Protesters lock themselves to heavy machinery at Gunns pulp mill in Bell Bay, Australia; company will seek compensation from activists for five-hour work delay

LOS ANGELES , September 16, 2011 () – Work at Gunns Limited pulp mill in Bell Bay, Australia was stalled for five hours on Friday morning after activists locked themselves to earthmoving machinery, The Mercury and The West Australian reported Sept. 16.

Police had to cut protesters from the equipment, as they used chains around their necks, thumb locks with metal cages and pipe wrist locks, according to John King, a George Town police inspector.

Nine protestors were arrested for trespass and police obstruction charges, after which they were released on bail. They were banned from returning to the mill site and have a court appearance set up for a later date, The West Australian reported.

The activists were members of Code Green, and a representative for the environmental group said they believed the company was continuing operations despite expired state permits, reported The West Australian.

This week Alex Schaap, the director of the Tasmanian Environmental Protection Authority, is expected to decide the validity of the Gunns permits.

Gunns will seek court-ordered compensation from the protesters for causing the work delay.

The primary sources of this article are The Mercury, Hobart, Australia, and The West Australian, Perth, Australia, on Sept. 16, 2011.

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