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 »
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 »
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 »
35 000 emails for #AustraliansforCoal. “It was set up to entice the clicktivists to give it lift off and they did. It couldn’t have played out any better,” a source told Australian Mining. (April 23, 2014)
A week later after one of the most epic PR industry fails is that really the best you can do? People from Adam Bandt’s office and Friends of the Earth, just two of the ‘anti coal extremists’ targeted said they received less than 30. So given the excellent grasp of maths already demonstrated by industry, perhaps they just did a lazy round up and multiplied the numbers by 1000. Give or take.
Since when has the mining industry needed mythical ‘industry sources’ a la New Idea journalism, to make comment on issues of import to them? Doesn’t Stephen Galilee, of the Minerals Council, just … Read More »
From a farming community and a small base camp, the campaign to save Maules Creek and the Leard state forest in New South Wales, from being turned into a massive new coal mine, has grown into an issue of national importance and is one of the strongest emerging frontlines for the climate movement in resisting new coal expansion.
The success of the growing campaign and the consistent direct action which has been running for over 500 days and more recently consistently with a series of running actions for last two months, can be measured in part by the increasing attacks from the mining industry in the media and efforts to shut down camp.
With headlines in the Australian like Whitehaven under pressure as Maules brawl steps up and a public campaign seeking to marginalise the protestors, as well as pressure being put … Read More »