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‘Rather die in jail than a nursing home’: climate activists show stiff resolve as they

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Fourteen climate activists who allegedly briefly but raucously disrupted Queensland parliament last November emerged from their first court appearance on Wednesday morning to blistering sunshine, rowdy cheers from supporters and an expectant media pack.

“Are you worried about the prospect of three years in jail?” a reporter asked one outside court.

“No,” John Sheridan, 81, replied. “I won’t live that long.”

Sheridan laughed, but there was an edge to his joke. The former Queensland state epidemiologist and professor had a heart procedure less than a week ago and, no doubt, a chance to contemplate his mortality. The prognosis, he says, was not good.

So too has his wife, Rae, had a chance to consider mortality – and it equally stiffened her resolve.

“I’d rather die in jail than in a nursing home,” she says.

Neither plans on going gently into that good night. ​Rae, 78, is doing a PhD in museum education.

The Sheridans are not outliers among the accused. Theirs is a group mainly composed of grey-haired activists, including retired doctors, nurses and public servants…

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