Emergency climate rally draws broad support

Emergency climate rally. Photo: Peter Boyle

Sydney Knitting Nannas and friends and Water for Rivers co-hosted an emergency no coal and gas rally at Sydney Town Hall on August 7.

“We’re questioning how Labor can possibly deliver even its relatively modest climate policy while they have a queue of coal and coal seam gas projects lining up to be started,” rally MC Marie Flood said.

The rally was supported by a wide range of groups including Fireproof Australia; New South Wales Nature Conservation Council; Protect Our Water Alliance; Amnesty International Australia; Stop Adani Sydney; Maritime Union Australia (MUA) Sydney Branch; NSW Greens; Socialist Alliance; Extinction Rebellion Drummers; No Incinerator for Western Sydney; Stop Coal Seam Gas Sydney; Bob Brown Foundation; National Union of Students; Workers for Climate Action and at least 15 more campaign groups.

Speakers included Rilka who was part of the recent Blockade Australia mobilisation, Greens MLC Abigail Boyd, Veronica Koman from Amnesty International Australia; MUA Sydney Branch secretary Paul Keating and Dr Rada Germanos from Protect Our Water Alliance.

Flood said large number of coal and gas projects on the drawing board needed to be taken off: “The Dendrobium mine extension project under Sydney’s water catchment will mean we lose billions of litres of precious water.

“We want justice for First Nations people, whose land is so often trashed without consultation. We want a properly planned fair transition for mining workers into renewables’ jobs.

“We want the outrageous new laws regarding public protests to be rescinded. There’s no way we want Cleanaway’s proposed toxic incinerators to be started up ... either in the Sydney Basin or out-of-sight-out-of-mind in rural communities.”

Protesters demanded: No new fossil fuel projects, including Kurri Kurri, Narrabri, Beetaloo and Burrup Hub; stop the power companies profiteering: 100% publicly owned renewable energy by 2030; climate jobs and a just transition now; First Nations justice: stop Santos' attack on Gomeroi Native Title; defend the right to protest: stop police repression of climate protesters; and protect ecosystems and stop logging native forests.

The vocal rally marched through Sydney’s CBD ending up at Hyde Park. Along the way, it paused for a minute’s silence to remember those who suffered during the recent catastrophic climate-change charged floods and bushfires.