Climate activists block railway line to stop a coal train before its cargo is shoveled away – while 50 protesters face charges
- Environmentalists swarm coal train
- The train was on its way to the largest coal port in the world
Environmental protesters stopped a train heading for Newcastle harbor before climbing it and scooping coal from his wagons, resulting in dozens of arrests.
The train was sent down a few miles from the world’s largest coal export port as it passed Sandgate, near the Pacific Highway, around 10am on Sunday.
About 20 people associated with the so-called climate protection group Rising Tide climbed into the carriages, while another 30 people provided support in the rail corridor.
The police charged 50 people who were taken out of the rail corridor with most given future court attendance notices and were released, but four were taken away by the police.
The train was halted for at least four hours as the group of protesters, numbering as many as 150 by some reports, unfurled banners reading “Humanity’s Survival Guide: No New Coal” and “Rising Tide.”
The protesters swung the train down, brought it to a stop before climbing onto the coal-laden carriages (pictured)
Up to 150 in attendance chanted and waved banners reading “Humanity’s Survival Guide: No New Coal”
Those involved in Sunday’s protest said protests were their only option as NSW significantly expanded its coal production.
Eight NSW coal projects awaiting approval this year would produce carbon emissions equivalent to 10 times the state’s annual carbon budget, advocacy group Lock The Gate said in February.
‘The Albanian government is allowing massive new fossil fuel projects to go ahead. This is an emergency, but we have yet to see the ALP take decisive action,” said law student Zack Schofield, 24.
“NSW is facing the largest coal expansion since the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015. The expansion of Hunter Valley Operations alone would produce more than a third of NSW’s domestic emissions over the next 25 years.”
Jasmine Stuart, a renewable energy engineering student, said: ‘Rallies and campaigns within the system clearly don’t work, so people like me have no choice but civil disobedience’
“As the head of the UN said, the really dangerous radicals are the countries that ramp up fossil fuel production.”
Police arrested 50 people, most of whom had been summoned to appear in court
The protesters have ties to the environmental activist group ‘Rising Tide’
Another protester said both the NSW and federal ALP governments must immediately cancel all new coal projects to combat the ‘climate emergency’
NSW Police confirmed in a statement that they charged 50 people who attended the protest.
“At around 10am, officers from the Newcastle City Police District, along with specialist police assets, visited Tourle Street, Sandgate, in connection with unauthorized protest activity,” the statement said.
“Police are talking to a group of about 50 people who entered the rail corridor, some of whom had climbed into a train car.”
“While we do not comment on specific individuals or groups, the community can be assured that we will continue to monitor activity and take action where necessary.”
A series of similar protests disrupted Newcastle Port in 2021.
The port’s main exports are thermal and metallurgical coal, which make up the bulk of the $71 billion worth of goods shipped each year.