Doubtful Creek Protest Update 8th Feb 2013
Yesterday saw the arrival of Metgasco’s CSG drill rig at Doubtful Creek.
Around 50 police including the rural riot squad were needed to push the 300 strong protest lines apart. Many were determined to use their bodies to block the way of 15 semi-trailers carrying the rig and all of its equipment onto the public lands of Eden Creek State Forest. Protesters booed and chanted ‘shame’, they yelled ‘ Metgasco does own the Northern Rivers”. The sight of Metgasco’s police assisted success was not a good moment.
The police did not have an easy time. 9 people were arrested including Nimbin’s Environment Centre President Philippe Dupuy. He was arrested for being in a tunnel that had been dug under Knights Road. Clare Twomey, a Knitting Nana from Kyogle GAG was taken down from a 4m bamboo tripod on a cherry picker. The protesters loudly supported her action and the police did not detain her.
Adrienne Stones from Rock Valley was taken to hospital with head injuries after hitting the front of a 4WD. Lock the Gate President Drew Hutton was arrested for lying down on the road to obstruct Metgasco’s advancement.
The police used their power to shut down much of Knights Rd. A road block was set up at Dyraaba, there police stopped cars told people the Doubtful Creek protest was illegal. Some of the many cars that were parked along both sides of Knights Rd were damaged by the entering rigs and by a neighboring man who decided to show his contempt for the blockaders.
Philippe Dupuy will be speaking at the Blue Knob Farmers Market tomorrow Saturday. Cnr Lillian Rock & Blue Knob Rds, Blue Knob at 10am. His subject includes the potential threat that CSG presents to the region and the ground swell of resistance.
Glenugie update. The Glenugie protester arrested on Wednesday for tying up Metgasco and the police for 9 hours with the infamous Traumatron was a local man, artist Rodney Sharpe. When he was released from his mad max cage sloganed with “protecting our future’ and “If you don’t stand up for something you will fall for anything” he looked straight into the TV cameras: the look of elation on his face spoke a thousand words.
Monday will see the Glenugie protesters go before the Grafton Magistrates Court. On mass they will be pleading ‘not guilty’. Lillian Rock woman Daniele Voinot was injured at the Glenugie blockade as a result of being thrown to the ground and roughly handcuffed. Images of her struggle have traveled around the world.
To cool the front line down gentle rain is falling at Doubtful Creek. People are regrouping and letting yesterdays experience settle. If Metgasco thinks they’ve won and the police will protect them from the big bad world then they are in for a rude awakening. Their share prices are looking at the bottom on the barrel. Queensland’s first Greens Senator, Larissa Waters has come out swinging. Senator Waters stated it was time for the NSW and federal governments to “lift their game” and “…Labor is willing to let their backbenchers curry favour with their local communities to win votes, despite having no intention of changing their party policy on fossil fuels”. Richmond MP Justine Elliot has used her new found freedom from parliamentary secretary for trade to talk of the strong community campaigns being waged against the CSG industry, citing the Doubtful Creek protest as an example of regional attitude. “All we have seen from those state MPs on the North Coast is absolute silence and total inaction. Well, they had better start listening and they had better start going to see Premier Barry O’Farrell, because the people of the North Coast have spoken very loudly and clearly. I stand with them in calling for a ban on coal seam gas mining”.
Andrea Soler and the Wadeville Mob will transform the
Doubtful Creek front line with song this Sunday 10th Feb at 2pm
Written by Marie Cameron ….firstname.lastname@example.org