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 »
Our round up of resources, groups and training to get involved in, pathways to action and suggestions for affinity group organising to get in the way, to #LetThemStay
It is an incredible time right now with significant movement momentum gathering around the call to #LetThemStay in relation to the 267 refugees at risk of being deported to Nauru and Manus Island after a recent high court case was unsuccessful in challenging offshore detention.
The response across Australia has been phenomenal – from all sectors of civil society, calling on a need for a moral response, rather than a legal one. Civil disobedience and non-cooperation has hit the mainstream with churches offering sanctuary, and other institutions such as trade hall, and individuals joining that offer as well. Teachers and healthcare workers have been speaking out in recent months, refusing to discharge children who … 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 »
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 »