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Coal wars: news from the frontline

NEWS FROM THE FRONTLINE OCTOBER 2020

It’s been another big month here on the climate frontlines. October began with another action disrupting work on Adani’s rail corridor – writer Ben Winch locking himself to a cattle grid on the road to Adani’s site and stopping work for five hours. Ben’s action highlighted the disastrous waste of our precious water that would come from the Carmichael mine. Ben, along with Kyle Magee who last month stopped work on Adani’s coal export terminal, have both been in court this month and had their cases adjourned. We’ll keep you posted on how they go.

The powerful effect of years of resistance to Adani was shown again this month. First of all, Adani rebranded its controversial Abbot Point coal terminal as “North Queensland Export Terminal” – with a new website that doesn’t mention Adani or even coal. The port has previously been fined for environmental breaches, and in August was forced to pay $106 million to its own customers for “deliberate dishonest behaviour”. The rebrand shows Adani’s name is now so toxic that even the company itself won’t use it.

Those effects were being felt by insurance companies too. The most recent corporate target of the Stop Adani movement has been insurance giant Lloyd’s of London, and this month one of its companies Apollo Underwriting announced it would not be continuing to insure Adani beyond its current contract. That brings the number of companies who have announced they will not work with Adani to 89 (and counting!)

We know people all over Australia have been taking action against Adani, and we’ve seen the way companies in London and across the world have been taking notice. We should also highlight that in India, there have been huge and consistent protests against many of Adani’s damaging projects there. Most recently, in the last few days thousands of people in Goa blocked a rail line to stop the expansion of Adani’s coal port and transportation there.

Also this month, folks at Camp Binbee joined in with people around the world in the Big Canopy Campout – celebrating native forests and the hardworking people who are defending them from logging and deforestation. 

Check out our video from the campout here. Later in the month we were reminded of the need to protect those trees, when the Victorian government cut down several beautiful trees that are sacred to the Djab Wurrung First Nations people – as part of a highway upgrade designed to save motorists a few minutes. After a determined blockade, a court injunction has been taken out against the work. FLAC stands with the Djab Wurrung people in that struggle.

The struggle for climate justice takes many forms, and one is the realm of arts and culture. I’m sure we can all point to books, films and songs that have impacted how we view the world; so it is exciting to see people making powerful art about current environmental issues and the courageous and creative work being done in response. October saw the premiere of the documentary Wild Things, which features Frontline Action on Coal amongst others around Australia taking action to protect our planet. There will be more opportunities to see it, watch the trailer here.

This Sunday November 8th we are excited for the premiere of another film,Forest Defenders. It is about the struggle to protect Tasmania’s ancient forests, and is the result of the hard work of some of our talented FLAC friends. Tune in with us for the screening on Sunday.

Also, the classic FLAC compilation album Rock’n’Roll for Blockin’ Coal finally went up on spotify and other streaming services this month. You can still buy an mp3 download here, but now you can also enjoy streaming it on whichever platform you prefer.

https://frontlineactiononcoal.bandcamp.com/track/feraliza-like-it-or-not

October ended with a Queensland election. Sadly, unlike the last two state elections, there were no promises from either major party to hold Adani to account, and climate action was rarely a part of the campaigning from either. Though the state can breathe a sigh of relief that we at least still have a government that believes in climate change, we know the change we really need will only come from everyday people taking what action we can to stand up for what’s right. With state borders beginning to reopen, we invite people to join us in central Queensland and help protect our climate and all that relies on it. See you on the frontlines!

Andy and the crew at Camp Binbee 🙂
Frontline Action on Coal
frontlineaction.org

Frontline Action on Coal acknowledges elders, past present and future. We respect the communication protocols and the important role of Elders in culture and heritage protection advice. We recognise and respect cultural heritage, beliefs, customs and the continuing relationship and responsibility to traditional land and water and day and night sky. We acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the people living today and future generations, and stand in solidarity with First Nations people in their continuing struggle for justice.

Reference
Industry news sources report that Beijing has told several state-owned steelmakers and power plants to stop imports with immediate effect.

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