Campaign to #StopAdani ramps up

Protesting in Brisbane when Adani boss Jeyakumar Janakaraj was in town. Photo: Alex Bainbridge

Thousands of people turned out to packed out and sold out #StopAdani roadshow meetings in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne between March 28-31. The enthusiastic response is a tangible demonstration that the Adani Carmichael coalmine project can be defeated.

Other actions since then demonstrate the ongoing dynamism of this people-power movement. These include a vibrant picket outside a speech by Adani's Australian chief at the Brisbane Hilton on March 31 and an occupation of Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad's office on April 4. More actions are planned.

At the same time, the company is adamant that the mine will proceed. The Queensland government’s grant of a free water permit to the company demonstrates that further action is needed if the mine is to be stopped.

Indian anti-coal campaigner Vaishali Patil told the #Stop Adani roadshow meetings that coal wreaks huge environmental damage while devastating the lives of poor people in India. She also said that the Adani company is one of the worst that she has had dealings with.

“My problem is I can't get to sleep at night,” she said, likening this project to a poisonous snake under your pillow. She said corporate assurances are not worth anything and no genuine compensation can be made once environmental damage had been done.

“We are fighting day and night. Not only Adani, not just this mine, not just coal: this is a fight to survive!”

“We are unstopable,” she said because “another world is possible”.

Larissa Balwin from SEED (Indigenous youth for climate action) also spoke at the roadshow. She said “everybody has a stake in this fight” which is literally a “fight for life”.

She called on everyone present to “stand behind Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders who are leading this struggle”. Climate change is already affecting Aboriginal people she said and pointed out that “when Aboriginal people put out a call [for support] you need to be there to answer that call”.

She pointed out that people power is strong: “The only thing standing in their way is everybody in this room and everyone you can bring to this fight.”

Danny Kennedy from the Californian Clean Energy Fund also told the meeting that coal was outdated technology and that costs of renewables are coming down. He implored the crowd not to let the government get away with making a $1 billion loan with public money to fund what risks becoming a stranded asset as the world moves towards renewables.

The meetings called for building a people's movement, “changing politics” and stopping the money. The latter was the major focus with big divestment actions planned for the week of May 5–13. The immediate aim put forward by 350 Australia is to pressure Westpac to rule out funding Adani.

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