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Harsher anti-protest laws targeting environmentalists are putting greed before green 

Guardian, Bob Brown 27 June 22,

Penalties for peaceful action are now the same as for aggravated assault.

Last Friday dozens of armed New South Wales police officers raided a camp near Sydney and arrested two environmentalists. One was Aunty Caroline Kirk, an Aboriginal elder. She was charged with “wilfully obstructing and intimidating police”.

“I can’t run, I can’t climb,” she said. “All I can do … is teach my culture. Why are they doing this?”

The answer lies in the showdown of our age between greed and green.

At the heart of this is greenophobia, the fear of things green, including environmentalists. It involves the blighted idea that people should be stopped from taking action to defend the environment, especially if it gets in the way of making money.

It has infected the world of natural resource extractors and they have found the established political parties around the world extra helpful. So, in this year’s Queen’s speech, Boris Johnson announced a bill to jail peaceful UK protesters for up to 10 years. The proposal of those measures was one of the triggers that brought 400 alarmed scientists out to support environmental activists last year.

Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, is a greenophobe who is letting the Amazon rainforest and its Indigenous cultures be destroyed. His nation has descended into environmental lawlessness in which two rainforest defenders, British journalist Dom Phillips and Brazilian Indigenous advocate Bruno Pereira, were murdered this month. Globally, 220 environmentalists were murdered last year and thousands more were injured, terrorised or imprisoned. Most of the perpetrators have not been arrested or charged.

MMG’s lobbying helped influence the Tasmanian parliament to vote last week for harsher penalties for the defenders of the Tarkine and its giant masked owls. A clear majority of Tasmanian MPs want MMG to get its toxic waste dump in the Tarkine and Tasmania’s defenders of nature to get a cell in Risdon prison.

Tasmania’s laws match those of NSW, with penalties of up to $11,000 for peaceful environmental protest and double that, or two and a half years in jail, for a second offence. Had these laws been in place in other jurisdictions at other times, the Franklin River would be dammed, the Daintree rainforest razed and much of Kakadu national park mined.

Victoria has also introduced legislation, one aim of which is to deter scientists who have previously gone into the highlands and found forests with protected species – such as the greater glider and the state’s critically endangered faunal emblem, the Leadbeater’s possum – being logged. That’s illegal. While the loggers faced no charges, the intention of the new laws is to stop or arrest those scientists next time.

In Newcastle last year a young man was sentenced to a year in jail for delaying a coal train. The court did not hear the assessment of the former chief scientist at Nasa who told the US Congress that, in this world of dangerous global heating, transporting coal is a criminal activity.  

Greenophobia is percolating down. On the Monday before Aunty Caroline’s arrest, 100 or so officers raided Blockade Australia’s camp for peaceful protest at Colo near Sydney after four undercover officers who failed to identify themselves “feared for their lives” – though the police had the guns and the people in the camp, including the children, had none……………………………..

Corporate PR machines, with the rightwing media ready to go, are developing greenophobia to divert attention to their business wellbeing and away from the graver threat of the collapse of Earth’s biosphere, including through global heating and species extinctions. As the NSW attorney general, Mark Speakman, put it: “What we are stopping, or criminalising even further, are protests that shut down major economic activity.” It’s money before the planet.22

The new federal environment minister, Tanya Plibersek, is now Australia’s most powerful environmentalist. She will decide if MMG should treat its toxic wastes inside or outside the Tarkine rainforest. In doing so she will also decide if Tasmania’s environmentalists will face the new draconian sentences there. Those penalties, for peaceful environmental action, are now the same as for aggravated assault or for threatening neighbours with a shotgun.

Such laws may be tested in the high court as earlier laws were, after I was among those arrested in Tasmania’s Lapoinya rainforest in 2017. The court found those laws unconstitutional because they took away the right to peaceful protest. Meanwhile the Lapoinya forest was flattened and burnt, along with its rare wildlife. No one was arrested for that… The court found those laws unconstitutional because they took away the right to peaceful protest. Meanwhile the Lapoinya forest was flattened and burnt, along with its rare wildlife. No one was arrested for that.

If MMG’s needless waste dump is given the go-ahead I, for one, will help defend that vital forest, its owls, kingfishers and Tasmanian devils. They can take us out of nature but they can’t take nature out of us.

As for the “terrifying” Aunty Caroline, I would like to meet her and thank her. She may not be able to run or climb but she is an inspiration.  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jun/27/harsher-anti-protest-laws-targeting-environmentalists-are-putting-greed-before-green-bob-brown

  • Bob Brown is a former senator and leader of the Australian Greens and is patron of the Bob Brown Foundation……

June 28, 2022 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA, civil liberties, Legal

2 Comments »

  1. Young people, who use the most social media and the internet, get it. Things are getting chaotic and untenable , in the face of apocolyptic levels of nuclear pollution, climate change, and unhinged class politics
    This is where the rich are using money and power to kill and breed more chaos because, they think there is not the resources or space, for people besides them, to live anymore, because of climate change. They think they can use climate change to kill enough people, to make more bearable for themselves. .
    They are stupid. They are stupid because everything is going up in fire. Radioactive fires all over the planet. People breathing that radionuclide infested smoke. I’m a radionuclide specialist. Many Radionuclides generates their own heat making them unobtainable even at several hundred feet below the surface.
    The.rich arrogant , ignorant old politicians and younger oligarchs are stupid because, they are outside of their field and mostly out of their minds, through compartmentalized and insulated delusions. Their paid advisers are pathological and or incompetent
    Equatorial temps and subequatorial temps are 134F. You know subtropical temps are 105 to 110 F w 65 percent humidity. 5 hurricanes a year, in Florida where there are 3 shoddy old reactors ready to blow. There are many 30 to 50 yo reactors along the Gulf Coast and in tennessee, where there are more because of the TVA
    One of the rickety old Gulf Coast nuclear reactors of the 20 or so in texas, Florida, Loiusiana, Georgia, Tennessee, misssissippi or even Mexico soon. A good deal of Miami, was under water, earlier this month, from a small hurricane.
    Humans are grossly.misinformed about radionuclides and nuclear accidents. Both of my exes parents, from Japan died in 2 years of fukushima from cancer.
    The West is a radioactive sieve hole. Los alamos, testing in nevada, INL, Hanford, Santa susana, white sands, wipp, alamogordo, projects rullison and gas buggy, San onofre, Tooele, Rocky Flats, church rock. Last month the most radioactive state in the usa new mexico, was on fire. 800 thousand acres burned, releasing unimaginable amounts of radioactive dust, uranium, and fallout went into the air. Radioactive shit is pyrophoric. It generates its own heat and can start fires on its own. There are millions-of-tons of it, in the environment now.
    Rivers of water and thousand year floods in idaho, wyoming and Montana . Massive methane releases in the Arctic. 95 degrees in alaska. The earth will soon be not livable for anyone. Unprecedented chemical and plastic pollution. Insane wars and civil wars

    Comment by Terry Southard | June 28, 2022 | Reply

  2. https://thescotfree.com/opinion/incident-at-santa-susana-a-meltdown-a-fire-and-a-cover-up/

    Young people, who use the  most social media and the internet, get  it. Things are getting chaotic and untenable , in the face of worldwide nuclear pollution, climate change, and unhinged class politics aimed at protecting corporations from responsibility for environmental malfeasance.
    This is  where the rich and corporations are using money and power to extend malfeasance and direct liability and responsibility away from.themselves through radical rightwing politics and a captured corporate, right wing, us supreme court.

    The corporations and elite classes know there are not the resources or space, for much more exploitation and unsustainable pollution to live on this planet the way we live anymore.
    Climate change is becoming more complex . increasing climate change embodies shrinking life support systems. The irrational and the authoritarians, think they can use climate change to motivate further irrationality . They may be able to.in the.short-term but,
    they are dangerously delusional because it is affecting them as well and getting worse…

    Things are changing, at faster rates than anticipated. There are new layers of vulnerability, coming into play as addressed in this article.
    https://thescotfree.com/opinion/incident-at-santa-susana-a-meltdown-a-fire-and-a-cover-up/

    Wildfires , floods and hurricanes are occurring all over the planet at increasing frquency. They are getting worse each year. There are 21 hurricanes projected for the Gulf Coast region according to the NOAA, for 2022.
    People are breathing radionuclide infested smoke in areas with wildfires like Santa Susana and New Mexico where wildfires are rampant this year.
    Many Radionuclides generates their own heat making them unencasable, even at several hundred feet below the surface.
    The rich arrogant , ignorant old politicians and younger oligarchs are ignoring the dramatic increases in wildfires, and pollution being spread.

    They and their advisors are outside of their field and mostly out of their minds, through compartmentalized and insulated delusions. Their paid advisers, are there to smooth things over.
    Many of the older politicians will not have to live through the repercutions, of more layers of cataclysmic change.
    Equatorial temps and subequatorial temps are 134F this year in India , the middle east and Africa.
    Subtropical temps are 105 to 110 F w 65 percent humidity. Previously unheard of projections for tropical storms and hurricanes as the worlds oceans heat up.
    Florida alone has 3 shoddy old reactors that could go if any one.of them is hit with a couple of hurricanes back to back..
    There are many 30 to 50 yo reactors along the Gulf Coast and in tennessee,  where there are more because of the TVA
    One of the  rickety old Gulf Coast nuclear reactors of the 20 or so  in texas, Florida, Loiusiana, Georgia, Tennessee, Misssissippi or even Mexico could go if the flooding and serial-hurricanes pounded one reactor too much.
    A good deal of Miami, was under water, earlier this month, from a small hurricane.
    Humans are grossly misinformed about radionuclides and nuclear accidents. Both of my exes parents, from Japan died in 2 years of fukushima from cancer.
    The West is a radioactive sieve hole. Los alamos, testing in nevada, INL, Hanford, Santa susana, white sands, wipp, alamogordo, projects rullison and gas buggy, San onofre, Tooele, Rocky Flats, church rock. Last month one. the most radioactive states in the usa, New Mexico, was on fire. 800 thousand acres burned, releasing  unimaginable amounts of radioactive dust, uranium, and  fallout went into the air. Radionuclides are pyrophoric. They generates their own heat and can start fires on their own as happened in Arvada Colorado at Rocky flats with plutonium fires and plutonium releases.
    There are millions-of-tons of radionuclides, in the environment now.
    Climate change is real
    Rivers of water and thousand year floods in Idaho, Wyoming and  Montana . Massive methane releases in the Arctic. 95 degrees in alaska.  Insane war in the redioactive hellhole of ukraine, where Chernobyl occured.

    Comment by Terry Southard | June 29, 2022 | Reply


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