Activist, 97, among dozens arrested in Australia climate protest

Sydney, Australia, Nov 26 (EFE).- Dozens of protesters, including a 97-year-old man, were arrested on Sunday during a climate change protest off Australia’s east coast that disrupted operations at the country’s biggest coal export port.

Climate activist group Rising Tide had organized the protest to block the traffic of coal cargo ships in the port of Newcastle since Saturday.

The group said on its Twitter account that at least 59 people have been arrested so far.

Since Saturday, groups of 50 to 60 protesters have been taking turns in rostered two-hour shifts getting on canoes and inflatable boats and preventing ships from leaving the port.

Among the protesters who went out to sea was Alan Stuart, a 97-year-old religious pastor.

Stuart said he was doing it for his grandchildren and future generations after being pulled out of his boat by the police.

“I am doing this for my grandchildren and future generations because I don’t want to leave them a world full of increasingly severe and frequent climate disasters,” he said. “I am so sorry that they will have to suffer the consequences of our inaction. So, I think it is my duty to do what I can and to stand up for what I know is right.”

Rising Tide claims that the protest prevented more than half a million tonnes of coal from leaving the Newcastle port by the time the demonstration ended.

Protesters demand that the Australian government stop all new projects that involve the use of fossil energy and confront the climate crisis more decisively.

The climate crisis is one of the big issues of political debate in Australia, a country exposed to the effects of droughts and extreme temperatures.

Australia is the world’s second largest exporter of thermal coal and the largest exporter of cooking coal.

by Nadeem Faisal Baiga