International direct action against fossil fuel

Police arrested 65 protesters who briefly shut down the port at Newcastle, NSW, Australia's biggest coal export terminal, on May 8. Hundreds of kayaks and boats blocked the entrance to Newcastle harbor to stop coal ships, while another group blocked rail lines on the city's northwest. Australia has seen numerous anti-mining direct action campaigns in recent years, but this was part of a coordinated global direct action campaign against fossil fuels. Actions are taking place in at least 12 countries under the Break Free From Fossil Fuels campaign. A similar flotilla action is planned for the Kinder Morgan pipeline terminal in Vancouver, BC. In Albany, NY, people from across the Northeast gathered May 14 to block oil trains along the banks of the Hudson River, while Denver saw a protest march against fracking in Colorado. Actions are also planned for Quito to protest the opening of Ecuador's Yasuni National Park to oil drilling. (The Guardian, May 8; Burnaby Now, 24 Hours, BC, May 4; BFFF)

  1. ‘Kayak-tivists’ block port of Seattle

    A group of some 30 activists with the groups Stand.Earth and Mosquito Fleet used kayaks to surround an oil tanker in Seattle's harbor March 18. The "kayak-tivists" carried banners calling for an end to the planned Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion in British Columbia. "We refuse to let Kinder Morgan turn our Salish Sea into a fossil fuel super-highway. Their operations are already unacceptably dangerous. The last thing we need is to make matters 700 per cent worse," said Mosquito Fleet's Zara Greene. "Such a massive increase in oil tanker traffic would not only jeopardize communities in BC, but in Washington as well." (Keremos Review, Global News)

  2. First Nation protests over TransMountain pipeline

    Recent days have seen clashes with the RCMP at the Camp Cloud protest site established by members of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and their supporters near a Kinder Morgan terminal in Burnaby, BC. Litigation is meanwhile pending about whether Kinder Morgan will be able to bypass municipal laws in construction of the pipeline through Burnaby and other towns. (CTV, Vancouver Courier, Globe & Mail, March 26)

  3. Australia court refuses coal mine on climate change grounds

    An Australian court ruled against the development of an open-pit coal mine in New South Wales because of its potential as a climate change contributor. The court highlighted a number of Australian legislative measures with carbon reduction goals, as well as the global 2015 Paris Agreement, to which Australia is a party. (Jurist)