Why I am going to the Leard blockade

Today, in a typical example of industry voices being amplified by mainstream media, a concerted and personal attack was aimed at activists who are daring to stand up to the coal industry (this article has now been taken down by the Telegraph & the Minerals Council after a solicitor contacted them) by participating in a weekend of training and action against Whitehavens proposed coal expansion in NSW.

Apparently it would be more Australian to drink a carton and maybe start a race riot? Or perhaps we could view this through a different lens – maybe, travelling for days, using annual leave, putting lives and jobs and studies on hold to stand in 40 degree heat, in solidarity with the Gomeroi traditional owners, and the local farmers,  and the brave folk who are holding the fort at the Leard forest blockade… maybe, it is the most profoundly significant act we could undertake to demonstrate a love of country.

The recent heatwave in Australia may have gone unregarded for some people in government and industry, for the coal barons and the bankers who finance them, as they sat in their air conditioned homes, traveled in their air conditioned cars to their air conditioned workplaces. But for the rest of us, it was yet another distressing wake up call for what we will expect more often in the future.

Coal has to be stopped. We simply can’t survive this current way of being.

So I am proud to be standing in solidarity with Phil and Rick Laird, 5th generation farmers, and other locals, and the Gomeroi mob, and people from across the country. I am proud to be working and supporting training and preparation for nonviolent action so we can safely coordinate the resistance that is required to slow this machine down. Our lives depend on it.

For more info check here. We hope to see you on the frontline!

Nicola Paris