It smells very, very Howardishy.
This is typical of Martin Ferguson and the Rudd Government whose tactics are smelling more and like Tampa-style fear mongering each day. The timing of the so-called 'ELF letter' is a little too convenient to be true and has played perfectly into the hands of business and government interests who would undoubtedly benefit from support of harsh penalties which would see peaceful protesters come down-upon like a tonne of bricks.
This 'I'll scratch-your-back' protection of business interests flies in the face for the public’s call for action on climate change and Rudd's promises of transparency in government. The legislation threatens to impinge upon the rights of people to legitimately express their frustration with the government’s incessant subservience to coal companies.
And could it be that direct action in Australia is actually working? Rather than getting on with the job and providing real climate change solutions, government seems more interested in doing the job of private security firms and locking-up activists on behalf of their buddies. This only proves that the government have no real solution for getting us off coal, and will continue to line their pockets with dirty corporate dollars. All the more reason to continue practicing Non-Violent-Direct -Action.
As we saw from last year's blackouts that left most Victorians in the dark (will the new energy disruption laws apply to government as well?!), power companies are struggling to supply baseload energy as it is - talk of climate change solutions in Australi is pure rhetoric the emissions keep rising. .
Non-violent direct action is a legitimate way that everyday Australians can demand action. Far from Elves or radical student groups a growing number of 'activists' are, concerned Mums, Dads, Granparents, former coal miners and unionists tired of being ignored and let down. Normal people don’t have the privilege or power to play political games and make convenient laws - we certainly don't have political or economic agendas, we're fed-up and no-one seems to be listening.
The Government is attempting to paint those brave enough to speak out for climate justice, green jobs and a just transition to a low carbon economy in a non-violent way as ‘eco-terrorists’ as a way to rush in laws that protect their mates. Effectively the government are sacrificing our democratic rights for a regime run by polluting business, for polluting business.
We won’t tolerate or be intimidated by the Government, who rather than ‘cracking-down’ on greenhouse gas emissions, is giving polluters $12billion worth of permits to further infect the air we breathe. It is ludicrous that the law be manipulated into taking a hard line on communities whose right and responsibility it is to protest against recklessness and greed.
Grass roots climate groups like Friends of the Earth Sydney will continue to help communities organise and have their voices heard. Dozens of groups around Australia are, and will continue to peacefully protest using their bodies at power stations, aluminium smelters, coal mines to send a clear message – we are fed-up with a government that represents the dollars of the few and ignores the rights of many. This is why we will be playing a major role in the organising The Camp for Climate Action in Helensburgh.
The Camp for Climate Action will culminate in a peaceful direct action on Sunday October 11th. In the spirit of the great global history of civil disobedience (Gandhi’s salt march, the American civil rights movement, the protection of Tasmania’s Franklin River), the Climate Camp is a chance, at this crucial moment in history, for ordinary people to stand up for a safe climate and keep fossil fuels in the ground.