April 27, 2016

Hundreds of protesters won’t be intimidated by NSW’s draconian anti-protest laws

Sydney 27 April, 2016: The hundreds of people who will unite at the Port of Newcastle on Sunday May 8 to engage in an unprecedented peaceful civil disobedience action will not be deterred by the NSW Government’s draconian anti-protest laws.

As new climate data indicates off-the-charts temperatures for April, more than 500 Australians have registered for the Newcastle action, despite the Baird Government’s anti-protest laws.

Meanwhile, today’s climate announcement by the Labor Party that includes no plans to halt coal exports, and the Coalition budget that will continue to subsidise and promote fossil fuel mining demonstrates neither party is yet capable of providing climate leadership. It is left to everyday Australians to demand action on climate change.

“The failure of our major political parties to seriously address climate change leaves us with no option. Climate change is the defining challenge of our generation and people from all walks of life are willing to take bold action to show our leaders that they must act,” Anne-Maree McLaughlin, a Bulga resident said.

“These heavy-handed laws introduced by the Baird Government are anti democratic and infringe upon the rights of Australians to protest peacefully.

“Australians don’t want to have their freedom to peacefully protest curtailed, and the Break Free action in Newcastle may be the first serious test against the laws.”

“We will not be intimidated and bullied by these law changes and are expecting a strong turnout of people who care deeply about keeping fossil fuels in the ground and stopping devastating climate change.

“The NSW Government is out of step with the majority of Australians and NSW residents who support the phasing out of coal. These laws are obviously designed to help the Government’s mates in the fossil fuel industry whose antics are increasingly at odds with everyday Australians who want to see real action on climate change, said Blair Palese, CEO, 350.org Australia.

“Everybody who participates in the peaceful flotilla on  May 8 will be provided with the necessary information to make an informed choice before engaging in civil disobedience or any other actions.

“Ultimately, the Baird Government will be shown to be on the wrong side of history. It’s time for NSW to reconsider these deeply unpopular and undemocratic crackdowns on peaceful protest,” concluded Palese.

Media contact:

Cam Klose 0490 436 948