Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Coal Protest Arrests at Newcastle, Australia

Police arrested another nine people on Monday as climate change protests continued at the Newcastle port for a sixth day. The latest arrests follow 37 on Sunday, with environment groups aiming to shut down coal exports from Newcastle, the world's biggest coal port.

In 1007 protesters chain themselves to coal loading equipment at the Carrington coal terminal in Newcastle, Australia

Five activists chained themselves to a conveyor belt at the Kooragang coal export terminal at the port about 6am (AEST) Monday, halting coal loading for more than two hours. The five were arrested and later charged with entering enclosed lands.

In the second action, four protesters sat on the tracks at the Carrington terminal at about 4pm, forcing a coal train to stop before padlocking themselves to the train. Police were called in to cut the group free after about an hour, with charges expected to be laid later Monday.

In similar actions on Sunday, around 1,000 people marched on the Carrington terminal, with 100 scaling or cutting through fences to enter the rail corridor, bringing the busy facility to a standstill. Protesters from across Australia have converged on Newcastle for the protest, labelled "Camp for Climate Action".

Spokeswoman Georgina Wood said the number of people involved showed a growing support for non-violent direct action.
It signals a lot of frustration," she said. "There's a lot of willingness to change in the community and that isn't being matched by governments. Coal exports are the biggest contribution to climate change." From the Sydney Morning Herald

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