NSW: Recent Anti-Coal Mining actions

Narrabri Coal Mine Shut Down

HANNAH-AND-THE-MINE

1 April – Narrabri underground coal mine, operated by Whitehaven, has been shut down this morning with peaceful action. Hannah Grant, 21, and Lily Matchett, 25, have locked on to the coal conveyor, stopping the coal production line and standing up against catastrophic climate change and the destruction of country.

“We have obligations to take care of country and everything within it. If we look after the land it will look after us. Life sustains life,” said Dolly Talbot, Gomeroi Traditional Custodian.

Hannah Grant said of her actions today, “these companies are destroying land to the point of no return and causing catastrophic climate change. Around the world it is people who contribute the least to climate change who will be affected the most. End coal now.”

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Brisbane: Protestors blockade hospital treating infant asylum seeker

About 300 attended the vigil for baby Asha at the Lady Cilento Hospital on Saturday night.

21 Feb – Hundreds of protesters have held a week-long vigil turned blockade, outside a hospital treating a baby girl facing deportation to an offshore immigration detention camp, blocking exits amid reports she would be removed imminently.

Doctors at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane have refused to release the girl following treatment for serious burns, adding to pressure on the government over its tough asylum seekers policy.

The one-year-old girl, known only as Asha, and her parents face being returned to a camp on the tiny South Pacific island of Nauru, about 3,000 km (1,800 miles) northeast of Australia. The detention centre, which houses more than 500 people, has been widely criticised for harsh conditions and reports of systemic child abuse.

Following numerous statements this week declaringing the government would deprot the child and not be “blackmailed”, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton announced Sunday that Asha and her parents could remain in Brisbane under “community detention,” a policy that allows asylum-seekers to move about freely in the community.

But Dutton warned the family could still be sent back to Nauru at any time, saying “it is an important message to send” to the detainees in Nauru that “there is a continuation of the government’s policy.”

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Kampong Speu: villagers block road they say companies damaged

Villagers block a road in Kampong Speu province on Monday during a protest against quarry trucks using the road. Photo supplied

Villagers block a road in Kampong Speu province on Monday during a protest against quarry trucks using the road

3 Feb – A hundred people from 10 villages in Kampong Speu on Monday blocked a road to a mountain where construction supply companies operate rock quarries.

Villagers had complained for years that three companies damaged the road with their trucks but avoided paying compensation despite promises.

Two of the companies, HTTK and Khmer ISS, belong to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s nephew, Hun To. The third is a Chinese company whose name the activists and local authorities said they didn’t know.

“We have been waiting for [them to keep] their promise but we don’t see them taking any action,” said Kong Sameurn, a farmer in Phnom Sruoch district.

The villagers requested that all three companies set a timetable to fix the road and pay compensation.

Hun To defended himself yesterday, saying his companies are just two out of six or seven that are active in the area.

“Do not blame me just because I have relatives or connections with the government,” he said. “My companies have the legal right to work here.”

Sam Tith Seyha, a human rights monitor for rights group LICADHO, said that villagers would continue to block the road until the companies agree to negotiate.

Previous complaints by villagers bore no results, “because the authorities have less power than the companies”, he said.

Bassendean: Parents stage blockade to halt destruction of school oval

Bassendean Primary School parents blockade the car park site with a knit-in.

8 Sep – Parents at Bassendean Primary School, in Perth’s east, have stepped up their protest to stop a car park being built on a section of the school’s oval by mounting a blockade to prevent work going ahead.

A $1.3 million administration block is being built on the school’s existing car park, and the Education Department said planning regulations meant 15 per cent of the school’s playing field must be removed to create 22 new car bays.

Parents of children at the school argue there was insufficient consultation before the building plans went ahead and that the car park will rob students of outdoor green space.

The contractor had already begun work on the car park, but around 20 protesters arrived at 6am Tuesday and successfully prevented construction workers from entering the building site.

Parent Kylie Turner told 720 ABC Perth that the group felt they had no other option.

“We have sent letters, we have sent emails, we have had meetings with the school and meetings with the department and so far our protests have fallen on deaf ears,” Ms Turner said.

“We are here today because nothing we do seems to get their attention.

“Unfortunately we have to have a knit-in to get them to have a conversation.”

Despite building work already being underway, Ms Turner said the protestors believed it was still possible to get plans changed.

“I think we can be successful,” she said.

Wellington: TPP protesters arrested

Police arrest protesters at the demonstration in Wellington

15 Sept – At least 25 Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) protesters were arrested after trying to force their way into a government building in Wellington.

A group of about 60 protesters had been outside the building since 10am.

Groups of two tried to push past police to get into the building for about two hours before the police began arresting people.

TPPA action group protester getting dragged off from the protest.

Others had been arrested for sitting on the road and refusing to move.

The protesters, from the group Show Us Ya Text, tried to force their way into the the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade building in Wellington.

Protesters arrested at the demonstration.

They wanted documents about the proposed deal published and said democracy should not happen behind closed doors.

Police had pushed protesters from the ministry building entrance to the footpath, and about 20 of them had then sat on the street on Lambton Quay.

The protest group has previously occupied the Prime Minister’s electoral office in Auckland and invaded Trade Minister Tim Groser’s office.

“We’ve come down here because we’ve asked the Government countless times to release the text of the TPP and they have not obliged, so we’re conducting a search and seizure to attempt to enter the building and retrieve the text ourselves,” she said.

TPPA Action Group trying to force their way into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade building.

Melbourne: Protesters disrupt Pyne’s Vic book launch

31 July – Student protesters smashed a glass door panel in an attempt to storm a building where federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne was launching his new book.

They also blockaded the doors of the Docklands building, stopping some from entering the event, which was delayed for about 30 minutes until police regained control.

A beatbox blared music throughout the scuffle as the group of about 100 demonstrators, who were protesting against cuts to higher education funding, chanted slogans such as “no ifs, no buts, no education cuts”.

“I’d like to welcome those who made it through,” Mr Pyne told the audience on Friday night.

“We’re about two-thirds the number that RSVP-ed, so sadly I think about a third of the people who wanted to come couldn’t get through.

The National Union of Students organised the protest to express its opposition to the deregulation of university fees.

Members shouted “No cuts, no fees, no corporate universities” and jostled with police.

Demonstrators clash with police outside NAB headquarters in Melbourne's Docklands.

One female protester was arrested and charged with assaulting police, while three police officers were treated for minor injuries.

Victorian Liberal Party president Michael Kroger launched Mr Pyne’s book, A Letter to My Children, as Prime Minister Tony Abbott had to pull out.

The clean-up following the protest at the book launch of Christopher Pyne's new book.

PNG: 5 Day Blockade After Police Shooting

29 January: A five-day blockade that cut fuel supplies to Papua New Guinea’s capital, Port Moresby, and forced some power stations to close ended on 29 January.

The blockade was imposed by villagers from Hanuabada after two betel nut vendors were shot and killed by police who fired into a crowd.

Locals say police fired indiscriminately into a crowd of men, women and children after a dispute between betel nut sellers and council officers. Angry Hanuabadans maintained roadblocks around the village, one of which blocks the road to the PNG LNG plant site outside the capital.

Radio NZ correspondent, Todagia Kelola, says the police commissioner, Geoffrey Vaki, and other senior government officials visited the village, and negotiated the end of the blockade.

Mr Kelola says the blockade’s end came at a crucial moment. “Port Moresby city almost came to a standstill with the fuel for the city running short because tankers were blocked, and at the same time the power station that supports supply to city, the expatriates that operate that power plant had to be evacuated, so the power plant was shut down.”

Todagia Kelola says it’s not clear what deal was reached with police, as the villagers had originally demanded 4 million US dollars compensation for the killings.