Lizard Bites Back: a photo essay

Lizard Bites Back: a photo essay

Words and images by ANDY CALLER.

Protestors set up camp on Kokatha country for Lizard Bites Back

Roxby Downs Protestival – The Lizard Bites Back! – saw activists use non-violent direct action to raise awareness of: the expansion of pre-existing mine at Roxby Downs, the significant impacts of the exposed waste in tailings dams (contaminated water containing radioactive material that is a by-product of mining), and the continued occupation of the First Nations people of Kokatha county and surrounds.

Protestors face off with police at Lizard Bites Back

Willing to confront the mouth of the beast at the “gates of hell”, Olympic Dam uranium mine, the activists, environmentalists and concerned citizens present were not deterred by the threat of a high police presence – armed as they were with defection stickers, horses and a stone-cold resentment for being there.

There has been criticism in response to the use of the non-violent direct actions at The Lizard Bites Back. Some have called out the aspects of white privilege present, with activists not taking into account of the use of mutated white babies as props, when it was not white children that were buried by their mothers after the fallout at Maralinga. Still, the bombs dropped there were remembered and named as a long list of global radioactive spills, disasters, plants & bomb tests was recited for the crowd, after which bodies collapsed in a die-in to commemorate the fallen.

Die-in at Olympic Dam mine gates for Lizard Bites Back

The high police presence was intrusive and blunt through the use of drones and stationary cameras on the camp and at the gate. Continuous patrols operated along the border of the camp, which doubled as the parameter of the exclusion zone in which police had enhanced powers of authority by application of anti-protest laws. In this zone, unprovoked searches are the norm, and a refusal to present identification would result in arrest.

March to the gates of hell at Lizard Bites Back
Although the police were relatively placid in their dealing with protesters, the use of a sacred fire as a road blockade on the third day caused an aggressive and frustrated response to the delivery of more firewood, as well as stretching the patience of the police and stretching the composition of the hardline regiment. Allegedly, questions of the validity of the force’s presence in such numbers caused infighting through the ranks of officers.

Police scuffle with protestors at Lizard Bites Back

 

Proposal to dump on SA

There was also an aim to raise awareness of the placement of 3 high-level radioactive waste dumps in South Australia, one of which is set to be positioned on the first thoroughly recorded Songline northwest of so-called Hawker. This is recognised as a significant cultural route of the Adnyamathanha People, and the site has been nominated without their consent.

The other two proposed locations are bordering Pinkawillinie conservation park, posing a threat to the area’s unique biodiversity and likely impacting the economic contribution of the Flinders Ranges as a financial asset to South Australia’s tourism industry. (Between 2013-14, The Flinders Rangers contributed an estimated $281 million to the tourism industry in South Australia’s regional income).

A group gathers to learn about the proposal for multiple nuclear waste dumps at Lizard Bites Back.
The news that South Australia may become a nuclear waste dump for the world comes despite a lack of consultation with First Nations elders and communities. It represents a spit in the face to the significance of land and connection to country that traditional owners maintain, and further depicts the continued reach of colonial dominance through economic forces.

A workshop on the second day saw activists forming affinity groups around the country to raise awareness of the dump proposals, networking to establish a national resistance (pictured above).

Together, we say: wanti, uranium, keep it in the ground.

 

Save the Kimberley campaign benefit gig Adelaide

In aide of the ‘Save The Kimberley’ campaign, SASEN is putting on a benefit gig here in Adelaide to raise much needed funds and awareness for the cause. Supported by ASEN, The Wilderness Society and the Save The Kimberley campaign, its sure to be an awesome night!

The amazing local community members from around Broome in W.A. have banded together to put a stop to their beautiful home being exploited by Industrialisation. One of the imposing threats is from the mining giants – Woodside, Shell, Chevron, BP and BHP as well as the Premier of WA, Colin Barnett are pushing for a 2500ha gas processing plant development at James Price Point, just north of Broome. For more info, visit www.savethekimberley.com

Since early June, the local community have been blockading the proposed gas plant site, and have weathered police violence, industrial bullies with bulldozers as well as bush fires this week. They need support from the rest of the country – this is where we come in!

September 10th
The Jade Monkey
$10 entry
9pm

featuring local bands…
Minority Tradition
Priority Orange
Red Light Sound

There will also be a petition banner to write a message & sign on the night.
All funds and the banner will be taken up to Broome and presented to the members of the ‘Save The Kimberley’ campaign.

There is also an opportunity for someone to join a few of us travelling up to Broome in mid September to present our banner and funds raised to the local community.

If you’re interested in coming with us, email me for details 🙂  cristelchambers@hotmail.com

Adelaide Activist Skillshare 2011

Adelaide Activist Skillshare 2011 – ‘Artivism’: get your creative juices flowing for change

This years activist skillshare will be held at Longwood Camp which is set in the beautiful Adelaide Hills, only 30 minutes from the Adelaide CBD.

The event will run from 5pm, 2nd September (Friday) until 4pm, 4th September (Sunday).

The skillshare will offer interactive workshops and seminars including campaign strategy, Non-Violence Direct Action, creative activism, media engagement, power analysis, knowing your legal and activist rights, sustainable activism, practical artivism, team building activities, exclusive film screenings of incredible documentaries, guided night bush walks, a camp fire to keep you warm at night and of course an incredible mix of amazing people to learn and grow with (see program for more information).

The skillshare is open to anyone and everyone, so if you’re interested or just curious, head to www.adelaideskillshare.weebly.com for more information.

The event is being organised by:

Also being supported by:

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SASEN Skill Share Nov 26-28

Hey there sunshine,

How would you like to spend a weekend away sharing skills with other like minded peeps?!Adelaide Skill Share is being held on the 26th to 28th of November (yes after exams :P ) and is about having a variety of social justice issues aimed workshops for anyone who is interested in sharing or learning new skills.

The camp is being held at Willow Creek Farm Camp, near Second Valley, towards Victor Harbor way and has both bunk and tent options.

Accommodation, food and the workshops over the weekend are included in $40 for unwaged individuals or $55 for waged individuals.

We are still in the process of organising so to stay updated join the event on facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/event.php?eid=133942226655413

To register, please follow this link: https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?hl=en&formkey=dDNkNVROQ1lFV2t2czJzcTJ2MmpMQmc6MQ#gid=0

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to email environment.officer@flinders.edu.au.

Depending on numbers we may organise some group transport i.e. a mini bus or the like. Or at least help work out car pooling.

Love to see some great knowledge sharing that weekend!
Laters

Students of Sustainability 2010

Students of Sustainability 2010

Students of Sustainability is a 5 day camping conference for anyone interested in creating a more ecologically and socially sustainable world.

Join us for…

  • Workshops
  • Creative Projects
  • Live Entertainment
  • Field Trips
  • Networking

and much more!

For details and registrations visit www.studentsofsustainability.org or contact Peta (registration) at info@studentsofsustainability.org