Since the Australian Conservation Foundation launched its campaign against the proposed nuclear waste dump at Muckaty in the Northern Territory some 2700 signatures have been collected on the ‘Dump the Dump’ petition. (See also report on this site for 26 July 2010.) Today, Dave Sweeney, ACF nuclear free campaigner, went to Energy and Resources Minister Martin Ferguson’s office to deliver the petition, accompanied by anti-nuclear activists including members of Friends of the Earth ACE collective, who brought a trailer loaded with drums of ‘radioactive waste’ to highlight the message. (See also Nuclear Freeways.)
The office was locked down, as seems to be the way when concerned citizens want to make contact with their Member of Parliament, and it took the good offices of a police officer to get the door opened. Even then only two people were admitted, and the door hastily closed to prevent others from following. There was also an elderly gentleman who arrived on some business to find the door locked, but he was informed his was a matter for the State member and redirected accordingly. It was not clear what would have happened otherwise. After a short while the two re-emerged, along with the accompanying police office, in proud possession of a hand-written receipt for the petition ‘addressed to Martin Ferguson’. Various plain-clothes AFP and others arrived in the meantime, but this also seems to be the way where Minister Ferguson is concerned…
Dave Sweeney poses with petition
Elderly gentleman tries to get in
Police come to his aid
Two are allowed in...
But only two ...
And no more.
Posing for a few closing pics...
Rallies were held around Australia on Friday 29 October under the banner of ‘Jobs with Justice’ and an end to the Northern Territory Intervention (see http://jobswithjustice.wordpress.com/). The rally in Melbourne (see report on http://www.maicollective.blogspot.com/) ended with a sit-down at a major city intersection, bringing peak-hour traffic to a halt for over twenty minutes …
The rally began at the State Library, where Indigenous activist Sharon Firebrace introduced a series of speakers ranging from Gary Foley and Robbie Thorpe (pictured above) to Greens Federal MP Adam Bandt, Victorian Trades Hall President Kevin Bracken, Socialist Councillor Steve Jolly, David Glanz of the Melbourne Anti-Intervention Collective, Colombian unionist Parmenio Poveda, , NTEU Indigenous Coordinator Adam Frogley, and Wurundjeri elder Ringo Terrick, who delivered a Welcome to Country.
Organisers, the Melbourne Anti-Intervention Collective had good reason to be pleased with the turnout, estimated at around 500 at its peak, though as one speaker reminded the rally, there need to be vastly greater numbers on the streets if the aim of ending discrimination is to be achieved.
Photos from the rally and subsequent march and sit-down, mostly self-explanatory:
Another view of rally
The march down Swanston Street
Also on the march ...
At Bourke and Swanston
Dave Sweeney, Nuclear Free campaigner with the Australian Conservation Foundation, was one of the speakers at the launch of Friends of the Earth Nuclear Freeways 2010. The site chosen was the Preston office of Energy and Resources Minister Martin Ferguson, currently driving plans for a nuclear waste dump at Muckaty in the Northern Territory against the wishes of Traditional Owners (see post for 26 July). Other speakers included Greens candidate for the seat of Batman Alex Bhathal, Sharon Firebrace, Socialist Alliance candidate for the Senate, and Dimity Hawkins, long term anti-nuclear campaigner and presently Campaign Director with ICANW. MC was Cat Beaton of Friends of the Earth ACE collective and ICANW. There was theatre involving the Uranium Busters and music including Kaso’s “Don’t waste our country” courtesy of a solar powered sound system housed in a 44-gallon drum – alongside a trailer loaded with similar drums marked with radiation warnings. And last but of course not least, Ziggy the nuclear white elephant and a small police presence, including a representative of the AFP…
The tour sets off tomorrow, Saturday, to trace one of the proposed routes that would be followed by trucks carrying waste from Lucas Heights in Sydney to the projected dump at Muckaty, on the way meeting councils, indigenous nations, community groups, and emergency services organisations with a view to raising awareness of the risks and dangers inseparable from transport of this kind.
The Nuclear Freeways campaign has a new website:
More photos from the launch:
Information board to be taken on the trip
At the end of the launch
Video is in preparation.
Video added 31 July:
Also now available on EngageMedia