriend and neither of them wants children because they don’t think it’s fair to the child to bring it into the world as it is,” she said.

“It’s not because he doesn’t want them, it’s because of the situation — it’s not fair to have kids, it’s really selfish, and I feel really stressed about it.”

The 25-year-old and his partner did not want to be interviewed, but said – through his mother – that he was deeply depressed about the lack of action on climate change.

Ian, 76, carried a sign Monday morning that read: 'Police overreaction to peaceful climate protesters'

Ian, 76, carried a sign Monday morning that read: ‘Police overreaction to peaceful climate protesters’

Protesters hold a sign outside the Sydney Harbor Tunnel as a car blocks traffic

Protesters hold a sign outside the Sydney Harbor Tunnel as a car blocks traffic

Pictured: A man arrested during Monday morning's climate protests in Sydney

Pictured: A man arrested during Monday morning’s climate protests in Sydney

“He thinks the whole world has had it and it’s too late, so I’m very concerned about his mental health,” Genevieve added.

Another protester, Ian, held a sign at the rally that read ‘police overreaction to peaceful climate protesters’ – with a photo of officers in bulletproof vests.

When asked whether disrupting traffic was a good way to get bystanders to listen to their message, the 76-year-old said immediate action is required.

Ian accused the former Liberal government of Scott Morrison of failing to recognize climate change during the nine years they led the nation, before Anthony Albanese’s Labor government was elected in May.

“I’m 76 — I don’t have nine years left,” he said.

‘How many forest fires, floods and homeless people do we need?’

“We must take action to ensure that the people elected today take action.”

Ian said he saw three people arrested after pushing trash cans and fences, and asked why the police used such force.

A man grabbed a fence in Sydney's CBD on Monday morning and threw it (pictured)

A man grabbed a fence in Sydney’s CBD on Monday morning and threw it (pictured)

Pictured: Climate protesters in Sydney on Monday morning.  The group tried to create a traffic pandemic in the CBD

Pictured: Climate protesters in Sydney on Monday morning. The group tried to create a traffic pandemic in the CBD

“The way they grabbed people and pushed them to the ground – you just think ‘is that necessary?’

“There are people shooting at each other in the western suburbs, but if someone pushes a garbage can, they get thrown on the ground,” he added, referring to a series of shootings in the west of the city.

Moments earlier, Marli livestreamed the protest from her car.

‘I’m Marli, I’m 22. I’m [here] in protest of the climate destruction currently taking place in this continent,” she said.

“There are really angry people who are yelling and threatening me – banging on windows and doors.”

An irate commuter was seen during the video approaching her car and yelling at her through a window.

The woman's white hatchback was parked sideways across two lanes of traffic - causing chaos for the thousands of people who use the tunnel every hour

The woman’s white hatchback was parked sideways across two lanes of traffic – causing chaos for the thousands of people who use the tunnel every hour

‘Guess what the hell? You’re going to jail!’ he screamed.

“They’ll love you in there!”

The group had planned to “run or disperse” across the city in a message sent via an app Sunday night, with leaders distributing legal advice to members ahead of the protest.

The environmental group also gave instructions on how activists can wreak havoc on traffic in the CBD.

“This will not be like a regular rally with speeches and lots of time to pause – we will meet at 8pm sharp and then move on quickly,” the memo read.

“Depending on the tactics of the police, you may have to flee or disperse, depending on your capabilities. Be prepared to walk on roads and avoid cars passing.’

A police officer was seen in a standoff with a protester as the activist tried to move a barricade

A police officer was seen in a standoff with a protester as the activist tried to move a barricade

Protesters were urged to keep their phone notifications turned off and ensure devices were password protected.

The advice also told protesters to only say “no comment” if they are arrested and warned them against wearing “contact lenses, makeup or oily sunscreen” to reduce injury if they are sprayed with pepper spray.

The event was publicized through the group’s online channels for weeks, with participants being offered workshops on ‘legal’, ‘street well-being’ and ‘medic’ training.

In marketing material for the June 27-July 2 rally, the group said they plan to “come together” in Sydney to “block the streets of Australia’s main political and economic center and cause disruption that cannot be ignored.” ‘.

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