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Australia, Violet Cuoco’s prison sentence overturned

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On the topic of climate change, there is good news in Australia: Diana “Violet” Coco was sentenced to 15 months in prison for blocking a lane to traffic on the Sydney Harbor Bridge last April, and that sentence has now been overturned. His conviction was overturned on appeal. Supporters argued that the punishment was grossly disproportionate and the judges decided that they, the supporters, were right. On Wednesday, a judge overturned the ruling, saying it was based on false information provided by the police.

Coco and three others have been protesting the climate, trying to draw attention to the damage climate change is doing. So she and the others decide to do a terrible deed: they rent a truck and pull over in a bridge lane. Coco climbed on top of the car and lit its fuse. She was charged under new NSW laws that imposed tougher penalties for protests against critical infrastructure, such as roads, railways, tunnels and bridges. Similar laws have also been introduced in other states.

Australia, Coco’s prison sentence overturned

New South Wales Police said the protest caused a massive commotion and trapped paramedics on their way to the emergency. Coco was found guilty of violating traffic laws and lighting a torch, and failing to follow police orders.

Sentencing her in December, Judge Alison Hawkins said the 32-year-old had resigned “The torment of the whole city” with him “selfish acts of affection”. In particular, the fact – corroborated by police statements – that an ambulance had been blocked due to the protests was taken into account. But the restatement of the truth did not convince the appeal judge. In fact, in making the decision Judge Mark Williams questioned police claims about the extent of the disorder and dismissed suggestions that Cuoco was a “danger to society”. In fact, it has been proven Coco had been imprisoned on a “false factual basis”. Thus, the judge decided to overturn the sentence and instead impose a 12-month good behavior bond. Koko has now indicated that she will seek compensation from NSW Police.

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