Australian right-wing government oppresses pro-climate demonstrators


This video from Australia says about itself:

Great Barrier Reef ‘gut-wrenching’: Charlie Veron angry with state & federal governments

18/04/2016 “Listen to scientists for a change”, says former AIMS Chief Scientist. Charlie Veron has described the coral bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef as gut-wrenching.

Translated from Dutch weekly De Groene Amsterdammer, 30 October 2019, by Maarten van Dun:

Australian politicians are fighting climate protesters

So, a bit like Conservative British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. And French right-wing President Macron. And like German authorities.

Sydney – Decent regulation of polluting mega-mines or about the loss of the Great Barrier Reef does not get off the ground in Australia, but at other times the Australian government is suddenly amazingly efficient. The parliament of the state of Queensland passed laws this week to bother climate protesters. The police are given more powers to search protesting citizens and the chains that activists use to chain themselves are now illegal. Even harsher laws with which protesters could be thrown into prison without a pardon in a second arrest did not make it.

Human rights organizations, activists and trade unions reacted with horror, but no longer with disbelief. In conservative Australia they know the tricks of the trade. The change to the law was preceded by a classic Australian political campaign: great indignant words from conservative politicians, a liberal handling of the facts and constant pressure from the right-wing tabloids of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. The elderly media magnate retains an iron grip on the social debate.

In Australia, too, the debate on climate change runs along predictable fault lines: politicians and tabloids outline the climate theme as a struggle between hard-working, non-nagging farmers versus long-haired, work-shy, urban criminals who prefers to live on welfare all day long.

Remarkably, it is the same fulminating farmers who are most aware of the effects of climate change. Farmers’ villages in large parts of Australia have been suffering from drought for years. Livestock shrink and harvests fail because there is not enough water to spray the fields. The fire chief of a village in the east decided to only extinguish house fires if there is a danger to human life. He prefers to save the water.

Conservative politicians prefer not to link these problems to climate change. They prefer to regard it as the well-known struggle between the tough Aussie battler and the rugged elements. Anyone who cautiously suggests that something might have to change is committing political suicide.

It leads to ridiculous scenes. During a catastrophic forest fire season, politicians talk mealy-mouthedly, while firefighters tell without hesitation that climate change is the cause. But the political reality in Australia is different: they are working on laws that are not aimed at resolving a crisis, but on fighting protesters who point to the problem.

Police have attacked climate change protestors in Melbourne, Australia, arresting 67 people on Tuesday and Wednesday and hospitalising several others, including a woman who reportedly had both her legs broken in a police horse charge: here.

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