Climate justice activists are organising a mass blockade of a major mining conference in Melbourne that is being likened to the S11 blockade of the World Economic Forum, held in the same city 19 years ago, and which helped bring international attention to the fight against corporate globalisation.
The target this time is the International Mining and Resource Conference (IMARC), which is being held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Buildings on October 29-31.
IMARC will draw together some of the worst polluters and miners from Australia and around the world. These corporate heavyweights are the embodiment of greed because they profit from ripping up and selling off the minerals and fossil fuels that are fuelling the devastating climate crisis.
People are becoming increasingly angry at governments that are enabling shameless polluting industries and throwing their support behind the September 20 Climate Strike and groups such as Extinction Rebellion.
The IMARC protest will be a key rallying point for all those concerned about government and industry inaction on the climate emergency.
The mass blockade will be an opportunity for the climate movement to focus on the corporate climate criminals that are wilfully playing with fire but have been let off the hook by politicians to continue with business-as-usual.
With representatives from Rio Tinto and BHP, among other international mining corporations, expected to attend IMARC, the protest will be an opportunity to take demands for systemic change directly to them.
A new coalition, Blockade IMARC, has been formed to coordinate the protest actions. It comprises students, climate and anti-mining campaigners, trade unionists, animal rights advocates and other community activists.
Blockade IMARC spokesperson Marian Hart said: “Land and water is being poisoned and plundered, Indigenous communities displaced, ecosystem destruction, killing humans and animals leading to mass species extinction.
“This system is designed to make a small elite rich at the expense of the global majority. Enough is enough!”
Blockade IMARC spokesperson Sarah Garnham added: “With the environment melting down, we need mass civil disobedience”.
Alongside the blockade, there will be a community counter-conference, workshops on sustainable development and climate justice, family activities and film screenings.
IMARC promises to be a three-day carnival of mass action. If it comes close to resembling S11, we will know that a message will have been sent to the leaders of extractive capital that we will not sit idly by watching an impending climate catastrophe: we are going to fight for real action to save our planet.
[To get involved join the Blockade IMARC 2019 Facebook group or visit blockadeimarc.com.]