Support builds for mass civil disobedience at mining conference

The Blockade IMARC Alliance has vowed to shut down the international mining conference scheduled to be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from October 28-31. Photo: Blockade IMARC/FB

Climate activists are planning a mass blockade of the upcoming International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) in Melbourne, with the support of local councils, student unions and the Victorian Greens. 

The Blockade IMARC Alliance has vowed to shut down the conference, which will bring together more than 6000 mining company executives and friends at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on October 28-31.

The proposed act of mass civil disobedience already has the support of inner-city Moreland City Council and neighbouring Yarra City Council.

Socialist Alliance councillor for Moreland Sue Bolton said: “Major fossil fuel companies like BHP and Yancoal will be joined at IMARC by companies like Rio Tinto, who have profited from decades of exploitation at mines in West Papua, Bougainville and elsewhere. 

“I’m sure many residents of Moreland will join this important protest against the crimes of these corporations.”

The Victorian Greens state executive has endorsed the protest. Explaining why, Victorian Greens co-convenor Colleen Hartland said: “From the Franklin Blockade to the campaign against Adani, the Greens have always seen a role for mass civil disobedience in bringing about change…

“The planned protests at the IMARC conference in late October, [are] part of continuing that tradition of resistance. 

“We’re happy to add our endorsement to this important protest.”

The University of Melbourne Student Union is also getting behind the blockade and has erected large signs on the Student Union building to advertise the protest action.

According to Blockade IMARC Alliance spokesperson Maria Soupos, “Support is coming in from across the community for this protest.

“Companies that profit from global warming, dispossession and genocide of Indigenous people and mass extinction of animal species, will be at IMARC. And so will thousands of ordinary people, raising our voices against this destruction for profit.”

Blockade IMARC Alliance spokesperson Emma Black added: “We’re planning mass civil disobedience on a scale that hasn’t been seen in Melbourne in decades.

“At the S11 protests [outside the World Economic Forum meeting in Melbourne] in 2000, thousands turned out to shut down corporate criminals. 

“We’re hoping for the same response for this urgent protest.”

[To get involved follow Blockade IMARC 2019 on Facebook or visit blockadeimarc.com.]

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