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Climate activist Deanna ‘Violet’ Coco reveals why she was prepared to risk jail time

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Deanna “Violet” Coco never imagined that she would end up in jail.

Three years ago Coco was an entrepreneur, living in Sydney and running an events management business. She had “never considered” engaging in the kind of protest which currently sees her facing a maximum of 15 months in prison.

In late 2019, though, when Sydney was blanketed in a thick plume of smoke for weeks during that summer’s bushfire crisis, she had what she described as “a wake-up call”.

“My sister was pregnant and couldn’t leave the house because of the smoke,” she said on Wednesday.

“It really scared me. My life was very different then but that’s when I first started to really feel how bad things were. Before that I had never considered doing anything like this.”

This week, Coco was released on bail after spending 11 days in Sydney’s Silverwater prison. She was jailed after pleading guilty to a string of offences following a protest on the Sydney Harbour Bridge in April, in which she parked a truck and stood holding a lit flare. Three others were arrested at the same time.


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