Tag Archives: protest

POLITICIAN REBRANDING – Every Wednesday, 5.30-6.30pm


Every Wednesday starting 3 February 5.30-6.30pm, 112 Smith St, Collingwood ’til the bastards put humanity ahead of coal industry profits

Our weekly re-branding sessions continue and we need you!!

After completing six weeks in a row in 2009, we will now attempt to have a weekly presence outside Labor Minister Richard Wynne’s office until the November State Election or until the Brumby Government implements some decent climate crisis policies!

Our actions are already having an effect. Richard Wynne was one of the Ministers that successfully argued to postpone the allocation of brown coal for export to India.

We will be correcting the Brumby Government’s image, to match its pro-coal actions, every Wednesday, 5.30-6.30pm, 112 Smith St, Collingwood.

WE NEED YOU FOR THIS TO SUCCEED – CAN YOU FILL A WEEKLY, FORTNIGHTLY, MONTHLY OR ONE-OFF ONE HOUR SHIFT AT THE PROTEST VIGIL ON A WEDNESDAY EVENING? If you can please contact us – Yarracan -at- gmail.com

Also, if you are a musician or performer and feel like busking while we do our rebranding, we would love to have you on a Wednesday evening.

Some recent Brumby Government climate change ‘initiatives’:

  • Investing our money in the construction of a new coal-fired power station in the Latrobe Valley.
  • Lobbying to get the owners of coal power stations more compensation from taxpayers under an emissions trading scheme.
  • Accepting thousands of dollars in donations to the Labor Party from coal corporations in return for private meetings in which coal expansion proposals are discussed.
  • Investing in research in so-called ‘clean coal’ rather than genuinely clean energy production like 24-hour baseload solar and wind power that actually exist.
  • Going back on a promise to introduce a gross feed-in tariff which would pay owners of solar panels for all the electricity their panels produced.
  • Looking into exporting dirty brown coal to countries like India.

(references for the points above available on request)

To get on the roster for a shift contact Yarracan -at- gmail.com or show up on a Wednesday.

Millions march for strong climate action

Photo: The Age

Millions of people in around 50 countries have marched this weekend to demand a strong, fair and binding deal at the Copenhagen climate talks.

Around 100,000 protested in Copenhagen itself, while Melbourne had the biggest rally in Australia with police estimates putting the crowd at a massive 40,000 people. The Walk Against Warming, which took place in every Australian capital and many regional centres, showed once again that many Australians are deeply worried about what the climate crisis means for them and their children, and that they are prepared to take to the streets to express this.

Meanwhile the Copenhagen negotiations continue to stall, as the rich countries refuse to accept deep emissions cuts (without being able to buy dodgy offsets to buy their way out of it), and the economically poor countries continue to hold out by refusing to take on binding emissions reduction targets.

Photo: Takver

The talks will continue until Friday.

For ABC news coverage of the Walk click here.

For more photos click here and/or here.

Kevin Rudd takes a bath in “clean coal” Photo: Peter Campbell


See the video below of Leah, Tuvalu-born Australian speaking at the Walk:


Climate Justice Fast! Day 10

I arrive early in the morning and help them set up their marquee on the lawn in front of Parliament House in Canberra. They are not in their usual position today because the lawn will be used to host a barbecue for the former wards of the state after their official apology from the Federal Government and the last thing they want is to be able to smell the food.

All three of the people I’m visiting, Paul, Marcella and Michael are in good spirits even though they have eaten nothing and have drunk only water for the last nine days. As we settle down under their marquee, I get the official business out of the way by letting them know that I am here not only representing myself, but my local climate action group, Yarra Climate Action Now, and that they have our admiration, respect and gratitude.

These three people on hunger strike outside Parliament House are one component of Climate Justice Fast – an international hunger strike for climate justice and for urgent and science-based actions to prevent catastrophic global warming. There are around 100 people around the world taking part in fasts of varying length as part of this action, with numbers growing day by day. Eight of these people, including Paul and Michael here in Canberra are doing the “full” fast, which is indefinite and will probably go until after the Copenhagen negotiations finish – a total of six weeks without food!

The key messages of the fast are that in line with the most robust and up to date climate science, world leaders need to agree to cut emissions and draw-down carbon from the atmosphere in order to get below 350 parts per million (ppm) carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere (currently at around 387ppm and the Rudd Government target is a suicidal 450ppm), and that the rich world must pay the poor world US$160 billion per year to help them cut emissions and adapt to the impacts already being felt.

Paul, 29, from Melbourne and the main organiser of the huger strike said, “We feel that it is our duty to do everything possible to prevent the world’s poorest people and our very own children from suffering at the hands of a problem which they did not create.”

Marcella, 31 and also from Melbourne adds, “we may be suffering by not eating. However, our suffering is voluntary. The victims of the Victorian bushfires and heatwaves last summer died because of the terrible conditions caused in part by our climate changing. Climate change is already causing immense suffering and we can’t stand by and let it get worse.”

We lie under the marquee, it is a 36 degree day and it’s getting hot. Every now and then someone drops in to say hello and have a chat, most are very supportive and Marcella invites them to write in their guest book. At times the conversation is so normal that I forget the immense effort and sacrifice these three people are making. When I remember that they haven’t eaten for almost ten days it feels a little surreal.

I chat to Michael, from Sydney and 61 years old, about renewable energy and carbon sequestration. We eventually get onto the topic of his fast. He tells me that the doctors who examine them regularly say he will most likely end up in hospital. He doesn’t seem too worried about this. For him, the fast is a way to show the Australian public how urgent and serious the climate crisis is. It is also about morality. “We are using our own bodies to expose the moral bankruptcy of our leaders”, he says.

The day ends on an exciting note. The Run for a Safe Climate is passing through Canberra today. They are about half-way through their run from Cooktown to Melbourne via Adelaide, and the 25 runners have run around 20km in the searing heat. I watch as the fasters and the runners, made up of police officers, fire fighters, SES workers and paramedics, chat – the parallels between their actions become obvious as they talk about their experiences.

There are several politicians there to welcome the runners. After the official welcome Paul and Marcella have a chat with Greens Senators Bob Brown and Christine Milne. There is mutual admiration amongst all concerned and I take great pleasure in being able to get some video footage of the chat before a policeman informs me I am not allowed to film because I’m not authorised. As soon as he leaves I pull out the camera again until stopped by another policeman.

Marcella tries to approach Senator Penny Wong, but she makes a run for it as soon as she sees her “Climate Justice Fast!” t-shirt. I wonder out loud why she even bothers to turn up at climate change events considering how woefully her government is dealing with the crisis. Does she have no shame?

Late in the evening we say our goodbyes. As I have my first morsel of food for over 24 hours and get on the bus back to Melbourne the next morning, I think about them once again setting up on the Parliament House lawn and settling in for another day without food. I think about the humble manner by which they are going about their extraordinary action and I hope they are able to get the coverage for the cause that they are aiming for. I also hope they don’t feel alone and isolated in a world that can sometimes seem impervious to acts of sanity like this one.

As the bus leaves Canberra behind my mind settles on one of the entries in their guestbook, written by a year seven student who dropped in to the marquee with his mother. It said, “You are doing a good thing. I wish there were more of you”.

More videos available here.

The fight for Solar Systems continues…

Reminder:

SAVE SOLAR SYSTEMS RALLY – 5:30 FRIDAY 30 OCTOBER, PARLIAMENT HOUSE

The building of the first large-scale solar power plant in Australia is in doubt.

The Solar Systems power plant will create 1,000 renewable energy jobs, power 45,000 homes and uses home grown, Australian designed and built, world leading technology.

As the administrators look at whether funding for Solar Systems can be found, now is our chance to build momentum for clean energy and demand that state and Federal Governments live up to their rhetoric of supporting renewables.

Join us at the Save Solar Systems Rally, tomorrow, Friday 30th October at 5:30 PM at Parliament House.

Your voice counts. Tell the Government that we want solar not coal.

A parallel universe?

Are our leaders criminally insane? Or maybe they live in a parallel universe?
These questions may seem harsh (and probably weird), but they need to be asked urgently in the face of developments in the past week.

First we’ll set some context. The climate science keeps getting worse. Climate change is happening faster and faster, with the impacts become greater. We are facing an emergency the likes of which humanity has never seen. Europe’s leading climate scientist, Prof Schellnhuber, has warned that on current trends, the Earth’s carrying capacity for humans will be below one billion by the year 2100. He also released a report recently, which showed that to give ourselves a two out of three chance of avoiding more than 2 degrees of warming (already unsafe), the USA and Australia needed to cut their emissions to zero by 2020, China by 2035, with the whole world reaching zero by 2050.

In this context, the inaction of our governments on climate change is indeed striking, and the lengths they will go to to protect the profits of the coal industry very disturbing.

Last week, the Rudd Government rejected a UK Government proposal that Australia sign up to their policy of only approving new coal-fired power stations if they have clean coal (carbon capture and storage) technology in place. This sensible policy was rejected, probably because the Rudd Government is aware this would mean no more coal-fired power stations would be built, as carbon capture and storage will never be viable. But why are they planning to build any more anyway? How about some wind and solar thermal power?

At the state level, The Age revealed that the Minister for Maximising Coal Industry Profits, Peter Batchelor, is planning to open up Victoria’s brown coal resources for export to India. This would mean that we export the world’s most greenhouse gas intensive fuel to India for it to burn in its power stations. Why aren’t we investing in manufacturing renewable energy technology and exporting that?

Our climate scientists are very worried, but they insist we still have a chance to avoid runaway climate change. However, this won’t happen unless we stop burning coal, and stop it fast.

We need to let our leaders know that we don’t live in a parallel universe, we live in reality, a reality threatened by the climate crisis.

A snap rally has been called to encourage Brumby to block the coal export proposal:
START: 12.30, Thursday 22nd October
WHERE: Steps of Parliament House, Spring St
FINISH: 1.10 – plenty of time for lunch and getting back to work!
RSVP: Let us know you’re coming by sending a quick email to exportingcoalisdumb -at- yahoo.com.au

"This is where the black balloons really come from."


I eavesdropped as the father explained to his very young daughter that the black balloons really came from this place, not the washing machine. Looming over us was the Hazelwood coal power station, the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Australia. Around us were 500 other people, some of who had travelled long distances, as well as many locals, to help send the message that for our own survival, we need to urgently transition away from coal and towards renewable energy and energy efficiency, and that this means switching off Hazelwood and finding alternative jobs for the workers inside.

Scientists have made it clear that getting out of coal should be our number one priority for reducing emissions and avoiding runaway climate change.

We had spent the night before camping with 230 people, discussing tactics for the day and more general climate change topics, as well as sharing a meal and listening to some fantastic live music. On the day, despite early rain, the atmosphere was positive and friendly. We were welcomed to country by Robbie Thorpe, a local Gunai elder and heard from fantastic speakers.


We marched to Hazelwood and were met with a heavy police presence. Twenty-two people managed to get over the Hazelwood fence and deliver a community decommission order. They were charged with trespass. There were many more willing to commit civil disobedience, but were not nimble enough to get over the fence without the police stopping them.

We received blanket media coverage that night on TV and in the papers the next day. A great time was had by all and the importance of peaceful civil disobedience made clear. It was an historic day for all of us fighting for a safe climate future against the insanity of our governments and fossil fuel industries.

It’s time – switch off coal and switch on renewables!

See you at the next protest!


Click here for more photos.

www.switchoffhazelwood.org – for a summary of the media coverage

“This is where the black balloons really come from.”


I eavesdropped as the father explained to his very young daughter that the black balloons really came from this place, not the washing machine. Looming over us was the Hazelwood coal power station, the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Australia. Around us were 500 other people, some of who had travelled long distances, as well as many locals, to help send the message that for our own survival, we need to urgently transition away from coal and towards renewable energy and energy efficiency, and that this means switching off Hazelwood and finding alternative jobs for the workers inside.

Scientists have made it clear that getting out of coal should be our number one priority for reducing emissions and avoiding runaway climate change.

We had spent the night before camping with 230 people, discussing tactics for the day and more general climate change topics, as well as sharing a meal and listening to some fantastic live music. On the day, despite early rain, the atmosphere was positive and friendly. We were welcomed to country by Robbie Thorpe, a local Gunai elder and heard from fantastic speakers.


We marched to Hazelwood and were met with a heavy police presence. Twenty-two people managed to get over the Hazelwood fence and deliver a community decommission order. They were charged with trespass. There were many more willing to commit civil disobedience, but were not nimble enough to get over the fence without the police stopping them.

We received blanket media coverage that night on TV and in the papers the next day. A great time was had by all and the importance of peaceful civil disobedience made clear. It was an historic day for all of us fighting for a safe climate future against the insanity of our governments and fossil fuel industries.

It’s time – switch off coal and switch on renewables!

See you at the next protest!


Click here for more photos.

www.switchoffhazelwood.org – for a summary of the media coverage

Climate Camp UK – “it’s time for a world without coal”

The fourth climate camp in the UK has wound up! What an inspiring week! This year it was held in London, at a location kept secret until the first day and communicated to thousands of attendees by SMS.

This event, which went from 27 August to 2 September resulted in protests and civil disobedience all over London, as well as the usual workshops held at the campsite.

Actions were held at the Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays Bank, for financing fossil fuel projects, the PR firm Edelman PR, for their work helping the energy company E.ON promote their plans for a new coal fired power station, the offices of Shell and BP (for obvious reasons), the UK treasury (ditto), London City airport and the carbon trading exchange.

To see more, visit the camp for climate action UK website, or the Guardian’s coverage online.

The climate casino at the carbon exchange opens for business

And for your entertainment, just before the camp, the organisers responded to police requests for information on where the camp was going to be with this cheeky video:

Climate Camp UK – "it’s time for a world without coal"

The fourth climate camp in the UK has wound up! What an inspiring week! This year it was held in London, at a location kept secret until the first day and communicated to thousands of attendees by SMS.

This event, which went from 27 August to 2 September resulted in protests and civil disobedience all over London, as well as the usual workshops held at the campsite.

Actions were held at the Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays Bank, for financing fossil fuel projects, the PR firm Edelman PR, for their work helping the energy company E.ON promote their plans for a new coal fired power station, the offices of Shell and BP (for obvious reasons), the UK treasury (ditto), London City airport and the carbon trading exchange.

To see more, visit the camp for climate action UK website, or the Guardian’s coverage online.

The climate casino at the carbon exchange opens for business

And for your entertainment, just before the camp, the organisers responded to police requests for information on where the camp was going to be with this cheeky video: