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Environment, Government Federal

Media release: School students demonstrate outside environment ministers office Friday November 16

Rising Tide & School Strike 4 Climate 2 mins read

School students will gather at Belmore Park Sydney at 12pm Friday November 2023, and march to the environment ministers office to deliver speeches from 1pm - they will announce that school students from across the country are set to join a blockade of the world’s largest coal port in Newcastle at the end of November.

The youth-led organisation School Strike for Climate has announced it will co-host “The People’s Blockade” with climate defence group Rising Tide. The four-day event is expected to attract 3,000 people in what will likely be the largest climate civil disobedience action in Australian history.

Protestors plan to blockade the Newcastle coal port for 30 hours, from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon, including overnight. If successful, they’ll disrupt an estimated half a million tonnes of coal exports, equivalent when burnt to over a million tonnes of carbon emissions.

The People’s Blockade is taking place from the 24th-27th of November at Horseshoe Beach, Newcastle.

Anjali Beames, 17, is travelling to the blockade from Adelaide:

“We’re already feeling the impacts of the climate crisis, and young people will feel these consequences for the rest of our lives. Yet, instead of taking the urgent action required, our government is continuing to approve new coal and gas projects, turbocharging the climate crisis and threatening all of our futures.

“I was horrified to learn that the Newcastle coal port is the largest in the world. The coal exported, when burnt, is responsible for about 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions which is nearly equal to our entire domestic emissions. This is not just a Newcastle issue, this coal threatens the futures of all young people in Australia, and across the world.

“So I’m travelling to Newcastle to take part in this blockade, because young people are terrified of the world we will inherit, and we’ve had enough of the excuses from our leaders.”

Year 11 student Alex Goodsir, 17, will be amongst hundreds of local school students expected to join the blockade:

“Local students will be out in force demanding an urgent transition beyond coal for our region. Our government needs to get with the program and start seriously investing in this industrial and community transition.

“People have been calling for this since before I’ve been alive, so if our government doesn’t listen when we ask nicely, then we have no choice but to fight for our future harder than ever. Because as young people, everything is at stake.

“So on the 25th and 26th of November we’ll be out in the harbour in kayaks, boats and rafts, stopping the movement of coal ships as we call for the government to tax on coal export profits at 75% so we can fund the transition for workers and our community.”

Rising Tide organiser and former school striker Alexa Stuart, 20:

“Young people simply won't accept new coal or gas projects. So we're proud to be partnering with School Strike 4 Climate to disrupt the companies that are profiteering while the world burns.

“If our governments keep approving new fossil fuel projects instead of taxing coal profits to pay for the transition, then we have no choice but to take matters into our own hands and do it ourselves.

“Working together with school students, we will defend our future and force our government to act in our interests rather than fossil fuel CEOs.”

For media enquiries:

Alexa Stuart, 0423 361 030

For comment:

Anjali Beames, 0479 145 256

Alex Goodsir, 0479 138 249

Contact details:

Alexa Stuart - 0423 361 030


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