About 500 activists blocked coal shipments into Australia’s Hunter harbour yesterday by paddling kayaks and homemade rafts made from milk crates and innertubes into the water.
The action, which lasted 11 hours, is the fourth successful blockade against shipments of coal into Australia. More coal is received at that particular harbor than any other in the world.
“These people sent a serious message that the government, if they are going to be serious about climate change, they must address the coal industry,” said Greens parliamentarian Lee Rhiannon. “It’s the fourth time this blockade has been held and each time it attracts plenty of support and we will continue with future peaceful actions if we think it’s necessary.”
While the coal industry said their shipments continued unimpeded by the protest, the activists say they achieved their goal of gaining publicity for the anti-coal movement.
“We would like to show a strong message to the Government that everyday Australians are sick of politely asking for change,” said Carly Phillips, one of the many protesters. “We’d like to see a just transition away from the coal industry towards a renewable energy future.”
Photo courtesy of Greenpeace