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Top cop blasts ‘selfish’ traffic-stopper

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens has criticised protests which “piss people off”, with a climate change activist arrested after abseiling from a North Terrace bridge near an oil and gas conference at the Convention Centre.

An Extinction Rebellion protester abseils from Morphett Street bridge. Photo: Twitter

An Extinction Rebellion protester abseils from Morphett Street bridge. Photo: Twitter

The protester spent about 90 minutes dangled above North Terrace, forcing peak-hour traffic in the area to be diverted.

Police later said a 69-year-old from Willunga had been arrested for “obstruct a public place”.

Extinction Rebellion South Australia said the action was to give a “life or death message” to delegates attending the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association conference.

“No new oil and gas exploration and production, if we want to avert total climate catastrophe and collapse of our natural systems,” the group said.

The protestor dangling off the Morphett St bridge this morning. Photo: Ten News First

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens was angered by the protest.

“It was very infuriating to hear what people had to put up with, as a result of this completely selfish protest activity,” he told radio FIVEaa.

Stevens said he fully supported the right of people to protest.

“But there’s a way to do it, to get your message across, and there’s a way to do it and piss people off,” he said.

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“By all means protest, get your message across, but do it in a way that doesn’t unfairly and disproportionately affect so many innocent people.”

[solstice_jwplayer mediaid=”yNyrw33W” title=”Extinction Rebellion protest” caption=”Video: 10 News First” /]

It was the second day of action at the APPEA event after several activists glued themselves to the pavement outside the conference on Tuesday.

That action was dismissed by federal Resources Minister Madeleine King who said they were “using petrochemicals to glue themselves to the footpath”.

-with AAP

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