More than 200 people marched through Gloucester on November 8 to protest against AGL’s bid to drill for coal seam gas (CSG). Bernadette Smith joined a contingent from Sydney and reports from the blockade campsite.
Over November 7 to 9, I camped with the Gloucester Protectors as part of a Sydney support contingent. Arriving on Friday afternoon we were met at the train station by a Gloucester Protector and taken to the Gloucester Protection Camp, only a five-minute drive away.
There was a camp meeting where we discussed the next day's program of events: an early morning blockade of AGL's drill site, an anti-CSG march through the main street of Gloucester, a town-wide door-knocking campaign in the afternoon, and a barbecue and cricket match at the camp in the late afternoon.
At 7am the next day, we had to park our car convoy 2 kilometres from AGL's drill site due to the police placing “no stopping” signs the rest of the way.
A speaker at the information night in Sydney had said Halliburton had been contracted to carry out drilling. At the blockade site, there appeared to be a lot of surveillance and at least one security guard filming us with a Go Pro camera and antenna.
The camp and activities were a wonderful chance to show support to the brave people of Gloucester and we were made very welcome by the locals.