Protesters form blockade against 5G installation, arrests made

Safe technology activists and local residents have been gathering in a show of strength at Suffolk Park to peacefully oppose Telstra’s attempt at upgrading a 5G tower.

Northern Rivers for Safe Technology members say Byron Bay is widely regarded as an anti-5G stronghold and the community would do everything in its power to keep it that way.


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A show of unity in Byron.
Photo: Provided


A stronghold of community members are currently keeping vigil at the Suffolk Park mobile phone base station site until Telstra proves there is no risk from the 5G rollout across the Byron Shire. 

Today marks the second day of the community’s peaceful protest. Telstra technicians and police arrived on site this morning, after yesterday’s planned upgrade was thwarted by the community.  

Photo: Provided

“We are demanding that Telstra shows us conclusive studies that prove 5G millimetre waves, infrastructure  and phones are safe for the community and our children,” said community spokesperson and Northern Rivers for Safe Technology member, Rinat Strahlhofer. 

“We have been asking Telstra for two years for proof of safety regarding the 5G millimetre wave rollout.

To date, there has been very limited responses to our questions.”

Yesterday, 100 peaceful protesters kept vigil at the site, with a strong police presence of approximately 20 officers.

Photo: Provided

TOTT News has learned seven protesters were arrested and later released on the condition they could not go within 100m of a phone tower for a specified period of time.

One man was arrested after being locked-on for five hours to a ‘sleeping dragon’ device – a car with no wheels, that had been anchored into the ground with cement.

Police and rescue services took three hours to cut the man from the vehicle and he was taken to hospital and later to the Lismore Police Station. 

This did not stop the peaceful protesters, however, who returned again to demand answers.


Protesters have slammed Telstra for blatantly disregarding community opposition to the water tank upgrade at Bottlebrush Crescent, despite receiving more than 3,025 online objections and 228 objecting petitions. 

Community members are asking that Telstra cancel their immediate plans to upgrade the site to 5G.

“We respectfully request that Telstra immediately halts its plans to upgrade the Bottlebrush Crescent site  to 5G, along with all other 5G installations in the Byron Shire, until the health and environmental effects of  5G have been independently scientifically researched.” 

Indigenous custodian, Jarmbi of the Northern Rivers region, said protesters were simply seeking to gain a better understanding of the safety, health and environmental aspects of 5G.

He said while he understood the frustrations of the wider community, mutual respect was needed until Telstra could adequately respond to detailed questions posed by Safe Tech activists. 

“For the people who support 5G, we understand where you stand on this matter as there are a lot of  arguments for and against. But the simple fact is that without full disclosure, we cannot make a real  informed choice about this untested technology, and we all have a right to that,” Jarmbi said.

Telstra has notified Northern Rivers for Safe Technology that it plans to complete 5G upgrades across all its proposed sites in the Byron Shire by early September. Sites still to be upgraded include Byron Bay, Byron Industrial and Mullumbimby. 

“The community needs to continue its vigilance, now more than ever,” Rinat said.

“Telstra has recently  been reported in mainstream media saying that it will not give up on rolling out 5G networks to areas where residents fiercely oppose 5G because it believes residents will eventually warm to it.”

More community members prepared to lock-on at the site if necessary, as seen with a second day of protests today. The group is calling for local support in the region.

You can view more of the group’s efforts online by clicking here and here.


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Connect with your local 5G community action group

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Telstra aims for 75% 5G coverage in 2021


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1 comments on “Protesters form blockade against 5G installation, arrests made”

  1. Good on them. And their list doesn’t include what may be the most harmful 5G effect of all: the interaction with altered DNA and spike proteins in the quaxxed…at least there shouldn’t be too many people in this category in that area.

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