A new report by Greenpeace, Global Warning: the threat to climate defenders in Australia, has identified an alarming escalation in repression against climate activists. Fred Fuentes reports.
Frontline Action on Coal
Frontline Action on Coal activist Scott Daines has won a defamation dispute with Adani, reports Kerry Smith.
People from across the nation are heading up to the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland to put themselves on the line to stop Adani’s coal mine going ahead. Green Left Weekly’s Coral Wynter has just returned from a week at the Frontline Action on Coal (FLAC) protest camp.
Protesters blocked entry to the work site for Adani’s controversial Carmichael coalmine, in the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland, for several hours on September 18.
Coral Wynter, who had joined the blockade from Sydney, told Green Left Weekly: “We blocked three gates of Adani’s workers’ camp for four hours, preventing several trucks from entering and leaving the site.”
A climate activist has locked on to machinery at Adani’s Carmichael coal mine site in Central Queensland a day after Queensland Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk announced penalties for climate protestors participating in civil disobedience.
Stop Adani activists blockaded Adani’s Abbot Point Road on July 22.
Green Left Weekly sponsored a public forum on May 28 on the future of the campaign for climate action following the win by the Coalition government in the May 18 federal election.
Marie Flood, from Stop Coal Seam Gas (CSG) Sydney and the Knitting Nannas, denounced the "big push" by the Murdoch press and the fossil fuel lobby for a rapid increase in coal mining and CSG production after the election.
Dozens of climate activists sprinted across mountains of coal, swarmed a massive coal loader, locked on to critical parts of the machine and shut down the largest coal terminal in the world, in Newcastle on September 15.
On September 13, Micah Weekes, once a coal miner and now an anti-coal activist stopped a coal train heading into the world’s largest coal port in Newcastle.
A former scaffolder from the Central Coast, Weekes worked in the coal industry for nearly 10 years. He said he was taking action because of the coal industry’s toxic impact on people’s health.
“You don’t have to work in the industry to get sick from this. My kids are going to get sick. It’s already happening. People in my community have reoccurring respiratory illnesses, cancers and tumours.”
Newcastle Police arrested a young man and woman for filming a peaceful protest on September 3, along with Sarah Barron, a Newcastle local, who had blocked all coal trains heading across Sandgate bridge for three hours. All three were taken into custody by around a dozen police, with the two who filmed the event being charged with “aiding and abetting”.
Barron was participating in “Act Up Newcastle” as part of the #EndCoal campaign initiated by Climate Justice group Frontline Action on Coal (FLAC), in collaboration with Newcastle Climate Justice Uprising.
The Oakey Coal Action Alliance (OCAA) is continuing its fight to protect farmland and water resources in the Darling Downs in Queensland from the $900 million Stage 3 expansion of New Hope Coal’s New Acland Coalmine (NAC).
It has filed an objection to the Queensland Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the historic Land Court recommendation that Stage 3 be rejected. The Supreme Court has ruled the matter will be referred to a different Member of the Land Court for further consideration.
As the decision deadline looms for the $1 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) loan to Adani for construction of rail infrastructure for the Galilee Basin mega coalmine, a rash of protests erupted in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Townsville, Cairns, Mackay and at Adani’s work sites near Belyando in Central Queensland.
Activists from all over Australia travelled to be part of the week of frontline action against Adani coalmine. Green Left Weekly spoke to Juliette from Gympie in Queensland and asked her thoughts on the protest.
"I have come up to join all these amazing, strong, empowered people to show my opposition to the Adani coalmine because I really care about our planet, I care about our future.
I had the privilege of spending five days with more than 100 activists from around the country taking front-line action to stop Adani’s Carmichael coalmine in the Galilee Basin from being built.
We camped just outside Bowen, about 1000 kilometres north of Brisbane, on the Whitsunday coast. A large proportion of the activists were women. There were also babies, kids, campus activists, experienced veterans of campaigns against coal and unconventional gas mining, forest blockaders and Knitting Nannas.
More than 350 activists participated in the Sydney Stop Adani Summit on September 2.
Participants came from a range of organisations. Some were part of the Stop Adani Alliance, which includes the Bob Brown Foundation, the Australian Conservation Foundation, 350.org, GetUp!, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network, Sea Shepherd and the Australian Marine Conservation Society.