The NSW Police have a plan called Operation Stapler to break up the broad and successful Bentley Blockade, a community-based stand to stop the gorgeous farmland of Northern Rivers becoming a gasfield. It involves approx 800 police and the Blockade folk have asked me to approach environment groups and concerned individuals with information on how they can help prevent this police action …
[Editors Note: Far be it from me to introduce the labyrinthine mysteries of how power protects the status quo, in this case, Metgasco. The bentley blockade is reminiscent of another mass blockade held in 1982 against nuclear missiles in England staged by women. The protest at Greenham Common lasted 19 years. Despite some gains by the anti-nuclear movement over the years, the UK still has a nuclear capability – compare goverments in power then and now, tories there and here. 1982 was the beginning of the Thatcher era that destroyed gains made by workers in the post war era and entered in a new age of self-interest that has never quite disappeared (sic). So back to Bentley … how do we reconcile signs that read ‘Lock the Gate‘ and ‘For Sale‘ that appear on the same gate, to take one example? For those interested I have included a YouTube clip showing a fictional depiction of the dark events of the time in a BBC series (not the Mel Gibson remake) called ‘Edge of Darkness‘ .
This comment is by no means an attempt to discourage people from participating in the Bentley blockade or to say what happened then (at Greenham Common) must necessarily be repeated now (at Bentley); but, having lived through that era, i sadly fear it may. It all comes back to one question Who owns the land and what is its purpose? In a challenge for power, how do we link with those workers who have the capacity to shut down Metgasco, and with it, the status quo [see testimony of a CSG worker ]. Often we can confound our own purpose. At least we don’t have to put up with what people in Venezuala experience when they challenge the status quo – see Ukraine-style disruption strategy turns to Venezuela — ian curr, 12 May 2014.]
(article continues) … Over 85% of the community in the region oppose unconventional gas extraction. So the intelligence the Blockade organisers get is good – the police coming mostly from other regions need to stay somewhere, eat etc. Despite some hiccups organising this the police will be in the region from late this week onwards.
The Bentley Blockade organisers are able to quickly gather approx 5000 local people on site, something the police are planning for. But if there is closer to 10000 there is a good chance the police operation will be cancelled, leading to a another round of political hand wringing and increased support for the Blockade in Sydney political circles.
So we want to get people there this weekend, Saturday being preferable. To > show an increased presence on site, adding to the police knowledge of the > numbers who will come locally from the text alert system. Please consider taking the time to support this extraordinary and ground-breaking community stand. I am able to connect your group with organisers if need. Otherwise you can find out more at http://www.BentleyBlockade.org and by following #BentleyBlockade on Twitter.
Generation Alpha have folk coming from Brisbane on Friday and Saturday and could possibly offer lifts etc to individuals. Let us know as soon as you can. Please forward and act on this email rather than deleting it or letting it fall down the inbox. We have an amazing opportunity to be part of history and I’d love to see you there.