We support the actions of the 66 people who were arrested blockading the world’s largest coal port in Newcastle.
On May 8th, around 2000 people took part in a peaceful blockade that shut down the Newcastle coal port for the entire day. Of those people, 66 are now facing court. The actions were supported and led by front line communities, indigenous peoples and pacific islanders from across Australia and the Pacific. It is people from these communities who are facing the immediate impacts of climate change and coal mining on a daily basis.
Coal costs local communities in every step of the process, from mining, to transport, and burning. We know that if we want to limit the worst effects of climate change we need to stop new projects and transition rapidly away from coal and other fossil fuels to cleaner renewable energy.
The government has failed to lead a safe transition to a fossil free society. The peaceful blockade of Newcastle’s coal port demonstrated to the world that, where the government has failed, the community is willing to stand up and fight to keep coal in the ground.
66 people of all different ages and backgrounds, from all over Australia, now face charges and significant fines for their actions. At the same time, the government gives the coal industry large subsidies to pollute and endanger lives.
Against this backdrop, the NSW government is bringing in anti-protest laws to increase fines and make it harder for people to challenge unjust laws that protect a dying industry that threatens our future. When injustice becomes law, disobedience becomes duty.
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Sign up to a declaration of support for the people arrested at the BreakFree2016 blockade of the Newcastle coal port