Heavy police tactics, punitive bail conditions, private lawsuits and anti-protest laws are being used to silence dissent, human rights advocates say

As protesters obstructed coal trains bound for the Port of Newcastle for days, the local environment centre kept its distance.

But after two weeks of disruptions caused by Blockade Australia, police officers arrived at the Hunter Valley Environment Centre on a Friday afternoon last month with a warrant to search the premises and a nearby sharehouse.

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