ANZ Bank HQ in Melbourne occupied by #ClimateWarriors: @Takvera

John Englart

John Englart

Citizen journalist at No Fibs
John Englart has always had a strong social and environmental focus and over the past 10 years climate change science, climate policy and climate protest have become an increasingly important and primary focus of his work as a citizen journalist.
John Englart
- 26 mins ago
John Englart
I am involved in various Moreland-based community groups including Sustainable Fawkner where I blog on local and sustainability issues, Climate Action Moreland and Moreland Bicycle Users Group. I am also a member of Friends of the Earth, off and on, since 1976, and wrote the contribution on the Rides Against Uranium in the 1970s for the Friends of the Earth Australia book to mark the 30-year anniversary of FoE – 30 Years of Creative Resistance.
Pacific Climate Warriors join occupation of ANZ Bank Headquarters in Melbourne. Photo: 350.org (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Pacific Climate Warriors join occupation of ANZ Bank Headquarters in Melbourne. Photo: 350.org (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The Pacific Climate Warriors travelled to Melbourne today and were part of an occupation of the lobby of the Headquarters of the ANZ Bank. Over eighty people participated standing in solidarity with Pacific Islanders whose homes and cultures are being destroyed by fossil fuel expansion.

Last week the Climate Warriors visited Whitehaven Coal’s Maules Creek coal mine near Narrabri and saw the destruction first hand of the Leard State forest where coal is extracted. Read my report of Pacific Climate Warriors joining the Leard blockade protesting coal and climate change

They also visited and blockaded Newcastle coal port on Friday 17 October, pitting their traditional canoes against the huge coal ships. They were joined by hundreds of Australians who also joined the blockade in a ragtag fleet of kayaks and sail boats. Twelve boats were due to pass through the coal port on Friday, yet only two passed through the blockade. Read Nicola Bell’s (@Sikamikanico) report on the blockade.

Here is a short video of last Friday’s blockade:

How the occupation unfoldered on twitter

In Melbourne today this is how the occupation of the ANZ Bank lobby unfolded:

“Citizens, people, workers: We stand here in respect. We apologise for disrupting your morning. But such disturbances does not match the destruction of this company, is doing to our people. We are here today standing in solidarity with the people of Australia. For the people among us, we are the human face of climate change.”

Lifts were shut down with people locking on preventing there use. Police arrive.

Other climate warriors are telling their stories elsewhere:

You can see office workers gathered around watching the protest from higher level baconies:

ANZ was not the only target. ALCOA is also being heavily criticised for trying to sell the Anglesea power station rather than install pollution scrubbers or close it down and rehabilitate the open cut coal mine. The power station and coal mine has been the subject of protests by local residents.

Haka and harmonies of hope and solidarity echoed between the cavernous walls in the building Lobby.

ANZ called this an aggressive protest. See for yourself:

The Age reported on the protest:

People were inconvenienced, was it the right forum? when all other forums have failed? When Australia does not even send our Prime Minister to attend the Leaders summit at the recent UN Climate Summit in New York clearly showing the world that Australia is a climate leaner not a lifter.

Pacific Climate Warriors join occupation of ANZ Bank Headquarters in Melbourne. Photo: 350.org (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Pacific Climate Warriors join occupation of ANZ Bank Headquarters in Melbourne. Photo: 350.org (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Protests and arrests in Perth and Canberra

In Perth on Tuesday Buru Energy’s headquarters were peacefully occupied for 9 hours to protest fracking in the Kimberley region and in solidarity with the Pacific Climate Warriors. The protest ended with Trish McAuliffe (74) and Cathy Hall (66) arrested, according to a 350.org report. More photos on Facebook: Perth Stands in Solidarity with the Pacific

Occupation of Buru Energy offices in Perth to protest fracking in the Kimberley and solidarity with Pacific Climate Warriors. Photo: 350.org (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Occupation of Buru Energy offices in Perth to protest fracking in the Kimberley and solidarity with Pacific Climate Warriors. Photo: 350.org (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

There was also a protest in Broome with Traditional Owners telling Buru: ‘Don’t Frack the Kimberley – we stand with the Pacific Climate Warriors against new fossil fuels!’

The Minerals Council of Australia headquarters in Canberra was peacefully occupied by 15 people on Tuesday with Climate Warriors from Vanuatu, Tuvalu and Fiji requesting a meeting with Director Brendan Pearson or another executive to hear how Australia’s fossil fuel industry is negatively effecting the lives of people across the Pacific region. Ten people were arrested in the occupation.

Occupation at Minerals Council of Australia offices in Canberra in solidarity with Pacific Climate Warriors 21 October 2014. Photo: 350.org (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Occupation at Minerals Council of Australia offices in Canberra in solidarity with Pacific Climate Warriors 21 October 2014. Photo: 350.org (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

See more photos on 350.org Australia Facebook album: Melbourne Stands in Solidarity with the Pacific

Photos used for this report provided by 350.org under a Creative Commons NonCommercial licence (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)


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Comments

  1. Rosemary Smith says

    We have divested our bank account and super accounts from Commonwealth and opened new accounts with a “green” bank.

    Individuals have the power and we will be the change.