About 3000 people, young and old, women, men and children, kayaked from Horseshoe Beach and blocked Newcastle Harbour to stop the coal ships on May 8. Organised by 350.org and other climate change campaigners, the Break Free event was a great success and also fun. There was a large contingent of First Nations people from all around Australia and internationally, from Samoa and other Pacific islands that could disappear due to rising sea levels.
From May 4 to 16 a global wave of mass community direct action will target the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects with a clear message: keep them in the ground and speed up the transition to 100% renewable energy. 350.org is coordinating a blockade of Newcastle Port on May 7 and 8. It says: “We have never had a better chance in history to break free from fossil fuels and build a just transition to clean and renewable energy.
In a week of divestment actions, dubbed “Flood the Campus” starting on April 18, students across Australia took action demanding their universities divest from fossil fuels as a step towards tackling climate change. Initiated by 350.org, the protest was supported by the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC), environmental collectives, Resistance clubs among others.
Moreland City Council voted unanimously to divest from fossil fuels on October 7. It is the first Australian council to do so. Socialist Alliance councillor Sue Bolton, who has been working with 350.org and Climate Action Moreland on the campaign, said it was a “tribute to their hard work over almost three years”. Greens councillors have also supported the campaign from the start. “Last night, we crossed the final hurdle and decided to divest. Without the grassroots campaign, councillors would never have done this,” Bolton said.
Visiting Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein believes she owes PM Tony Abbott “a debt of thanks”. In Sydney to promote her new book
Capitalism versus the Climate: This Changes Everything, Klein said the conflict between what the planet needs and what capitalism needs is exemplified in Australia.
Community resistance to the Perth Freight Link, a $1.6 billion freeway project proposed by the state and federal governments for the south-west region of Perth is growing at an explosive pace. The strength and depth of this opposition is now so strong that the issue will almost certainly dominate the next federal and state election campaigns.
Up to 10,000 people attended the March for Jobs, Justice, and the Climate in Toronto on July 5, climate action group 350.org said. The mass march came ahead of the Climate Summit of Americas, held in the city over July 7-9.
Why would a 54 year-old woman make a decision to lock herself onto the train tracks of the world’s biggest coal port? Annette Schneider, an artist and farmer from Monaro in NSW, explained to Green Left Weekly that her action on March 31 was a direct result of her fear of catastrophic climate change.
About 40 people attended the launch of a No New Coal campaign by Safe Climate Perth on October 10. The launch took place as part of the 350.org “global work party” — an international day of action involving more than 7000 events around the world. As part of the campaign, activists aim to get 10,000 signatures in 10 weeks on a petition opposing new coal developments in Western Australian.