Photo Gallery: Melburnians #marchforscience by @takvera

Police were predicting 400 people might turn up, instead up to 5000 scientists and science supporters rallied and marched through Melbourne streets as part of the global #marchforscience rallies organized in about 600 cities and towns around the world. Australia’s scientists have already felt Federal budget cuts for science research and funding for the CSIRO reduced, and have campaigned against such attacks on science with some limited success, with the aid of international colleagues. The inauguration of the Trump regime in the United States and the spectacular success of the women’s march on Washington DC the day after inauguration were strong motivating factors for scientists to organise this very public […]

Photo Gallery: #CSIROcuts #SupportCSIRO rally in Melbourne photos by @takvera

In a sea of white balloons with the message in blue, ‘Save CSIRO Jobs’, about 500 people rallied in Melbourne in support of CSIRO staff to protest the staff cuts announced by CEO Larry Marshall in early February. Many of the 350 job cuts will go from the Atmosphere and Oceans Division, and the Land and Water division. Both of these areas specialise in climate change research, key for projecting changes enabling adaptation strategies to be worked out. The rally was organised by the CSIRO Staff Association, a section of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU). See background article: Climate science staff cuts #CSIROcuts labelled as science vandalism Speakers […]

Gallery: Melbourne Refugee Sanctuary rally calls out to #LetThemStay by @takvera

Thousands of people rallied as part of the refugee sanctuary movement in Melbourne on Monday. Our citizen journalist John Englart was there to capture on photo the rally and the many posters present. The rally was in response to the High Court ruling on sending refugee families back to Nauru detention. The Sanctuary movement grew rapidly in response from church groups prepared to offer sanctuary to every one of these people and families to stop them being deported. It was led by the Anglican Dean of Brisbane, Peter Catt. A wide range of people have come out and implored the Federal government to stop the planned deportation of 267 people […]

Thousands protest for #climatejustice in Paris #D12 as #COP21 concludes reports @takvera

Even though the State of Emergency which prohibits large political protests is still in place, tens of thousands turned out on the streets of Paris for climate justice in various creative protests. The French state on Friday, relented, and allowed the protest to go ahead. For two weeks activists had been planning a day for redlines for the climate emergency, to defy the state crackdown on the right to freedom of speech and assembly. Organisers had embarked on civil disobedience training of thousands of people at the Climate Action Zone in preparation for the day. The Climate emergency, it was argued, was far more important than the security restrictions imposed […]

#Climate red lines in the #COP21 UN Blue Zone and for Paris reports @takvera

Thursday was a long night with negotiators working on a draft text released at 9pm Thursday evening. Friday was set aside for bilateral discussions. A new text is due on Saturday morning. There is still much at stake in these negotiations, and we will not know the full final outcome until the gavel goes down sometime over the weekend. Greenpeace released a statement on Thursday night based on the 9pm draft text. Martin Kaiser, head of international climate politics at Greenpeace, said: “This thing isn’t over until the conference closes, but what’s on the table just isn’t good enough. It’s a very big problem that the emissions targets on the […]

#Climate justice demanded of world leaders at #COP21 reports @takvera from Paris

Today I observed and sometimes joined a peaceful human chain for a climate of peace on the Boulevard Voltaire in Paris. Organisers estimated about 10,000 people participated in one way or another. This event took place because Parisians and visitors to Paris were denied the freedom of speech and assembly to march down the street under the state of emergency provisions. These provisions were enacted by the French state after the terrorist attacks on November 13 which resulted in 130 deaths and over 300 injured. It caused a dark cloud to hang over the climate conference. Just the fact that national leaders focus was redirected on security and terrorism has […]

Melbourne #peoplesclimate march draws 60,000 people reports @takvera #COP21

Reposted article from Climate Action Moreland website. Well done to everyone who marched or supported the march, particularly the many shop keepers who allowed signs to go up in their windows. It was awesome with the estimated 60,000 people, who at one point, stretched all the way from Parliament House down Bourke street and up Swanston street to the starting place at the State Library at Latrobe street. “The majority of Australians want action on climate change,” said Geoff Cousins, chair of the Australian Conservation Foundation. “People now realise this is not some theoretical concept. This is affecting their lives on a daily basis and they want something done about […]

Marches banned, Paris plans human chain for #climate of peace reports @takvera #COP21

Paris: To get around the state ban on climate marches, Coalition Climat 21 have proposed a human chain be formed between 12 noon and 1pm along the sidewalks of the Boulevarde Voltaire from between Place de la Republique and Place de la Nation. This was the original route of the climate march that has been planned for several months for Sunday November 29 in Paris, and was expected to attract tens of thousands and possibly hundreds of thousands of people. Activists announced this action in a media release (fr) on Tuesday 24 November, to get around the ban on marching declared by the French state. The state of emergency declared […]

How we talk about refugees matters: @novidados comments

It has been an extraordinary few days. Last Thursday, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, speaking in a radio interview, accused refugees being held in Australia’s notorious detention camps of ‘running a racket’ to ‘blackmail’ the government into providing proper medical treatment for pregnant women. The next day, a chartered plane took a pregnant woman back to Nauru to avoid a court injunction. The woman, known by the pseudonym Abyan, had been brought to Australia when it emerged she had been raped and had become pregnant but was unable to have an abortion on Nauru. Only after intense lobbying from refugee advocates was she was brought to Villawood Detention Centre where she […]

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 […]