"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
“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.
Her sentence – a minimum of eight months in prison – caused an outcry as she
became the first person jailed under controversial new New South Wales laws
introduced in response to a string of high-profile environmental protests. So,
too, did the fact she was denied bail while she appealed the sentence, a
verdict the district court overturned this week."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics