Tag Archives: West Australia

“Playing hard on high seas”

16 Jan

This weekend, journalist Rosslyn Beeby with the Canberra Times in Australia drew connections between Sea Shepherd and Earth First! in a follow-up story about the three activists detained on a Japanese wailing ship last week. Below are some highlights from the article, touching on the history of Earth First! and Ed Abbey:

Yup, that's an EF! tat alright...

“Earth First!” That’s the sign-off used by West Australian activist Simon Peterffy in a farewell Facebook post before embarking on a hazardous night journey – in one of the Sea Shepherd’s ocean pursuit inflatables – to board the Japanese whaling vessel, Shonan Maru No 2. The move was planned, in strict secrecy, as a protest against Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean.

”I love my life and love you all! Thanks everyone for their commitment to defend the Redtails and the earth. Earth First!” the founder of the WA anti-logging group Forest Rescue wrote. The forest red-tailed black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii naso) has become a rallying symbol for the fight to save the state’s south-west forests. Protected under WA law as a bird that is ”rare or likely to become extinct”, the cockatoos live in marri, karri and jarrah forests which are rapidly disappearing. The federal recovery plan for the species lists habitat loss for ”agriculture, timber harvesting, woodchipping and mining” as the principal cause of their decline.

Peterffy, who boarded the Japanese ship with fellow Forest Rescue activists Glen Pendlebury and Geoffrey Tuxworth, has red-tail feathers tattooed on his arms, as well as the Earth First! symbol—a stone axe and monkey wrench. And on the Forest Rescue website, the WA forest conservation group Peterffy founded some years ago, the symbol is accompanied by the Earth First! motto—”No compromise in defence of Mother Earth.”

So who, or what, is Earth First? Anyone familiar with American author Edward Abbey’s eco-activism classic The Monkey Wrench Gang knows the answer. They may even wistfully be eyeing paint aerosols in the local hardware store, wondering whether to daub ”Hayduke lives” across a billboard. Continue reading

More action and anger against Shell—from Ireland to Australia

24 Aug

Photo from Shell Dubin HQ being blockaded in solidarity with Rossport, 2006

Rossport Solidarity Camp activists pull off another lock-on protest (or lockdown, as some say) on the roadside in north Mayo, near the site of Shell works for the controversial Corrib gas project, meant that operations were impeded until lunchtime Monday. The two protestors were arrested and charged at Belmullet Garda Station with Public Order Offences.

A spokesman for the Rossport Solidarity Camp confirmed that the two protestors were locked by their arms into a concrete barrel, on the north coast road, from shortly before 7am yesterday morning. This blockade is part of an intensive series of on-road actions, taken by the camp and Shell to Sea, since Shell started works at the Aughoose site for the 4.9km sub-sea tunnel during late July.

A camp spokesman confirmed to The Mayo News that a Garda Síochána cutting team arrived around 9am yesterday morning and was supported by over 20 other gardaí. The protestors were cut from the barrel by 1pm.

He said, the action was also taken to highlight Shell’s recent oil spill at the Gannet Alpha platform, in the North Sea.

Meanwhile in northwest Australia…

Shell is one of the joint venture partners for the proposed LNG at James Price Point, where, according to the Hands Off Country website, conservation groups are far from pleased with draft sanctuaries for northern Australian waters which fail to protect endangered species from controversial fossil fuel extraction plans.

Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke released the details today, saying the ocean’s fragile marine life deserve protection. A proposed network of reserves covers global refuges for turtles, dugongs and sawfish as well as the world’s largest breeding and feeding ground for whale sharks.

It also aims to protect the breeding ground where each year more than 10,000 humpback whales migrate to mate and give birth in the waters off the Kimberley. The proposed networks of marine reserves are in commonwealth waters which start 5.5km off the coast.

However, the Save Our Tropical Sealife alliance says some of the most vulnerable marine life in Australia, including dugongs and the snubfin dolphin, would still be under threat from fishing nets, oil and gas drilling and mining operations.    Source

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