A group called the Pacific Climate Warriors took to Newcastle harbour in canoes on Friday to stage a blockade of coal ships leaving the port.
Police were out in force to shepherd the Warriors, and local protesters who joined them, away from the ships but according to the group ‘only four of the twelve ships, including two coal ships, scheduled to pass through the port, have broken the blockade’.
The protesters from 12 Pacific Island nations said in a statement, ‘The coal which leaves this port has a direct impact on our culture and our islands.
‘It is clear to us that this is the kind of action which we must take in order to survive.
‘Climate change is an issue which affects everyone and coal companies may expect further actions like this in future.’
One of the warriors, 26-year-old Milañ Loeak, said, ‘Climate change is not an issue that the Marshall Islands or Tokelau or any other island in the Pacific should be doing alone because this is a global problem.
‘None of us who have felt the impacts of climate change should continue to suffer through them just to fulfil others’ interests. It’s wrong and it simply doesn’t work that way.’
Find out more at world.350.org/pacificwarriors.