Many of you will remember September last year when Rising Tide activists successfully shut down one of the world’s biggest coal ports in Newcastle for 7 hours. The message was that to tackle climate change we need an urgent transition away from our addiction to coal. And that we most desperately do.
But now the coal company are pursuing the activists for $525,000 under victims compensation law, rules designed to help victims of violent crime – not billion dollar multi-national corporations seeking to intimidate and silence political activists.
Hearings begin on the 31st of January. The group have a legal team from the Environmental Defenders Office and say they intend to fight the case until the compensation order is dropped:
We will stand up for the right to protest and like the Gunns 20 and the Triabanna 13 in Tasmania we will not give in to corporate bullies.
To find out how to support the Rising Tide 7 crew, check out their new website which has a summary of the case and their coal campaigns. I congratulate them for their bravery in bringing the world’s attention to the growing campaign to get governments to make a rapid transition away from coal. And I wish them luck – good luck guys!
Yet another action inside the Copenhagen talks Day 5
The vast space that is the Bella Centre in Copenhagen is packed to the rafters with UN staff, parties, NGOs, activists, industry lobbyists and opportunistic green entrepreneurs all attempting to exert influence over the United Nations climate negotiations in some form.
Five days into the talks the task of getting all nations to agree on a fair, ambitious and legally binding treaty by the end of next week is starting to look very daunting indeed.
In March I was invited to speak at a rally organised by the local community in the Illawarra region who have been battling to save a beautiful patch of public land with coastal frontage and beach access from overdevelopment. This is public land which the NSW Government is currently deciding whether to hand over to private developers in the form of a 52-year lease to build a tourist development on. Unbelievable. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pT637bX1ovk]
Contact NSW Planning Minister Kristina Keneally’s office at email@example.com or (02) 9228 5811 if you’d like to register your support for keeping this land for families, surfers and all members of the community and of course the birds and the wildlife – and not for the profit of private developers.
The 2009 recipients of the Goldman Prize are inspirational to all campaigners that have been doing the hard slog for months/years/decades for a better earth. Check out this year’s recipients here. One recipient that particularly struck a chord with me is Maria Gunnoe from the USA region of Appalachia who has fought the might of the coal mining industry for years. Fighting the coal industry in this area is no mean feat because coal mining is wiping out entire mountains and killing rivers. In fact, more than 470 Appalachian mountains have been destroyed. Not only does this method of coal mining destroy entire mountains and their associated ecosystems and communities, but they also destroy jobs, as the system to remove mountains is highly mechanised. Here’s what Gunnoe has been fighting:
I’ve just spent a couple of hours with Maude Barlow, the Canadian water activist and Senior Adviser on Water to the President of the United Nations General Assembly. Maude was in town to give the Keynote address for the Australian Water Summit, a conference with such outrageously expensive attendance fees it effectively excludes everyone but government and private companies. Thankfully Maude was given the opportunity to share her wisdom on the state of the global water supply and recommendations around its long-term sustainability to this crowd.
Maude is a strong advocate for ensuring water remains a public good, in public control and not privatised. You can download her speech here: maudebarlow_awsaddress – a required read for all concerned not only about global water security, but also about Australia’s environment and long-term sustainability. Continue Reading