Angel of Peace arrives at Bentley blockade

Peace AngelMarie Cameron (A woman with a camera) 

The Bentley blockade has completed its second month and CSG miner Metgasco has yet to get anything through their front gate.

Two weeks behind schedule, and with increased blockade pressure, Metgasco can only rely on the force of the police to get its equipment in.

Monday saw a carnival atmosphere at the all-important Rosella gate A when the Peace Angel arrived. In the heavy dawn mist people waited to greet her.

As the sun rose over the range, there she stood, peaceful and playful on top of a bamboo tripod. Silhouetted in the ball of light she unfurled her wings and peace rolled over the blockade and farmlands.

People stood quietly to enjoy the beauty that unfolded before them. The Peace Angel rarely makes a public appearance and the word very quickly spread bringing more people to the front line.

The Peace Angel was suspended above a concrete installation known as The Hub. Set close to the Rosella site gate, this multi-purposed tub of concrete awaits Metgasco and only then will its reasons for existence be fully known.

In the meantime it’s populated by a rotating team of protectors.

Great-grandmother Ruth Haig sat watching. Having raised her family and now in retirement in Kyogle, Ruth is a regular at the blockade.

Talking about eco-justice Ruth said, ‘I’ve been involved in caring for the Earth all my life’.

‘The forces of capitalism have dumbed down the whole population,’ she said.Ruth Haig from Kyogle

‘In the 70s we understood our connection: now, the life support system has been lost.

‘It’s all about money and money has no connection whatsoever. I’ve got great grandchildren and I’m really sad things have gone the way they have,’ Ruth said.

In the presence of the Peace Angel, Lock the Gate and Gasfield Free Northern Rivers spokespeople Ian Gaillard, Adam Guise and Aidan Ricketts updated the crowd on the current state of play.

Gaillard also advised people of a dangerous situation affecting the earth wall directly across the road to Gate A, where a large section of the earth had split from the bank and was now freestanding and could fall at any point.

He had advised the police and they would arrive to inspect it and the site during the day.  When the police did arrive people went into lockdown mode; the police filmed all before them but did not get close to any of the installations.

Peace Angel takes a moment to feel the warmth of the sunGithabul elder Kevin Boota spoke to the crowd about a planed and major Aboriginal gathering of the clans to discuss the traditional ownership of land and CSG mining.

The nearby Liberation Camp has reached a high level of occupancy.

With its Primitive Camping permit in place, it does not allow for people to shower and cook.

Regardless, people keep arriving in preparation for next week. The new meeting place known as the Tarp-Mahal stands in central position.

Lock the Gate has asked for people to continue to arrive at the blockade for a 5am start.

All eyes are on next Monday 31 March when it is expected police will enforce Metgasco’s entry to the Rosella 1 site so the CSG juggernaut can begin.

8 responses to “Angel of Peace arrives at Bentley blockade”

  1. Jimmy D says:

    I don’t understand this article as Metgasco has not even attempted to get the drills onsite yet. Isn’t this like celebrating victory before the starting whistle has been blown?

  2. Earthlover says:

    You have two peace angels featured there. Well said, Ruth, and well done protectors of this beautiful land and our children’s, children’s future.

    May the powers that be (the little ones), respect the Powers that Be, and listen to Uncle Kevin and others who truly love and depend on this land, our home.

  3. Chthonian says:

    Great work protectors in ready for the onslaught. Fighting the global corporate greed in the end days of fossil fuels is proving to be a global protest fiasco! Keep up the xlnt work this is what makes me proud of our NR homeland community. XOX

  4. Dudley says:

    This is the time and place for all intelligent and caring people of the Northern Rivers to take a stand for sanity. The irreparable damage to our land, water and air just for profits of corporate shareholders, denying the peoples’ rights to health and local agriculture, cannot be tolerated. When our Governments fail to represent the well-being of the public, the people themselves must protect themselves and their country.

  5. Thomas says:

    I agree with Jimmy D’s question, are you not celebrating victory before the real blockade has really begun? The company has a schedule and I’m pretty confident their schedule has not been impacted so far by the presence of the “Liberation Camp” and the gate crew. Yes it may be impacted, sure, but the tone of this article is histrionic.

  6. Michele Lacroix says:

    The Bentley blockaders need lots more people on the site…went out there & yes its working, but more BODIES are needed. If you can go for even a few hours or short visit, it all adds to the mix, and the feeling of solidarity – and the numbers! Those dedicated stalwarts who’ve been there for weeks appreciate the back up & support of new arrivals. (We asked & were told that if we felt to, we could take food eg cooked food that could be given to those who are on constant vigil at the gates, or fruit etc.)
    See you there!

  7. Joe Taranto says:

    Well done Lock the gate Alliances and Angel of Peace. People Power is Stronger than the People in Power. Any Government that promotes Coal Seam Gas Extraction in the knowledge that the mining Companies use Cancer Causing Chemicals and Undisclosed Toxins to Extract Coal Seam Gas, and putting the lives of People at Considerable Risk of Been Forced to Drink Contaminated Water like the 300, 000 people of West Virginia, and Breathe air Contaminated By Coal Seam Gas…….Is Clearly Unfit to Represent The Australian People in Parliament. ,

  8. Culley Palmer says:

    Let’s not forget: Metgasco shares hit a record low during the blockade at Doubtful Creek near Kyogle. Metgasco told ASX & their shareholders they were not impacted by the protests, only the weather.

    Don’t underestimate the effect you’re having.

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