It seemed like a good idea at the time. To someone. Somewhere.
When the approval figures are down and there aren’t any 8-10 rated flag announcements then why not get a national security scare, and deploy “Border Force” to check visa’s (that everyone carries on them at all times) and possibly throw in a bit of casual racial profiling in… downtown Melbourne?
“The original announcement quoted ABF regional commander for Victoria and Tasmania Don Smith as saying officers would be positioned at various locations around the city and would speak “with any individual we cross paths with”. (ABC)
Except Melbourne was having none of it.
As social media recoiled, nauseated at the historic overtones of “checking your papers“, a range of groups and individuals scrambled quickly – the word went out to gather at 2pm at Flinders Street Station where a media conference was … Read More »
It’s a challenging process to write a submission for a parliamentary inquiry that seems so likely have a forgone conclusion.
The committee that is examining the tax deductible status and regulations of environment groups telegraphed their desired outcomes long before receiving any evidence. Luckily for us, the mining companies were a bit slow on the uptake so they were allowed late submissions, and then we were – which is exciting – as we thought we’d missed the chance with a full plate, and only slightly less resources than the mining industry.
Over 99% of the more than 9000 submissions supported the environment movement, and the incredible history and gains that have been made for everyone in this country – through a range of protest, lobbying, advocacy, markets and divestment campaigning and yes, tree planting.
Apparently the last one is the only one that … Read More »
This article was originally published here in New Matilda: Environmentalist and non-violent direct action trainer Nicola Paris hits back at a parliamentary inquiry threatening green groups’ tax exempt status.
More than thirty years ago people in Tasmania made history as nonviolent protest changed the nature of political debate on the environment in this country.
In recent years, politicians from both sides of the political divide have honoured that victory.
The Franklin River is enjoyed by people today, because of those hardy souls who made history decades ago.
This week in Hobart, key figures from that campaign, and other organisations protecting Tasmania’s iconic wild places, will appear before a hostile parliamentary inquiry seeking to strip environmental organisations of their public support.
The intent of the inquiry has always been clear – even before being telegraphed by outspoken right wing warrior MP, George Christensen.
It’s about removing funding … Read More »
When we were in Queensland last week on the road we heard word of an article that had been printed in the Sydney Morning Herald, presumably at the prompting of the mining industry. We were not contacted and given a right of reply, despite rhetoric and unfounded allegations being lifted directly from material provided by the “voice of the oil and gas industry”, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association.
Then on friday we were contacted by the Daily Telegraph with a list of questions, also at the behest of the mining industry.
If you are interested in reading their submissions we have re-uploaded them here – Minerals Council Australia – Queensland resources council – Australian Petroleum Production & Energy Exploration Association
They are watching our social media channels, hunting us on linked in, trawling through reports on our website, and have their … Read More »
Today we stood with more than 120 people from across the country, and all up and down the reef coast of Queensland, pledging to do what it takes to stand in the way of the expansion of the coal industry in the Galilee basin, and the proposed expansion of Abbott Point coal terminal.
After sharing workshops and experience on Birri land for several days we headed to the port for a peaceful action. Led by a delegation of traditional owners, we were welcomed onto Juru country and gave our pledges to defend country to Aunty Carol Prior. The delegation breached port private roads, and attempted to deliver the pledges to the facility but were turned back.
We stood with them today, and you can too. Check out our photos and sign the pledge: www.reefdefenders.net
UPDATE: And see the beautiful event for yourself in … Read More »
What a day! Actions all over the country, including a massive action we supported and participated in at a key Melbourne Commonwealth Bank branch. More than 60 people gathered with 25 remaining all day (9 hours!) occupying and triggering a complete shut down of the bank, as well as a number of others around the country. It was part of a massive week of action that 350.org have coordinated, and this action was pulled off by Direct Action Melbourne, consisting of a large range of groups and individuals concerned about climate change, such as Quit Coal, 350.org, Frontline Action on Coal, CounterAct and others.
We were calling on Commbank to rule out funding in the controversial climate catastrophe in waiting – the proposed Abbott Point coal, port expansion, and the massive mines proposed, by Adani, for the Galilee Basin in Queensland.
Activists … Read More »
On the 730 report last night CounterAct and Friends of the Earth were singled out by the right wing warriors of the Liberal party.
With an enquiry being opened into the tax deductible status of environment groups, this is just another attack on the effective work of our grassroots organisations.
We have been informed George Christensen, all round charmer, and climate denier provided documentation to the 730 report, outlining his attacks on us, our work educating people about their rights and how to participate in nonviolent action… as well as various grudges against Friends of the Earth and their financial arrangements with affiliates like ours, and auspicing other grassroots groups – all of which is above the law.
Despite a comprehensive review in 2012, a subsequent enquiry in 2014 … in all of which FOE have been completely cleared of any wrong doing, … Read More »
“These are our streets, These are our protests,
These are our sit-ins, Lock downs, Lock ons,
These are our people chained to machinery in the Leard state forest,
Our religious leaders occupying MPs offices,
Our activists keeping deportation flights grounded
These are our campaigns,
our student bodies,
So exciting to hear such a powerful voice acknowledging so many campaigns we support. A remarkable rally today shut down the city streets of Melbourne in solidarity with the mooted closures of aboriginal communities.
1000’s of people held the intersection of Flinders Street and Swanston in a strong showing of resistance for hours. Phenomenal speakers, an incredibly powerful spoken word and an inspiring feisty resistance – as well as messages direct from impacted communities. Check out #SOSBlakAustralia on twitter and facebook for more information, and their website here.
Despite the ridiculous critique of ”selfish rabble” … Read More »
As the rapidly mobilised campaign in Western Australia to #protectpeacefulprotest shifts into high gear, we heard the results of a years worth of sustained lobbying, massive marches and nonviolent direct action has borne fruit in Victoria.
“We welcome the full repeal of the move on (anti protest) laws in Victoria,” said CounterAct coordinator and Melbourne Activist Legal Support member, Nicola Paris.
“I was in the gallery to witness the passage of these laws in March 2014. After simply clapping an ALP member the speaker closed the gallery to the public – those that peacefully remained for a few minutes to voice their concern at this undemocratic irony were forcefully removed by riot police. It was absolutely shocking, and we send our support to those arrested that day, who were standing with us all, for the right to peaceful protest.”
Our post after that … Read More »
I saw a coal ship loaded with 100 000 tonnes of coal come to a grinding halt in the port of Newcastle.
It was a beautiful sight to behold.
A handful of traditional carved canoes backed up by hundreds of Australians in kayak as the pacific climate warriors flotilla was successful in blocking and delaying access to coal ships for a day.
Lots has been written about the climate warriors and their trip to Australia. Lots of people have
written about bravery, and defiance and ‘against all odds’ and David and goliath, scrambling for tried
and true ways to describe the stunning contrast of a handful of people up against, literally up against, the coal machine.
A metaphor in a metaphor. A graphic visual of resistance writ large.
But I want to talk about other things.
Heart, spirit and resilience.
The final prep and training phases for the flotilla … Read More »