Dozens of vegan activists have avoided criminal convictions over a protest shutting down one of Melbourne's busiest intersections during peak hour.
Thirty-six people have admitted to causing an obstruction at the intersection of Swanston and Flinders streets during peak-hour on April 8, demanding an end to animal husbandry.
But outside the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday, they maintained they weren't the "real criminals".
"We must always question who the real criminals are - those who seek a kind and sustainable planet or those who seek to destroy it whilst causing immeasurable suffering in the process," spokeswoman Kristin Leigh told reporters in front of the activists, holding signs promoting a pro-vegan documentary.
The group - including Kristin Bacon, Kim Dutton and Douglas Leith - took responsibility for obstructing police and drivers in the city.
During April's protest, more than 100 activists used three rental vans as part of the blockade, chanting for "animal liberation", with some also sitting on tram tracks and linking arms to stop police attempts to break them up.
Similar protests were also staged at regional Victorian abattoirs, condemned by farmers and some politicians.
The Melbourne protesters avoided a conviction as part of a court order and must pay $100 each to animal rescue sanctuary Edgar's Mission.
Another four activists who previously faced court over the same protest were handed the same penalty.
"The actions we took are confrontational, but we also need to get some perspective. An inconvenience is nothing compared to the brutality and death so many innocents suffer," Ms Leigh said.
As part of their court order, the protesters are must front court again on January 13.
Australian Associated Press