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’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 »
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 »
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 »
It didn’t really rate much of a mention. A small local piece on the regional New South Wales news a couple of days ago, about the biggest day in court Narrabri had ever seen. 83 people were arrested in a single day on the 31st March in a significant action that involved the occupation of Whitehaven’s proposed mine expansion. In court on the 29th April, Over 100 people who had put their bodies on the line in recent months to stop destructive fossil fuel industries operating in the Leard and Pilliga forests were heard in court. Around 60 people received $300 fines for minor trespass charges. Some people are contesting charges. I am one of them.
I was proud to stand that day with doctors and teachers, with retirees and students. I was proud to stand with Bill Ryan, 92 year … Read More »