Two large scale protests in Hunter Valley held last year will see almost 80 climate change activists in court. The Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) terminal in the Port of Newcastle was the scene of protests with people climbing onto the machinery and shutting down the coal loading facility for several hours.
Now the PWCS is suing seven people in the Newcastle Local Court claiming more than $500,000 in lost profits. Carly Philipsm, a school teacher, and a protestor said that this corporate bullying cannot continue and that she was proud of taking action at the coal port last year.
She added that she did not have the $525,000 that PWCS was after and that no one else did either. So they would be fighting this to the end to make a stand. She said that they were people speaking out from the community about the need to phase out the coal industry.
The Australian Greens MP David Shoebridge also joined the members of the Rising Tide Newcastle climate action group at a press conference to condemn the action of seeking victim’s compensation from the seven protesters.
PWCS said that it was not a question of the money but of people’s safety. Acts like blocking a railway line physically or tying themselves to conveyor belts could not be seen as a safe form of protests.