May 20, 2014
The Bentley Blockade in Australia has made history last week by winning the fight! A Non-violent fight which has brought the community of an entire region together.
Last Thursday at dawn, the protestors (commonly known as the protectors) were reflecting on the almost certainty, that a contingent of about 800 riot Police were to come to Bentley and break the Blockade which started in February. It was a very scary prospect as the protest is made of people of all ages and walks of life from young ones, to teenagers all the way to elderlies. People in there thousands were expected to converge to Bentley to stop Metgasco, the mining company who wanted to test drill for gas. The community knew that is they made it, if they drilled a well in Bentley, a thousand of wells would have ensued! They had to be stopped!
The State Government of NSW had been ignoring the calls from the community to stop mining companies coming to the Northern Rivers and jeopardising the community’s long term water supply and environment. People of the Northern Rivers knew what happened to other communities in Queensland and other Countries around the world.
In a stunning turn of event on Thursday 15 of May at about 6.00am, a phone call came through from Sydney. The Resource’s Minister was about to announce that Metgasco was to be investigated for corruption on how they obtained the Licence to drill in Bentley! This was greeted with an overwhelming joy. Even though the Minister was adamant that the protest had nothing to do with the decision, we all know that the Government was under immense pressure to cancel the drilling of face a phenomenal backlash, nationally and possibly internationally. There were 4 media helicopters scheduled to cover the arrival of the riot police which would have been made the protest known the world over!
Fortunately, the police was called off and Metgasco announced they were abandoning their plans to drill in Bentley all together. It is important to know that the police had made it clear they did not want to be involved. It has been a peaceful protest from day 1 and has remained peaceful all the way!
This story must be heard by all the communities around Australia and abroad that are under siege by greedy mining companies that have no respect for the land or human lives. Money is the only motivation and they have managed to infiltrate the political system and corrupt politicians. The reason Bentley was successful was the community came together in a spontaneous way. A core of activists, The Lock the Gate Alliance, laid the foundations for the protest and established a camp nearby. From then on, the protest and the camp grew rapidly and the momentum was kept. People wanted a Gasfield free Northern Rivers and it was non-negotiable!
I could write a lot about this amazing community adventure. It has inspired everyone that took part or visited the blockade. Inspiration came in many ways and brought out people’s creativity, love and the will to make a stand to protect the land. This also brought about a lot of healing as Australia has a very sad history with what happened to its indigenous people. The local Aboriginal people were delighted to see that the white man had finally understood its connection to Mother Earth.
The people of the Northern Rivers have a message: Together, it can be done!
With much Love, Philippe
Please check YouTube for videos on Bentley Blockade,
Thanks to: http://www.zengardner.com