Maules Creek mine protesters arrested, including 92-year-old war veteran
Bill Ryan, who served in Kokoda in the second world war, is one of about 30 people arrested at the Whitehaven Coal mine
theguardian.com AAP 31 March 2014
Protesters oppose clearing part of the Leard State Forest for the new $767m mine near Boggabri. Photograph: Greenpeace
A 92-year-old war veteran has been arrested during a protest at a mine development site in NSW's northwest.
Bill Ryan, who served in Kokoda during the second world war, is one of about 30 people arrested at Whitehaven Coal's Maules Creek operation on Monday.
Protesters oppose clearing part of the Leard State Forest for the new $767m mine near Boggabri.
More than 150 people were peacefully protesting, said Greenpeace spokeswoman Julie Macken, who was also arrested, and speaking from the back of a police van. Police were in the process of arresting everyone on the site, she said.
"We arrived early and everyone just basically sat on the machines," Macken said. Police then arrived and started arresting people for trespassing, and for entering an enclosed area, she said.
She said many protesters were still locked to and sitting on machinery.
"There's a hell of a lot of people out here so it's going to take the police a hell of a long a time," Macken said.
It is believed police will be transporting the protesters to a main road away from the mine site and dropping them there. Ryan is understood to be sitting in the shade waiting to be processed by police.
Whitehaven Coal has described continuing protests against the Maules Creek mine as "a nuisance" but said it would not be deterred from continuing the project ...
Newcastle Herald Report 31 March 2014
Arrests have been made following a mass protest at the Maules Creek mine site on Monday morning.
Dozens of protesters are being arrested at Whitehaven Coal's Maules Creek mine site.
Earlier this morning more than 70 protesters entered the construction site in a mass walk on to protest against the climate change impacts of the new coal mine, coinciding with the release of the IPCC report.
Helen War, spokesperson for the Leard Forest Alliance said, "the police have moved in and are arresting or fining everyone on site."
Police are on the scene of a major protest in the Leard State Forest, where around 100 anti-coal activists are protesting against the Maules Creek coal mine and the Boggabri mine expansion.
In the group's strongest show of resistance yet, the protestors entered various parts of the forest at around 5am this morning, with three people tying themselves to machinery, including one local farmer who is risking arrest.
They entered the construction site in a mass walk on to protest against the climate change impacts of the new coal mine, coinciding with the release of the IPCC report.
Spokesperson for the Leard Forest Alliance, Helen War, said "The police have moved in and are arresting or fining everyone on site."
She said the protest is indicative of the "huge shift towards this being the new normal for any new coal projects in Australia".
"To have a groundswell of support standing with the community shows the opposition of new coal mines."
Local police and NSW Police Rescue are on site and authorities have closed both the Therribri Road and the Leard Forest Road.
ABC via (Yahoo) 31 March 31, 2014
Dozens of protesters have been arrested at Whitehaven Coal's Maules Creek mine, near Boggabri in north-west New South Wales.
Police confirmed around 60 people entered the Leard State Forest this morning and occupied trucks, scrapers and road rollers to stop mine workers from clearing the land.
A total of 25 protesters have since been arrested and removed from the site.
Melbourne protester Phil Evans from the Leard Forest Alliance says police moved in about 10am.
"The police have come along and we've had some folks, especially some of the older folks in our crew sitting down on the ground on chairs and they've actually been arrested, including our oldest member, 92-year-old Bill Ryan, who is a World War II Kokoda veteran," he said.
"I'm actually about four metres up off the ground on top of a machine at the moment.
"I would say there's probably around 20-25 police on site and I can actually see nine vehicles along with a very large police van obviously for transporting multiple people."
The protesters say the mine employees remain on site but no work is being done today.
Whitehaven received final government approval for its open-cut mine project at Maules Creek in February last year.