Activists blockade coal train


Members of grassroots climate change action group Rising Tide chained themselves to a coal train on November 19 to stop the train reaching the port of Newcastle, the world's largest coal export port, with a record 80.8 million tonnes being shipped in the 2006-07 financial year.

Rising Tide activists "blockaded a coal train on its way into the world's biggest coal export port, at Kooragang Island in Newcastle Harbour", a November 19 media release from the group announced.

Rising Tide spokesperson Georgina Woods said: "Our governments have failed us. Both major parties are terminally addicted to coal. The situation is dreadful and we have been forced to take this action because the leadership of this country is morally bankrupt. There is no longer any room for vacillation: we must act, and that is what we are doing today.

"When faced with an overwhelming problem and a government unwilling or unable to take action to solve the problem, it is the duty of all citizens to take action on the community's behalf.

"There is no way Australia can continue passing the buck on climate change. We are the biggest per capita emitter of greenhouse gases and the biggest coal exporter in the world.

"Hundreds of community members have pledged to take direct-action to prevent the expansion of the coal industry.

"We are taking action today on behalf of our children, and for all those species that will be pushed to extinction by climate change. It is unconscionable for the government and the coal industry to continue profiting from accelerating greenhouse gas emissions in this way."

In a later media release the same day, the group reported that a "person locked to a coal train at a blockade in Newcastle has been cut off the train by police, ending the blockade. The person has been taken into custody, charges are not yet known. The blockade lasted approximately two and half hours, and prevented any coal trains from entering or leaving the Kooragang Coal Terminal."

If you like our work, become a supporter

Green Left is a vital social-change project and aims to make all content available online, without paywalls. With no corporate sponsors or advertising, we rely on support and donations from readers like you.

For just $5 per month get the Green Left digital edition in your inbox each week. For $10 per month get the above and the print edition delivered to your door. You can also add a donation to your support by choosing the solidarity option of $20 per month.

Freecall now on 1800 634 206 or follow the support link below to make a secure supporter payment or donation online.