In an action called Lizard’s Revenge, activists from all over Australia are set to converge on South Australia’s Roxby Downs to highlight the dangers of uranium and the mine’s expansion. It follows hot on the heels of last weekend’s anti-nuclear demonstration in Japan.
A contingent will be heading off from Mullumbimby next Tuesday or Wednesday and a fundraiser is slated for this Friday night.
BHP Billiton (BHPB) has told Echonetdaily it will be business as usual at the uranium mine when the planned protest rolls into the small town in mid-July.
The New York Times reported protesters numbered between 20,000 and 45,000 in Tokyo, opposing restarting the nation’s nuclear power plants. The Japanese government approved restarting two reactors on the western side of the country in a bid to head off expected summer power shortages. It has been described as the largest protest in central Tokyo since the 1960s.
A Fairfax journalist at the Roxby Downs Sun newspaper told Echonetdaily that BHP and the police are playing down the protest, but says they have heard residents say they are a bit worried about vandalism, as it has happened in the past.
‘BHP said to me that business will continue as usual, but I have heard otherwise,’ she said. ‘It’s a bit frustrating because it’s hearsay and you can’t report hearsay.’
She said all BHP employees are required to sign confidentiality agreements. ‘You can’t even say to anyone outside the company that your co-worker cut his finger.’
Co-organiser for the upcoming Mullum anti-nuclear fundraising event, Anthea Amore, says the local contingent are planning a letterbox drop in Roxby Downs of the anti-uranium documentary DVD When The Dust Settles by filmmaker David Bradbury.
‘We are also raising funds to get Dr Helen Caldicott, international anti-nuclear activist and paediatrician, to travel to Roxby Downs to speak to mothers there about the dangers of nuclear radiation,’ Amore says. ‘She says there is no safe exposure levels to uranium, despite whatever is said otherwise.’
The festival/protest was called at the request of longtime anti-nuke warrior and Indigenous elder Kevin Buzzacott, or ‘Uncle’ Kevin’.
The name Lizard’s Revenge comes from an Aboriginal dreamtime story from that area, filmmaker David Bradbury told Echonetdaily.
‘Kevin Buzzacott says his people’s dreaming story speaks of a giant lizard, Kalta, who lies under the ground at the area around Roxby Downs and the story goes that this lizard should never have its head or back broken or the world as we know it will cease to exist. Kalta is angry because the Olympic Dam uranium mine is digging into his back; he wants revenge.’
The anti-nuclear fundraising event, ‘Uranium Boom; Nuclear Doom’, is planned at Mullumbimby RSL on Friday 6 July. A Skype hook-up with anti-nuclear activists in Japan is planned, along with the screening of When The Dust Settles. Mandy Nolan will MC the evening with plenty of entertainers: world music duo Nakula, belly dancer Tara Murphy, poet Gina Lakosta, and DJ Sheik Yerbooty. The headliners are reggae bands Fyah Walk, Raz Bin Sam and the Lion I plus country gospel band The Lucky Wonders.
A 13-seat minivan is leaving 10 or 11 July and there’s room: Call Iris on 0417 937 720. For more info on Lizard’s Revenge see: http://lizardsrevenge.net.