Week 5 – Wed 6th to 13th June 2011
What a week. The events of Tuesday the 5th of July will not be forgotten. The way in which over 80 police took a long and disturbing day to literally push the protest blockade out of the way has left a strong impression on all involved. The blockade had stood for 30 days, peaceful and resolute.
While this year’s participants were walking the Lurujarri heritage trail — famous as an annual reconciliation event — the police were arresting Aboriginal Traditional Custodians for sitting and standing on the road to protect their Country. All this occurred during Naidoc week,a national week of celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
A day after the awful scenes of police dragging, among others, old men and women into paddy wagons, a peaceful vigil of more than 300 people occurred outside Broome’s Woodside office. This was attended by many old-Broome families who have lived here for decades and longer. Seen in the crowd was 76 year old ‘Australian hero’ and well known local ecologist Dave Durough, who only yesterday had fallen in front of a front end loader and was then then dragged from the road by police to then watch another hero, his son ‘Froggy’, violently arrested after protecting his father. View the whole event captured in a clear photo series on facebook here.
All at the candlelight vigil joined in the community spirit of Broome and showed their support for each other and their ongoing and renewed determination to save the Kimberley and protect James Price Point.
The blockade camp and the protest camp have remained in place all week. The police presence has been massive and the Joint Venture (Woodside, Shell, Chevron, BP, BHP) contractors have rapidly begun clearing for preliminary investigations at James Price Point. These are just pre-emptive initial works, delayed for 30 days and still being opposed on ground by committed Traditional Owners and the broader community.
Meanwhile a delegation of Traditional Custodians were in Canberra meeting with politicians and raising awareness of the issues. They met with Minister Burke and others to convey the messages of the Broome families, showing the moving and heartfelt ‘Broome families say no’ movie (see movies page).
After having weeks to investigate official complaints and after clearing has commenced the Department of Indigenous Affairs has put a stop work order in place for the weekend to further investigate complaints from Joe Roe regarding damage to heritage sites. We hope they are also investigating the other alleged breaches of permit conditions and the lack of a ‘section 18′ permit under the act.
The Save The Kimberley facebook page has been keeping people up to date and there have been thousands of massages of support from all over the world and many interesting and creative discussions, musical and artistic contributions and more. So many people are taking action to help the cause – it is so inspiring to those at the coal face. Donations have been greatly appreciated and will help support those arrested and those on the ‘front line’ at the protest camp and blockade.
The Broome cam event (Facebook event) was a successful family event held Sunday morning between 9 and 10:00am (see photos below). Locals spelled out “No Gas at JPP” in front of the well-known ‘Broome-cam” at Cable Beach, so supporters far and wide could see their effort in real time online.
Protest video – police use of force, interviews – very important video.
Broome families say NO
Colin Barnett asked to resign on radio talkback
Solidarity protest in Perth