Mass protest to block Newcastle coal train line – climate debate to escalate

\MassOrganisers of Australia's first "Camp for Climate Action" say they plan to block a coal train line as part of a climate protest to be held in Newcastle in July. Up to a thousand people from across Australia are expected to converge on Newcastle to take action at the world's largest coal exporting port.

Media Release

 Friday, 23th May 2008

Mass protest to block Newcastle coal train line  – climate debate to escalate
 
Organisers of Australia's first "Camp for Climate Action" say they plan to block a coal train line as part of a climate protest to be held in Newcastle in July.
 
Up to a thousand people from across Australia are expected to converge on Newcastle to take action at the world's largest coal exporting port.

 
"The week-long camp will culminate in a large community protest in which people will be encouraged to peacefully block coal trains – stopping climate change in its tracks" said Holly Creenaune, spokesperson for Climate Camp.
 
"This camp aims to up the ante - taking peaceful direct action against the reckless expansion of the coal industry. We are facing a climate crisis. We can't just sit back and watch while State and Federal Governments continue to support the expansion of the coal industry, at the expense of our future." 
 
The Camp for Climate Action is being organised by community activists, supported by a coalition of organisations, and timed to coincide with similar direct action camps across the world, including North America and Europe.
 
Organisers of the camp are calling on the Australian Government to halt all coal expansion projects, implement a moratorium on new coal mines and kick-start an urgent transition to a green economy. 
 
Camp spokesperson George Woods says "the coal industry is now a danger to all of us and to future generations: that's why we're going to take action together in July, and why we will continue to take action until Australia kicks the coal habit.
 
"History has shown ordinary people can create change through direct action. Our community protest draws inspiration from Ghandi, the US civil rights movement and suffragettes who won women the right to vote.
 
"We are running out of time. If Governments fail to act, it is up to people to show real leadership by taking direct action for our climate future."
 
For further information and comment: 
 
Holly Creenaune 0417 682 541
George Woods 0438 223 771   
 
Note: Half of the CO2 from fossil fuels in the atmosphere has come from burning coal. Burning coal for electricity remains one of the principal causes of climate change globally. Coal exports from Australia will create as much greenhouse pollution as the total of Australia's domestic emissions.