A flotilla of 30 traditional canoes from 12 Pacific Island nations blockaded the world’s largest coal port in Newcastle, Australia today, blocking eight of 12 scheduled sailings and allowing only two coal ships to leave the terminal.
“The coal which leaves this port has a direct impact on our culture and our islands. It is clear to us that this is the kind of action which we must take in order to survive,” Pacific Island Warriors said. “Climate change is an issue which affects everyone, and coal companies may expect further actions like this in future.”
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“We’ve spent the last 20 years arguing for international action on climate change with very little effect, and now we’re down to our last line of defence,” writes Marshall Islander Milañ Loeak in today’s Guardian. “ Some will call us eco-terrorists and claim that we are just here causing trouble, but wouldn’t you do the same if it was your country was under threat?”
The canoe from Vanuatu carried 93-year-old war veteran Bill Ryan, who returned safely to shore and was questioned by police.