Protest groups will go head to head
A SMALL group of local car enthusiasts are planning an uprising against animal rights activists in what they've called a "protest against the protesters.”
They'll set up camp outside Dolphin Marine Conservation Park near the Empty the Tanks campaigners, who will stage a rally taking aim at the marine tourist attraction's use of dolphins in its shows.
Empty the Tanks rallies in Coffs Harbour have been organised by controversial, high profile activist Angela Banovic.
The counter-protest has been organised by local man Paul Robson, who has held similar actions in the past.
"We have a great opportunity to let Angela know we don't support her actions by supporting Dolphin Marine Conservation Park,” he said.
Ms Banovic has since taken to social media to warn Empty the Tanks protesters to stay safe.
"In 2017 some of the car owners thought it would be funny to try and run us over,” she wrote.
"I'm expecting a little hostility this year but we will be peaceful as always.”
The Empty the Tanks campaign came under some scrutiny in 2016, after hooded vandals smashed a number of windows at the park and graffitied protest slogans on the Orlando St building.
However, Ms Banovic has assured that her rally would be a peaceful and family-friendly protest.
She says she has sought approval from Coffs Harbour police for the demonstration and that she would continue protesting until dolphins were no longer kept in captivity, despite the park announcing it had stopped breeding dolphins.
The park's current dolphins are now the last generation to have either been bred in captivity, or those original dolphins that were rescued under the Hec Goddall era of ownership.
The park states its focus is on education, conservation and rehabilitation.
Both protests will be held this Saturday.