By Sarah Moles / Generation Alpha
Seven environmental activists today stole a ‘Carbon Bomb’ from the offices of transport company Aurizon (link www.aurizon.com.au) in Brisbane, Australia. The action signified the launch of their shop front hunger strike, pressuring Aurizon to withdraw planned capital from the largest coal complex in the world, planned for the Galilee Basin in their state of Queensland. Burning the coal from this complex is forecast to release over 700 million tons of carbon pollution each year, more than the total emissions Australia, the UK or Canada.
The hunger strike is part of the Over Our Dead Bodies (link www.OverOurDeadBodies.net) campaign, run by 40,000-strong Generation Alpha (link www.facebook.com/GenerationAlpha). Campaign coordinator Ben Pennings told the gathering media:
We’re here because Aurizon plan to bail out debt-ridden Indian company GVK, allowing them to dig up the first 3 coal mines in the Galilee Basin. Mining the Galilee is like setting off a bomb. This amount of carbon pollution is a deadly catastrophe, an environmental crime. So we’ve taken this carbon bomb from Aurizon to symbolize our intentions to stop them.
The campaign is designed to provide unique financial pressure on Aurizon, a rail freight company that specializes in coal. Activists in Australia but also internationally are committing to actions on the campaign website (link www.OverOurDeadBodies.net) that will cost Aurizon significant time and money. These include direct action and civil disobedience aimed at delaying infrastructure, hampering day-to-day operations and even targeting the company’s CEO and board members. Mr. Pennings said:
Aurizon have been ignoring the legitimate concerns of the environment movement for too long. So activists around the country are getting ready for direct action, to make the precarious finances of this complex even more so. Governments aren’t protecting our future, so we will.
The activists included former Australian Senator Andrew Bartlett (link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Bartlett). Andrew expressed his frustration with the lack of political engagement on climate change, saying:
We will be on a public hunger strike from today, engaging community members to understand that we can’t have the biggest coal complex on the planet, we can’t ignite this carbon bomb, and still avoid catastrophic climate change. We don’t want short-term mining projects that destroy communities and the environment. We want renewable power and long-term sustainable industries integrated into our communities.
For more on the Over Our Dead Bodies campaign, see http://www.OverOurDeadBodies.net
For the Hunger Strikers blog, see http://www.OverOurDeadBodies.net/blog
Generation Alpha’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/GenerationAlpha