The futility and the joy of the #leardblockade last stand: @margokingston1 Twitter report

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NSW lets hibernating animals die to speed up Whitehaven mine, by a sad @georgefwoods at #leardblockade

[clear] The bitter truth and the bitter cold: chainsaw surgery for the animals of Leard State Forest You can be aware that something is true, without really feeling it, and only come up against your illusions, and your naivety, when your knowledge is made real, and you actually experience the terrible truth first hand. It’s a truism in #nswpol that coal mining companies can “say anything they like before approval, and do anything they like afterwards.” It’s a pattern with which coal-affected communities are familiar that conditions of mine approvals are regularly broken and changed after approval is secured. Mines get bigger, creeks get polluted, offset deadlines get forgiven and […]

Off the rails with @margokingston1 at #BentleyBlockade: @mickdaley1 interview

Dean Sewell and Margo Kingston at #BentleyBlockade (At the time of the interview on April 30 the #BentleyBlockade was the subject of shouting matches in NSW Parliament as the Labor Opposition Party belatedly tackled new Premier Mike Baird over his plans to unleash riot police on thousands of peaceful farmers and townies. Senior police had confirmed that a riot squad deployment of up to 700 fully kitted out storm-troopers would arrive soon. Social and local print media was roaring with anger at this affront to democracy, food and water security.) Underneath a small marquee in the heart of the Bentley anti-coal seam gas protest camp I’m sipping lime cordial with […]

No right to report civil disobedience? Why @margokingson1 pleads guilty at #leardblockade

When I was charged with trespass at the #leardblockade on March 31 (see Getting #leardblockade arrested, WTF is journalism and who’s the extremist: @margokingston1 interview with @dailytelegraph), I sought legal advice on whether I could plead not guilty because of the implied right to freedom of political communication under the Constitution. There is no legal basis for press freedom in Australia and the right to free political communication implied by the High Court is very narrow. But I thought it was worthwhile exploring the freedom’s limits because civil disobedience – the ultimate citizen’s public act of political expression – is on the rise, partly due to due to Government inaction on global warming and subservience […]

Reporting grassroots greenshoots when faith in establishment politics dies: @margokingston1

Margo: A version of this column appeared in the Byron Shire Echo – @Echonetdaily – on 29 April as a substitute for Mungo McCallum’s weekly column while he recovered from surgery.    Mungo and I last discussed politics just after the federal election on Late Night Live. We both knew what Abbott would do – seek to close down free speech and climate change science information and further corporate interests at the expense of community. The bottom line was that a disenchanted public had voted in a climate change denying Government at a time when climate change amelioration and adaptation was crucial to the survival of our species. I felt lucky to have co-ordinated the […]

Civil disobedience and the #leardblockade: @adropex comments

[clear]   It was in January, whilst on a family beach holiday, that I first became aware of the protest happening at the Leard State Forest. I had not heard of the Leard before, however the words ‘Maules Creek’ and ‘Whitehaven’ vaguely floated into my consciousness as I read a Twitter report of the action happening at the Leard Blockade. I became interested and continued to follow the events as they unfolded over the next few days. Days have turned into weeks and weeks into months. At the time I read that first report I had no idea that I had become a small but vital piece in a process […]

One #leardblockade rule for Whitehaven, another for Jono Moylan: @larissawaters decries double standards

[clear] Apparently ‘false and misleading’ depends on who you are. Based on the Government’s most recent actions it seems information is only ‘false and misleading’ if it’s provided by someone acting in the public interest to protect the climate – not if it’s provided by a coal mining company with a vested interest in getting an approval. Yesterday I received documents about the Maules Creek coal mine offsets, after the Order for Production of Documents I moved in the Senate last month passed. This package included the long awaited ‘independent’ review of Whitehaven Coal’s proposed offset, albeit commissioned and paid for by Whitehaven Coal. The documents reveal that in fact […]

#leardblockade news: @GreenpeaceAustP complains to ASX on $WHC failure to inform market on enviro offsets

MARGO: Here is the Greenpeace statement on the release of the independent review of Whitehaven’s environmental offsets and the Government’s decision to close its criminal investigation into whether then companies proposed offsets were fraudulent. Whitehaven’s ASX statement on its offsets clearance is here. Lock the Gate told me this morning it is reviewing the material and will publish a response and the documents on its website as soon as possible. UPDATE: Today’s Lock the Gate statement is published after the Greenpeace chronology. Whitehaven Coal emerges from one criminal investigation, but has it been misleading the market all along? Wednesday, April 16, 2014 Greenpeace has today lodged complaints with the Australian Stock […]

Climate change civil disobedience and the law: @GriffithElects reports

  Anyone planning an act of civil disobedience should make themselves aware of all the possible legal risks they are taking. On Thursday evening, April 10, legal experts from the School of Law and Justice at Southern Cross University and from the Institute of Ethics, Governments and Law at Griffith University, presented a documentary about a young American man who became known as ‘Bidder 70’ when he took civil disobedience action to prevent the sale of wilderness land for use by the fossil fuel industry. The panel chairperson, Professor Brendan Mackey, director of the Griffith Climate Change Response Program, kicked-off the evening when he said: “I am a scientist not […]

‘The Protectors’: Lani Bruce on why she joined #leardblockade

[clear] I am the mother of two sons and am qualified to teach science in secondary schools. My level of education and understanding of current local issues has developed since the year 2000 – when I voted for John Howard (a very hard thing to admit to) – till today, when I feel that the two major political parties are working for corporations, and not for the people of today or future generations. On Monday, March 31, 2014, I proudly supported the mass walk-in at Whitehaven’s Maules Creek mine with my partner and 5-year-old son. I attended the protest to show my support for those I call ‘The Protectors’ – […]