Adani Mine protests to go next level after 'call to arms'
IT MIGHT have only been four people and a dog protesting yesterday in Rockhampton, but a 'Red Alert' call to arms could muster an army of protesters to block progress at Adani's Carmichael coal mine.
Leading the protest in front of Resources Minister Matt Canavan's office was long time social activist Graeme Dunstan, 77, who said their humble demonstration was in solidarity with the Extinction Rebellion climate change protest movement.
Believing that the Earth was in the grip of a sixth mass extinction event, requiring enormous systemic change, the Extinction Rebellion group regarded civil disobedience as the fastest path to create change, consequently causing major disruptions and over 70 arrests in Brisbane's CBD on Tuesday.
While the local protest didn't feature attention grabbing civil disobedience, Mr Dunstan and other CQ activists will respond to a 'Red Alert' issued by environmental group Frontline Action on Coal (FLAC) yesterday, calling for protesters to converge on a protest camp west of Bowen to join in on action to blockade Adani.
Within the next few weeks, Mr Dunstan estimates hundreds will join the FLAC protest in the Galilee Basin - a number that could blow out into the thousands over the coming months.
"I am a long time peace activist and I know what works is direct action. The time for letters to the editor and petitions to parliament is over for coal," Mr Dunstan said.
"Now the people must act, put their bodies on the line and do what it takes, to bring the coal industry to account. This will require dedication, creativity and courage.
"Always acting without violence to other sentient beings and ever-ready to break laws that sustain injustice for future generations."
Mr Dunstan called on locals, both young and old, to get involved saying the "bravest, the best and the brightest will be there, the shapers of the post coal future, the ones who in the future will know that they resisted extinction and won."
In a hint of future disruptive efforts, police travelled out to Adani's Carmichael coal mine following reports of protesters locking themselves onto equipment.
Two FLAC activists suspended themselves on 9m poles, attaching cables to immobilise 17 machines in an attempt prevent tree clearing by Adani at the site after reports of 40ha of forest being cleared.
"With recent governmental approvals, we are now at the most crucial point of this campaign and we need you more than ever. We are calling out to all those who have supported this campaign and asking you to make your way to the frontlines and join us," a FLAC spokesperson said.
"With work begun and 450 hectares of habitat due to be cleared, we are calling on everyone to come up to the frontline as soon as possible and stand between Adani and climate disaster. We can stop this mine, but we need your help."
"This is our final chance to tell Adani that no means no."
Prominent environmental activist and former Greens leader Bob Brown said the penalty clauses for Gautam Adani's project have never been higher for all Australians.
"The rising tide of alarm in this climate emergency is compelling more and more Australians to be involved and take what action they can, from direct opposition at the mine site, to street protests and lobbying the politicians," Mr Brown said.
"Prime Minister Scott Morrison has his head in the sand but other Australians, not least young Australians, are appalled that Adani is set to dig up this coal while much of the Murray Darling Basin and the Great Barrier Reef are suffering the consequences of burning coal: loss of jobs, loss of business, loss of productivity.
"There will be unprecedented support for all the people peacefully confronting this threat to Australia's future wellbeing. It will not go away. Gautam Adani should be sent the bill for the police contingents having to keep order as his project creates havoc in the Australian community.".