Mitsubishi protest in Brisbane

October 13, 1993

BRISBANE — The Boycott Mitsubishi Campaign continued on Friday, October 1, as the Rainforest Information Centre, Environmental Youth Alliance and other rainforest activists gathered at Boondal Entertainment Centre for the Mitsubishi-sponsored National Basketball League quarter final between the Brisbane Bullets and the Newcastle Falcons.

About 35 activists were present distributing information on the Mitsubishi Corporation's logging of tropical rainforests to basketball fans and displaying four large banners inside the stadium in the last 30 seconds of the third quarter, before being removed by security guards.

"The Mitsubishi Group is one of the largest destroyers of rainforest in the world. We are urging everyone to boycott all Mitsubishi products, including cars, trucks, TVs, VCRs and fax machines, Nikon cameras and Kirin beer until the 29 corporations reconsider their trade in tropical timber", said EYA spokesperson Charles Thornhill-Cole.

"Not only is Mitsubishi helping to erode the planet's diversity of species at an alarming rate, it is destroying cultures. The indigenous peoples of Malaysia are being driven from their homes and traditional sources of food and medicine. The logging tends to spread malaria and tuberculosis, and many are being forced into impoverished urban areas. The situation has been described as 'cultural genocide'."

Similar protests were staged on the night of September 25 at the Gold Coast Rollerdrome and the Newcastle Entertainment Centre.

The Gold Coast game was picketed by more than 50 environmentalists who distributed information leaflets and urged the public to boycott all Mitsubishi products until Mitsubishi stops destroying the Earth's rainforests.

At the end of the second quarter, a group of protesters inside the stadium unfurled a six-metre banner proclaiming, "Mitsubishi destroys rainforests, boycott Mitsubishi" in the middle of the stands.

In Newcastle environmentalists distributed leaflets to spectators and displayed banners at the stadium entrance.

Coordinated by the San Francisco-based Rainforest Action Network (RAN), the campaign is making an international impact. Due to recent drops in sales, Mitsubishi Corporation executives have approached RAN for discussion.

For information on upcoming actions in Brisbane, contact Charles or Nikki at EYA on (07) 358 4875.

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