Nuclear Scumbags Awards Tour – Melbourne, 12 November 2014

Friends of the Earth, Melbourne’s Anti-Nuclear and Clean Energy Collective (ACE) held a Nuclear Scumbags tour during a nation-wide week of protests in connection with the G20 summit in Brisbane – Plan B. The tour delivered citations to the offices of the Federal Government, Rio Tinto, the Future Fund, BHP Billiton, GHD Engineering, ending at RMIT, whose current chancellor, Ziggy Switkowski, received a lifetime award…
Ziggy Switkowski's award

The full list of awards:

Australian Government: Radioactive Racism, Lies and Broken Promises
Rio Tinto / Energy Resources of Australia: Reluctant Rehabilitator
Future Fund: Bomb Bankrollers
BHP Billiton: Local Environmental Sustainability and Water Protection
GHD Engineering: Health and Safety at Maralinga
Ziggy Switkowski: Racist Scumbag Long Service Award

Some scenes from the tour:

There are more photos on the ACE Facebook page.

People’s Climate March, Melbourne – 21 September 2014 – photos only.

IMGP4502-post

Melbourne led the way on a grand scale with an estimated turnout of 30,000 marchers. The event began at the State Library with music, dancing and speakers, including a welcome to country. The march down Swanston Street to the Treasury Gardens via Bourke Street seemed to go on for ever… More speakers and music at the gardens, as well as stalls representing a range of organisations. Reports have appeared on SBS and The Age. We are not in a position to add to these so this post must be restricted to photos, grouped under the rally, the march, and the end (though speeches and other activities were still in full swing when we left, about 1pm).

At the State Library:

On the march:

At the end:

‘March in March’ – the Melbourne Rally and March, 16 March 2014

Melbourne responded to the callout (see http://marchinmarchaustralia.org/ and the Melbourne march Facebook page) with one of the largest rallies since the 2003 protests against the war in Iraq. Figures varied widely, as usual, but we are rather inclined to the upper end of the claims, or towards 50,000. It was also one of the most varied, and in recognition of this we are posting the largest selection of images so far on this site for one event. There is also a choice of thumbnail/gallery or slideshow, the latter comprising lower resolution copies. It may be in order to post a few separately:

Part of crowd at start of rally

A very small part of the rally at the State Library

Black and red flag

The holder of this flag told us it was 45 years old – dating back to moratorium days

Placard in German - 'These crimes, your blame'

International contribution

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No More Fukushimas! – Vigil 11 March 2014

To mark the third anniversary of the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, Nuclear Free Australia called a protest vigil at the old GPO on Bourke Street, Melbourne:
Banner on steps - Fukushima is Aus Uranium ...

The callout can be found here

It was a low key event, just a few banners and activists handing out leaflets, some of the time in the rain:

Protesters under umbrellas

It appeared that rather few of the passers-by were inclined to take the offered flyer: even in one case two young women who stopped long enough to take photos nevertheless turned it down. Needless to say there was no mainstream media coverage…

A few closeups:

Placard linkg Fukushima and Australian uranium

Placard - map of dispersal on caesium -137

Back of jacket worn by one person attending the protest

A few links that may be of interest:

An event organised in Melbourne shortly after the disaster was reported on this site here.

Updates on Fukushima can be found here.

Greenpeace have published videos telling the stories of some victims of the disaster here.

A photo essay by Kristian Laemmle-Ruff, son of IPPNW co-president Tilman Ruff, can be found here.

There is some footage of a rally and march held in Melbourne on the first anniversary here.

Friends of the Earth Anti-Nuclear and Clean Energy Collective was represented at the vigil. The ACE Facebook and web pages contain a wide range of material relating to the nuclear industry.

No Coal Exports Rally – 10 December 2013

View of protest from top of Bourke Street

Environment Victoria called a rally to protest at plans to extend Victoria’s highly polluting brown coal industry:

WHAT: Rally to say no to a polluting new coal export industry for Victoria

WHEN: 1:00-1:45pm, Tuesday, 10 December

WHERE: Steps of Parliament House, cnr Bourke and Spring Sts

WHY: The Victorian government is on the verge of allocating billions of tonnes of brown coal to the coal industry to kick-start a polluting new coal export industry.

Instead of squeezing the last drops out of a polluting resource, we want clean, safe energy, for a clean, safe climate. So let’s tell the government we don’t want to be part of the problem.

Join us with Friends of the Earth Australia, Quit Coal, Australian Youth Climate Coalition, 350.org Australia on the steps of Parliament House, Tuesday 10 December to say no to brown coal allocations and brown coal exports.

Confusion surrounding train timetables meant we missed the first half hour of the forty-five minute rally, but we were able at least to catch the moment when the “no” slogan on the placards lining the steps of Parliament House was switched to the “yes” one for renewables:

Placards spelling "No Coal Allocation"

Became:

Placards spelling "Yes to Renewable"

There is more background to the issue on the Protect Victoria page of the Environment Victoria website:

[…]

The Victorian and Federal governments have each committed half of a $90 million pool of money to support new coal projects in Victoria. It’s called the Advanced Lignite Demonstration Program (ALDP), and already coal companies are lining up around the block to get their hands on it. From what has been reported in the media , it’s clear that the companies putting up their hand for taxpayer subsidies are all interested in coal exports.

At the same time, the Napthine Government is considering allocating another 13 billion tonnes of coal to prospective miners in the Latrobe Valley . This would be bad news for our environment, the community and the diversity of the Latrobe Valley economy. We’ve successfully delayed the allocation twice, but the government has announced that they will make a decision on whether to proceed or not by the end of the year.

Previous government allocations have promised the earth in jobs and investment but delivered nothing. And yet the Victorian Government now wants to do it all over again.

If it goes ahead, the impact on our state will be devastating.

Up to 33 billion tonnes of brown coal could be handed over to coal companies to be dug up, hauled by trucks and trains across the state, and shipped from new ports in protected marine zones to China and India where it would ultimately be burnt.

[…]

More photos from the rally:

Farmers against Fracking – march and rally 18 August 2013

The country came to the city on Sunday 18 August as part of the campaign against plans to extract coal seam gas in Victoria, risking the destruction of prime agricultural land in the process.
Here is part of a report circulated by Quit Coal, which helped organise the event (see also the Facebook event page):

…here’s the low-down of what happened – hundreds of farmers and locals from Gippsland and rural Victoria descended on Melbourne, joining their city supporters to march the streets. Colour, costume, chanting and tunes were a-plenty as the protesters, led by the Riff Raff Radical marching band, passionately paraded, demanding a total ban on all new coal and unconventional gas projects in Victoria. MC Rod Quantock kicked things off at the State Library before speeches from Gippsland locals, including beef farmer Tanya Brown and Seaspray primary school teacher Kirra Boulton.

A 10,000 signature petition was then presented to Greg Barber MLC, who is tabling it in Parliament today. We got some great media coverage on ABC and Channel 7 news, multiple radio stations, ABC online and importantly in local Gippsland media!* In fact, our voices were even too loud for Energy and Resources Minister, Nick Kotsiras, to ignore. In response to the rally, he promised he would undertake extensive community consultations before making a decision on lifting the current moratorium on fracking in Victoria. This means that the moratorium may remain in place for months to come, giving us a crucial window to build mass awareness, momentum and pressure both in the city and in regional Victoria.

Sunday marked a massive step forward for the growing Australia-wide movement against the expansion of coal and gas mining. It brought the issue close to home for city dwellers, raising awareness that this is not just an issue affecting locals who live close to mine sites, but that techniques like fracking pose great risk of contaminating Melbourne’s water and food supply, not to mention the broader impacts that coal and gas mining have on climate change.

*See also http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2013/08/19/579926_politics-news.html

This YouTube features the march in the rain up Swanston Street from the old City Square to the State Library, and excerpts from the speeches delivered by representatives of the farming communities, Quit Coal, and Greens MLC Greg Barber: