ALERT: 14 MEMBERS OF EARTHLIFE ILLEGALLY ARRESTED FOR PICKETING AT DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY’S IRP2 HEARINGS

by Dec 3, 2010All Articles

earthlife_marchYesterday, Thursday 2nd December, fourteen members of Earthlife Africa (Johannesburg) were illegally arrested for participating in a legal picket in front of the Department of Energy’s (DoE) IRP2 Public Hearing in Midrand. The fourteen have been charged with ‘illegal gathering’ and ‘public indecency’ and are presently being held at the Midrand Police Station.
Despite the fact that according to the Gatherings Act of South Africa, any gathering of less than 15 people does not require prior ‘approval’ from police, Earthlife Africa (Johannesburg) had applied for and received, written approval for the picket from the JMPD several days ago.  
Nonetheless, when the activists began their picket – to protest against the DoE moving forward with further coal-fired power generation projects and its stated intent to expandSouth Africa’s nuclear power generation – they were summarily arrested by Midrand SAPS and forcibly carted off to the police station. Evidently, the charge of ‘public indecency’ was applied because the picketers were wearing bright clothing!
Earthlife Africa (Johannesburg) Director, Tristen Taylor has condemned the arrests as “a shocking example of abuse of police power … We were engaged in a legal protest over crucially important issues of interest to the South African public … this kind of action is totally unacceptable.”
 
For further information and comment contact:
TRISTEN TAYLOR on 084 250-2434
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