Why I'll join the Newcastle harbour blockade

Issue 
Ken Canning, lead Socialist Alliance candidate in the NSW Senate.

As a First Nations activist I'll be joining the harbour blockade on May 8.

Newcastle's beautiful harbour is a fitting place to take a stand against coal exports and environmental destruction.

People hunger for a different world based on cooperation and treating the land with respect, values at the heart of all First Nations cultures.

The violation of these values is illustrated by the failure of Hunter-based coal companies to sign land use agreements with the traditional owners.

As a First Nations activist I'll be joining the harbour blockade on May 8.

As a First Nations activist I'll be joining the harbour blockade on May 8.

Newcastle's beautiful harbour is a fitting place to take a stand against coal exports and environmental destruction.

People hunger for a different world based on cooperation and treating the land with respect, values at the heart of all First Nations cultures.

The violation of these values is illustrated by the failure of Hunter-based coal companies to sign land use agreements with the traditional owners.

As a First Nations activist I'll be joining the harbour blockade on May 8.

Newcastle's beautiful harbour is a fitting place to take a stand against coal exports and environmental destruction.

People hunger for a different world based on cooperation and treating the land with respect, values at the heart of all First Nations cultures.

The violation of these values is illustrated by the failure of Hunter-based coal companies to sign land use agreements with the traditional owners.

The blockade helps create a people's movement that can free our communities and parliaments from the stranglehold of the fossil fuel parties, Liberal and Labor.

As Bernie Sanders says, we need a political revolution that is driven from the grassroots upwards. Part of this revolution involves a coal-free future supported by direct public investment in renewable energy sources.

We also need high-quality manufacturing jobs to replace those disappearing in coal. Newcastle's harbour should be exporting goods such as locally-engineered wind turbines and solar components on Australian-built and crewed ships.

We must save our land and water from coal seam gas drilling. Our rail lines should be carrying food, not coal.

The protest will be peaceful so NSW Premier Mike Baird won't need to use his new anti-protest laws. So what if the owners of Newcastle's privatised port miss their profits for a day?

It's time to get on the right side of history, keep fossil fuels in the ground, create sustainable manufacturing jobs and live in peace with nature as the First Nations peoples did for thousands of years.

[Aboriginal Activist Ken Canning is the lead NSW Senate candidate for the Socialist Alliance. This article was first published in the Newcastle Herald. Visit Socialist Alliance and get in touch at nsw@socialist-alliance.org to help out.]

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