Two Extinction Rebellion protesters will face court after a group of activists glued themselves to a building and the footpath during a major cycling event.
Police were called to the Santos building on Flinders St in Adelaide on Saturday afternoon following reports of a disruptive protest.
Members of the South Australian branch of Extinction Rebellion had thrown black paint over the building as they chanted “dump Santos” next to Tour Down Under festivities.
Santos is a major sponsor of the Tour Down Under cycling event, which has been underway in South Australia since January 13.
Extinction Rebellion members previously announced they had planned disruptions during every day of the race as they urged the event to drop mining giant Santos as their main supporter.
The environmental activist group aims to use civil disobedience to highlight the impact of climate change with the aim of compelling government action.
Extinction Rebellion spokesperson Chris Johnson told NCA NewsWire activists are willing to escalate their activity at future events to get the message across.
“If the South Australian Government doesn’t drop Santos as a sponsor this year, then we don’t have many other choices beyond escalating,” Mr Johnson said.
“And that could mean stopping the race, we have people that are prepared to do that.
“We don‘t want to get to that point, but people are willing to do it.”
“We believe that Santos is leveraging the sports sponsorships that it has to create social consent for dangerous new fossil fuel projects in the midst of the climate crisis.”
He said three activists had taken “arrestable action”, including covering the windows of the building in black paint, spray painting messages on the building and gluing themselves to the pavement.
On Saturday evening, South Australian Police confirmed two of the protesters would face court after being reported for alleged property damage.
The 61-year-old Victor Harbor woman and a 30-year-old Adelaide woman will be asked to appear in court at a later date, police said.
Mr Johnson said Extinction Rebellion members were willing to risk their safety for the
“We are always concerned about the safety of people who are involved in our actions and the people around our actions as well,” Mr Johnson said.
“Our intentions this year have been very clear, which is that we are disrupting Santos at Tour Down Under,” Mr Johnson said.
“We’re targeting the Santos building – the race is still going ahead.
“But it‘s a sign of what people are prepared to do and how concerned people are about the climate crisis.”
Police confirmed they will continue investigations into the protest to determine whether any other people or offences can be identified in surveillance footage.