ADANI - NEW WAVE OF RESISTANCE
Updated: Sep 1
On Thursday 20th August, something monumental happened:
A new wave of resistance was born.
Generations of systemic injustice, Indigenous oppression and neglecting climate change has people uniting like never before.
The Wangan & Jagalingou Tribal people - one of the nations which Adani has stolen from to build their archaic coal mine issued the company with an eviction notice demanding they leave the tribe's sacred ground.
The following Monday, W&J went on to occupy their Country for 5 days, physically impeding the movement of trucks in and out of the mine site, and calling Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to meet with them out on Country. With the support of other non-indigenous folk, the tribal warriors launched their new campaign; #StandingOurGround, a last resort following decades of pleas through the legal system and exposing the neglect of State and Federal governments. Powerful imagery has travelled far and gained support from all over Australia - you can check out the progression of events here.
After days of negotiation, the Queensland Police had promised to arrange a meeting with the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships. Yesterday, they broke that promise and instead, brought in more than 50 police officers to break up the peaceful stand issuing a move-on order to those on site.
Despite that, the Wangan and Jagalingou people remain on their Country - legally untouchable on the grounds of being able to perform cultural ceremonies on land pertaining to a pastoral lease. That means: they're not going anywhere.
The red alert is now blaring loud, fuelled by the fire of our dedication to stand in solidarity as First Nation warriors claim back their land.
'We're taking back control of our land, that's what we're doing here,' says Adrian Burragubba, key spokesperson for the tribe.
'We're doing it because we've been ignored, as the original Wangan and Jagalingou people, we've been ignored through this whole process.'
A BIT OF CONTEXT
Adrian Burragubba has been an activist for Indigenous Rights since young, but for the last 10 years has been fighting for his very home. Disputing the validity of the Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) obtained by Adani has been the focal point of W&J's legal case - to which direct legislation was quickly and quietly changed to override that all members of a Native Title group had to approve of an agreement for it to be valid.
All actions filed by W&J against Adani have been dismissed, A. Burragubba has been forced to declare bankruptcy, the 30,000sq km of land have been forcibly taken and given to a multi-billion dollar coal giant, and the people that have taken care of our Earth have been declared as trespassers on their own home. This is why, right now, drastic action is needed and support is being called worldwide.
Looking at those facts alone, one very grim picture paints itself.
It's hard to get your head around ordinary people fighting against a modern power such as Adani, backed by the government. Our own, Australian government. It's even harder to filter through the grossly misleading information that they provide, fooling the masses with their elaborate media, empty words and blind arrogance.
(JUST THIS WEEK, Adani have pleaded guilty to two separate charges: providing false and misleading information to authorities and ripping off four other coal mines, and ordered to pay $106 million and $20,000 in fines respectively.)
But that's not the whole story.
Adani began boasting a monumental $16.5bn project when it purchased its mining tenements in the Galilee Basin back in 2010.
Enter: Stop Adani - a grassroots campaign that has turned into a legendary global movement. Targeting contractors, insurance companies and spreading awareness, in combination with protests led by Frontline Action On Coal and Galilee Rising, the campaign gained so much momentum that Adani was forced to downsize to a $1.3bn budget in 2018; the public being exposed to the project's vile approach and educated of it's damning repercussions led to it being unable to get the funding!
So Gautam Adani reached down to the family's deep pockets and announced that it would be self-funding, in 2018.
But the pocket's are getting shallow.
Only this year, $294m have been lost on the coal project, bringing their total losses to nearly $800m to date.
All domestic insurance companies have publicly shunned the project and refused to take it on. Currently, four insurance companies are backing the project, but three (Liberty, HDI and AXL) have said they will not provide insurance on the project after their current residual policies come to an end, in 2021.
Now the picture shifts, it's not so black and grey anymore, we can see brighter streaks shining through. This has been a result of the powerful, constant pressure that various groups have been putting on stopping Adani, with supporters from all over the world.
There is a lot more to the tip of this iceberg - If the Charmichael project went ahead, it would pave the way to potentially 6 other neighbouring mines, four of which are owned by thirsty billionaires Clive Palmer and Gina Rinehart. A lot is on the line.
Without Non-Violent Direct Action, this mine and possibly others would have been built years ago. The resistance has managed to dwarf and delay what otherwise would have been a smooth-sailing development for these 1%-ers that have tunnelled the world into a wasteful machine of consumption. And the hard thing to admit is that; it's been on our watch.
We have enabled and fed into the loop of capitalism, consciously or otherwise. We share the responsibility for the state of the world, and if you've been unaware, blasé or silent your whole life, it doesn't matter. What matters is that we act, now.
Using our bodies, our voices and the global network, we all have the ability to support the movement in the most crucial point in time in modern history.
We are calling people from all nations, everywhere, to stand in solidarity with the First Nations warriors as they claim back their land.
We have the ability to work with nature and replenish, elaborate and create life, in ways that are now not viewed as undeveloped and primitive, but as our answer to a fulfilling life, and harshly: a life at all.
To consume less, to rush less, to need less.
To talk to each other more,
to grow our own food,
to have time to lounge,
to know how to light a fire,
to plant trees,
to have space,
to walk barefooted,
to be wild,
to have a caring community,
to give back,
to be heard,
to look and truly see,
to connect to our roots,
to revert the damage we've done,
to untangle the confusion that is our mental health,
to feel what it's like to be physically, just well,
to breathe the peaceful air that oozes through our spiritual health.
To return to the Earth.
Join the movement:
*Images via Wangan and Jagalingou - Standing Our Ground*