Support for Jabiluka action widens

March 25, 1998


Support for Jabiluka action widens

By Wendy Robertson
and Kirstie Brien

SYDNEY — The Jabiluka Action Group here has continued to grow and win support for its campaign. The April 5 national day of action has attracted an impressive range of speakers including the Greens' Senator Bob Brown, Robert Stringer from the Uniting Church, Penny Hood from the National Union of Students, film-maker David Bradbury, Vic Slater from the Maritime Union of Australia, Chris Doran from the Wilderness Society, and renowned anti-nuclear campaigner Dr Helen Caldicott.

Musicians and performers have also come behind the action, including Cactus Child, the Guriwir Traditional Dancers, Holly Go Lightly, MC Trey and Taro, Mr Blonde, Nancy Vandal, Renegade Funktrain, Urban Guerillas, Yellow Cake (from Gangajang) and Ochre.

Tens of thousands of leaflets have been distributed at recent concerts. U2, during their recent tour, signed letters of opposition to the proposed mine.

Jazz vocalist Vince Jones will promote the campaign to save Kakadu at a series of concerts at the Basement from March 23-26. Jones and his band will be donating $200 from each nights' performance to the campaign.

Jones told Green Left Weekly why he is opposed to the uranium mine: "Politicians say that this mine is safe. That is an irresponsible decision. Today's politicians will be long gone when, for hundreds of thousands of years, the effects will be felt by future generations.

"Uranium mining is a double-headed dragon — it can only end up as toxic waste or weapons. Its production creates radioactive waste at every stage, from radon gas at the mines to plutonium from power stations. Moreover, enriched uranium and plutonium are the main ingredients for nuclear weapons.

"I'm involved for all of these reasons, and to offer my support to the Mirrar people who are struggling to recover control of their land. The politicians and the mining companies see the land only in terms of short-term profit. To the Mirrar, their land is their life, their culture and their survival."

Some trade unions also support the campaign. The MUA is providing a speaker for the April 5 action and the Teachers Federation included 5000 leaflets about the action in their membership mail-out.

Politics in the Pub, one of the forums that launched the Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation campaign, has donated $1500 for the national day of action.

The campaign is getting organised at campuses. On Sydney University, a Jabiluka Action Group will be set up with the support of Resistance, Sydney University Greens and Left Alliance. The University of Technology SRC has donated over $1300 to the campaign.

A blockade at the Jabiluka mine site begins on March 23. The blockade will gather strength with the arrival of protesters from interstate after Easter. It is expected that ERA will begin construction of the mine in May. The first contingent from Sydney for the blockade left on March 20.

The rally on April 5 in Sydney is part of the annual Palm Sunday events and is supported by Australian Conservation Foundation, Australian Rock Company, Democratic Socialist Party, Doctors and Health Professionals Against Uranium, Friends of the Earth, Frontline Film Foundation, the Gundjehmi Aboriginal Corporation, International Socialists, the Jabiluka Action Group, Mineral Policy Institute, National Union of Students, NSW Greens, People for Nuclear Disarmament, Resistance, Sydney Uni SRC, the Uniting Church, UTS Student Association, the Wayside Chapel, the Wilderness Society.

For details of the rallies in each city, see pages 29-31. Organisations wishing to have a stall at the Sydney rally can contact Jim Green on 9690 1977. To get involved in the campaign, telephone Resistance on 9690 1977 or attend a Jabiluka Action Group meeting any Wednesday, 6.30pm at the University of Technology.

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