October 21, 2014

Peaceful Occupation of Minerals Council for Pacific Climate Warriors

Tuesday, 21st October: 10 Canberrans have been arrested during an occupation of the Minerals Council of Australia. 15 protesters entered the building this morning, standing in solidarity with the Pacific Climate Warriors, who are fighting against the fossil fuel industry’s destructive plans to expand coal and gas expansion in Australia — plans that would result in the destruction of many
The Canberrans entered the office demanding Director Brendan Pearson or another executive meet with Pacific Climate Warriors from Vanuatu, Tuvalu and Fiji to hear how Australias fossil fuel industry is negatively effecting the lives of people across the Pacific region. The Minerals Council refused to hear their story. 
The ten defied police move-on orders, resulting in arrest.

The action follows the successful blockade of the Newcastle Coal Port on Friday and a similar protest at the offices of Whitehaven Coal in Sydney yesterday.

Spokesperson Josh Creaser says, “The Minerals Council are the strongest advocates for the expansion of the fossil fuel industry in Australia.  As Australias peak coal body they have vigorously lobbied government, industry and community groups in attempts to double Australias coal exports over the next ten years. We have listened to and understand the stark reality facing the Pacific Climate Warriors and it seems reasonable to us that the Minerals Council also listen to these concerns.
Before the protesters were taken away, Isso Nihmei a Pacific Climate Warrior from Vanuatu thanked each of them for their support and bold action. Isso said,  “Climate change is already having a devastating impact on our islands. That is why the Pacific Climate Warriors are standing up and sharing their story and that is why we are so proud to see Australians supporting us as well”. 
Photo updates are available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/350org/with/15401087778/