“WALK AWAY FROM URANIUM MINING”
In 2011 the Anti-Nuclear movement of Western Australia joined with global peace group Footprints for Peace in an exciting campaign to re-instate the ban on Uranium Mining in Western Australia and re-invigorate Australian activists to get involved. On the 20th August 2011 over 100 people including traditional custodians, senators, state members of Parliament, journalists, lawyers, families with young children and people from North America, New Zealand, France, and throughout Australia gathered just outside remote Wiluna to begin a ten-week walk to Perth.
The walk aimed to raise awareness of the proposed uranium mine in the Wiluna area by Toro Energy and to walk in solidarity with the traditional custodians whose land and communities would be affected by such mines.
Over the ten weeks, covering a distance of over 1,250 kilometres we discovered the beauty and magic of the desert as we camped out each night. We were joined by traditional custodians who walked us through their land sharing stories about their culture, the land, the history and the sorrow caused by the threat of uranium mining. For most of us it was the first time on this land with traditional custodians, and it was such an honour and privilege to be able to walk, sit and listen to their stories.
We received local media coverage in most of the towns we passed through, some even hosting us with a stay place, food and public meeting. We spoke to hundreds of people along the route and distributed masses of information. The walk strengthened the national and international anti nuclear movement by sending two international walkers to the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance meeting in the N.T. and featured in a parliamentary speech by Senator Scott Ludlum.
The connection to communities, to the land, and to people from all around the world has brought everyone involved to a new understanding and commitment to stop uranium mining in Western Australia. We heard not only of the stories from traditional custodians but from the diverse group of people from all around the world fighting to stop the nuclear industry on their lands. We have a deeper understanding of the ever-increasing health risks to workers, communities and the environment through the exposure to radiation and the contamination of water supplies.