The Australian Student Environment Network recognise and pay respect to the Indigenous nations and traditional caretakers of the land. We acknowledge this land was and always will be an integral part of the spiritual and cultural herstories of Indigenous peoples. We recognise sovereignty was never ceded. More than 500 Indigenous nations shared this land for over 40,000 years before invasion. We express solidarity and continued commitment to working with Indigenous peoples, both in Australia and around the world, in ongoing struggles for land rights, self determination, sovereignty and the recognition of past injustices. This magazine was printed on the land of the Boonewrung. If you are reading this you are standing on Aboriginal land.
contents 4 A wee welcome to ze Australian Student Environment Network 6 Conquest, Colonialism and Confest 8 Opportunities to Waste: the role of Universities in Expanding the Australian Nuclear Industry 11 Lake Cowal: The facts, the ﬁgures, and the ﬁght 14 We Stand Strong as Indigenous People 16 Terrorising the Territory with Toxic Trash 20 Pedal Australia for Clean Energy 22 Left Action Man Comic-a-rama 26 Adelaide Welcomes Karen Elliot 26 Flinders University Community Garden 27 Expression of Interest Form to attend Students of Sustainability Conference 2007, Noongar Nation. 31 Victorian Forests: A Wee Update
41 Courts, Coal and Climate 42 What’s it going to take? shifting power & switching univerisites to renewable energy 44 Guerilla Energy Efﬁciency Gang 46 The Other Campaign: the other continent 48 Strike: Community Pickets Supporting Workers’ Struggles 50 In the Wake: After G20 54 Upcoming events 55 Contacts
32 A Ship of Fools, A Tale of Terror[ism] 34 Reluctant Heroes: Defending Tasmania’s ancient forests 37 Carbon Credits : really neutral? 40 Australian Youth Take on Climate Change
australian student The Australian Student Environment Network is the national network of students active on environmental justice issues. We are made up of the state environment networks, which are made of campus environment collectives. Because we are a non-hierarchical grassroots network, directed by the people involved, ASEN is constantly evolving! ASEN was created by and continues to be organised by young activists committed to change. Students use our network to organise local campaigns, share information and resources, embark on national campaigns such as climate change and no nuclear, and work alongside Indigenous peoples in their ﬁght for sovereignty and an end to genocide. Although environmental destruction grows and injustice thrives worldwide, these problems are ﬁnding their match in the energy of students and youth willing to ﬁght for our future. We direct our energies, involve new students, and empower our generation to uproot environmental injustice & create remarkable communities & social change! Germinate is the bi-annual magazine of the Australian Student Environment Network. We create Germinate to inform of issues and campaigns, reﬂect on our movements for change, and facilitate communication between grassroots student activists and environment collectives throughout Australia and beyond. We love submissions from student and youth activists on wicked actions, skills, campaigns, as well as graphics, photos, poems, recipes, comics, artistic misrepresentations, strategic campaign reﬂections, radical revelations and anythin’ else. Articles should be around 1000 words. The deadline for our next issue is May 20th, 2007 to firstname.lastname@example.org
ASEN National Convenor 2007
I have the privilege of spending a year doing full time environmental organising; supporting collectives and co-ops around the country, skillsharing and engaging young people on environmental issues.
I believe in..... • The power of collective organising and youth collaborating across Australia and the world. • Creating community through our networks • Autonomous organising and facilitating a network where many roles, campaigns, politics and visions for social change and community governance ﬁt. • Young people creating change!
I’m trying to.... I’m trying to build on ASEN’s current momentum. After a year and a half of amazing work, we’ve set up ASEN’s decision making procedures and accountability structures, the number of collectives in the network has doubled, the level of communication has increased and our campaigns are spreading like wild ﬁres. I’m spending much of my time consolidating these systems and strengthen existing initiatives. I’m attempting to support new and old ASEN activists in creating the change they want to see, while also sustaining myself.
I grapple with.... I grapple with ways that we can make sure ASEN is sustainable for the long term. The challenge of ﬁnancially sustainability is being felt more keenly as the reality of Howard’s Voluntary Student Unionism (VSU) sets in and student environmental organising is starved of funds. I struggle with ways of respectively engaging with Indigenous struggle and working against the ongoing oppression of Aboriginal peoples. Starting to name and coun-
environment network teract other forms of oppression within ASEN and beyond is a challenge, but it is a challenge we as a network are slowly taking on. We aim to foster diversity, this is a daily task. Information hierarchies develop all too easily, breaking them down takes energy; the rewards are the amazing new directions that the network goes in. One direction is to increasingly engage with people most affected by environmental destruction, particularly youth in regional areas.
Iâ€™m inspired by.... ASEN inspires me! This huge grassroots, decentralised structure that weâ€™ve set up is part of my vision for change. Iâ€™m excited by being part of a network that facilitates and supports people learning through getting active in food co-ops, climate and nukes campaigning, forest blockading, setting up campus recycling schemes and the million and one things that people do or might want to do as part of ASEN. In getting active we are also establishing alternative ways of doing things, structures and processes that do not perpetuated and even break down systems which cause disempowerment, apathy and environmental destruction. We are creating community; a community of people that inspires me daily! Love & community controlled clean energy futures, Nicky xo
of m a e r d e w s p i h s l a o c pirated 5
Conquest, Colonialism.. ConFest is held annually on the homelands of the Yorta Yorta Nations. The greatest connection I seem to be able to ﬁnd between ConFest and Yorta Yorta people is a hand-painted sign in my ﬁrst visit acknowledging Yorta Yorta land. This sign was a particularly lonely presence in ConFest and this was suggestive that this sign made for nice sentiment rather than anything actually contributing to Yorta Yorta struggles for justice.
a space that is infused with a certain cultural meaning, and this cultural meaning has little relevance to Yorta Yorta people. The yearning for an imagined Indigenous-like connectedness to land and the manner in which this is framed, denies the ConFest site as being a part of a Yorta Yorta cultural landscape. This is a process of ‘dispossession by stealth’, as Wayne Atkinson would put it, and the power of the colonist remains unproblematised and reinforced.
One of the biggest ironies is that whilst Yorta Yorta people are ﬁghting to get a stake in the neighboring Barmah-Millewa forest, a bunch of largely middle class non-Indigenous people from the city dance around enacting fantasies about what some non-descript Indigenous people think about “personal healing”.
The concept of “freedom” is a fundamental construction that underpins the “ConFest spirit”. This concept of freedom is couched in inherently eurocentric terms. For Yorta Yorta activist Monica Morgan, “freedom” is equivalent to attaining sovereign status for her people. “…we are looking for a place that gives us our own self government, that gives us our own rights to practice our own laws and customs, that gives us the right to be able to continue and continue into the next century.” This disjuncture between how the children of colonists conceptualise “freedom” and how Yorta Yorta people are articulating freedom is crucial. Whilst ConFest provides a space for people to be “free” to enact colonial fantasies about Indigenous people, the concerns that Indigenous people have about their land are marred by ambivalence and deep indulgence.
At ConFest people do not relate the Bylands property with Yorta Yorta concerns about their homelands, nor relate to that land as a Yorta Yorta cultural landscape. There is a peculiar tendency to render the ConFest site as empty land, ready for participants to map it and in so doing create the ‘Confest Spirit’. That white people do not ‘see’ Yorta Yorta people, speak to, or hear Yorta Yorta people is a fundamental factor in reinforcing the colonisation of their lands. A conversation I had with a woman there once (in regard to the Barmah-Millewa campaign tshirt I was wearing), involved receiving a lecture on how the ‘Aborigines’ didn’t use this land anymore and how ‘wonderful’ it was to see the land being infused with a spirit of people who are ‘kind of like’ the ‘new Aborigines’. Sufﬁce to say, she wasn’t too impressed with being called Captain Cook. Nevertheless, these issues demonstrate the capacity for Yorta Yorta people to be dispossessed of their land, through the same processes that informed the lie of terra nullius. The ConFest site has been immersed in the idea that it is empty land, a blank slate embodying an ‘opportunity to indulge in some long term planning’. It is
An emphasis on ‘tribe’ and the ‘tribal’ is littered throughout discourses produced by ConFest supporters. The ﬁrst ConFest at Cotter River in 1976 is routinely referred to as a “real gathering of the tribes”. One ConFest participant, ‘Fred’, describes the fantasy “tribe” thus, ConFest is tribal in the sense of a closeness - a return, as the name says - down to earth. Some of the best aspects of the indigenous way of life are present at ConFest. It is tribal also in the sense of a respect for the Earth and the whole notion of nurturing everything. The irony that the best aspects of “the” Indigenous culture are present at ConFest - except Indigenous people themselves - seems to have evaded Fred’s perception.
... and Confest The enactment, performance and consumption of the fantasy ‘tribe’ can be seen in the so called ‘Mud Tribe’ that I discovered, so to speak, on one of my ConFest visits. The Mud Tribe was a tongue in cheek performance (of sorts). Coded within it were certain ideas based in white colonial constructions of “tribes”. The ‘Mud Tribe’ was a group of about ﬁfty people unclothed, covered head-to-toe in mud, whose “custom” was to move from the beach area to the market place in formation, speaking in a ‘language’ of gibberish, whilst the ‘chief’/’translator’ spoke to the crowd of onlookers. This fantasy is of a surrogate, underground self – it is about the “freedom” of performing a “new” white identity. Graham St John’s thesis, Alternative Cultural Heterotopia: ConFest as Australia’s Marginal Centre, contains a photo gallery with a collection of photos of expressions and enactments of ‘Indigeneity’ at ConFest. There is a loin-cloth clad ﬁre twirler in imitation of South American Indian eye make-up; three women with ‘Indigenous body art’, one in a t-shirt bearing the Aboriginal Flag and another standing with one foot rested on the other knee, holding a walking stick that resembles a spear (a smile replaced a sombre stare into the distance); there is a ‘tribal girl’ with iconographic dot-painting on her torso; then there is a dreadlocked, bearded, bare chested man in what looks like chilling weather playing the didjeridu. (Beware! Within certain proximity you could get “healed” by one.)
for Indigenous people can then easily be deployed to act as a legitimising agent in denying Indigenous peoples their dues. Good intentions have always done harm to Indigenous people. A desire for justice for Indigenous people is overshadowed by the reality of racial domination and assumptions built on foundational colonial fantasies. Privilege, however, can never be transcended through empowering the already privileged. The appropriation of the symbols, icons and markers established by Indigenous peoples ultimately disempowers those who have, since invasion, been dispossessed by on-going colonial privilege. By attempting to shed culpability in a way that informs domination, privilege will remain unchallenged and reinscribed. The result being that the concern becomes less about how Indigenous people might feel and entirely about the fears, fantasies and desires of white identities. This is an edited extract from Liam Neam’s Honours thesis ‘Cultural Backpacking in lands o f desire: The power of the colonist and other adventures.’
This enactment and performance can indeed be read as an expression of sympathy with Indigenous peoples. However, though these performances may indicate a desire for justice for Indigenous peoples, the manner in which this empathy is executed becomes ﬁrst and foremost concerned about a white identity. It is about a shedding of culpability and it is an evasion of responsibility. In creating such identities for themselves, ConFesters indulging in such an identity play inherently displace Indigenous peoples. Sympathy
Opportunities to the role of Universities in Expanding Climate change is happening – and governments and corporations are being forced to respond to a consensus of scientists worldwide and a strong global movement taking action to avert dangerous climate change. In Australia, the nuclear industry and other pro-nuclear advocates have been quick to reinvent nuclear power as “clean, green and safe” and a “solution” to climate change. But nuclear power is no solution to climate change: it is too dangerous, too costly, too slow and makes little impact on greenhouse pollution. That is why most of the industrialised world is rejecting nuclear power in favour of renewable energy and improved efﬁciency. Universities are eager to exploit the enthusiasm of the Australian Federal Government to expand the nuclear industry, begging for research and education dollars and positioning science and engineering faculties for increased funding for nuclear research and development. Thirty university Deputy Vice-Chancellors responsible for research toured Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s (ANSTO) new OPAL nuclear reactor late July. Chair of the Australian ViceChancellors’ Committee (AVCC) Research Group, Professor Margaret Sheil from the University of Wollongong said “Nuclear science and engineering are specialties that are not offered widely in universities, so the relationship with ANSTO and use of its facilities to allow students to gain experience in this area is crucial”.
image by natalie lowrey
In September 2006, the Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN) attempted to put on a conference in Canberra titled “Nuclear Energy: Impossible
Waste: the Australian Nuclear Industry or Inevitable? How can Australia make an informed decision?” The conference theme was authorised by university Chancellors to “place a group of the country’s major Universities at the core of one of Australia’s most important and controversial debates in decades.” An ATN media release claimed “[t]here are myths to be dispelled and concerns to be expressed, there are investment and market opportunities to be explored.” The ATN includes the University of Technology Sydney, Curtin University of Technology, University of South Australia, RMIT and Queensland University of Technology. However, the conference was cancelled due to “lack of interest”, and ATN media releases and conference program were removed from the ATN website. Still, universities are anticipating a huge release in pro-nuclear research and education dollars with the recent ﬁndings of the Howard government’s Uranium Mining, Processing and Nuclear Energy Review (UMPNER). Australian universities, through the forum of the Australian Institute for Nuclear Science and Engineering Council (AINSE), of which 36 of Australia’s 37 universities are members, are already looking to form an Australia-wide nuclear science and technology school. In a submission to UMPNER, AINSE claimed “[t]his school will provide education in a wide range of nuclear related matters from technical aspects of the fuel cycle and reactor operation through nuclear safety and public awareness to political matters of interest to policy makers.” Australian universities and other pro-nuclear research and educational institutions sent a barrage of submissions to the Howard government’s Uranium Mining, Processing and Nuclear Energy Review (UMPNER) regarding the lack of education and research for the nuclear
By Holly Creenaune industry. In 2006, there were no courses in nuclear engineering offered in Australia; the sole remaining School of Nuclear Engineering at the University of NSW was closed in the 1980s, at the height of a diverse and vibrant anti-nuclear movement. Separation of Isotopes by Laser Excitation, Silex, a company that specialises in the laser enrichment of uranium, co-founded by Dr Mark Goldsworthy (a former UNSW academic), complained in their submission to UMPNER that “by largely abandoning its nuclear expertise and meagre assets over the last three decades, Australia has ‘missed the nuclear boat’ in the short term.” “[B]y international standards, Australia is severely lacking in the professional and educational infrastructure needed to support a nuclear fuel industry, even at the smallest possible level of activities. During the recent decades of anti-nuclear political and public sentiment, Australia’s nuclear professional and educational infrastructure has been run down almost to extinction.” The Nuclear Engineering Panel of Engineers Australia submission noted a “serious lack of tertiary education in nuclear science and technology has developed in this country in engineering departments.” The Australian Academy of Science advocated “strong support for basic research in nuclear science in Australia, to ensure that Australian scientists are alert to new opportunities and are well poised to develop and adopt emerging technologies. In view of the long term time scale for development of a nuclear energy industry it is appropriate to invest in development of skills and expertise in this area.”
Research Frameworks for Nuclear Science Fiction
Research Centres are collapsing because of a lack of funding.
Nuclear education, research and development have been stunted by a long history of Australians resisting the nuclear industry and supporting indigenous communities in their struggles to protect country. But the Howard Government and universities have spent the last ten years positioning science and engineering faculties for increased funding for nuclear research and development.
There is a range of nuclear education and research happening across Australian universities designed to proﬁt the nuclear industry and expand global nuclear power and weapons programs. But nuclear research and education is currently limited. It is possible for Australian universities to divest and resist this funding and declare institutions nuclear-free. In 1995, University of Technology Sydney, University Council created university policy recognising the “growing body of scientiﬁc evidence that smoking is harmful to human health” and decided the university would not “seek or accept funding for any activity that will enhance the marketing of tobacco products.” Universities can do the same for nuclear and fossil fuel industries. In the face of dangerous climate change, Australian universities have an important opportunity and responsibility to invest in ethical research frameworks for a safe, secure, non-polluting and renewable energy sector.
The Federal Government’s current Designated National Research Priorities aim to reinforce the country’s current dependence on mineral industries. Despite constant reference to “sustainability”, the National Research Priorities aim to prolong the life and “clean up” non-renewable and polluting energy industries; and packaging coal and nuclear research as examining “solutions” to climate change. The Government’s focus on the incorporation of “other stakeholders” in the National Research Priorities furthers the interests of BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and other uranium mining companies. Funding provided by the industry in the areas of uranium mining, nuclear science schools and waste management create a prominent and disturbing focus on non-renewable energy research and education in Australian universities. Renewable Energy technology development has been cutting edge in Australia, with the ‘sliver’ photovoltaic cell developed at the Australian National University in 2000, which at the time of development was the most efﬁcient photovoltaic cell. However, leaders in Australia’s renewable energy ﬁeld lament the industry is in ‘a sort of twilight holding pattern’. This situation has arisen, they say, because of a lack of Government funding into research and reluctance by government to deploy already viable renewable energy technologies. Dr Mark Diesendorf, senior lecturer at the UNSW Institute of Environmental Studies, says at present there is not a single cooperative research centre for Renewable Energy research, and “yet there are three such centres for coal and other fossil fuel research”. Established Renewable Energy
Rio Tinto boasts they contribute to 42% of all university research in the state of Queensland. Australia-wide, the mining sector claims to account for ten per cent of all university research funding – more than half a billion dollars. The reality is probably much higher – the links between universities and the nuclear industry have a substantial effect on the growth and capacity of the industry, government policy, education and the possibility of a nuclear-free future. The nuclear industry is seeing its biggest revival in decades – with extensive exploration, pushing for new uranium mines and enrichment in Australia, extensive research and education, a new reactor to operate in Sydney, the possibility of nuclear power, and plans for a radioactive waste dump in the Northern Territory. But it will be a short-lived revival – the nuclear industry is no answer to climate change, renewable energy works and is non-polluting, and we have the people power to create a sustainable future and nuclear-free universities. To get involved in creating Nuclear Free Universities contact Holly Creenaune on holly@asen. org.au / 0417 682 541
Lake CowaL... Some of the Facts: Lake Cowal, the Heartland of the Wiradjuri Nation, is in the Murray-Darling Basin, in Central Western New South Wales. Providing breeding grounds for migratory birds, and home to 172 species of, the area is protected under two international agreements designed to protect and conserve migratory bird habitat - the Japan and China-Australia Migratory Bird Agreements (CAMBA and JAMBA). Barrick Gold of Canada have a license to mine at Lake Cowal, and have signed an agreement with the company and the State of New South Wales and only ﬁve Wiradjuri people. They do not have permission from the majority of Aboriginal Traditional Owners, who have never authorised this agreement. A Native Title Claim over Lake Cowal is still alive in the courts. Now fully operational, the mine at Lake Cowal had its ﬁrst gold pour in April 2006, ofﬁcially opening in October 2006. Gold mining in Australia is the second biggest water user in the mining industry (next to Uranium mining). The construction of the gold
mine, extraction, processing and transportation of the gold consumes mass amounts of energy. This gross misuse of water together with global warming inducing energy consumption has combined with the devastation of an internationally signiﬁcant wetland to reap metal that exists in copious amounts in banks through out the world.
The Figures: - An open pit (void) at Lake Cowal will be 1km long, 825m wide and 325m deep - The area of Mining Lease is 2636 hectares - 208 million tonnes of waste rock will be excavated from the open pit to produce an estimated 2.7 million ounces of gold - 6000 tonnes of cyanide (produced by Orica) will be transported to Lake Cowal every year from Gladstone, Queensland. - Two tailings dams are situated only 3.5km from the edge of the lake - Barrick’s total water allocation is now 7310 million litres a year! - The water level in the Bland Paleochannel has fallen more than 30 metres since Barrick began operation. - Approximately 80% of newly-mined gold is used for jewellery. Gold is also stored in gold bars (bullion) and used, for example, in computers, communications equipment (e.g.
Lake CowaL... mobile phones), dental work, DVD players, jet aircraft engines and spacecraft. - The amount of environmental damage caused by gold mining is substantial. The average weight of rock moved for a 5 gram gold wedding ring is 10 tonnes; the average weight of rock needed to extract 5 grams of gold is two million times the weight of the ring - There are many other environmental and health risks associated with gold mining such as acid mine drainage, accidents, chemical spills, damage and destruction to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal heritage, health issues for mine workers, safety issues, long-term damage to mining and surrounding areas, leaching of toxic substances into the soil and water table, clean-up bills left for taxpayers when mining companies pull out…
The Fight: In New South Wales it is an offence under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 to collect, disturb or destroy Aboriginal artifacts without a permit. In January 2002 Wiradjuri Traditional Owner, Neville “Chappy” Williams, sought an injunction to stop work at the Lake Cowal Gold Project on the grounds that the proponents for the mine, Barrick Gold and Homestake of the United States, were in breach of the New South National Parks and Wildlife Act for not obtaining a permit to damage or destroy Aboriginal artefacts at the site. While his ﬁrst application was unsuccessful, his second application resulted in the
granting of an injunction until such time as the company obtained appropriate permits. The company obtained the permits and the injunction was lifted on 31 May 2002. After a number of protests, a Tent Embassy, situated inside the mining lease area, was established at Lake Cowal in mid 2002. Many people travelled long distances from a number of States and worked in extreme conditions of cold, heat, dust and rain storms, to maintain the Embassy. After a number of threats, the Lake Cowal Embassy was busted in April 2004, when more than 50 police arrested protesters, charging them with ‘Trespass’. The protesters and their belongings were removed and the sacred ﬁre at the embassy extinguished. The Mooka/Kalara United families, the Native Title Claimant Group for Lake Cowal, are adamantly opposed to the mining over their sacred country. They have fought against the development for more than ﬁve years in the courts, challenging various licenses and permits. A Court challenge was mounted against Consent to Destroy permits issued to Barrick and Country Energy for the development of an electricity transmission line (ETL), from Temora to Lake Cowal. Issued by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (an agency of the New South Wales Department of Environment and Conservation) Consent to Destroy permits consent to the removal and destruction of Aboriginal artefacts. Despite an injunction preventing construction work on the ETL, while Uncle Neville (Chappy) Williams and Mark Powell were involved in a site survey of the 150km distance from Lake Cowal to Temora, ﬁnding more than 600 artefacts, construction of the ETL continued.
the facts, the figure s and the fight The Native Title hearing in Mooka could prove to be a landmark case providing an exceptional genealogy and running under the extreme circumstances created by Homestake’s and Barrick’s actions. Numerous protests have been held over the past ﬁve years at the Lake Cowal mine site, Barrick’s headquarters in Toronto, Canada and in Perth, Western Australia at government departments in Sydney and Newcastle, at Orica’s Gladstone facility and Melbourne Ofﬁce. There have been Gatherings at Lake Cowal for ﬁve years running and will continue until the mine is closed. In Easter 2006 over 100 protesters walked onto the mining lease and directly into the open pit, with one protester locking on to a
piece of earth-moving machinery. The majority of arrestees have plead not guilty to the charge of “entering enclosed lands”. This case has been adjourned until July 2007 and a decision has been made on the Lake Cowal Native Title matter. In the midst of one of the worst droughts in Australia’s history, the ﬁght continues… for sovereignty, peace and justice. To help in any way please join the Lake Cowal e-group, we need fundraisers, info nights, researchers, hydrologists, scientists, lawyers, designers, buses full of people to protest at the lake over Easter weekend in 2007 and general support. For more Information see www.savelakecowal.org and www.rainforestinfo.com.au
E a s t e r We e ke n d L a ke C owa l Corroboree April 6th - 9th 2007 Protect Lake Cowal heartland of Wiradjuri for future generAtions NO MORE CYANIDE WATER IS MORE PRECIOUS THAN GOLD for directions e-mail email@example.com for more info on lake cowal see www.savelakecowal.org www.rainforestinfo.org.au www.peacebus.com
le p o e P s u o n e ig d In s a g n o tr We Stand S
Traditional Owners and environment groups are responding to an ill-informed attack by Australian Labor Party resources spokesperson Martin Ferguson. Ferguson focused his attack - in Parliament and in the Australian Financial Review in September - on the Beyond Nuclear Symposium held in Melbourne on September 15-16, 2006. Ferguson stated: “For too long anti-nuclear campaigners, various environmental NGOs, and other interest groups, have used indigenous communities to peddle their own ideology. ... The simple fact is that indigenous empowerment is not in the interests of special interest groups. Paternalism - the real “radioactive racism” - is. Fortunately, indigenous communities are starting to make their own decisions about these issues.” Mitch, an Eastern Arrernte/Luritja woman from Alice Springs, wrote a response to Ferguson’s comments, which the Australian Financial Review refused to published.
When the Howard government’s proposal to build a nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory was announced in July 2005, my Elders from the Harts Range site north-east of Alice Springs gave me permission to set up a protest camp and to speak out against it. The Alice Springs community and environment groups supported us, but they have never pressured us into anything or put words in our mouths. I reject the statement from Labor politician Martin Ferguson, published in the Financial Review on Wednesday, that environmentalists “have used indigenous communities to peddle their own ideology”. The environment groups have only ever helped us, not told us what to say. Mr. Ferguson is being paternalistic when he says, “indigenous communities are starting to make their own decisions about these issues.” As he should know, we have always made our own decisions, but the politicians don’t often listen. My family and I have done a lot of our own research on nuclear issues in the Alice Springs Library, by watching documentaries, and listening to the environmentalists and politicians. And of course we already know about our traditional culture and country – protecting country and access for hunting and gathering bush tucker. We have asked repeatedly for more information from the Government but they have only told us that it is safe and there is no reason why people in the ‘middle of nowhere’ can’t have a dump. We have asked to meet with federal science minister Julie Bishop, but she refuses to speak to us. If this nuclear waste is so safe, why can’t they keep it at the Lucas Heights nuclear plant in
Sydney, where it is produced and where the nuclear experts work? We stand strong in our own culture as Indigenous people, and want the land and water to be protected for all children, black and white. We have enough issues of our own to deal with without having to deal with the nuclear waste. We can solve the problems of racism, economic impoverishment, and inequality in housing, but as a nation we need to think hard about nuclear issues because radioactive waste is a problem we can’t solve easily. Last December, the federal government passed legislation – the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act –which prevents the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 from having any effect during investigation of the short-listed nuclear dump sites, and it excludes the Native Title Act 1993 from operating at all. Julie Bishop should come here to tell us why the normal laws - as inadequate as they are - are being ignored. Aboriginal Heritage is not protected under white law - what are the morals here if the culture of the Indigenous people is not protected? Indigenous communities have found solidarity with other groups that have an interest in caring for the earth. For the dump campaign this has meant feeling supported instead of feeling like a single Indigenous woman and talking up for people living out bush at the Alcoota/ Harts Range site, 120 kms north-east of Alice Springs. Aboriginal communities and greenies are interested in the same thing with different reasons and understandings, but both wanting to save the water and look after the country. Martin Ferguson should do the same. To support Indigenous peoples and Territorians in their campaign to stop a nuclear waste dump in the NT, contact Natalie Wasley on firstname.lastname@example.org, or Holly Creenaune on email@example.com
Alliance Against Uranium Statement 2006
The meeting was attended by members from Arrernte, Luritja, Adnymathahana, Arabunna, Warlmanpa and Larrakia/Wulna Aboriginal Nations , Engawala and Atitjere communities and environmental, public health and social justice groups including; Friends of the Earth, Medical Association for the Prevention of War, the Anti Nuclear Alliance of WA, Australian Conservation Foundation, The Wilderness Society, Arid Lands Environment Centre, Environment Centre NT, Beyond Nuclear Initiative, Australian Student Environment Network, Canberra Region Anti-Nuclear Campaign, Queensland Nuclear Free Alliance. The meeting was held on Athenge Lhere land at Mt Everard near Alice Springs in Central Australia. This is one of the areas now being targeted by the Federal Government as a potential Commonwealth radioactive waste dump, along with sites at Harts Range, Fishers Ridge and Muckaty – all in the NT. The meeting opposed plans to dump radioactive waste at any site in the Northern Territory and condemned the imposition of a nuclear dump anywhere in Australia. The meeting recognised the strong opposition from Traditional Owners and committed to actively campaign against the dump across Australia. The meeting afﬁrmed the right of Traditional Aboriginal Owners to enjoy clean country and clean water and practice strong culture and called on all political parties to oppose moves for more uranium mining, radioactive waste dumping and other nuclear developments. The meeting heard the deep concerns by Indigenous people over the impacts of nuclear activities on land, water, bush tucker and culture. Participants at the meeting undertook to build networks, share information and campaign together towards a safe, clean nuclear free Australia.
Terrorising the Territ Since overwhelming community opposition and a successful legal challenge stopped the construction of a national nuclear waste dump in South Australia, the Federal Government seems determined to let nothing stand in its way to procure a site in the Northern Territory to dump its radioactive waste. Despite giving an “absolute categorical assurance” that the NT would not be targeted for a Commonwealth dump, in June 2005 it was announced that three defence sites in the NT would be assessed for suitability. As the areas had previously been annexed from the Traditional Owners for use by the Department of Defence (DoD), the process of land acquisition, which caused lengthy delays in the SA proposal, was surmounted. The two sites on
Arrernte land, Harts Range and Mt Everard, are used respectively as transmitting and receiving stations for the ‘Jindalee Over The Horizon Radar’ system and the third, Fishers Ridge, on Jawoyn land near Katherine, is used for defence training exercises. All sites have people living within 10 kilometres, and unsurprisingly, no one is too excited to be the potential nearest neighbour to the dump. None of the defence sites being assessed were short listed when the Federal Government undertook a (more) scientiﬁc study to ﬁnd a site for the national repository, but science is admittedly not at the forefront of the latest proposal. At a media conference in June 2005, then Science Minister Brendan Nelson expressed the reasoning behind targeting the NT, asking “…why on earth can’t people in the middle of nowhere have low level and intermediate level waste?”
The politrix and the process The dump schedule was designed to accomodate Australia’s commitment to accept returning spent fuel rods (generated at Lucas Heights and reprocessed overseas) from as early as 2011, and the Government is using this timeline as an excuse to rush through the crucial phases of community consultation and site investigations. The preferred site of the three areas currently being assessed is scheduled to be announced by mid 2007. When this announcement is made, an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) of the area will be undertaken for one year. Last May, the Department of the Environment and Heritage and ARPANSA (the national regulatory body) agreed to a joint environmental assessment and siting licence process, effectively shaving six months off the timeline, which was behind schedule due to delays in the com-
ory with Toxic Trash mencement of site studies. With the project already cutting regulatory corners, it appears highly unlikely this chosen site would be pronounced inappropriate, as this would involve starting again with the ‘next best’ site, involving another whole year of study. As well as the DoD sites, there is still the option for other areas to be offered for assessment by the NT Government or a Land Council. While the NT Government remains strongly opposed, and no community has yet put up their hand for the dubious honor of hosting a Commonwealth dump, there have been numerous mentions in the media of Muckaty Station, 120 km north of Tennant Creek in the Northern Land Council (NLC) region. The NLC has offered overt support for the NT dump proposal and have provided what the Government has called “positive and constructive assistance” to ﬁnd a community willing to nominate their land. Muckaty mob are undoubtedly feeling this pressure, yet many of the Elders have spoken out to strongly oppose a dump on their country, and have travelled to NT parliament and to interstate conferences to voice their concerns. The NLC also supported Science Minister Julie Bishop’s recent amendments to the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act, which further restrict opportunities for public input into site selection for the dump. The changes to the legislation mean that a nomination of a site by a Land Council will no longer require: - consultation with the traditional owners - that the nomination be understood by the traditional owners - that the traditional owners have consented as a group - that any community that may be affected has been consulted and had adequate opportunity to express its views
In a scandalous and undemocratic addition, the proposed changes will also removal the right of any group- traditional owners, pastoralists, community members etc- to appeal site nomination on the grounds of procedural fairness. While inducing communities to offer land by indemnifying Land Trusts from any damage arising from a dump, the new legislation does not provide a clear answer as to who would be liable for damage. The Federal Government is yet to announce a comprehensive commitment to ongoing responsibility, recompense and rehabilitation for any radioactive facilities in Australia- whether historical, currently operating or proposed. The waste generated by Lucas Heights reactor does (of course) have to be stored and managed, but if it is ‘safe’, as the Government has told communities living near targeted sites, then why can’t it be left in Sydney? ANSTO, who run the reactor, the regulatory body ARPANSA and Australian Nuclear Association have all stated that there is adequate room and capability to continue storing waste at Lucas Heights. It is far better practice to keep the waste where it can be easily ac-
cessed and monitored by people trained in handling radioactive materials. Unfortunately for the NT, there is a larger voter base in Sydney, so the proposal is designed to whisk radioactive waste away to less politically damaging areas in a classic “out of sight, out of mind” operation. Brendan Nelson summarised the Government position by saying “What we’re proposing to do - although its not strictly necessary - is to put [nuclear waste] in relatively remote sites on the Territory which are geologically and environmentally suited”.
Nuke plan off the rails The risk of transporting radioactive waste is a major concern for communities living along potential routes. Though the route will not be designated until a site is chosen, it is likely that the waste will be moved domestically via a combination of train and truck freight. Neither of these methods can be guaranteed safe. The Government’s own ﬁgures recorded a 23% probability of one truck having an accident when analysing the risk of moving the entire national inventory of waste. Last month’s derailment of 11 carriages of the Ghan train 130km south of Darwin was alarming in its severity and the implications of a similar accident involving radioactive waste must be seriously considered. Police Commander Greg Dowd commented that “it took some time to get to the train crash site” and “emergency crews were glad the accident did not happen on an even more isolated part of the railway track”. Though this is not the ﬁrst incident during the relatively short time the line has been open, FreightLink, which transports yellowcake oxide from Olympic Dam mine to Darwin for export, has nevertheless expressed interest in potentially adding waste to their cargo list.
Photo: No Waste Dump mob outside Parliament House in Darwin Spent fuel transport is risky business. Regarding the recent scare over stolen rocket launchers being potentially destined for a Lucas Heights attack, Charles Ferguson, a former nuclear engineering ofﬁcer in the US Navy stated “…the worry is that long-range and highly penetrating anti-armour weapons could pose a threat to shipments of spent nuclear fuel. In December, casks containing spent fuel from Lucas Heights were shipped from Botany Bay to the United States. While police had tight security during the night journey from the reactor to the ship, it is conceivable that a Javelin missile ﬁred more than a kilometre away could have penetrated the relatively thin shell of the casks.” (Sydney Morning Herald, 09/01/07)
The aNTi dump campaign Since the NT dump proposal was announced, groups have formed in Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Katherine and Darwin to initiate a strong community based campaign. The No Waste Alliance (www.no-waste.org) and the Alice Alliance Against the Waste Dump are comprised of members from affected communities, indigenous and other local organisations, environment groups, faith groups and concerned residents.
One of the No Waste Dump campaign’s recent projects was a 9 day road trip from Alice to Darwin (and back!) for meetings between community representatives, Senior NT Government members, pastoralists, Territory and national environment group representatives and media. It was a long and tiring journey, involving 3 days travelling each way and a whirlwind of meetings and public events during the short stay in Darwin, but participants considered it a very successful and worthwhile trip. This was the ﬁrst time people speaking up for each of the proposed dump sites (including Muckaty) had come together for discussion and action, and it helped solidify networks and working relationships across the Territory.
How you can help The Commonwealth dump plan, and the undemocratic methods being used to force radioactive waste on the Territory have been given little attention by national media so far. It is essential that the Federal Government feels pressure from people across the country, who recognise that the approach has been both ad-hoc and procedurally bereft and who are willing to stand up and say that this will not be tolerated! With shameless promotion of an expanded nuclear industry in Australia, and a federal election on the horizon, the Government must be held accountable to community concerns and opinions on radioactive waste management. Letters to the editors of state and national papers are well worth the small amount of time taken to write a concise but strong message. If the issue becomes topical, there is more likely to be pickup of media releases and reporting of actions and initiatives happening in the NT campaign and this is also a good way to speak directly to other readers who may not be aware of the situation.
There is a plan for a speaking tour to visit capital cities later this year, so contact your Uni Environment Ofﬁcer for details when the aNTi dump delegation will be visiting your area, or contact the Arid Lands Environment Centre (ALEC, info below) if you are interested in helping organise events in your area! Film screenings and information evenings are great ways to bring together people to form a support group, and can be used as fundraising events to support the NT community campaign. There is a fantastic ﬁlm available from ALEC called “Living Country”, which documents initial community response to the dump, with another ﬁlm currently in post production stage. If you are in need of some desert time, please stop in at Alice Springs and meet with the people ﬁghting to protect their land from a toxic legacy. Any support for the communities and the campaign is welcome, so please contact ALEC with any questions or suggestions for creative resistance. No Nuclear Waste Dump in the NT! Contact: Natalie Wasley Arid Lands Environment Centre PO Box 2796, Alice Springs, NT, 0871 08 8952 2011 firstname.lastname@example.org
Students in the ASEN Nuclear Free Working Group are organising an amazing road trip after the Students Of Sustainabilitty Conference from July 16th onwards; from Perth to the proposed dump site. To come or get involved in organising, contact holly on 0417 682 541 or email@example.com
Pedalling Australia Pedal Australia for Clean Energy was dreamt up a couple of years ago around a food co-op table at Monash Uni. A handful of us wanted to do something which combined our love of cycle touring with our campaigning background and concerns regarding climate change. So we came up with PACE: a travelling roadshow of cyclists, school workshops, university skill-shares, community engagement and a support van powered by waste vegetable oil. We left Melbourne in March 2006 amidst fanfare and have been cycling up the east coast since. Our aim is to completely circumnavigate Australia and return to our loved ones by about March 2007 – however, this date seems to change from week to week, sometimes it’s March, sometimes it’s July. Who knows? Universities have been our primary port of call so far, and we’ve visited many along the road north, facilitating skill-shares and helping to develop the capacity of ASEN. We even poached some crew in Sydney, so thanks for the new blood! Now we’re in Cairns and universities between here and Perth are a little thin on the ground, so we plan to focus on primary and secondary schools from here. Everywhere along the road - at unis, schools, shops, and in media, people ask us how difﬁcult the riding is. We cycle up to 100 km a day, about ﬁve days a week, and carry about 15 kilos of stuff each. And I’m not that ﬁt – really. But cycling just isn’t that hard when you’re in the swing of it. We get sore bums, and knees, and shoulders but the payoff is awesome scenery, time to appreciate what’s going on around you, and an awesome appetite and feeling of accomplishment when you ﬁnish the ride. We guerrilla camp on roadsides and beaches, we cook on trangiers and open ﬁres and pick up fresh fruit and veggies from roadside stalls. It’s awesome.
The veggie van has been another matter. I want to be able to report that it is a well-loved and well-behaving member of PACE, but that would be a lie. The vegetable oil conversion that we did works perfectly well, and the fuel economy is the same as diesel, but in the end it’s just another bloody car. A car complete with leaking radiator hoses, t-belt problems, broken ﬂy screens, cracked suspension rods and a host of other maintenance problems which any car inevitably manifests. And sitting in the van, alone and holding up trafﬁc, is signiﬁcantly less rewarding than cruising along on a pushy. I also want to be able to report that waste vegetable oil is the panacea for climate change and a world hopelessly addicted to fossil fuels. But actually, PACE is becoming increasingly suss of that notion too. Sure, the veggie van emits no sulphur and less monoxide, and its carbon dioxide emissions are perhaps accounted for since veggie oil is part of a closed carbon cycle, i.e. the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere is exactly the same as the amount sequestered by the organic matter (e.g. cotton or canola) grown to produce the oil. But it does still emit stuff. And if everyone was to run their car off veggie oil it could no longer be ‘waste’ oil, it would perhaps be oil produced from large-scale monoculture crop production, complete with GMO, landclearing, fertilizers and pesticides. Already, biofuel is becoming the new cash-crop with developing countries decimating their pristine rainforests for oil hungry cars. So what do you do? Well, we are thinking of evicting the van, Big Brother style, in Darwin. Maybe. But whatever our ﬁnal decision we are deﬁnitely going to refocus on promoting cycling, walking and public transport etc as the best means of reducing our transport footprint. After all, 72% of Australia’s private car travel is done around cities and could easily
for Clean Energy be switched to enviro-friendly alternatives. I’m a little worried though about the impact this relegation to the back bench might have on the amount of publicity PACE generates: the van is a great media hook, and heaps of our newspaper shots involve us standing near the van lovingly, pouring oil into the van, giving the van a hearty pat on the back. Sometimes it feels like the van is using our unwitting selves as a tool to promote its own legitimacy, drawing attention away from our more important messages of climate change and community empowerment. Bad van, bad. But why is this? As Sev wrote in Germinate Ed. 1 ‘I gather it’s because people like to hear they’ll still be able to drive 300m at a time (i.e. to the milk bar) after the oil has run out.’ And that’s scary: that Australians are so addicted to a car culture and consider ourselves completely reliant upon cars. And a bright newspaper photo and a couple of sentences about a ‘van powered by vegetable oil!!!’ is easier to produce and sell than a more thoughtful investigation of the pros and cons of any product in light of climate change and need for humanity to fundamentally readjust its behaviour and priorities.
So that’s where PACE is at, and I guess it’s a healthy and inevitable part of activism. We keep on learning. Reassessing. Refocusing. When we thought of introducing a veggie van to PACE back in Melbourne two years ago we had little idea of the ideological, environmental and practical conundrum it would become. But the things we would change about the campaign have been far outweighed by the things we’ve got right and the crazy things we’ve achieved. It’s been an awesome adventure and we aren’t ﬁnished yet. Keep on thinking, question what you didn’t before and don’t be afraid to adapt. Change matters. There’s not much real information in the Entertainment Age we live in, so keep reading, talking, observing and exchanging ideas. And when you think you’ve got it right, act! In solidarity, Alex Naunton on behalf of da PACE crew www.pedalaustralia.org.au firstname.lastname@example.org 0403 544 288
Palm Sunday Peace Parade and Festival
April Fools Day... 1 April 2007 Peace Parades and Festivals across Australia: Alice Springs, Darwin, Melbourne, Newcastle, Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth & Brisbane In Melbourne: 1pm Treasury Gardens for parade to Sidney Myer Music Bowl for acts from the Melbourne International Comedy festival & bands including: Martin Martini and the Bone Palace Orchestra Bomba, Rob Hirst & Martin Rostey (Midnight Oil), Ella and Jesse Cooper (Killing Heidi), Propaganda Klann and more. Step Stop Stop Stop Stop
off the Nuclear Fool Cycle and tell the Fools on the Hill; nuclear power in Australia: Renewables not reactors! uranium mining: Leave it in the ground! nuclear weapons and wars: Put down that US nuclear umbrella! nuclear waste: No waste dump in Australia!
adelaide welcomes karen elliot! It started with an idea and a small crew who wanted a space in Adelaide to gather, plot, challenge and address the issues that face our planet & society. Inspired by struggles around the world the coll e c t i v e sought a “permanent” space, to house information and activities that are not commonly accessible. A place for the community to connect and organise over a good cup of tea or coffee. The Karen Elliott Social Centre Shop will be opening its doors to you in the New Year.
So what is this place? Good question! KESC (as she is known to her friends) is to be a one-stop activist shop/ community centre. There is a wildcat library, internet access, comfy couches, organic garden, grafﬁti art, propaganda displays and real food, diabeticfriendly cafe. Open for ﬁlm nights (activist porn such as ‘Death of a President’), bike shed borrowings and much much more... (it’s up to you really). If you’re passing through Adelaide, or live here and want to get involved please do drop in to KESC, on the corner of Hawker and Coglin Street, Brompton. Kaurna Yerta, Adelaide. Accessible by bus or train. Phone (sometimes attended): (08) 8340 8329.
Flinders University Community Garden It started with a seed… Actually, it started with a rocky hill infested with olives and the idea of a wonderful enviro ofﬁcer and enviro crew. Some of the original crew are still involved; though no longer students, they have managed to help keep the dream alive. Today the garden is both a productive and beautiful space that continues to inspire and create community. The slopes feature fruit and nut trees, garden beds abounding with heirloom variety herbs, ﬂowers and vegetables. Patches of revegetation creep outwards and they’ve even kept the odd olive. Far from dying, the plans for 2007 include building a straw bale gazebo, taking over the abandoned tennis court next door, revegetation and who knows what else?
The crew held a fantastic festival for the 5th year celebrations, and often hold others throughout the year. If you live near by or are passing through, please come wander on in and check it out, you’ll ﬁnd us located close to Sturt campus - just a 6 minute walk from main
campus across the pine forest bridge, follow the path and you can’t miss it! Workshops and gardening days happen every Sunday, but you can rock on up any time and enjoy! Flinders Uni also runs an organic fruit n veg co-op every Friday during semester, have an enviro group (FEAG) and a native revegetation mob (ILLKARI) who love to quash invasive weeds and reclaim vacant land for our indigenous plants to thrive once more! Just wanted to add that all the unis have rockin’ enviro crews! I cannot speak on their behalf, you’ll just need to take my word for it and hunt them down if you want to know more... For all enquiries regarding Adelaide stuff please feel free to call Leesa on (08) 83836638 or email keef0006@ﬂinders.edu. au or thom0563@ﬂinders.edu.au ADELAIDE, IT’S O.K! (No, really!!!)
Expression of Interest Form
Yes, I am interested in going to Perth for the 16th Students of Sustainability Conference!
State _____________ Postcode __________ Country __________________________
Home Phone _________________________ Mobile ____________________________
If so, what is your group name? (eg. UTS Envi-
Are you a student at a university campus? YES / NO Which institution? _______________ Are you WAGED or UNWAGED? Are you coming with a group? YES / NO
ronment Collective) ______________________________________________________ Accomodation Requirements
__ I will be camping __ I will arrange my own accomodation __ I will require billeting __ I live in Perth and can provide billeting. Number of spots: __
SoS will be held from July 9-15th, 2007, on Noongar country, Perth, Western Australia.
Where and when?
Now in its 16th year, interest and enthusiasm for SoS has grown, and the number of participants has steadily increased. In 2007 we aim to accommodate over 1000 delegates for a week of forums, workshops, skillshares and ďŹ eldtrips exploring sustainability and environmental justice issues.
Students of Sustainability (SoS) is the largest student-run environment based conference in Australia. Each year SoS offers an amazing opportunity for students, NGOs, indigenous people and activists from around Australia to come together to share and gain knowledge, skills, and information on environmental and social justice issues. Featuring a vast array of inspiring speakers, practical workshops, ďŹ eld trips and empowering activities, SoS is the most important event of the year for people wishing to learn more about how to create positive social change in their communities.
What is the Students of Sustainability Conference?
July 9th to 15th, Noongar Nation, Perth
Students of Sustainability
To register your interest, ﬁll out the form (overleaf) and check out the website:
Fundraising and transport to SoS will be co-ordinated by the fantastic Statebased Student Environment Networks. Transport will be as sustainable as possible: long train trips across the Nullabor, 3-day bus adventures, and cling and a Hitchhikers’ Challenge for the adventurous (??!!) For information on fundraising support and collective transportation to this years’ conference, ﬁnd the details of your State Environment Network Convenor here: http://www.asen.org.au/contact.php.
Fundraising, registration and transport:
Perth is an exciting place to be: Noongar Traditional Owners recently had a historic Native Title win over metropolitan Perth; a host of inspiring and successful local campaigns and community projects; the convergence of many peoples from across Australia and beyond for SoS; great swims in the Indian ocean; divine desert ﬂowers; and, it’s the most isolated city on earth - just getting to SoS is going to be a huge adventure!
Why come all the way to Perth?
SoS has also become an important convergence in struggles for indigenous justice, with elders from many Aboriginal nations attending. This year we are trying to increase the number of young indigenous people and are fundraising to support transport and registration costs.
Do you have any dietary requirements (eg allergies, wheat-free)? YES / NO NB: All meals provided at the conference will be vegan and organic where possible.
Do you require childcare? YES / NO. If yes, number and age of children: _____________
Do you have any further requirements, or anything you need to tell us about? Yes / No
Please provide details: ____________________________________________________
Registration: Various types of registration are available. Each day registered delegates are entitle to: three vegan, organic meals; access to all workshops, forums, etc; and free camping. For information and to participate in fundraising to cover registration and transport costs, send this form to your state ASEN convenor.
Vic/Tas: Beth Nathan - 0422 689 833 - 288 Brunswick St, Fitzroy 3065 WA: Tim Hemsley â€“ 0420 225 059 - 54 Cowle St, West Perth, 6005 Qld / NT: Paul Hood - email@example.com - PO Box 192, GrifďŹ th University, Nathan Campus, Nathan, Queensland, 4111 NSW / ACT / SA: Dave Suttle - 0407 209 520 - ASEN, 19 Eve St, Erskinville, NSW 2043 Send in this form, get in touch, and be part of SoS 2007!
VictoriaN Forests Last Germinate, Victorian Forest campaigners were in the midst of a cranking campaign in the lead up to our State Election; almost weekly city-actions, all-too-regular blockades out bush, lobbying, rallies, stalls… So the election was in November, what happened? The government promised to protect about 40,000 hectares of old growth & “iconic” forest in East Gippsland, including the famous Goolengook forest. To put that ﬁgure in perspective, the Victorian Forest Alliance (an umbrella organisation of campaign groups) sought the protection of 900,000 hectares of old growth, water catchment and high conservation value forest across Eastern Victoria. So that’s less than 10%. No areas under threat from logging within Melbourne’s water catchments were protected. Importantly, some areas on the Errinundra Plateau (East Gippsland) that have been fought for and blockaded by hundreds of people, were ﬁnally protected. The ﬁrst blockades at Hammonds Rd were in the early 1980s, now, the last majestic stands of sassafras and mixed forest there have been protected. The Dingo Creek Rainforest Site of National Signiﬁcance has also been protected, it saw consecutive blockades in 2001 and then again in 2005, now the two coupes left standing will remain. Interestingly, clearfelled areas at Dingo Creek and other sites have been promised protection under the classiﬁcation “potential old growth”, while signiﬁcant tracts of current old growth are left unprotected. Large areas in the Goongerah and Yalmy forests and at Fern Tree that were blockaded in 2002, 2005 and 2006 will also be saved. Overall, the areas of forest which have been promised protection correlate closely to those which have been defended through direct action campaigns. The value of the work that hundreds of activists have contributed over the decades is now clear.
a wee updat e Currently campaigners are negotiating for further areas of old growth and high-conservation value forest to be included in the national park extension in East Gippsland. In Western Victoria, the Cobbobonee Forest received complete protection and will be added to the Lower Glenelg National Park. This will protect the habitat of the critically endangered Red-Tail Black Cockatoo. In the North of the State, the government committed to creating new redgum forest national parks along the Murray River. The commitment will follow the recommendations of the Victorian Environment Assessment Council’s current independent inquiry into the creation of Barmah-Millewa redgum national parks, to be jointly managed with Yorta-Yorta Traditional Owners. The announcement was cautiously welcomed by campaigners. So forest crew in Victoria have been having a breather, taking up surﬁng and re-considering how we’re going to protect our domestic Water Catchments. We’re also starting to think about the massive salvage logging operation which the timber industry will push for once the bushﬁres are out… Keep ya ears to the ground for future updates and action tales! Massive thanx & respect to all the crew who put in loads o’ effort over the last few years to defend East Gippsland’s forests – we’ve had a small but important victory! Come and visit the new national park some time!
A Ship of fools, I was sitting next to the fridge this arvo trying to work out what the point of ﬂaxseed oil was, it had landed me in quite a state. All I knew was I didn’t trust it and wanted it out of the fridge. Anyway… my phone rang and Dorris asked me to write a little piece about the Geelong wood chip ship action. I hadn’t anything better to do than admire the brand new pair of volleys and six pairs of socks that the job employment agency bought me, so I said to Dorris “I’d love to”. Well that was a month ago and Dorris’s telephone calls are becoming somewhat menacing and rather annoying, so I better get this thing over with. Excuse the bland and some what confusing writing style. In the paper a local member said I needed remedial literacy classes after stenciling his window in pigmy English. Anyway…the wood chip ship action was a cracker. The legal and social implications of it will prove to be rather interesting as well. The plan was pretty simple. Get people on the ship and settle down for the day. Unfortunately settling down for forest crew means
sticking your arm in a bloody metal pipe and waiting for some dude in ill ﬁtting overalls to come and grind it off you. Each to their own, hey? The vagueish plan was to lock onto the ship or the conveyor belt, stop work, then wait for police and media to show up, failing that to pick up a few long necks and hang out by the water to watch the sun come up. The Geelong dock was hit up because it is the home of midways, who are responsible for the admirable practice of cutting up our very large old growth trees into tiny little pieces and shipping them off to Japan, so that we can buy them back and give ourselves paper cuts. With this being the case a bunch of us went down to the water to see our desecrated friends off. However we got a bit stuck. To visit our old mates we had to climb a fence covered in spiky wire, slide down a 40 foot cliff (holding those shitty, shitty lockons), run like emphysema-ridden pensioners after a bottle coloxly and senna across the dock and up
a tale of terror(ism) the gang plank of a massive boat (ya should have seen it, it was very big. hahaha). Once onboard the boat, we were asked in broken English by a friendly but rather confused crew member if we would sign the guest book. Which in hindsight may have been a good idea looking at our charge sheets now with the forage of scrawling testimonies that wreck that nice clean paper. So we found some stuff to lock onto and hung out for a couple of hours until the police came and kicked our lovely support team off the boat. After some hilarious threats from some very random cops, not to mention the head honcho from Geelong (who is a horrible man, quite ugly and very very nasty. Don’t like him at all) Search and rescue rocked up and in that deftly polite demeanor they have, asked us once more if we would like to lock off. Then they started grinding. First the conveyor belt team, then the boys on the boat, toot toot! After search and rescue had had their way with us we packed up camp and headed for the divvy vans. They took us to the sta-
tion but didn’t let us out the car for a considerable time. As most of you would know the vans aren’t very well equipped and my companion and I were preparing to use the absent facilities, just as the door opened and in the nick of time, I’d say. Same old lock up story. Had a wee, talked smack, skipped around a bit, had a look out the window, then it was time to go. Now thanks to some very imaginative scoundrels the six of us are facing charges under the new terror legislation: the Martime Transport Security Act 2003, designed to ‘prevent international terrorist attacks’... yeah!). These laws have not been used to date so we are the experiment: the experiment to see whether the state can use oppressive force to crush any dissent amongst citizens, even if they are engaged in peaceful protest. If we are found guilty for any of the charges falling under the anti-terror legislation it opens a window and sets a precedent for police and State puppy dogs to apply terror charges to any old mate. Bombs or bikes, it don’t matter. Terrorist for forests!! I’m in. Peace Rocket McGreggor
This week has marked a new chapter in the defence of Tasmania’s ancient forests with 17 arrests in the Weld Valley, Southern Tasmania. The arrests occured whilst community members were trying to prevent an access road that will allow the chainsaws into majestic ancient forests. The Weld Valley has now become one of the largest resistance campaigns for Tasmania’s forests in the last decade. Community outrage at this senseless devastation is challenging the Tasmanian and Australian governments to give these wilderness forests the protection they deserve. For more than a year, forest defenders built and lived in a beautiful conservation haven that worked to hold the chainsaws and bulldozers at bay. Camp Weld, had a full size replica Pirate ship (the Weld Ark), a bush cabin and the entire infrastructure needed to provide shelter and support to friends of the forest. The camp had a village style atmosphere and was open to all comers who wanted to help the forests in their plight. Camp Weld members faced not only the hostility of the weather, the driving rain, winter dark and snow but also the very real hostility and threats from logging industry supporters. Through the year, Camp Weld faced gun shots, car burnings and physical threats from loggers coming directly into camp. All this was greeted with the strength and commitment of non-violent action and this peaceful response is a testament to the bravery and beauty of the people who lived there. On Wed 15th November 2006, more than 60 Police raided camp with one immediate arrest and a lone tree-sitter escaping to her lofty perch. Everyone else was ordered to leave or face arrest under a new media and public exclusion zone placed around a 10 kilometre radius of this state owned forest. For the next 6 days a set of rolling actions began and continue, ﬂowing from the anger at the loss of
such a direct action icon and the coming loss of these wondrous forests. People climbed tree-sits, stood in front of machines and some forest defenders locked theselves on to machinery. These actions occurred day after day as the arrest tally climbed to the present 17. For 5 days, the lone tree sitter ‘Pixie’ sat in her high platform watching the events unfold. Two other forest defenders spent nights in jail as Police used legal tactics to try and prevent the arrestees from returning to the forests. The Tasmanian government has funded this operation to secure access for Gunns Ltd, providing large numbers of police, security, a 24 hour mobile operations base and satellite communications equipment, all to ensure that the bulldozers get into the forest. Yet despite these obstacles people continue to challenge the destruction in a peaceful and deﬁant manner. On two separate occasions, a community walk in was staged to defy the archaic exclusion zone created on public land. The ﬁrst walk in had 40 people, the second over 100. These were great days for the forests as smiling people walked past security and police, in classic non-violent style. The strength in numbers meant that the police were unable to implement the exclusion zone procedures, which involves individually approaching each person in the zone. The veil over this hideous environmental crime had been lifted. This type of protest has occurred because of the continued failure of the Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) and the subsequent Community Forest Agreement, which were set up under the pretence to solve the forest debate in Tasmania. In fact, things in the forest have gotten worse, roads continue to be cut into high conservation value forests and logging is planned for many high conservation value forests and wilderness areas across the state. A downturn in the woodchip market has not deterred the world largest hardwood woodchipper, Gunns Ltd from continuing their devastation of the island’s wildlife and trees. Their aggressive response to criticism is to sue conservationists and environmental groups with a blanket multi-million dollar civil case. This almost billion dollar company
and its $65 million man, John Gay, have a strangle hold on the states politicians and its old growth forests. The Weld Valley is a shining example of places ignored by the chainsaw mandate of the RFA; it is an ancient forested valley of towering trees, moss ﬁlled rainforest gullies, snowcapped mountains, wide plains, crystal clear streams and wild Weld river. The original Tasmanians wandered this valley some 20,000 years ago evidence of their lives still remain in the national park protected ‘Bone Cave’ in the upper Weld. The potential for more sites or caves remains unexplored in much of the logging slated lower Weld Valley. While some 80% is protected in the South West World Heritage Area, the remaining forests suffer a very different fate to those separated by the imaginary protection line. These remaining forests of the lower Weld Valley have
been recognized by local and international environmental groups, the United Nations and even Tasmania’s Parks and Wildlife as having equal conservation status to the rest of the valley. Viewed as a single wilderness area, the Weld Valley is a unique landform which has a rare combination of outstanding biological, geological and cultural features naturally linked by continuous forest to the World Heritage Area. Direct action has always been an area of last resort for conservationist. Brave and often reluctant heroes staff this front line with sometimes little more than their own bodies. Placing lives on hold and committing all for the forests. Basing actions on nonviolent principles, that has served people and social movements like Gandhi, the Suffragettes, the Civil Rights struggle and our own Franklin River campaign. As long as companies like Gunns Ltd are allowed, by governments, to ignore community concern and run rampant through our ancient forests with chainsaws and bulldozers then there will always be people willing to stand in their defence.
By Adam Burling For infomation on the Weld Valley campaign see: www.huon.org R.I.P. Weld Ark - we shall miss ya pirate shenanigans! 35
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Carbon Credits : really neutral? In the last few years, more and more people are talking about climate change and how to combat it. Our social psyche has ﬁnally enveloped the topic. Alongside interest rates and sport, climate change has found itself as a part of discussions at our dinner tables, pubs, schools and even as part of the mainstream political agenda. We are not only talking about climate change, more and more, we are thinking about how to manage the causes of climate change, and reduce its potential catastrophic effects. From the many possibilities being discussed, one very interesting option has arisen: carbon offsetting. Basically, this is a process where anyone, both businesses and individuals, can purchase carbon credits from a provider to ‘neutralise’ the carbon dioxide emissions they would emit in their usual activities. Each credit bought is claimed to remove one tonne of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through projects that reduce or absorb carbon. There are many different kinds of projects, the most common being reforestation, renewables projects and energy efﬁciency programs. So for example, Jen buys carbon credits from a provider who plants trees to remove the emissions equivalent to her driving to work each day. Sounds pretty good huh? Sounds like a real solution to climate change? Well some environmentalists aren’t so convinced. And they have good reason for concern. Whilst there is great potential for carbon offsetting to play a role in solving climate change, it is not a single all-encompassing solution to climate change. It does little to help the transition away from unsustainable fossil fuels. Furthermore, programs of carbon neutralisation may actually be contributing to climate change, and other social and economic problems, rather than being the miracle solution some were hoping for.
Carbon offsets and sustainability One of the most pressing fears of environmentalists is the attitude of complacency that may emerge with reliance on carbon offsetting as a solution to climate change. Buying credits may be perceived as a guilt free pass to continue our energy-hungry lifestyles, which is simply unsustainable. Returning to the example of Jen: whilst she may purchase credits to neutralise the emission from her car, to act “sustainably”, a better option would be for her to take the bus –or even better, ride her bike. Buying credits eliminates the guilt associated with energy inefﬁciency. It may actually encourage energy inefﬁciency, whilst subduing our attempts at real reductions. Reductions of excessive consumption of energy is the real solution to climate change. Anything that discounts or discourages this is part of the problem.
Carbon credits: the buying and selling of climate solutions Many of the companies offering carbon credits, though not all, are proﬁt-making companies. This means that whilst many have admirable intentions to do something about climate change (though again, not all), they are also proﬁt driven. The need for proﬁt has too often led to the exploitation of the environment; to unethical environmental and social practices, and public deceit. Unfortunately, these nasty corporate characteristics have already been pinned to certain providers of carbon credits. For example, in Britain, several companies, including Future Forests and Climate Care, have come under ﬁre for unethical and misleading advertisements, which misrepresent their abilities to neutralise the emissions of their customers. Environmental organisations such as Sinkswatch have been particularly active in publicly denouncing the companies’ actions.
Another more insidious practice that has been pinned to certain providers is the process of selling carbon credits for ‘neutralising projects’ that already exist. For example, a person may have bought credit for trees that have already been planted, or would have been planted by the companies planting partner anyway. This would not remove any additional carbon dioxide at all. This problem of “additionality” has proved the most controversial in the discussion of the effectiveness of carbon offsetting. According to the Guide to Consumer Credit, this is less likely to occur if the credit company is itself, involved in the projects, rather than outsourcing it. This guide is the only available independent survey of offset providers, and has provided quite a comprehensive testing system. It is investigation and information like this that will help to ensure that providers remain ethical, or at least make consumers more aware of how to choose ethical companies. There is perhaps another more philosophical issue at play. The fact that ‘energy neutrality’ can be bought makes part of the process of combating climate change, a saleable commodity. Many environmentalists optimistically see this as a means to effect a transition of the current economy to an environmental commodity market, which is more akin to an economy that does not hinder environmental sustainability. Yet others question this faith in the market. It is argued that since it is possible that carbon neutrality can be bought, this permits a wealthy person a more energy rich lifestyle, whilst a poor person must live with the guilt of their continued contribution to the climate problem. The poor may even be blamed for furtherance of climate change. So whilst carbon offsetting may be neutralising the ways of the rich, control of solutions to climate change become “unneutral”. This divergence of opinion will undoubtedly be the subject of debate amongst environmentalists as the availability of carbon offsetting grows.
The problems with the projects of neutralisation: deforestation There are also the more speciﬁc problems of the types of projects pursued for neutralisation. The scope of this article does not lend itself to analysis of a variety of projects. Instead I will take a brief look at reforestation because it is a popular choice amongst providers, and has recently been the subject of controversy within the activist community. First, it is important to note that there is major discrepancy between each offset project, so much so, that each deserves individual analysis. Offsets offered by each provider vary greatly in quality, which is not necessarily reﬂected in the descriptions given by providers, or the cost of the offsets. This means it is best to choose a provider that offers very speciﬁc information about its individual projects. Ideally, providers should offer proof that their services will actually be removing additional carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Analysis of just one type of project, namely reforestation, highlights just some of the concerns being voiced about carbon offsetting. Reforestation involves the process of planting trees, which absorb carbon dioxide, in a process known as sequestration. Thus, credits bought would go towards tree planting, with the number of trees planted intended to absorb the equivalent carbon dioxide to the credits purchased. One of the most obvious problems is that all trees will eventually die, and when they do, they emit carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere, reversing to some extent, the carbon reductions they were planted to neutralise. There is also some research, such as the ﬁndings of Frank Keppler, suggesting that whilst forests absorb carbon at varying levels, they actually emit methane, a gas that contributes to global warming. More fundamentally, if carbon offsetting is going to be a major part of the climate strategy, there is just not enough space to plant trees to absorb carbon at the rate we are emitting it. These ﬁndings show that tree planting alone is not a permanent solution to climate change. Even more alarming
are the methods of unsustainable monocultural reforestation employed by many carbon credit companies. This is unsustainable, and has even been shown to emit more carbon dioxide, than what is absorbed. Obviously this is no solution to climate change. It is part of the problem!
AlL hope is not lost Despite all these problems, there are those with the catchcry: ‘It’s better than nothing’. This may be so, especially for the climate conscious activist, who pursues a variety of energy saving measures, who is forced to drive sometimes for lack of public transport, for example. There is also great potential for the popularity and availability of carbon offset providers to fuel general discussion about climate change and solutions to it. Carbon offset companies have a direct link of communication with consumers, bypassing government. This provides an opportunity for such companies to inform the public about global warming. This may be as important as providing neutrality services. However, thus far, surveys such as the Consumer Guide to Retail Carbon Offset Providers, shows that providers offer very little additional information about global warming. It seems this needs to change if carbon offsetting is going to be a real part of the climate strategy. Perhaps the proﬁt margins of companies prevent them from such provisions, as it does restrict the extent of research into other options for sustainability. On a more practical level, carbon offsetting may build demand for renewable energy and help kickstart renewables projects, which must compete with the over-subsidised coal giants. Furthermore, supporters of carbon offsetting acknowledge the way this strategy can empower individuals by allowing them to take control of their part in the climate problem. Therefore, despite the concerns outlined above, the potential beneﬁts of carbon offset-
ting are certainly worth investigating. Let it be thorough and objective. Similarly, despite the obvious shortcomings of many carbon-offset providers, there are surely some seriously ethical non-proﬁt organisations involved in effective sustainable projects that really do neutralise carbon emissions –somewhere! If anyone has found any such organisations, let me know! For now, the best bet is to stick with local non-proﬁt organisations, which have independent certiﬁcation and are directly involved in reduction and renewables, not reforestation unless it is clear that this reforestation is effective, not a horrendous monoculture plantation. The Consumer Guide to Retail Carbon Offset Providers so far has provided the most comprehensive information about such providers. The most promising providers include Climate Trust (US), and Atmosfair (Germany). Unfortunately, no Australian companies were surveyed. And, of course, if you do choose to use carbon offsetting, this would be just one of your many strategies for minimising your contribution to climate change. Scarlett Wilcock, UNSW Environment Collective
image by marcel baker: www.newint.org
Australian Youth Take on Climate In late November, the founding summit of the Australian Youth Climate Change Coalition took place in Melbourne. 65 young people aged 15-30, representing 30 different youth and youth-friendly organisations met to develop a joint approach to climate change and to ensure that government takes the issue seriously, rather than just making vague statements, launching token projects, and backing off from real action.
be released on the ofﬁcial launch date of the coalition – World Kyoto Day, Feb 16th 2007 – once it has received organisational assent from the groups at the summit. Stay tuned for the launch of the coalition on February 16th! By Anna Rose
Conference organiser, Anna Rose, 23, said “Global warming is the biggest threat my generation faces. We’ve come together here in Melbourne to create strategies to communicate the concerns we have to politicians and business to make sure they actually take some serious action before it’s too late. Australia must sign Kyoto and commit to legally binding carbon emission reduction targets, rather than distractions like nuclear, geosequestration and ‘clean coal’. The fossilised government needs to invest in our future through renewable energy.” Some of the diverse young people attending included students, representatives of local youth councils, indigenous youth organisations, environment groups, youth media makers, and young business professionals from every state. “This summit aims to bring together youth representatives who care about climate change, to make climate a mainstream issue for young people and send a message to governments that we aren’t impressed with rhetoric - we want change, and we want it now”, stated Simon Sheikh from the United Nations Youth Association. The organising coalition were the Australian Student Environment Centre, GetUp!, United Nations Youth Association and OzGreen. The youth declaration drafted at the summit will
The ﬁve action priorities decided upon by the coalition are: (1) organising youth climate conferences; (2) a national day of youth mobilisation on climate change; (3) a schools and Universities strategy (such as expanding ASEN’s existing campus climate challenge); (4) an elections strategy (eg mobilising young people to enrol to vote and vote for climate-friendly candidates); (5) a ‘making caring about climate change cool’ pop culture campaign to educate and mobilise youth on the issue.
Courts, Coal and Climate As I write this article, climate activists are still celebrating the landmark court victory handed down on Monday 27th November in the NSW Land and Environment Court which threw a spanner in the works of the approval process for the controversial Anvil Hill coal mine proposed for near Muswellbrook, NSW. 26-year old Peter Grey, part of climate action group Rising Tide Newcastle, brought the case as part of the large and ongoing campaign to stop the expansion of the Hunter Valley coal industry. Anvil Hill was chosen as an ‘icon’ representing the destruction wreaked by coal both for communities at point of extraction and for the climate when the coal is eventually burned. The judgment means that the climate impacts of new developments will have to be considered in Environmental Impact Studies. While the decision does not block the mine’s development entirely, Justice Nicola Pain ruled that a crucial step - the director-general of planning’s acceptance of the environmental assessment - was ﬂawed and invalid. The Government will now have to take account of the greenhouse gas emissions from burning the mine’s output - even though 80 per cent will be exported. This comes at a time when there is a major port expansion planned for Newcastle, the biggest coal port per tonne of coal exported in the world. The case is likely to have ramiﬁcations far beyond Anvil Hill. All greenhouse gas producing developments in NSW will now be required to include an assessment of their contribution to global warming. This could include coal mines, steel mills, electricity plants, and even new tollways. The environmental impact statement for the mine may have to be re-exhibited, although government sources said in December they believed this could be avoided. Alternatively, the Government could appeal, although the Premier declared this week he intended to make climate change a big issue in the coming election campaign. It is hypocritical, to say the least, of NSW Premier Iemma to state he is a climate friendly candidate and that he will appeal the decision.
The decision found climate change was affecting the Australian and NSW environments, meaning the burning of coal had to be considered in the environmental assessment process. The judge pointed to legislation requiring the NSW Planning Department to encourage ecologically sustainable development. According to the Government’s own secret assessment, which came to light during the case, the 10.5 million tonnes of coal from Anvil Hill when burnt would produce 12.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year: emissions equivalent to doubling the number of cars on NSW roads to 8 million. There judgment delivered an extra sting for the Minister for Planning, Frank Sartor. Justice Pain rejected the argument that the fasttrack approvals process for major projects, introduced two years ago, meant environmental impact statements were either optional or could be less thorough. Mr Sartor said the Government would carefully consider the implications. The Anvil Hill campaign continues and has been given a huge boost in publicity by this judgment. Focusing climate change campaigns around concrete ‘icons’ like a speciﬁc coal mine makes it difﬁcult for the NSW government to look ‘climate friendly’ in the upcoming state election. Iemma recently announced a 15% reduction in GHG levels by 2020. This is a good start (and a wonderful testimony to all the climate campaigners out there who fought for emission reductions targets) but ultimately, nowhere near enough to actually stop climate change. No matter how many statements each party makes about climate change, carbon trading schemes, emission reduction targets and putting solar panels on schools, the test is this: will they continue to expand the fossil fuel industry, or will they create a just transition to clean energy. Climate change is going to be a huge issue in the 2007 NSW elections. Let’s make sure it stays focused on the main issue: coal. - Anna Rose
What’s it gonna take? ing shifting power & switch e energy univerisites to renewabl As clean energy campaigns roll out around the country, a few reﬂections...
As a student-based network, of course we want the institutions we attend to be as greenhouse-neutral as possible. Energy efﬁciency and renewable energy purchase not only reduces demand for coal-ﬁred energy and directly expands the renewable energy market, but universities also have the inﬂuence to set a powerful example for the broader community. In selecting clean energy demands, however, perhaps our campaigns could be more strategic by incorporating a clearer analysis of university administrations. I want to suggest three means of doing so:
1. Campaigning for institutional support for climate action, not just Green Power
Clean energy campaigns in the UK achieved some major victories, including ensuring 60 campuses made the switch to at least some green power. However, students found a major problem: after they left and there was no active campaign, some universities switched right back to purchasing coal in future energy contracts! The UK student network People and Planet have released a report identifying four factors that are vital to ensuring universities go green, and remain that way: i. The active, public support of senior university management (in particular the ViceChancellor or principal) — for a program of environmental performance improvement. ii. Full-time staff dedicated to environmental management — developing objectives, setting priorities, and signiﬁcant, time-bound targets to fulﬁll them. iii. A written, publicly available environmental policy — to provide a formal demonstration of intent regarding environmental performance improvement, and against which to compare practice.
iv. A comprehensive review to investigate all the environmental impacts of the institution — so that current impacts are measured, potential improvements are identiﬁed and performance is monitored. (http://peopleandplanet. org/gogreen/report.4factors.php) Let’s be clear about the real nature of modern universities. It’s not radical to suggest most university administrations are guided by ‘the bottom line’, whether as a result of a decrease in public funding, a belief in the virtues of privatising education, or, unfortunately in many cases, both of these factors. Improving greenhouse performance costs universities in the short-term. Students achieve victories because of the pressure we leverage - not because university goals align with ours! It is unsurprising, then, that universities may well revert to coal when student heat is off. Our charge, then, is to focus on agitating for institutional changes for long-term sustainability. For example, our ultimate goal of 100% Green Power may be supported by the creation of a staff position to oversee emission reduction commitments and programs, or the creation of a fund from savings from energy efﬁciency initiatives to fund increasing purchase of Green Power. In this respect, the student clean energy victory at Monash University last year is a shining example in more ways than one! The campaign there achieved not only 15% Green Power and 20% energy reduction on 2000 levels both by 2010, but also the creation of a staff position and fund as outlined.
2. Targeting universities as pillars of support for the coal industry Beyond their institutional impact on the environment, universities are important turfs for climate activism because of their relationship with industry - including the fossil fuel industry. The comprehensive New Economics Foundation report from the UK into university links with fos-
sil fuel industry, Degrees of Capture, provided chilling examples of the way universities support and perpetuate destructive industry ambitions, like ‘clean coal’ technology research, and the development of technology for intrusive petroleum and coal exploration. The upcoming Australian Institute report - inspired by ASEN - concerning this issue will no doubt be a valuable resource for potential disinvestment campaigns in Australia - exposing and removing fossil fuel inﬂuence in the university sector. Even among ourselves, we know this inﬂuence extends beyond research and development. Universities also act as a critical pillar of support for the fossil fuel industry by providing valuable workers, evident in signiﬁcant recruitment drives of outstanding graduates, scholarship programs, and offers of paid industry experience - familiar to many of us studying engineering, geology and chemistry. With the nuclear industry re-rearing its ugly head, a good place to start resisting this process may be by targeting universities around the country that are gearing up to introduce nuclear physics and engineering courses as part of the industry’s bid to make up for a severe skills shortage. As students, we are perfectly positioned to challenge and terminate our universities’ support for dirty energy industries.
3. Empowering friendlier university players Employing a critical analysis of university institutions doesn’t entail disregarding opportunities arising from complexities within their structure. To an extent, predominantly being locked out of internal university decision-making means students can manipulate power relations within the university hierarchy. This may mean doing more research about university decision-makers and powerbrokers, and targeting those that might be more amenable to pressure. For example at the University of Sydney, our campaign has become such a sore point for our Vice-Chancellor, Gavin Brown, that he is apparently ‘’thunderous’’ about the issue, and has resolutely dug-in his neo-liberal heels against Green Power. Our campaign, then, is shifting towards trying to empower other members of the University Senate to make the decision we
want, thus rendering Gavin irrelevant. Part of this process is about researching and trying to meet with Senators individually, so we know exactly where they stand on the issue of Green Power, and how best to get them to move. From our experience, we’ve learnt there are a few key Senators we need to get on board- for example, the student representatives, if we’re peddling in the discourse of ‘’representative governance’’.
Quick thoughts about the year ahead..
- Keep up the campaigns! It’s a no-brainer that universities, like other institutions, will make the switch to renewable energy sooner or later ... it’s our role to convince them of the beneﬁts of early action rather than delayed! - Engage the yoof. Next year is the federal election, and *dang!* if we’re going to live through a fourth term of Howard! Despite the ‘’opposition’’ of course ... let’s make climate change a major voting issue for young people! In this respect, the newly-formed Youth Climate Coalition, initiated by Anna Rose from ASEN, has the potential to activate and cohere young people on climate change. - The Scorecard project: ranking universities on greenhouse performance, it has the potential to direct momentum from existing clean energy victories to achieve further victories! - Spread the love to high schools - More anti-corporate globalisation mobilisations ... As APEC comes to Australia, ideas are already generating about how to expose APEC’s agenda of ‘’energy security’’ - for the business end of town. Ideas include a youth climate counter-convergence aimed at skilling up young people to take action on climate change, or cycling National Days of Action! - Coal exports, coal exports, coal exports... - Explicitly drawing out and building connections between the climate movement and other movements, which are intrinsically related on a political and equity level: anti-war, refugee, Indigenous, anti-racist... - Continuing to work with the broader climate and environment movement, but recognising our capacity to make more ‘’radical’’ interventions where necessary! By Wenny Theresia
Guerilla Energy Guerrilla Energy Efficiency
Energy Efficiency Energy efﬁciency is one of the most effective ways to achieve a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, across all sectors. Where energy efﬁciency measures are adopted, there is an absolute decrease in energy use, resulting in a corresponding decrease in environmental impact. Unlike some technological ﬁxes, energy efﬁciency leads to other beneﬁts, such as reduced system maintenance in the form of less frequent replacement of light bulbs to longer lifetime of electrical substations. For these reasons, energy efﬁciency is often the fastest and least costly method of achieving energy and emissions reductions. It is more practical to replace inefﬁcient light bulbs than to build a power plant, be they nuclear, coal or wind-powered.
Direct Action The implementation of energy efﬁciency measures on a large scale requires everyone to be active. However, there comes a point when every bulb in your house has been changed, the showerhead is triple A rated, standby power has been annihilated, all draughts have been blocked and you are left watching icebergs melt, waiting for others to act. There is only one world in which you live, so get active and make your- self at home – change every light bulb in reach.
Despite the enormous potential of energy efﬁciency to reduce greenhouse gases and save money, it tends to be ignored by politicians, industry, businesses, residents and even activists. Energy efﬁciency may be less tangible than installing additional renewable energy capacity. Energy efﬁciency is not considered sexy compared to installing a rooftop of solar panels – until now. A new and exciting activism is developing in Sydney – Guerrilla Energy Efﬁciency. It involves implementing energy efﬁciency measures outside the home, without permission and without delay. The following is a report on such an action carried out in Sydney in November.
The Target Near to the Eastern Distributor, high-density apartments are under construction. The apartments use 60W incandescent bulbs for exterior lighting. The lights are left on all night. A quick count was made – sixteen 60W Edison screw incandescent light bulbs in need of replacement. Tools required – ﬂat head screwdriver, glove (incandescent bulbs glow hot!), bicycles, guerrillas.
Guerrilla Supplies To get the necessary light bulbs, a quick trip was made to the local carbon neutral ecohardware store, Neco. Sixteen 15W CFLS were chosen, costing $5 each, discounted by the NSW Greenhouse Gas Abatement Program and funded by the Guerrillas’ Centrelink.
Efficiency Gang The Mission The project will pay itself back in less than three months. The total savings over the 8000 hour lifetime of the bulbs will be 5.76 MWh or $576. Therefore, the action will generate $496 income and abate 5.7 tonnes CO2 over its lifetime. This can be compared to other electricity generating activities. Coal produces electricity for 4c/kWh, wind for 7-15c/kWh and solar for 30c/kWh. The price of nuclear power is likely to be close to wind power, though it is difďŹ cult to measure this due to the heavy subsidies provided by governments for its insurance and development of infrastructure. This project cost $80 and freed 5.76 MWh of electricity to be used elsewhere, equating to a price of 1.4c/kWh.
Get Involved The Aftermath Previous Power Use
New Power Use
Previous Energy Use
9.6 kWh/ day
Cost Savings/ yr
New Energy 2.4 kWh/day CO2 Savings/ 2.5 tonnes/ Use yr yr
For more information, including resources to start a guerrilla cell or to suggest targets, email Maurice at mullets_for_freedom@yahoo. com.au. This article was prepared by the Green Geeks. The Green Geeks seek to provide environmental activists with reliable information on technological issues relating to energy, particularly renewable. Contact mullets_for_ firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Conservatively based on 10 hours use per night  Australian Greenhouse OfďŹ ce. http://www. greenhouse.gov.au/workbook/pubs/workbook-2005.pdf
n g i a p m a c r the othe The Other Campaign (La Otra) is a political project initiated by the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) that seeks to construct a new way of doing politics, a national project of anti-captialist struggle, and a new inclusive and participatory political constitution for Mexico. The Zapatista struggle emerged in 1994, the day the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) came into effect as an armed indigenous uprising against neoliberalism and for indigenous dignity and humanity. It has been an instrumental movement in the formation of the Global Justice Movement and creation of new forms of global solidarity. The most recent path the Zapatista struggle has taken is La Otra. La Otra began with the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle (La Sexta) in July 2005, a proposal for the grassroots left to come together to “organise a national campaign, visiting all possible corners of our Patria, in order to listen to and organise the word of our people” (EZLN 2005). A series of plenaries took place in the Zapatista communities of Chiapas in the months that followed, attended by indigenous peoples, independent media, NGOs, collectives, individuals, and groups who had adhered to La Sexta. The purpose of the plenaries was to discuss how La Otra would set out to create a new political space in Mexico. On the First of January 2006 many marched in from Zapatista communities to
San Cristobal De Las Casas to launch the ﬁrst stage of La Otra. This was to be the national tour of the EZLN’s delegate zero, Subcommandante Marcos responsible for travelling around Mexico holding public meetings and events to listen to the various anti-capitalist struggles of those who are humble and rebel. The launch was also the symbolic handing over of La Otra to its adherents with the intention of being facilitated by, rather than led by the EZLN. La Otra has run parallel to the presidential campaigns, which led up to the Mexican federal election on July 2nd 2006. La Otra constitutes both a symbolic challenge to the electoral system and an alternative in construction. La Otra is a redeﬁnition of national politics from imagined as the activities of the State and political class to the actions and social self-organising of people. Not only does it attempt to break this popular political imagination, but to open a new political space to develop other relationships, mechanisms and forms of social self-organisation from the grassroots. The principle of “lead by obeying” and the desire to create a “world where many worlds can ﬁt” are central to the formation of this space.
Since the launch of La Otra social movements in Mexico, adherents to La Sexta and La Otra itself have come under direct attack by the Mexican State. The most brutal of which are the attack on the town of San Salvador de Atenco on the 3rd and 4th of May and more recently the continued Federal Preventative Police (PFP) attacks on the organised people of Oaxaca City. The attacks have mobilised both national and international actions in Solidarity with the people of Atenco and Oaxaca, seeing La Otra capable of inspiring collective action. image by rini templeton
the other continent The developing international component of La Otra has demonstrated sustained solidarity which is not merely reactive nor a form of advocacy, but one focused on exchange and developing forms of self-organisation in our own communities (localities) sensitive to our local contexts (speciﬁc experiences). La Otra is a global invitation to those at the grassroots level to organise outside electoral politics against capitalism, with a respect for diverse ways of organising and realities to construct a world where many worlds ﬁt.
The Other Continent - Australia In Australia this year the newly formed Mexican Australian Solidarity Network (MASN) along with other individuals and groups have been engaging in solidarity actions, events and exchanges with people organising as part of the La Otra in Mexico. Most recently at A Space Outside in Melbourne Reading groups formed for Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne to discuss La Sexta and will be meeting in March next year to explore how La Otra may continue to evolve here in Australia. Additionally regional connections have been made through the Latin America – Asia Paciﬁc Solidarity conference in Melbourne. People organising around La Otra in Sydney are hoping to strengthen regional solidarity and exchanges beginning with activists from Indonesia. Recently Heriberto Salas from San Salvador de Atenco, a participant in the Other Campaign visited Australia and shared his experience of the State repression in Atenco at a variety of forums and events. Heriberto also extended a personal invitation from the Peoples Front in Defense of the Land to people
organising in Australia to adhere to La Sexta and to act as part of La Otra. The ﬁrst intergalactic gathering of La Otra will take place in Chiapas, Mexico in December this year. The Other Campaign is a revolutionary project, which seeks to empower people to take control of their own lives, to socially self-organise and to redeﬁne politics and make it theirs. It is an invitation to all those resisting capitalism from below and to the left (where the heart is) to construct a new way of doing politics and to create a radically different world, not just shifts of power and inﬂuence from one group to another.The Mexico-Australia Solidarity Network (MASN) supports La Sexta and seeks to promote understanding of its aims, and act in solidarity with La Otra. MASN plans to engage in four main activities: * education in Australia of La Sexta and La Otra Campaña and the broader political situation in Mexico; * accredit Australian activists seeking to visit Zapatista communities; * to run campaigns in solidarity with struggle for civil society in Mexico; * and to raise funds to support Zapatista communities and political struggles in Mexico. For more information about the MASN, please contact Lara at email@example.com. To subscribe to the network’s mailing list, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our discussion list info page on www.masn.org.au References EZLN (2005) translated by Irlandesa La Sexta Declaracion de La Selva Lacandona, http://www.inmotionmagazine.com/auto/selva6.html
E K I R ST Metal workers at Thompson’s Roller Shutters, a company at Turella in Sydney, won an inspiring victory in late November against the Howard Government’s attempts to intensify oppression and exploitation in the workplace. The workers had been on strike for four weeks before they won a collective agreement which increases pay, guarantees improved redundancy packages, protects award conditions and guards against victimisation. For over a year management had been refusing to sign a collective agreement, had recently tried to force all workers onto individual contacts (AWAs) and had begun summary dismissals of people who spoke up for their rights. Geoff, the AMWU organisor at the site, explained the way recent WorkChoices legislation impacted upon boss/worker relations at Thompsons, “With WorkChoices he (the boss) doesn’t have to sit down with us to work out a collective agreement… now he runs Howard’s agenda right to the limit, treats the workers like rubbish… Two workers have been sacked without notice, one bloke has been here 12 years, got sacked, and all he got was one weeks pay, and that’s WorkChoices.” There was a strong anti-racist element to the strike. Of the 12 full time metal workers at Thompsons, the 9 who had migrated to Australia were on strike, while three anglos crossed the picket line to work.
Racism had been cultivated by the boss within the workplace, and was consistently felt by the workers. Ahmed, a striker from Indonesia said, “Every time there was something in the media about the War on Terror it was taken out on us here”. A Lebanese worker Hussein had been a consistent target. The union delegate Prakash explained, “he was called a kebab-muncher, Osama Bin Laden, told to go home”. The issue came to a head when Hussein demanded the boss remove grafﬁti which read “25 years” from his locker, a reference to the sentences granted in a recent rape case which had been heavily racialised in the media. He was subsequently ﬁred for “causing division in the workplace”, the day before workers were set to go on strike. The dispute starkly illustrates the relation between racism and class politics. The new laws have a dis-proportionate impact on communities who are already marginalised and intensify disciplinary pressures to simply accept this marginalisation. Racism also serves to divide workers from each other, stiﬂing ability to pose a united challenge to exploitation. However, the strong collective action of the workers at Thompson’s also point to the way these processes need to be fought. When asked what message he would give to other workers experiencing racism, Prakash argued, “You’ve got to ﬁght mate. If we ﬁght, we can win. If not, we all go back.” Their action has forced a respect from both the boss and fellow workers who had gone along with the rac-
supporting worker struggles ism, opening space for a more profound unionism. The strike was supported by community picket lines organised by Worker Solidarity NSW, a new campaign group modeled on the successful Union Solidarity group in Melbourne (www.unionsolidarity.org). Fearing new IR laws which threaten massive ﬁnes for disruptive action, the workers were not blockading the entrance to the site for the ﬁrst three weeks. In the fourth week we joined the picket. For ﬁve mornings, Worker Solidarity mobilised left activists - mostly students and rank and ﬁle workers - adding a more militant dynamic to the picket line, causing production levels to be seriously affected. AMWU organiser Geoff explained the impact of the pickets, “Without the community support, the community protesters down here, this picket line wouldn’t be nearly as good as it is… we would still be where we were at day one.”
of the successful strike. These were received well and hopefully there will be more pickets in the new year. There is a tension between the militancy of Worker Solidarity and ofﬁcial union structures, one which is often frustrating but, if negotiated well, can be fruitful. The union ofﬁcials at Turella were quite hostile to the idea of a full blockade, worried it would lead to ﬁnes, compromise the unions assets and jepordise negotiations. It was important to push our argument to the limit and try where possible to hold a strong picket. However, it was also necessary to make sure there was no blatant deﬁance of these wishes, so we can build up a trust within the broader union movement and be invited to more picket lines.
While building rank and ﬁle organisation within our own unions remains important, radical activists can play a quite meaningful role helping to radicalise the broader union campaign by organising picket lines like the one at Turella, challenging WorkChoices with direct action at the point of production. The pickets can help build conﬁdence in the industrial action that is needed to take the laws head on and strengthen networks of militants willing to make such action a successful reality.
Rather than ﬁghting with ofﬁcials, our focus needs to be on learning from, networking and helping to build the conﬁdence of the striking workers. Discussions on that picket line were amazing. One man had been involved in street ﬁghting with police for over a month during the crisis which eventually brought down Soeharto in Indoniesia during the late 90s. Others from the Philippines shared experiences from the movement against military dictatorship during the 70s and the current struggle against Arroyo. It was deeply inspiring hearing them talk about the need to ﬁght back against the racism and attacks on workers rights that are coming so consistently from this Government – well worth the many 5am starts.
Activists from Worker Solidarity handed out thousands of leaﬂets at the big ACTU day of action in Sydney, spreading news
See you at the next picket line! Paddy Gibson, Sydney Uni email@example.com
in the wake after
At the meeting of the Group of 20 at the Hyatt Hotel in Melbourne in November 2006, thousands of people took the streets to protest against the G20 and the role they play in creating dangerous climate change, eroding the rights of workers, and exploiting communities across the world. Corporate media, the Federal Government and Victorian Police have focused on the ‘Arterial Bloc’: a decentralised collection of afﬁnity groups, some wearing white suits. The Bloc engaged in actions; some of which saw fences surrounding the hotel dismantled, a handful of people break the windows in a police van, and a ﬂuroucent pink convertible car garden blockade the intersection in front of Parliament House for over six hours. Brutal. Federal Treasurer Peter Costello accused protestors of wanting to “trash the reputation of Australia.”
The Herald Scum Newspaper called them a “hardcore gang intent on violence’ , waging a “Dob in a Thug” Campaign, claiming activists had “hatred in their eyes, and probably in their hearts.” We were there. That’s not how the story goes. We constantly watch police and hear corporate media call community activists across the world ‘violent thugs’ and a host of other mistruths. Since the G20, some of us have faced arrests and ludicrous bail conditions, raids on our homes, conﬁscation of our property, extensive time in police custody without justiﬁcation, and high levels of surveillance and police intimidation. Here are some of the voices we didn’t hear: a compilation of responses to the G20 protests.
A Call to form an Arterial Bloc ...This is what we want: lives worth living, lives of dignity and autonomy and we want to work together against capitalism and the state to achieve this. We want to develop collective power and collective communication. Not to follow, not to lead, but to work out how we can organise ourselves. They may not see our faces but we shall show our anger, our creativity and our ungovernable desires...
G20 In effect I feel like my voice and actions have been silenced by the smaller group of individuals who chose to use violent and direct tactics on Saturday. By using force a certain group of individuals have drowned out the voices and messages of a lot of other people who were present at the rally. There are huge ramiﬁcations from people who chose to use violence at protests… The reality of the situation is that from this point onwards more laws will be passed, more force will be used and people who want to protest will be even further oppressed. By upping the ante people have chosen to up the ante for all of us, and now we all will have to work in increasingly more constricted and unfavourable conditions. ---- Anonymous
The violence… was against property, a police car no less. Let’s put this into perspective of the violence these governments and corporations use against us every day and think. If we come to protests to be heard by the media I think this is a big waste of time… they want sensationalism, they will never be interested in ‘the issues’. I don’t understand people’s need to control others actions. If some choose to be violent, this is and always will be their choice, which you nor anyone else should take from them when it is not harming anyone. ---- Anonymous
Having played a part in initiating and organising the G20 protest, we do not think Arterial Bloc played a constructive role. Covering their
faces, acting in an undemocratic manner and isolating themselves from the majority at the rally, their decision to skirmish with the police played into the hands of the right-wing media and G20 spokespersons, such as Costello. [We reject Arterial Bloc’s actions] because if we’re serious about building a movement to overthrow the system that G20 wants to prop up - capitalism - we have to win the working class majority to our side, and we’re some way from that. --- Resistance Communiqué
We have been caring for each other, talking to each other, trying to ﬁnd out what happened to those arrested and injured; remembering to breathe and sleep and eat. We did not come out of nowhere and we are not strangers. We do not have “contempt” for “ordinary protesters”; we are ordinary protesters. What was Arterial Bloc? It was a call-out, a costume, and an attempt at internal democracy and communication… Arterial Bloc is not an organization or a party; it is not a homogenous group or a faceless, rootless mob. We are ordinary: as scared and as alienated as everybody else. We do not have magical solutions; we have desire that will not be governed. A white overall or similar disguise is a refusal to claim a space of “citizenship”… Contemporary capitalism makes ghosts of us all, because it leeches us of our own precious and unique desires – and the embodiment of those desires – in favour of a homogenous “discipline” and “order”. We cease to be human beings; we are mere machinery and leftovers… We will not “stand up and be counted” as citizens within this false democracy. Capitalism haunts us, and it makes us haunted; we will haunt it. Are we revolutionaries, or not? If we are, then we are already enemies of the state. Let us not be afraid of being called so. We reclaim the radical ordinary. We do not feel the need to pitch a “central message” through the ﬁlter of the corporate media to the
mythical “ordinary person” who, apparently, can only comprehend or sympathise with managed dissent. We must preserve a movement of resistance to capitalism that is made up of many different acts of refusal and creation. However, we genuinely fail to understand how anyone who calls herself a revolutionary can fail to ﬁnd at least some beauty in the sight of a smashed police van. ---- A ﬁrst communiqué from two uncitizens of Arterial Bloc
a public relations perspective, in the mind of Joe Average it has totally conﬁrmed the stereotypes of protesters that we all fought so hard to dispel. Now the views of Joe Average cannot be dismissed, simply because he/she is on the other side of the distorting lens of the corporate media. The views of Joe Average have a very direct impact on the success or failure of movements. And the broader left has abandoned us. Some of the people who spoke at the library on Saturday, have indicated that they will not do so again. This
kind of reaction is pouring in from unions, and various non-violent groups, and all sorts of individuals who are normally sympathetic. Next time such an event is held - perhaps at APEC - the media, the public, and the cops will be baying for our blood, and the broader left will not come to our aid. This will place protesters in danger, and result in thin numbers at events. ---- Anonymous
It is… understandable that the power of the media is so great that even those who took part in the actions can feel disorientated by the way their own participation is reﬂected back to them, and in a movement that is both small and diverse, that lacks a common language of communication, differences can often become divisions – especially when so much is on the line. The most intense use of force was directed at objects: the destruction of a police van, the dismantling of barricades and so on. The physical attacks on police ofﬁcers, according to media reports, seem to have produced only one real injury – a broken wrist. Obviously this is unpleasant to the ofﬁcer but it is not more substantial than a serious bar ﬁght. The violence of the police, which has been largely ignored by the corporate media, was the reverse. Armed with batons and sanctioned by the state, the police violence was direct at living bodies. It is obscene to see these things as equivalents. It is clear that some sections of the carnival did pre-emptively use force on the barriers, the police lines and the now infamous police van… Which actions were attempts to generate creative disturbances, which cemented our co-operation, and which were escalations that were counter-productive? Did sometimes the emotional euphoria of attacking the property of the state detract from subverting the social relations that made up the state? How are we going to deal with the consequences? ---- Anonymous
largest part of last Saturday’s rally lacked direction at the critical moment when we massed at police barricades on Little Collins and Russell Streets. The real possibility of mass civil disobedience was abandoned in the street with neither the socialist Left, the autonomists, or anyone else taking it up. The vacuum was ﬁlled by the fragmented actions of autonomist groups, including Arterial Bloc. Our criticism is not their use of direct, militant action. It is that their politics exclude the need to organise mass collective action… If 3000 protesters had breached the barricades we would not be concerned with minor damage to one police truck. ---International Socialist Organisation Communiqué
seems unlikely that someone uninvolved with a summit protest and perhaps with little knowledge of the issues the protestors are exploring would be suddenly radicalised through watching a few images of a few people standing around with placards on their television screens any more so than they would be in watching some people smash barricades and throw rocks – or urine ﬁlled condoms, for that matter – at police. Watching people smash stuff might at least be slightly more interesting. At best, any form of protest, whether or not property damage is a part of it, is likely to perhaps intrigue some people present to join in – which did occur in this instance – or intrigue some who were not directly involved, perhaps inspiring them to explore the critique of capitalist summits and perhaps get involved in similar events in the future. For me, one of the primary purposes of summit protest such as that surrounding the g20 is to take the struggle and critique of capitalism and the g20 itself directly to the institution itself, in an attempt to disrupt the meeting… The passive police presence during the Saturday protests presented us with a unique – and probably never to be repeated – opportunity for disruption. And adopting a tactic which involved militant actions and property damage to an extent allowed the protest to
take advantage of this. For me, the protest was extremely successful on another level – that being the emancipation and radicalisation of those involved… what has deﬁnitely come out of that weekend is the realisation of the power of autonomous action, even of a small group of people. To be able to act, freely, directly, militantly is an experience of liberation, of autonomy, is the exploration of each individual’s ability to think and act with no restrictions and no boundaries, aside from those that they set for themselves. In saying that summit protest itself is not the moment in which to attempt to extend the inclusivity of protest movements, I don’t mean to say that it is not problematic that summit protest movements are generally fairly small, and quite homogenous in terms of their composition, which clearly reﬂects a lack of engagement with people outside that same circles and class/racial/institutional backgrounds. At the same time though, I don’t mean engagement in the sense that those involved in summit protest are the only people engaged in any form of anti capitalist struggle or critique, and therefore need to “bring in” others. I feel that any social movement needs to come from a process of networking, communication, and organisation between people at a local, and then much broader level – a process through which anti-capitalist communities are created, which may one day become post-capitalist communities… In experimenting with different forms of communication, in recognizing that we communicate differently with different people in different spaces; that we need to do this if we are to engage with people with which we have less in common that others. In actively working to create networks and relationships which are non-hierarchical, open, productive, and emphasize agency and autonomy and critique, we are resisting, while planting the seeds of the revolution. --- Anonymous
upcoming events February 16 Kyoto Day: Launch of the Australian Youth Climate Change Declaration
July 9-15 16th Students of Sustainability Conference, Noongar Nation, Perth, www.studentsofsustainability.org
April 1 Palm Sunday: Nuclear Fools Day rallies everywhere! www.nuclearfoolsday.org
July 13 ASEN Annual General Meeting 2007 at Students of Sustainability Conference
April 6-9 Corroboree at Lake Cowal, NSW
August 6 Anniversary of Hiroshima. Actions for peace & a nuclear-free future.
April 27-29 Australian Labor Party National Conference, Sydney. Keep the No New Uranium Mines Policy - No U-Turn!
September 8 US President George W. Bush will be joining John Howard and 21 world leaders at a major meeting of the Asia Paciﬁc forum on Economic Cooperation (APEC). Sydney Town Hall.
May/June Talisman Sabre War Games Shoalwater Bay near Rockhampton www.peaceconvergence.com June 5 World Environment Day June Traditional Owners Speaking Tour on the proposed NT Radioactive Waste Dump through Alice Springs, Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, and Sydney.
September 28 - 2 Oct This is Not Art (TINA) Festival, Newcastle, enviro festival, + spectacular climate actions. www.thisisnotart.org November 4 International Day of Action against Climate Change. Wicked Actions across the globe! www.asen.org.au January 20 - 25 ASEN Summer Training Camp, at a location near Canberra. A six-day training course and skillshare for young people taking on collective and campaign organising in 2007. We’ll learn campaign skills, fundraising and ﬁnancial management, direct action, meeting facilitation, & more. There’ll be discussions and planning on decentralised organising, network building, & developing our own theories of social change. Cost is minimal and travel subsidies are available. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if ya wanna come! January 26 Invasion Day – Corroboree for Sovereignty, Aboriginal Tent Embassy, Canberra January 27 ASEN Summer Gathering in Canberra – all welcome. Planning for ASEN, campaigns and working groups!
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Outreach – regional and high schools - Nicky Ison 0423717567 email@example.com or e-list ASEN.outreach@lists. riseup.net Western Australia Students of Sustainability 2007 Tim Hemsley 0420 225 059 firstname.lastname@example.org Bron York – 0408862781 email@example.com ASEN space: 54 Cowle St, West Perth, WA, 6005
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