There are many conversations happening in the climate movement at the moment – with increasingly dire news – and likely breaching 2 degrees of warming or more by 2050, and the Paris agreement supposedly coming into effect – we are seeing no signals from government they are taking this seriously – instead we have the Labor Party in Queensland invoking special powers, and favours to haste the Adani coal mega mines. Ongoing conversations have been given new momentum by the thinking outlined in “This is an Uprising“ which has generated lively debate and meetings around the country.
One of the challenges we have is a lack of imagination of what the future might look like. It is hard to think through what a healthy future and a powerful resistance movement might look like to get us there when we are constrained … Read More »
Today it was finally announced by the Andrews Labor government that a permanent ban on unconventional gas is to be legislated in Victoria.
It is a huge and significant announcement that will hopefully set an exciting precedent across the country. It was an amazing grassroots campaign that led to this victory. We were only involved in a small part of this campaign, and want to ensure that the big congratulations is sent to the Quit Coal collective and their Coal and Gasfield Free campaign with Friends of the Earth Australia, who worked collaboratively with Lock the Gate to pull off this extraordinary win, on the smell of an oily rag.
Our involvement was during the phase of the campaign when it seemed like drilling for gas by Lakes Oil was imminent. We had the pleasure of heading out to the regions for a series of workshops … Read More »
How do we unfuck the planet?
Well, it’s not entirely an easy question to answer but we went to Splendour in the Grass and tried to have a crack at it along with some of the best activist brains in the country.
Splendour in the Grass turns 16 this year, and the Splendour Forum has become a key part of it over the last seven years with the growing institution of the Splendour Q&A (which Barnaby Joyce woosed out of this year), lots of comedy and nerdy learning.
They have a great tradition of bringing progressive and contentious ideas, and injecting a bit of politics and activism into a festival scene otherwise filled with dancing, drinking and too much plastic.
Our unfucking conversation was wide ranging – hosted by Dr Lindsay McDougall – prolific tweeter, musician and all round champ.
We heard about the biggest … Read More »
OK, so firstly we should clarify – what even is the climate movement?
This is a tricky question in itself. There is what it is, and what some think it is, and what it could be.
Broadly, it could be concerned citizens who care about the impacts of climate change on the earth and its inhabitants, and are doing something about it.
For many, it has been siloed too long as a greenie concern, when it is (and needs to be) so much more than that.
It could, and should be a movement of movements.
That dialogue is finally moving and the fabric of different movements is being woven together.
The reason Flood the System resources resonated with many in the grassroots of climate activism in Australia was simply because it was actually talking about climate in the way it should be.
A symptom of a diseased … Read More »
As the Paris talks wind to a close, with the expected depressingly weak outcomes seeming likely, people across Australia stepped up in a massive day of coordinated nonviolent direct action, to show the government and corporations that where they fail to act, the people will lead.
The day kicked off with actions at Newcastle, Port Kembla and Brisbane. In Brisbane one man in a tree-sit tied off to a rail line disrupted coal transport for more than five hours.
And the action we supported in the centre of Melbourne’s wealthy business district brought Collins Street to a halt for nearly four hours – causing traffic gridlock, as two teams of activists chained themselves to “connect the dots” and blockade the front entrances of both BHP Billiton and Westpac Bank – two examples of our broken system.
Between these two sites, a web of … Read More »
On Wednesday 2nd February the largest climate civil disobedience in Australia’s history occurred in Federal Parliament. People from all walks of life came together for a powerful gathering holding our elected leaders to account.
Led by traditional custodians, pacific islanders and communities impacted by living on the frontlines of climate change, over 250 gathered in Canberra for several days preparation, action, and learning. As we occupied Parliament House the staff got quite the surprise as hundreds of people commenced their own Peoples Parliament – hearing from those with most to lose (and most to learn from) from climate change.
The well organised event saw more than 200 people dragged from Parliament simply for speaking their mind in the foyer. No arrests were made.
You can check the Peoples Parliament website and still send messages of support, and read others here. Some of the … Read More »
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 »
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 »
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 »