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‘Lucky escape’: 39 vegan activists ordered to pay $100 to charity for protest which shut down CBD

A group of animal rights protesters who brought Melbourne’s CBD to a halt have escaped criminal conviction.

The 39 vegan protesters chained themselves to three vehicles to block the intersection of Flinders and Swanston streets for four hours in April.

The group caused chaos, blocking Melbourne’s busiest tram corridor throughout the morning peak, at the same time as bus replacement services were running on several train lines.

The Vegan Rising activists appeared at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court this morning, pleading guilty to charges of obstruction.

They have each been ordered to pay $100 to an animal rescue sanctuary, Edgar’s Mission.

The group have also received three-month good behaviour bonds.

Seven News court reporter Sharnelle Vella said it was a light punishment.

“They’ve had a lucky escape, that’s despite the Prime Minister at the time saying they should face the full force of the law,” she told 3AW’s Tom Elliott.

Outside court the protesters failed to apologise for disrupting the city.

Vegan Rising Campaign Director Kristen Leigh said the protest had the desired effect.

“We are trying to get people to watch the documentary film Dominion, which exposes the reality of what millions of animals suffer in this country,” she told Tom Elliott.

“We really wanted to draw attention to that film, and our actions did, thankfully. We had about 50,000+ people watch the film after that.”

The animal rights group refused to say if they had any future protests planned.

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39 people arrested as vegan ‘activists’ cause morning chaos in CBD