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 »
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 »
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 »
The little room was overflowing so we moved. Packed up chairs and shuffled them into the basketball auditorium.
It was a pretty good turnout for a tiny town like Seaspray, Victoria – population 300.
As we sat there – the basketball court festooned with Australian flags – I wondered how many of these kinds of meetings have happened across the country. Small country townspeople with little involvement previously in politics having to meet. Dealing with the idea of being arrested for defending their farms.
The group seemed intrigued and partly in shock as I started talking about direct action. I told them what it involved and about how quickly we would need to be ready to move if Lakes Oil moved in. It was way out of their comfort zone, but they were ready to step up.
It was January 2014. We discussed what logistics and planning would need to … Read More »