Newcastle: 2024

BREAKING: Laura, who was sentenced today to 3 months in jail, has been released from custody on appeals bail, with conditions that they leave the Newcastle region within 48 hours to return on the third of September to fight their sentencing in court.

Dom and Clancey were both in court today following yesterdays actions have also been released.

In response to Laura’s sentence a coalition of human rights and legal organisations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Law Centre released a statement expressing concern about the chilling effect that this sentence could have on communities right to protest.

State repression does have an alarming effect on activists, but for many of us it only hardens our resolve and determination. Unchallenged Australia will continue it’s rampant destruction of land and unjust incarceration of people. Through co-ordinated action there is real possibly of changing this course, every act taken to challenge this system is an act of hope for a better world.

21 year old Laura has been sentenced to 3 months jail after shutting down the loading facility at the Coal Port on Sunday. After more than 30 arrests as part of a 14+ day sustained Blockade Australia mobilisation, Laura is the first to be sentenced to jail.

Having no success in stopping action, the courts have turned to excessive sentencing as a deterrent.

This is what the system does to its resistors. The best way to push back is to take active solidarity and grow this resistance.

How to support Laura and the #BlockadeAustralia mobilisation:

🔥 Please share the news about Laura’s prison sentence

🔥 If you can, contribute to our fundraiser

🔥 Write a public statement of support

🔥 Sign up to our action network to join the resistance

🔥 Come to our next Info Talk – July 13

🔥 Keep resisting repression & act for survival!

All links can be shared via our Linktree.

BREAKING: 21 year old Laura has been sentenced to 3 months jail in Newcastle local court today after shutting down the loading facility at the Coal Port on Sunday.

After more than 30 arrests as part of a sustained Blockade Australia mobilisation, Laura is the first to be sentenced to jail. Despite the formation of a Police strike force actions have continued unabated and disruption has reached over 100 hours. Having no success in stopping action, the courts have turned to excessive sentencing as a deterrent.

This is the way that Australia protects it’s interests, by imprisoning dissent. It is another example of how the profit of extractive industries is prioritised over the liberty and safety of the people and planet.

The past few years we have seen these types of harsh penalties become more common as people all over the continent are getting serious about challenging the core of the Australian system.

Laura like many young people took part in the Blockade Australia mobilisation to confront the system that is putting her future in jeopardy

Laura – “In the past I would just fall into a pit of despair and grief, just wishing that someone would do something. We’re facing imminent climate collapse and you’re filled with dread and hopelessness and you think to yourself “Why isn’t anyone doing anything!?”

From it’s inception Australia has used threatened and actual violence to enable exploitation. First Nation Peoples for the past 250 years have been on the frontline of this violence and continue to fight back against it. The same system that dispossessed first people of their land is the one that is now playing a huge role in the accelerating climate and ecological crisis.

In the face of repression action becomes more important than ever. There are risks inherent in challenging this system but to risk standing idle is to risk everything.

Day 13. The record breaking continues; 29 arrests, 27 actions, and over 90 hours of economic disruption to this life destroying system.

Late last night and early this morning, Clancy (29), Laura (21), and Dom (22) all did the single most effective thing an individual can do right now in the climate and ecological crisis, and put their bodies on the line.

Clancey: “We do this because disruption is an extremely effective tool at forcing the change that the Australian system absolutely will not allow to happen.”

Laura: “I’m a piece in that puzzle and we are all a piece of that puzzle, We can’t just sit in our beds doomscrolling feeling shit waiting for it to happen. We can either sit back and watch the world around us crumble or we can stand up now and put our minds and bodies to work however we can and catch the pieces as they fall. The system and the world as we know it is going to break, there’s no two ways of looking at it, it’s going to fall.”

Dom: “I’m currently on stolen lands, stolen since colonisation began on this continent over 250 years ago. This is the lands of the awabakal worimi people, I’m very grateful to be here. This island, where this coal port is. It’s an incredibly beautiful and biodiverse wetland. It’s just incredible and a disgrace. It’s so emblematic of what colonial extractivist states do, the contrast is quite unbelievable. I want to acknowledge the staunch resistance that has been led by first nations people all across this continent since colonisation began.” 

River is attached to that dirty coal line singing, rapping and playing harmonica for liberation and to “smash all hierarchies.”

“A system that puts the needs of the economy that was built on stolen land, built on anti-community and built to silence all forms of resistance… we lock on to stop the system, we lock on to stop the economic destruction of the land we stole.”

“This war machine will not be broken by itself… It can only be taken down by all of us. Who know what it is and know that it needs to be stopped.”

“Always was, always will be Aboriginal land. Free Palestine. Free West Papua. Free Congo. Free Sudan and free all colonised nations that sovereignty that land was never seeded to them.”

The Australian project exploits land, animals and people here and across the globe through resource extraction, exploitation, and arms dealing. This all fuels further violence and suffering from the climate collapse it creates.

#blockadeaustralia #climateCrisis

Cathy (70) sat on a coal train late into the night, reflecting on their life lessons, reading limericks, and blockading the systems of extraction and destruction.

“I have been aware of the climate crisis since the early 80’s, late 70’s when people started realizing that the amount of carbon that is warming the globe.”

“People say that the system is broken, but the system is really working at it was always intended.”

“If we open new coal mines, its suicidal, we can not afford to do that.”

Cathy holding a flare on a coal train

This afternoon Anna (69) climbed upon a coal train and blocked the coal trains going to the Newcastle coal port, the largest of it’s kind in the world. This made her’s the second action of the 11th day of Blockade Australia’s sustained mobilization. She shared the beautiful view of the clouds in the skyline and lamented the coal train cutting through it. As she blocked this very train from reaching the port on it’s journey to fuel our climate collapse, she shared:

“This is horrific that so much coal is being taken out of this beautiful country and it’s causing a catastrophe. I cannot just sit by and watch. I write to and have visited politicians, I’ve tried everything. If you look at the good science and believe the science, it’s not looking good. This is my home and it’s your home too.”

“Since this country has been colonized it’s been robbed and pillaged and raped. There’s no end to our greed, and it’s all just for money.”

“The system is based on greed and exploitation and unkindness. I fear for our future generations, my grandchildren and all those young people working their butts off, so kind and clever and sweet. What future have they got when good people are doing nothing.”

“Imagine if a thousand people did this, just kept it up every day, imagine if everyone volunteered to do this every day, and said it’s killing us and it’s killing our children.”

Be a part of the resistance.

Anna (69) on a coal train