Thousands flood Lismore for gasfield-free declaration

Video Sharon Shostak

Tasara Dewhurst of Byron Bay and Genevieve Mortison of Grafton at the rally in Lismore. (Pictures Darren Coyne)

Tasara Dewhurst of Byron Bay and Genevieve Mortison of Grafton at the rally in Lismore. (Pictures Darren Coyne)

Photos Darren Coyne

Organisers of the Gasfield Free event in Lismore on Saturday have described the day as a huge success. Police estimated the numbers at 5,000 while organisers put it as high as 8,000.

The day included a welcome to country, a street march in the middle of town and several speeches.

‘Cancel licences’

Gasfield Free coordinator and rally organiser Elly Bird said, ‘The determination and commitment of the community of the northern rivers to remain gasfield free is undeniable.

‘This community is saying loud and clear that they want full cancellation of the licences across the region, and nothing less will serve.

‘Today’s event makes it very clear that opposition to invasive gasfields in the region is not going away.

‘The NSW government needs to take decisive action and join Labor and the Greens in making a commitment to permanently protect our region.’

Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell said, ‘We sent a strong message to governments and candidates before the March election. Our communities do not want unconventional mining here – not now, not ever. So mining companies may as well pack up and leave.’

The rally also saw the launch of four large signs that will be erected at each of the main arterial road gateways to the region, welcoming all travellers to ‘Gasfield Free Northern Rivers – protected by community.’

‘There are now 142 self-declared Gasfield Free communities in this region,’ said Aidan Ricketts, spokesperson for Gasfield Free Northern Rivers, an alliance of community groups.

‘The survey question was: “Do you want your neighbourhood Gasfield Free?” To this simple question an overwhelming 95.3 per cent said yes.

‘With over 31,000 respondents, these community surveys show the strength of our resistance.”

‘We have mass-movement dynamics here. The region won’t cop it.

Martial law?

‘We’ve shown we can mount massive, effective nonviolent actions. Do they really want to attempt mining by martial law?’ Mr Ricketts asked.

NSW premier Mike Baird and Lismore’s National Party MP Thomas George were invited to the rally but did not attend.

When asked directly by Echonedaily on Friday whether he would cancel gas licences in the region, Mr Baird refused to give a straight answer, instead blaming Labor for ‘the mess’ they left behind.

Following are a selection of photos from the day.

See more photos from The Tree Faerie.

CSG rally 1 CSG rally 2 CSG rally 3 CSG rally 4 CSG rally 5 CSG rally 6 CSG rally 7 CSG rally 8 CSG rally 9 CSG rally 10 CSG rally 11 CSG rally 12 CSG rally 13 CSG rally 14 CSG rally 15 CSG rally 16 CSG rally 17 CSG rally 18 CSG rally 19 CSG rally 20 CSG rally 21 CSG rally 22 CSG rally 23 CSG rally 24 CSG rally 25 CSG rally 26 CSG rally 27 CSG rally 28 CSG rally 29 CSG rally 30 CSG rally 31 CSG rally 32 CSG rally 33 CSG rally 34 CSG rally 35 CSG rally 36 CSG rally 37 CSG rally 38 CSG rally 39 CSG rally 40 CSG rally 41 CSG rally 42 CSG rally 43 CSG rally 44 CSG rally 45 CSG rally 46 CSG rally 47 CSG rally 48 CSG rally 49 CSG rally 50 CSG rally 51 CSG rally 52 CSG rally 53 CSG rally 54 CSG rally 55 CSG rally 56 CSG rally 57 CSG rally 58 CSG rally 59 CSG rally 60 CSG rally 61 CSG rally 62 CSG rally 63 CSG rally 64 CSG rally 65 CSG rally 66 CSG rally 67 CSG rally 68 CSG rally 69 CSG rally 70 CSG rally 71 CSG rally 72 CSG rally 73 CSG rally 74 CSG rally 75 CSG rally 76 CSG rally 77 CSG rally 78 CSG rally 79 CSG rally 80 CSG rally 81 CSG rally 82 CSG rally 83 CSG rally 84 CSG rally 85 CSG rally 86 CSG rally 87 CSG rally 88 CSG rally 89 CSG rally 90 CSG rally 91 CSG rally 92 CSG rally 93 CSG rally 94 CSG rally 95 CSG rally 96 CSG rally 97 CSG rally 98 CSG rally 99 CSG rally 100 CSG rally 101 CSG rally 102 CSG rally 103 CSG rally 104 CSG rally 105 CSG rally 106 CSG rally 107 CSG rally 108 CSG rally 109 CSG rally 110 CSG rally 111 CSG rally 112 CSG rally 113 CSG rally 114 CSG rally 115 CSG rally 116 CSG rally 117 CSG rally 118 CSG rally 119 CSG rally 120 CSG rally 121 CSG rally 122 CSG rally 123 CSG rally 124 CSG rally 125 CSG rally 126 CSG rally 127CSG rally CSG rally 128 CSG rally 129 CSG rally 130
CSG rally 132 CSG rally 133 CSG rally 134 CSG rally 135 CSG rally 136 CSG rally 137 CSG rally 138 CSG rally 139 CSG rally 140 CSG rally 141 CSG rally 142 CSG rally 143 CSG rally 144 CSG rally 145

7 responses to “Thousands flood Lismore for gasfield-free declaration”

  1. Chris Aitchison says:

    A wonderful day. I am so proud to be part of a region with People who Love their Land and Community.

    I came in part-way to the magnificent speech delivered after the march by one of our Indigenous Brothers. It was a powerful call-to-arms, and I was sorry to missed the beginning. Who was the speaker, and does anyone have audio or video footage of the complete speech? Thank you!

  2. Peter Gould says:

    Great photos. great coverage!

  3. Amanda Shoebridge says:

    Hi Chris Aitchison! I think you might be referring to Yillah – have a look at this this speech he gave at Bentley, it was put together by Susie Forster to a beautiful Andrea Soler song, and it is the most moving, heart felt, truthful telling.

    • Chris Aitchison says:

      Thanks so much, Amanda. Yes, I recognise that Brother from Bentley, and I’m almost certain it was his voice that I heard at LIsmore the other day. It was a very powerful address, in which he charged all the Mobs to come to the aid of their land: “you still have a duty to your Mother”. I would just about have followed him to war!


  4. bob says:

    Argh the self righteous..they march as one…i demand to know how many of these people eat gluten free organic food…All?? Thank god for that…Unlike many millions of poor and starving round the world these middle class poorly educated (by the internet of course coz clearly the public system failed them) have got to where they are now thanks to cheap affordable power..but you wish to deny them that right..? unbelievable…

  5. Chris Aitchison says:

    You got us, Bob. You’ve seen right through us. We are a disingenuous bunch, protesting against CSG with the ostensible aim of preserving our land, water, and communities for future generations, all-the-while conspiring secretly to keep the starving masses oppressed.

    I expect that you will be doing what you can to offset our selfishness by giving your time and resources to the service of said masses. For this the people thank you.

  6. margrette young says:

    re Bob’s comment – cheap affordable power important. yes. how about cheap affordable power courtesy of the sun. it makes sesne. even governments in European countries like Germany with far less sun provide attractive subsidisies for solar power to the extent that even houses in small villages in Germany all have solar power panels. 3rd world countries are investing heavily in alternative energy sources. Australia is going backwards.

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