PROTESTS AGAINST 5G
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.
“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.
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 WANT 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.
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