...AND WILL THE REAL CLIMATE CAMP PLEASE STAND UP?
And Brits aren’t alone camping it up this summer... The Camp For Climate Action in Australia went off well last month (July 10th-15th) as protesters targeted their country’s coal industry. The camp was in Newcastle, north of Sydney, near the largest coal export port in the world, in an area thick with huge coal deposits.
Oz is the fourth largest coal producer in the world and the government plans to expand coal-fired power while still pretending to be doing something about climate change (sound familiar UK readers?!) But while that charade goes on, thousands from around the country converged on the climate camp - proving that you can, at least, send coal protesters to Newcastle...
On Sunday (13th) over a thousand held a mass demo to the Carrington coal terminal – and from that direct action groups broke off to occupy the rail tracks, stopping the port for the day and costing the company over half a million quid. Good value for the 57 arrested. The next day, four people returned to the railway to close it down again for another few hours.
Kooragang, the largest coal port in the world, was shut down the next day for several hours by just nine people. In the early hours they got into the plant and four locked on to a coal conveyor belt, and five chained themselves to other loading machinery, bringing processing to a halt.
In the build up to the camp, several other actions took place. On June 27th the Muja coal power station in Collie, Western Australia was closed down after a group locked onto a conveyor belt, upset that WA plans to build four new coal stations and the re-open a decommissioned plant.
And on July 3rd, Greenpeace closed Eraring Power Station near Newcastle, one of the two biggest single carbon emitters in the country.
Finding coal-power targets for direct action in Australia is not hard, given that 85% of its power comes from coal - in a country where solar energy is not exactly scarce! In fact Australia is by far the highest carbon emitter per capita in the world – more than double the average for industrialised nations. While they claim to be on track to meeting meagre Kyoto reduction targets, this really comes from cessation of mass land clearing and burning – meanwhile emissions from power and transport have risen by a third...
For more see www.climatecamp.org.au
Subscribe to SchNEWS: Send 1st Class stamps (e.g. 10 for next 9 issues) or donations (payable to Justice?). Or £15 for a year's subscription, or the SchNEWS supporter's rate, £1 a week. Ask for "originals" if you plan to copy and distribute. SchNEWS is post-free to prisoners.