A protester who sparked traffic chaos when she suspended herself from a tripod on a road will plead guilty to all charges.
A protester who sparked traffic chaos when she suspended herself from a tripod on a road will plead guilty to all charges.

Protester to plead guilty to peak-hour tripod stunt

A protester who sparked traffic chaos when she suspended herself from a tripod on a major Brisbane road will plead guilty to the charges arising from the incident.

Rilka Isobel Laycock-Walsh, 29, is accused of suspending herself from the structure on Boomerang Street, a primary northbound artery off the Riverside Expressway, at 7.15am on October 21 for two hours, sparking long delays for morning commuters.

Police and fire and rescue crews were forced to use a cherry picker to dismantle the tripod and to get the Extinction Rebellion protester down.

A large sign hanging from the tripod read: "Net Zero Emissions by 2025".

She was charged with three offences including contravening a police direction, pedestrian causing an obstruction and using a dangerous attachment device to interfere with transport infrastructure.

Extinction Rebellion protester Rilka Laycock-Walsh is seen outside the Magistrates Court in Brisbane. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Extinction Rebellion protester Rilka Laycock-Walsh is seen outside the Magistrates Court in Brisbane. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

At the time, Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner criticised the stunt, tweeting: "Enough is enough! Lock her up!"

Laycock-Walsh appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court this morning where her lawyer, acting for her pro-bono, said the case had initially been brought on for a bail variation hearing but she had decided she wanted to plead guilty.

Police get her down from her tripod. Pic Peter Wallis
Police get her down from her tripod. Pic Peter Wallis

But Magistrate Judith Daley said the time for the sentence would exceed the 10 minutes allowed for arrest court sentences.

The case was adjourned for sentence later next week.

At the time, Extinction Rebellion spokesman Jarrah Kershaw said the protest was part of a series of rolling disruptions that would continue through to Christmas.

The protest lasted more than two hours. Pic Peter Wallis
The protest lasted more than two hours. Pic Peter Wallis

"The protests may cause disruption but are nowhere near as catastrophic as the bushfires that raced through regional areas in Victoria and NSW," he said.

"The disruption we caused is insignificant to the bushfires last summer and it may put some people off but overwhelming people support what we are doing judging by polls."

 

Originally published as Protester to plead guilty to Brisbane peak hour tripod stunt


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