Summer of protests in Tasmania

Issue 

Summer of protests in Tasmania

By Natasha Simons

HOBART — The Wilderness Society's "long hot summer" campaign of national forest protests began in Tasmania on January 11. TWS national director Karenne Jurd says 150 volunteers have registered for the two-month campaign, which is aimed at stopping work in any sector of the woodchipping industry.

"We want to see an end to export woodchipping from native forests in 1993", said Jurd. She said the protests "will be aimed at forests outside protected areas and inside our high conservation definition and each part of the woodchipping industry, including companies and the facilities and transport processes".

In light of the campaign, APPM and ANM have invested thousands of dollars in an intensive advertising campaign aimed at convincing people that their forestry practices are environmentally sound. They are even running "come and see for yourself" free bus tours to their plantation forests.

Jurd said she could not rule out action which stopped people going to work in the forestry industry and as result, TWS has come under heavy fire.

The campaign preparation includes a series of non-violent action workshops, and the protests will proceed in accordance with a code of conduct signed in 1986 to mediate between TWS protesters and forestry workers. The code outlined respect for personal and company property on both sides, as well as avoidance of verbal and physical abuse between protesters and workers.