On the first weekend of November 2015 a significant event took place on a farm near the small town of Breeza, NSW. More than 500 people gathered for the Liverpool Plains Harvest Festival– travelling from as far away as Melbourne and Airlie Beach – to learn more, and build resistance to the proposed Shenhua coal mine.
The project has been highly controversial and the resistance diverse. The support for the local farmers and inspiring female leaders of the Liverpool Plains Youth crosses party political divides – the event was attended by Greens MPs, ex member Tony Windsor, and Jacque Lambe.
With the black soil of the Liverpool plains being among the most fertile in the country, a growing chorus of people from across Australia have raised urgent concerns with our food bowl being trashed for a foreign owned company to dig up … Read More »
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 »
As Naomi Klein has brought up with her significant book – “This Changes Everything” we are in the midst of a climate crisis that is fueled by capitalism.
And so, with such urgent problems facing us, we need to work better than ever, across issues, in new coalitions.
She exhorts us – to change everything we need everyone.
So, at our Melbourne Campaigners Network meet at the end of June we decided to ask – Who is everyone?
We wanted to discuss who is currently close to us, in our networks, who have we got good relationships with, and who is missing… where do we need to build the bridges to the groups that we know of, doing good work, but we aren’t closely connected to.
So on a June afternoon in a chaotic session with a few small people running around, we started to … 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 »
Oh noes! The people are thinking for themselves.
We have to stop it.
Oh hang on, we live in a democracy? Don’t we? Shhhhh. Maybe no one will notice.
Today we are feeling all loved, and getting all the warm fuzzies after becoming the new favourite pin ups (sorry, targets) of the Minerals Council of Australia and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) who are having all sorts of tantrums over the fact that we provide EDUCATION and TRAINING to grassroots activists.
BURN THE WITCH. SHE IS SHARING KNOWLEDGE.
They have provided detailed evidence, including numerous snapshots of this very website in their submissions to the parliamentary enquiry into the tax deductible status of Environment groups.
In 2013-14 CounterAct earned under $15 000 in tax deductible donations via our affiliation with Friends of the Earth. It doesn’t seem at all a disproportionate response to … 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 »
Whew! After nearly 18 months since we first discussed it, we are so thrilled to say that our Legals Handbook is alive! And has been released into the wild. Much painstaking work in conjunction with Environmental Justice Australia and our fabulous interns, Jen and Orietta, many hours of edits, and fine tuning, and a lot of discussion, sourcing photos and graphics with our wonderful designer… and it is here. Thanks also to Victoria Law Foundation for covering most of the printing.
This was a deliberate collaboration where we hoped to strike a chord between accurate legal information, and a real sense of how interactions with police can sometimes play out – whilst giving a realistic perspective of the overstated, but often relatively minor consequences for participating in peaceful civil disobedience protest. It was designed to be approachable for new activists, trying … Read More »
There is this strange feeling in my gut. It’s like a mix of old pain from long ago, and too much caffeine, and an uneasy churn. And it tastes brittle and metallic in my mouth.
It is a quiet unease rising that I don’t have the tools to deal with.
It seems to be how I feel about the state of progressive politics in Australia right now.
I’m in a room with 1000 people who are supposed to be our best and brightest and I am shit scared.
Whilst I am fully aware of the unsustainability of working in panic mode, I FEEL LIKE THERE NEEDS TO BE MORE.
More panic? Probably not.
More something? Hell yes.
Our world is being shot down in flames by inequity and arrogance so breathtaking that…it’s literally breath taking.
And it feels like we are overwhelmingly unprepared and out gunned. Despite the … 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 »
Whilst there are always daily defiances, and ongoing acts of resistance from first nations people… remarkable still, considering the ongoing policies reflecting the earlier worst practices of colonisation… the broader and visible public resistance seems to ebb and flow.
There has been some particularly inspiring recent activity – from the gathering at the #G20, grandmothers march and newsjacking of the ‘leadership’ spill #libspill to the reclaiming of space on invasion/survival day on wurundjeri country and elsewhere… and a new generation of young crew are determined to keep their culture strong in the face of adversity with fierce resistance and connection to country.
They are inspiring us to do better. As governments close services and communities, and deaths in custody continue to shame our nation(s) how do we step up to be better allies and support?
One of our organisational new years resolutions was … Read More »