Members of The Project have gone and made a fool of themselves yet again by not having any capacity for nuance, understanding or compassion. I would say I’m shocked but at this point, the panel is almost always made up of Gen X Aussies with the attitude and perspective of baby boomers.
The Project spoke to Blockade Australia activist Mali Cooper on Tuesday night.
According to News.com.au, Cooper was one of 10 people charged with trying to bring “Sydney to a standstill”. She was also reportedly one of 13 arrested for unlawful protest.
She is also said to have “inconvenienced” Sydney drivers by chaining herself to the steering wheel of her car while it blocked the entrance to the Sydney Harbour Tunnel. Cooper was protesting for urgent climate change action after living in Lismore through both major floods that hit the city.
So naturally, The Project hosts used their time talking to her to call her “privileged” and insinuate that she was only protesting to get on TV. Nice!
In all fairness, alleged comedian Peter Helliar asked her how she was feeling “on a human level”. We love the hard-hitting questions.
“What do you think that your disruption has to do with climate change? People find you to be extremely divisive,” asked wealthy relic of Aussie media, Kate Langbroek.
“You talk about privilege but the ultimate privilege was probably you deciding whether people could get to work or not?”
A woman from the devastation of Lismore protesting to the government for climate change action isn’t at the height of privilege. She’s taking drastic measures to get people to listen to her. I don’t think someone whose entire livelihood was ravaged by flood water needs to consider people getting to work during an act of protest.
“There’s a bigger conversation that needs to happen about climate change and I think that not a lot of people get a chance to speak on national television about this really important situation that impacts all of us,” said Cooper.
“I recognise my privilege in the world and I recognise that I’m privileged talking to you.
“It is so important that I am here and I am having this conversation and we open up a discussion about how we move forward and how we take steps to support our life systems, support one another and ensure that we take climate action.”
Twelve more climate activists have been arrested in Sydney after the second day of protests organised by Blockade Australia. Mali Cooper has just been released on bail after closing the Sydney Harbour tunnel and joins us.#TheProjectTV pic.twitter.com/99aneXupLF— The Project (@theprojecttv) June 28, 2022
“So Mali, if I’m hearing you correctly,” said Waleed Aly, preparing to utter the most batshit sentence that proves he didn’t listen to a thing Cooper just said and was just waiting for his chance to speak.
“Are you saying that you take extreme illegal disruptive action in order to … end up on television to talk about it?”
My brother in journalism, what the fuck are you on about?
“Television is not my end goal,” said Cooper.
“Disruption has been proven time and time again to have an impact and have an effect that allows change to happen.
“Some people may see what I did as incredibly radical, and we need radical change to save the planet.”
I have no idea how Cooper kept her answers straight-faced when responding to Langbroek and Aly. They were clearly trying to discredit her actions and the act of protest in general to get some kind of rise out of her.
Folks online weren’t too pleased with the media’s response to Cooper’s actions. Here are some scathing fkn tweets about the whole situation:
Yesterday’s Eastern Distributor protestor is from Lismore.— Georgia Steele (@steele4hughes) June 27, 2022
I think she’s well placed to teach us a thing or two about “inconvenience”.
Me too— Angela, Hugo's mum she/her🐶 (@AngelaPiggott3) June 27, 2022
from South Lismore pic.twitter.com/aPH1rtRMDp
Not to mention the 'inconvenience' to those already sufffering – esp. in Lismore with recent floods— Fernando Longo (@FernandoLongoOZ) June 27, 2022
I’m assuming you have a car, a house or somewhere to live, a relatively easy access to medical care, more than 1 supermarket, 1 PO, for 27000 people!! Good luck to you mate.— Tom’s Dad (@chromecastings) June 27, 2022
But hey, maybe the NSW Government will listen to the complaints from people in Lismore and everyone else protesting for climate action and do something about it?
The NSW Government has spent $905,000 on fitting out the New York trade office. @9NewsSyd— Chris O'Keefe (@cokeefe9) June 29, 2022
Scratch that. We’re fucked.
Mali Cooper has been charged with wilfully preventing the free passage of vehicles. She could face fines of $22,000 and up to two years in prison if she is found guilty.
Meanwhile, the guy who drove his car straight into the protest was fined $469. Much to think about.