Protest and Blockade at James Price Point, Kimberley WA, day 21 update

Day 21 21 today! cause for celebration we think. Early on the blockade there was lots of action. A bulldozer caused consternation and was stopped but turned out to be not related to the clearing. Workers were stopped and the bus parked up the road.   The police visited and left again in record time. The conversation can be summarized thus: will the blockade be continuing today? Yes. Ok, see you later.   Soon after the bus and 4 vehicles turned around and headed back – another good morning, congratulations all.   Media Release: MEDIA RELEASE (from the blockade) June 28th 2011 TRADITIONAL OWNERS AND BROOME COMMUNITY BLOCKADE STOP WOODSIDE’S GAS PLANT AT JAMES PRICE POINT The Goolarabooloo Traditional Owners along with the wider Broome community have reached their 21st day of peaceful blockading Manari Road and have so far successfully prevented Woodside’s further illegal industrial activity at James Price Point. Woodside, along with BHP Billiton, Shell, BP, and the WA premier Colin Barnett have been pushing to build a massive LNG processing plant at James Price Point. Earlier this year, 60% of Traditional Owners voted in favour of the development, but those that did claimed that they did so with ‘a gun to their heads’ in reference to Colin Barnett’s threat of compulsory acquisition of their traditional lands. Some weeks ago the protestors were locked on to bulldozers, after the Goolarabooloo watched in horror at the desecration of their ancient ceremonial sites and burial grounds, and theft of sacred cultural objects located at Walmadan (James Price Point). There is no State or Federal approval for Woodside to carry out their work, and since 2010, Goolarabooloo Traditional Owners and the wider Broome community have fought to stop the clearing and drilling of sacred land at James Price Point. After establishing a protest camp at James Price Point, they then established a strategic blockade 45 km up the road to prevent any Woodside contractors from using the equipment now parked at the site. The Manari Rd blockade has around 50 people camping, Aboriginal elders, grey nomads, french backpackers, and film makers from Melbourne drink endless cups of tea around the fire (no drugs or alcohol are permitted at the camp). Mountains of donations – fresh produce, dried food, baked goods, chocolate and freshly caught fish-pours into the well stocked kitchen every day, as the Broome community show their support for the protestors. The media tent, kitted out with internet and solar power thrums with campaigning activity, and at night people gather round the campfires singing. The bulldozer (’Billy the Bilby Basher’) lies dormant by the side of the road, and is surveilled 24 hours a day by Woodside security guards, and by protestors camped alongside. Traditional Owners are pulling out all stops to prevent the illegal clearing of their land, and are calling out for more assistance. In a formal complaint lodged to DIA on 9 June 2011, the principal Aboriginal custodian of James Price Point and Elder for the Goolarabooloo Jabbir-Jabbir people- Mr Joseph Roe-provided detailed photographic and video evidence of significant damage by archaeologists and seismic testers working for Woodside. They have been recklessly damaging burial sites, middens and ancient remnant rain forests. Over the past week, three DIA Officers guided by traditional custodians spent more than nine hours meticulously taking evidence of significant damage done by Woodside contractors undertaking preliminary work for the doomed gas plant. “The damage started in early May 2011 and continues to this day”, says Mr Roe. “My most important cultural responsibility as handed down to me from my Lulu (late grandfather) is to look after these sacred sites. They’ve never had vehicles driven over them. The actions of these contractors are a painful reality, disrespectful to our culture and our ancestors.” Photos: Some great new banners have been appearing at the blockade, here are a few: Video:

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  • Jo Vallentine -

    Thank you blockaders -what a fabulous job you are doing. Congratulations for being persistent, for staying there, for continuing the nonviiolent witness to protect the land.

    I’m visitng Canberra next week, and hope to meet with tony burke -what messages would youlike me to give him?

    Best wishes, and please continue. wish I could be there, but it’s not the right time for me to be in Brome.

    loving support,

    jo Vallentine.

  • Sha Davies

    So proud of the blockade.

    It is time to protect the Sacred Sites and Sites of Significance.

    Shame on the Barnett Government for allowing illegal clearance.

    Shame on the Land Council for ignoring Culture and Law.

    Keep up the good work you Fellas. Wish I could be there but know that we are with you in Spirit.