Keep Uranium in the Ground!

On this day, 37 years ago (22 October 1977) the largest mass arrests in Australian history occurred in an attempt to stop the mining and export of Uranium, a radio-active metal that has caused countless deaths, most recently at Fukushima in Japan.

It was demos like these that prompted then premier of Queensland to issue an edict that ‘the day of political street march was over’ and yet the longest period of mass civil disobedience followed from 4 Sept 1977 till July 1979.

Some of the images of that era from the BushTelegraph archive are shown below:

Anti-Uranium Coffin

Anti-Uranium Coffin

Uranium Picket at Hamilton Wharf in August 1977 - 2uranium-metal-of-menace-leave-it-in-the-ground.jpgban-bjelke-march-and-anti-uranium-picket-1977.jpg

Anti-Uranium Demonstration 22 Oct 1977



Anti-uranium demonstration 30 October 1978 King George Square

Anti-uranium demonstration 30 October 1978 King George Square

2 responses to “Keep Uranium in the Ground!

  1. 'Into the valley of death...'

    418 people were arrested. The day began badly. The speakers went on and on in the hot sun. Judith Wright spoke for nearly two hours. The coppers were massed in numbers in Albert Street. Finally there was a proposal by Ian Henderson and Bob Phelps from Campaign against Nuclear Power (CANP) that we go along the footpath in two’s and three’s. This was impossible because there were over 5,000 of us.

    When coppers started picking us off one by one, Dan O’Neill jumped up and said we should give ourselves up in an act of mass civil disobedience. We marched into the valley of death (Albert Street) and were arrested.

    That night, ABC TV national news said that we were fighting for the right to march when what we were doing was trying to stop uranium mining and export. Bjelke-Petersen could see that we were using King George Square as a rallying point to get people down the wharves to stop the trains and so banned street marches and took away with force our ability to mobilise support to stop uranium mining.


  2. robin taubenfeld

    Howdy Ian; Cool! Can u please give more info re the October 22 action/arrests?

    2 years ago on oct 22, Newman announced he would allow uranium mining in Qld….

    Interesting historical connection.

    Thanks for all you do.

    Peace R

    Sent from my Windows Phone ________________________________


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