For the last five days Blockade Australia (BA) has been coordinating disruptive actions across three major ports to protest Australia’s lack of action to deal with the climate emergency.
Brad Homewood, who blocked the Port of Melbourne, said: “This system is doing exactly what it was set up to do, extract and exploit with a callous disregard for all forms of life. You can’t solve a problem with the same thinking that created it; we can’t vote our way out of this mess, the system cannot fix the system.”
Darsh Rasborsek, who blocked two lanes leading into the Brisbane Port, said: “The current economic and political structures here are incapable of making the kind of change needed to ensure a safe future. We have had decades of science warning us, but the evidence is right in front of us — floods, fires, droughts, heat waves … despite everything, global emissions continue to rise.”
Grace, a conservation graduate from Ngunnawal and Ngambri country, climbed on top of a mountain of coal stopping the world’s largest coal port in Newcastle.
“Politicians aren’t going to suddenly wake up; there is no magic formula of words that will make them want to change things,” she said.
“The more I understand about conservation the less exciting learning about ecosystem becomes — it is totally heart breaking knowing how quickly everything is dying. Once you know how quickly everything is dying it makes no sense not to act with urgency like I am right now…
“Engaging in direct action like this makes a clear statement that we won’t be messed around. We are doing this because it’s necessary for survival and necessary to avert mass extinction.”
BA said the acts of resistance are a reminder that the operation of Australia refuses to act on the climate crisis and continues to be a driving cause of climate collapse by extracting and moving exploited resources around the world through ports.
A BA spokesperson said: “Without mass organised civil resistance, Australia and its allies will not stop organising the exploitation of this planet.
“Sustained action that shuts down centres of political and economic power is the only effective means of forcing the political change required.”
Several activists have been arrested.