Coal ships blockaded in Newcastle: photo essay

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Ship movements cancelled at the world's biggest coal port, Newcastle (Australia) - 28 March 2010 from jagath dheerasekara on Vimeo.

A mass community protest at the biggest coal port in the world, Newcastle, has succeeded in preventing coal ship movements all day on March 28. Hundreds of peaceful protesters occupied the harbour since 10 am in the morning.

Naomi Hodgson, spokesperson for blockade organisers Rising Tide Newcastle, said: "Today was scheduled to be a busy day in the world's busiest coal port. Ordinarily, there would have been at least four or five coal ships moving in or out of Newcastle Harbour today, but instead there were none.

"This an amazing demonstration of the power of peaceful mass action by the community. Hundreds of people united to protest the rapid expansion of the Australian export coal industry — this country's number one cause of climate change.

"We succeeded in not only shutting down the harbour, but in showing the political leaders in this country exactly what true leadership on climate change looks like. If Australia is serious about climate change, we will put an urgent stop to the expansion of coal, and begin replacing this devastating industry with safe and renewable alternatives."

The coal Australia exports accounts for more greenhouse pollution than all onshore sources combined according to environment activists and scientists.