Activists planning to disrupt a major international mining conference to be held in Melbourne in late October have slammed the Queensland government’s crackdown on climate protests, announced yesterday. The activists are pledging to push ahead with a “defiant, disruptive” blockade of the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC), to be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from October 28.

“We condemn the Queensland Labor government’s attempt to further criminalise protests against the climate emergency we are facing” said Emma Black, a spokesperson for the Blockade IMARC Alliance. Queensland Premier Anastasia Palaczcuk yesterday announced her government would widen police powers and stiffen penalties aimed at environmental campaigners.

“Palasczcuk’s attempted crackdown follows unprecedented scenes in Queensland in recent weeks,” said Emma Black: “Hundreds of ordinary people there have taken civil disobedience action, blocking traffic in order to highlight the climate emergency, set to become massively worse because of the Queensland government’s approval of the Adani corporation’s huge new Carmichael coal mine. Palasczcuk has responded with a ‘law and order’ crackdown worthy of Joh Bjelke-Petersen.”

Marian Hart, also a spokesperson for Blockade IMARC, continued: “We send our solidarity to the protestors as they defy these new laws and continue to escalate their civil disobedience. We’ll be organising similarly disruptive protests in late October, with the aim of shutting down the gathering of climate and corporate criminals gathering for the IMARC conference.”

“IMARC gathers together companies responsible for global warming, dispossession of Indigenous peoples, environmental catastrophe, destruction of animal species and the planet, for profit,” said Marian Hart: “We’re calling on people from all walks of life to join us in blockading this conference. We refuse to be intimidated by the global crackdown on climate protest, of which Palasczcuk’s announcement is the latest example. We pledge solidarity and defiance in response to this crackdown, and pledge to continue with planning for our mass blockade. System change not climate change! ”

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Emma Black Marian Hart

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