The climate movement is heating up down under. Check out this report from activist Anna Rose which appeared on itsgettinghotinhere.org…
Right now I’m feeling so excited and happy about what happened today in Newcastle, my hometown in Australia. Around 1,200 people today took direct action to stop the disastrous environmental impact of the world’s biggest coal port in Newcastle. The spirited and colourful protest was made up of a diverse mix of people including families, coal workers and activists … even some zombies, clowns, and radical cheerleaders. Many people made it on to the rail line – through or under the fence – and coal transport in Newcastle was shut down for the entire day. No coal trains got through. Organisers estimated that we cost the coal industry about 1.3 million in lost revenue. There were 50 arrests, and most arrestees were let off with a $400 fine, which we will all fund-raise for in the next few months. The mood was inspiring and strong, with the crowd chanting “shut down the coal port; green jobs now”.
This is a victory for everyone disappointed by the government’s inaction in the face of the biggest environmental crisis we have ever seen – instead of phasing out coal, the NSW Government last year gave coal companies permission to more than double their exports from Newcastle to 211 million tonnes per year. Coal exports are Australia’s biggest contribution to climate change and the greenhouse pollution from our coal exports exceeds all of our domestic pollution combined.
But the real props go to the NSW police force who assisted protesters by patrolling the rail corridor in an attempt to keep them out, which in effect helped prevent any trains from running. See the short video at engagemedia.