Updates

Supreme Court Update and more

Hi Everyone..

Sorry its been a while since the last update but with the Court case and participation in the No Nukes World Social Forum in Paris, France and the Cop23 meeting in Bonn, Germany it has been quite a busy time…

The end of the year is now drawing near already and we are still waiting for a decision on the Supreme court case to stop the Yeelirrie uranium mine.

Hopefully in the new Year we will have a decision in favor of protecting Yeelirrie

This is an incredible undertaking by these three strong Tjiwarl women who are trying to protect important cultural heritage sites that are part of the Seven Sisters Dreaming songline.

Take a look at the video and make a donation here

For those of you in we are having an end to a massive year with a big party at Mojo’s

THE NUKECRACKER – A PARTY TO KEEP WA URANIUM-FREE

Sunday 24 December| 4pm – midnight | Mojo’s North Fremantle | an epic line-up of Perth’s best local acts

This Christmas Eve come party at Mojo’s Bar production of “The Nukecracker”* A party to keep WA uranium-free.  Come and celebrate the massive year of hard work, courage and resistance from WA’s Traditional Owners, anti-nuclear activists and supporters.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1899035713458111/

The new year will be starting with a huge event as the Japanese Peace Boat arrives in Fremantle..

PEACE BOAT 96th VOYAGE COMING TO FREMANTLE 

Wednesday 24 – Thursday 24 January 2018 | Fremantle Port | a massive 2 days of building a culture of peace around the world

We are excited to announce that this January Fremantle Port, City of Fremantle jointly with Mayors for Peace will host the Japanese Peace Boat on its 96th world voyage.  The Peace Boat carries out its main activities through a chartered passenger ship that travels the world on peace voyages. The delegation on board this voyage will be atomic bomb survivors and farmers from Fukushima and joined by around 800 participants from around the world.  The ship, as a neutral space beyond borders, becomes a floating peace village, encouraging a sense of community and enabling direct dialogue between those on-board and in the ports they visit.  For more information : http://peaceboat.org/english/

SAVE THE DATES – MORE INFORMATION TO COME!

WANJOO (Welcome) PEACE CONCERT |Wednesday 24th January | 4pm-7pm | B-Shed, Fremantle Port | Come and welcome the Peace Boat delegation for a night of building peace around the world.

WORLD PEACE PANEL DISCUSSION | Thursday 25th January | Time TBC | Notre Dame University, Fremantle | Panel Discussion with atomic bomb survivors, Fukushima farmers, Traditional Owners

Stay tuned for the 2018 Walkatjurra Walkabout dates

There is also a Radioactive tour planned for the early part of 2018..
More info here and register your interest here

Have a great end to the year and hopefully see a lot of you at Mojo”s and other upcoming events

Walkatjurra Walkabout: Supreme Court Case and upcoming events

Hi Everyone..

Its been pretty busy since the end of the walk and we had a great trip over to Adelaide for the 20th anniversary meeting of the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance.

Check out the ANFA webpage

There is alot going on at the moment and we really need your help to fundraise for the Supreme Court case to stop the Yeelirrie uranium mine from going ahead.

Many of you on this list have been on the walk and know Aunty Lizzy, Aunty Shirly and Vicky who are going to the Supreme Court on the 16th of Novemebr to Stop the Yeelirrie uranium kine from going ahead.

It is really crucial at the moment that we raise the money to cover all the court costs. We have raised $16,000 dollars so far, but need another $34,000..  Please forward this to friends and family and lets raise this money in the next 5 weeks…  If you want to do a fundraiser then let us know and we can help with any info and support that you need..

This is an incredible undertaking by these three strong Tjiwarl women who are trying to protect important cultural heritage sites that are part of the Seven Sisters Dreaming songline.

Take a look at the video below and make a donation here

Dirty Deals 10 Years on – the story of uranium mining in Malawi

WEDNESDAY 11 OCTOBER 

6PM – 8PM 
THE NAVY CLUB
64 HIGH STREET, FREMANTLE 

FACEBOOK EVENT

 

We’d love for you to come and hear first-hand of life living near a uranium mine by visiting collegue, Reinford Mwangonde who has challenged Subiaco-based uranium mining company, Paladin Energy’s operating procedures in Malawi since before the licence was granted in 2007.

Kayelekera uranium mine was the biggest mining project in Malawi’s history, but has long caused controversy in the Karonga region of northern Malawi. Uranium mining was imposed on the people of Karonga in 2009 from Paladin Energy, now in administration, and people would still prefer it had never come to their country.

“The mine is located in the catchment area of a river that flows directly into Lake Malawi,” said Reinford Mwangonde, Executive Director from Citizens for Justice Malawi , “one of the most pristine freshwater bodies remaining in the world and a vital source of food for the Malawian people.

This evening will provide a unique insight into a story that continues to generate heartache and headlines today and convey a sense of the Karonga people’s experience of imposed uranium mining by an irresponsible Subiaco-based company.

We will hear about the cumulative impacts of the Kayelekera uranium mine, and how Paladin has walked away without a clear contingency plan and Malawi has been left with a hole in the ground and contaminated waterways with no means to fix them.

WELCOME TO COUNTRY @ 6pm
PIERS VERSTEGEN, CCWA DIRECTOR – Update on Supreme Court Action to Stop Yeelirrie Uranium Mine
FACEBOOK EVENT
Bar and Snacks Available.

World Social Forum and Cop23

The world Social Forum will be held this year in Paris, France from the 2nd – 4th of November, followed by the Cop23 in Bonn, Germany from November 7th – 17th.

Marcus has been invited to attend and hold workshops on the nuclear situation in Australia nad primarily on uranium mining in Western Australia and the upcoming supreme court case scheduled for November 16th..

If you are going to be at the World Social Forum or Cop23 please get in touch with Marcus
Click here Email Marcus
There is a great update on this years Walkatjurra Walkabout that was done by Lauren.
Click here to view

 

We are also getting more Hoodies printed at the moment as there has been a lot of requests for them over the last month..
Email us if you would like to reserve one

Make a donation to the Walkatjurra Walkabout
Keep following us on FACEBOOK and TWITTER and keep SHARING

Remember to tune in to Understorey
– and the Radioactive Show this week for all the latest nuclear and peace news.

Please share this update with friends and family

Peace & Solidarity
Walkatjurra Walkabout crew

Walkatjurra Walkabout: For country, against uranium.

Hi Everyone…  This is taken from the amazing Lauren’s own blog.  (Thanks Lauren)

http://www.riverredgum.com/walkatjurra-walkabout-for-country-against-uranium/

 

*This is my first post in my ‘Real Life Ideas’ area and I wanted to share this as an idea because what I experienced on over the last month really made me think about different types of activism, what the word really means and how we can connect to the planet in a spiritual way while involving ourselves in activism and campaigning. I also truly hope that the idea of a nuclear free world is one that will spread throughout the world before more beautiful beings are harmed by its dangers.

We sit, encircling a big, warm camp fire, enthralled by the entertaining Uncle Geoffrey Stokes, Wongatha elder as he tells us story after story from his vast deposit of life experiences. We gaze up to the starriest sky we’d ever seen as he and Hannah and Zakquisha, Tjiwarl children from this land point out where the giant dark emu lies within the milky river above our heads and tell us the tragic dream time story of the seven sisters.  “There are two different worlds in Australia” explains Uncle Geoffrey, “West and East (because really Australia is in the East)… and this walk, this is where they collide.”
I look over to Aunty Shirley a Tjiwarl Native Title holder, whose kind gentle smile gives away her quiet hope for the future. Thinking back to earlier in the day when Aunty Jeanette who is a Wongatha Pinjin women and Aunty Vicky, a Tjiwarl Native Title holder spoke about their fight against uranium mining on their land.  I knew that these strong, passionate traditional custodians wouldn’t stop their fight until it was won.

There are many types of activism. I find a lot of importance in engaging in the various campaigns which occur in Melbourne and get a lot of strength and motivation from the many passionate people I meet.
What I experienced on the Walkatjurra Walkabout was all of this and more. The walkabout is an annual one month long walk against uranium which starts at the proposed Wiluna uranium mine site near the Wiluna township (approx. 5hrs north of Kalgoorlie) and ends in Leonora. This year marked the 7th year that the walk has taken place but that’s 7 years of a 40 year ongoing battle that the traditional custodians have been fighting against mining and exploration companies.

The organisers of the walk; Marcus, K.A, Lucy and Bilbo have been like a big family with the Tjiwarl and Wongatha people over the last 7 years and are dedicated to making sure that the uranium is left in the ground.

During an intense month such as this, there are certain patterns which start occurring that you can’t help but notice. The first obvious one was the increased growth in the size that the fire pit was dug at every new site- easily doubling in size within the first week. The size of which the gunna (Wongai word for poo) pit was dug every day however seemed to morph in the opposite direction; getting slowly shallower as we moved away from the desert sands into more rocky ground. But of course there were greater patterns taking play such as the gradual improvement of what had already begun as an outstanding standard of cooking and the ever closer, tighter circle of people around the fire- what begun as many individuals sitting in a circle turned into a tighter knit bunch as we all got more comfortable with one another.

We had all become great friends in a short amount of time and it was easy to recognise what we miss out on in today’s individualistic society; where in true communities, every problem belongs to all and is therefore easier to fix and every blessing is a blessing on the entire group. What a shame it is that we don’t have a bunch of people to sit around a fire and tell stories with every night and what a shame it is that it no longer takes a village to raise a child but instead one or two over-worked parents. This sense of community that we all enjoyed was an aspect of the last month which made the experience that much richer.

Toro Energy and Cameco are the two companies threatening the sacred land of the tranditional owners and the previous Barnett government has been a staunch ally of the mining and exploration stakeholders in Western Australia. The Labour Government has had weak bans on uranium mining but has never been strong enough in its will to outlaw it all together. Although there are no operating mines in the state, there are several proposed sites which have been closed off and are threatening to be operated in the near future if we don’t stake a stand against them. If these mines were to go ahead it would have catastrophic impacts on the ecosystems and be extremely invasive on areas sacred to the Traditional Owners. Not to mention, the land would be permanently scarred as Australia has never been able to successfully rehabilitate a uranium mine.

There is a lot to these proposed mine sites. In fact too much to explain it all here but I’ve added just a few quick facts about the two proposed mine sites which we walked past. The information that I have put here I sourced from the magazine Ensuring a nuclear free future for WA:

The proposed Wiluna mine site (Toro Energy), would consist of four open pits expanding over two lake systems. It would use 10.6 million litres of water per day and produce 50 million tonnes of radioactive tailings which they propose to store in a flood plain and creek drainage tunnel risking environmental and public health. Mr Cooke, a Ngaanyatjarra Elder explains the importance of this area to the men, “It’s a dog dreaming and we follow the songlines though that country”.

Yeelirrie (Cameco) would be a 9km long, 1km wide and 10m deep open pit mine using 8.7 million litres of water per day and generating 36 million tonnes of radioactive tailings. This mine site is unique as it holds endemic species of subterranean fauna. If this mine goes ahead it could mean the extinction of these species and therefore the WA EPA rejected the proposed mine as it goes against many objectives of the Environmental Protection Act. Never the less the state government gave its approval in a rushed decision soon before the state election. Shirley Wonyabong, Lizzy Wonyabong and Vicky Abdullah, Tjiwarl Native Title holders are strong and passionate Elders and are challenging the decision made by former Minister for the Environment, Albert Jacobs and the unlawful approval process in the Supreme Court of Western Australia. You can support these empowering women by donating to their case here: http://www.ccwa.org.au/yeelirriecourt

Mulga Rock (Vimy Resources) would consist of four open pits, consume 15 million litres of water per day and generate 32 million tonnes of radioactive tailings. This area is a part of the Seven Sisters song-line and a very important place for the Spinifex people of South Australia who were moved to that area as refugees during the British Atomic Weapons testing program in the 1950s.

What’s more is the undeniable decline in the entire industry. Ensuring a nuclear free future for WA gives statistics showing the uranium spot price to be at around US$20/lb (the price dropping around 40%). None of these mines would financially be able to produce uranium to be sold at that price- the break-even price for uranium at Mulga Rock is estimated at US$50/lb.

It’s no wonder the traditional owners don’t want these mines to go ahead, and given the terrifying history that Australia has of genocide and land-grabbing it’s utter madness that these people are still “charged with trespass by mining companies for walking onto [their] own land”. Factor this in with the extraordinarily destructive atomic history from accidents such Fukushima to the deliberate dropping of atomic bombs such as those on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the suffering still experienced by those effected by the testing of atomic bombs in rural parts of Australia by the British between 1952 and 1957. Not to mention the major issues which nuclear weapons are posing in our world today. It really is hard to believe that there are some greedy people who want to risk so many lives and natural beauty to allow this to go ahead.

During the walk many elders came and told to us their own personal stories. They shared their lives with us and shared their land with us. I felt so honoured to be walking on this land with these amazing people whose ancestors arrived over 60 000 years ago. It was obvious that this land is part of their soul, it is who they are and they feel that connection to ancestors, to country, to the dreaming when they come out and walk on that red sand.

As I mentioned, there are many different types of activism… to me this walk was more than just your normal lobbying and protesting. It was active on a whole other level. As we walked across the desert of Western Australia, we heard stories of the ancestors, of dreaming but also of massacres, rape and the trauma experienced by Indigenous Australians over the last 200 plus years and which is still continuing today. Their culture had been broken and in many ways so has the land but both are being fixed. As we lay each foot down we bring our spirit along and mend the land; its memories and history along with it. The Aunties, Shirley, Lizzy and Vicky are helping mend their culture, they are passing it down to a younger generation of wonderful children who already understand and love so much in their land.

As the global nuclear free movement grows, so too will the attention given to this land. It is in for a turbulent next few years, but no matter what any corporations, or selfish politicians say, there is no denying the dangers and outright absurdities of uranium. Too many people have been and will be hurt by nuclear weapons and nuclear power failures and many more in the future will be effected by radioactive waste that we are accumulating.

Here’s an idea to say no to uranium, leave it in the ground. Here’s an idea to say no to colonialism and exploitative western powers. This always has been, always will be Aboriginal land.

A Great Walk this year with lots of support to Stop the Yeelirrie Uranium Mine

Hi everyone and sorry for not many updates coming from the walk this year, but its been really busy and exciting and we will post some more updates over the next week..
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Massive thanks to Aunty Lizzy, Aunty Shirley and Vicky who led the Walkatjurra Walkabout through Country this year. The three of them are local Traditional Owners and are the ones participating in the Supreme court action launched together with the CCWA and the EDO to stop the Yeelirrie mine from going ahead.

There is a lot of support for this action against the previous Governments decision to approve Yeelirrie and now with the Court date set for the 14th of November we really need your help to get the funds together..

Please donate to the crowdfunding for court case

court image
Below is an update from Tim and more coming soon 😉

It’s late, almost midnight. I’m still 150km from Perth and still without phone or radio signal. I’ve had a long time to reflect on the week I’ve just had and already, I miss the desert. I miss the red dirt that gets into every crevice and onto every surface. I miss the spinifex needles that always seem to find that one bare patch of skin. I even miss the goona (?) pit, and its contemplative ambience (I actually miss that a lot!).
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But most of all I miss the people. The sense of community and solidarity amongst everyone in the group, including those who were there for different personal reasons, was absolutely magic. As I had nothing better to do as I drove, I put on the first episode of a podcast a friend had recommended. It detailed the life story of Glenn Loury, an African-American racial justice commentator and former Advisor to President Reagan, famous for criticising the civil rights movement in the United States in a post-Martin-Luther-King-world and more recently, racial justice movements such as the ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign. It piqued my interest, given where I had just come from.

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Loury argues that the tactics of direct activism offend necessary political allies, eroding the goodwill of those who might otherwise champion the cause in a legislative context, and that structural racism is not the root cause of systemic brutality.

Whilst I’d agree it might be a stretch to claim that structural racism is the only root cause, the validity of Loury’s arguments to my experience on the Walkabout, and more broadly over the last few years, is negligible. Structural racism is systemic in Australia, and defines so many different issues. Similarly, persistent direct activism is often the only way to achieve a tangible outcome.

I was simply blown away listening to the stories of Marcus, Bilbo, Kid and many others around the campfire and the blockades, walks, runs and movements they have been a part of over the years. Inspirational stories about Yami Lester and Kevin Buzzacott, about epic peace walks spanning multiple countries, about Standing Rock and First Nations people in the United States and Canada, about reclaiming the Australian Coat of Arms and running, so much running.

These people and these campaigns have achieved so much. It doesn’t offend ‘necessary political allies’ to stand up for what you believe in, it offends the memory of all these people and their achievements to diminish what they fought so hard to protect.

The Walkatjurra Walkabout, even viewed as one small part of the broader Anti-Uranium movement that has spanned decades throughout Australia, is critical. More than that, it is simply one of the best experiences I have had for a long time. In just one short week I learnt so much and met so many new, wonderful people. I am blown away by the positive energy leaving camp has left me with, and I can’t wait to get back out on country!

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Make a donation to the Walkatjurra Walkabout

 

Update from the road

Its been nearly two weeks since we head out from Fremantle after an awesome event at the Fremantle Town Hall on the Thursday August 3rd.

The crew this year consists of people from all over Australia, Aotearoa/NZ, USA, Canada, Taiwan, Germany, Denmark. We travelled up with some of the Traditional Owners who had joined us at the event in Fremantle and picked up Mr Glen Cooke in Kalgoorlie as we stayed at Wongatha Bini.

We had a few days camping on the Yeelirrie road and explained what the proposal is from Toro Energy to mine uranium at this sacred site before we began our first day walking.

(the below is taken from a report put together by Mia Pepper available on the CCWA website. Download full report here)

(At the gates of Toro)

Toro Energy – ASX: TOE
4 shallow open pits across two lake systems
Proposed consumption of 10.6 million litres of water per day
Proposed generation of 50 million tonnes of radioactive tailings

“It’s a very important place to the men, the men around the western desert. It’s a dog dreaming and we follow the songline through that country. That country is important for all men.”
Mr Glen Cooke Ngaanyatjarra elder.

The Wiluna uranium project is just 18km from the town of Wiluna and expands over two lake systems and over 100km. The project includes four uranium deposits – Lake Way, Centipede, Millipede and Lake Maitland. The project would involve carting uranium ore from the different mine areas to a central processing facility near the Centipede and Millipede sites. The project would produce up to 50 million tonnes of radioactive tailings that would be stored in mined out pits on the edge of Lake Way in a floodplain and in the drainage channel of a creek. The company’s studies of hydrogeology, hydrology and geochemistry were all heavily criticised in Peer Reviews submitted as part of the environmental assessment. The planned emplacement of 50 million tonnes of long-lived radioactive mine waste in a floodplain poses a major risk to the environment and public health.

The project is run by Toro Energy, a small and unproven company that has insufficient financing to develop the project. In its 2015-16 financial report Toro reported a loss of $52 million and a total debt/liability of $12 million ($10 million to the Cayman Islands based Sentient Group). Oz Minerals, a 21% shareholder in Toro has referred to Toro as ‘a tiny company’ and ‘a non-core asset.’ Canadian company and former owner of the Lake Maitland project, Mega Uranium, has a 20% stake in the company and the Sentient Group holds 18%. In 2016 Toro Director Vanessa Guthrie and other senior executives and board members resigned and departed from the company.

Wiluna is Toro’s flagship project. A key concern given the depressed commodity price and uncertainty over Toro’s capacity is that a mine that is not feasible is pushed through then fails, leading to the premature closure of the mine and the myriad of environmental and economic problems that a premature closure would cause the Government and tax-payers.

During the initial assessment of the proposal the then WA Minister for Mines Norman Moore, stated in Parliament that this mine would have to post 100% of mine closure costs in bonds. The company continues to not release estimated closure costs. Following the introduction of the Mining Rehabilitation Fund there has been no further commitment to assure 100% mine closure bonds despite the significant and unresolved economic and environmental risk and exposure associated with this company and project. Further, there are no bonds for the rehabilitation of the exploration site which, given the company’s finances and the current market, poses a liability to the Government and tax payers.

Four days later we arrived at Yeelirrie and were joined by Aunty Lizzy and Aunty Shirley who are the local Traditional Owners and part of the Supreme court action launched together with the CCWA and the EDO.

Please donate to the crowdfunding for court case

(the below is taken from a report put together by Mia Pepper available on the CCWA website. Download full report here)

(At Yeelirrie station)

Cameco 100%
Open Pit – 9km long, 1km wide, 10 m deep
Proposed consumption of 8.7 million litres of water per day
Proposed generation of 36 million tonnes of radioactive tailings

“Yeelirrie in my language means place of death. My old people told us we’re not allowed to mess with it… don’t even go into that area. I am happy that while that uranium is in the ground it is safe, I’m concerned what’s it’s going to do when it comes out of the ground. Now if it’s going to start affecting people in another country, destroying their lives like at Fukushima, Chernobyl and Maralinga, I’m concerned about that, because that’s my country that could be doing that.”
Richard Evans – Koara Elder

Yeelirrie is part of the Seven Sisters dreaming and has many important cultural sites, all are under threat from the proposed uranium operations. Yeelirrie is 100% owned by the Canadian company Cameco, who bought the project from BHP in 2013. BHP acquired Yeelirrie from WMC who operated a trial mine at the site in the 1970’s and subsequently left behind unfenced radioactive mine tailings for over two decades.

Many Wongutha families have fought against mining at Yeelirrie for more than forty years and have presented a consistent and strong position against uranium mining plans. In December 2016 the Tjupan and Tjiwarl people of the Wongutha nation had Native Title recognised over Yeelirre. See Narrier v State of Western Australia [2016] FCA 1519 .

Neighbouring pastoralists from Youno Downs stations who run a cattle station to the North West of Yeelirrie have been vocal opponents of the mine since the ban on uranium mining was lifted. They are most concerned about the impacts on drawing down water from their bores and the impact of wind and dust storms that could impact on cattle and on their health.

Yeelirrie is home to a unique population of subterranean fauna. There are eleven species that have only ever been identified in the impact area of the proposed mine. The WA EPA recommended the project be rejected as the project could cause the extinction of these species and therefore was inconsistent with objectives under the EP Act – including the Precautionary Principle, the Principle of the Conservation of Biological Diversity and Ecological Integrity and the Principle of Intergenerational Equity.

Despite the EPA recommendation to reject the project the WA Environment Minister gave the project a rushed approval just weeks before the State election. The Minister cited economic and job opportunities as a reason for not accepting the clear EPA recommendation against mining. However, the current market conditions are prohibitive to new mines and Cameco has recently and dramatically reduced its uranium expectations and capacity in WA, including through writing down the full value of the Kintyre project and recalling its head of Australian operations.


(at camp) Make a donation to the Walkatjurra Walkabout

An update from one of the Walkers (Nick our local stand up comedian)

It’s been 7 or 8 or 6 days so far. i can’t really tell. Time is measured in the various meals that have been cooked. Yesterday was Mexican bean dish day. It was a good day. Perhaps the best day so far. Maybe in our tribes personal history books- which will be nothing more than a few words inscribed in ash on some overcooked tortillas – it will be crowned as ‘Mexican Bean dish day’. Perhaps we will have a commemoration parade, waving flags bearing an emblem of a single bean wearing a sombrero with a single tear – which will be actually be just a smaller bean – sliding down it’s sweaty, red-dust streaked bean cheek.

Out here there is no mobile phone reception, no ipads, no technology, no trappings of modern civilisation, nothing. It’s great. I can finally hear the voice of silence in my head. It tells me to go check my Facebook page. Then i realise that i don’t have any wifi out here so i tell the voice of silence in my head to shut the hell up. Sometimes it gives me the silent treatment. Sometimes it doesn’t listen and starts yapping away again and i have to tie a message written in ash on an overcooked tortilla, telling it to shut the hell up, to the foot of an adolescent goanna caught in my bean bait trap and pray that a wedge tailed eagle will pick it up and drop it in the next urban area, several hundred miles away into the hands of someone who hopefully knows me and my Facebook password so they can log into my page just to make sure that no one actually really honestly gives a shit about what i am exactly doing at that present moment, whenever the hell that is anyway. Fingers crossed they get the message, but i won’t hedge my bets. After all, it is illegal to gamble on Mexican Bean Dish day. Punishment is death by fly-based irritation.

At night we sit in circles, underneath the spectacularly luminous milky way. I can actually see the outer arm of the larger cosmic superstructure which our solar system is a part of. All sorts of cliched feelings of how small and insignificant we really are swarm my brain like tiny little crying beans raining from the heavens on Mexican Bean dish day. Okay, okay i get it, enough about Mexican Bean dish day already I hear you whisper into my jalapeno salsa. But one can’t help but feel like we are doing exactly what the indigenous mob and their ancestors used to for so many millennia previously. Walking, eating, sharing our stories, with only the land, the fire and the star as our witnesses. Exactly like how the ancestors used to do it. I mean obviously, we have like cars, cameras, a support truck and mad cans of Mexican beans, but other than that, pretty much like them. 
 By day we walk down red dirt paths, across endless, uninhabited vistas stretching from horizon to horizon, sporadically dotted with mulga and spinifex, tracing the countryside the ancestors used to live on and live off, the same territories that the mining companies now want to turn into uranium mines. Uranium mines that will create shit tons of nuclear waste that will shit up the world even further than it already is, uranium mines that will perhaps even help build nuclear weapons that will kill us all one day. Good work humanity, real smart move you assholes.

Meanwhile we watch flocks of emerald green budgerigars careening overhead, swiftly propelled by high velocity winds, unaware of the precariousness of the land they call home in whatever weird high frequency bird language they use. There is a bird and technology based pun i could put in at this point involving twitter but i was told to keep this blog brief and to the point so i won’t bother. This is the first time i ever seen budgerigars in the wild. They look a lot better than the ones you usually see in the cages. Were the people who decided it was a good idea to jail these wild and free beings in tiny cages and then sell them for money, the very same people who decided it was a good idea to dig up nuclear chemicals from the land? Will you heartless bastards stop at nothing? How much suffering is enough for you, Christ you make me sick. Sorry. I got carried away a bit there, but then again i have been walking face first into the endless, blinding hot sun for the past eight days. 
 I had a bucket shower yesterday. Never realised how little water one can have a wash in. Keep having dreams of swimming in the ocean, of having long showers that go on forever. I have so much dirt on me at times, that even the dirt on my skin has dirt on it. I predict soon it will gain some form of sentience and begin controlling me, the country seeping into my pores and sinking into the core of my being, finally, fully connected to the land. Soon i will be more red dirt than man, like some kind of desert golum, and then i will find these mining CEO’s and seek revenge, taking them down one by one, choking them to death in my red dirt fist chokehold, laughing clouds of oxidised dust into their faces as they beg for mercy. I will show them no mercy. Oops, sorry got carried away again.

Did i mention that i have been taking in a lot of sun the past few days? 
 How do we stop this scourge of human greed tearing up the planet for short term gain? I don’t know, but i got a lot of time to think about it for the next three weeks, walking and being on country, but i guess we are all doing it right now, building community from the ground up. Linking with each another, sometimes to eat Mexican beans in the dirt together as one. I’m an immigrant that’s been living on this land for 35 years now and never bothered connecting to the original caretakess of this land.

Now I’m sweating like a pig in a sauna with them and a whole bunch of people from all walks of life, stinking up the whole joint, like some kind of post apocalyptic mad max survivor tribe, wandering the desert, learning firsthand from the elders about the stories behind the land, about the mining and land rights situation that often do not get much media attention. With our faithful leader Moses, i mean Marcus, i can now really say how much I relate to how the jews felt wandering around the desert for forty years. But unlike the jews, we already have our promised land, it’s the ground right under our feet that the mining corporations are trying take from us, it’s every square inch of virgin earth that has yet to be exploited by the demons that run amok within our species. But there is some kind of furtive hope in the air. Why just the other day, Moses, i mean Marcus told us he had even seen a burning bush, but i worked out what he was really talking about what was the eponymous cigarette dangling from the edge of his lips. It’s not much of a sign but still, it’s a sign nonetheless, a sign that perhaps one day what we are doing will turn into something bigger than all of us, something that perhaps one day will be even bigger than the 100th annual Mexican Bean Dish Commemoration parade day.
 The march continues.

More updates coming soon…

Fremantle Town Hall Event

Thursday 3rd August at the Fremantle Town Hall from 6pm.
Entry is by donation and we are urging all to come down, be inspired and motivated to see how we are going to win the west from mining uranium!

The night will include the official WA premiere screening of Fremantle film maker, Reza Nezamdoust’s “Walking For Country” — a 20 minute documentary of the 2015 Walkatjurra Walkabout, which has been doing the international film festival circuit for the past year and screens this month at both the No Nuke Film Festival in Taiwan and Melbourne Documentary Festival.
Facebook event: Please share and invite all your friends

Highlighting the rich vein of music talent running through the Goldfields, Marcus McGuire will be performing his original music all the way from Kalgoorlie.  Director of the Conservation Council of WA,  Piers Verstegen will officially launch the Supreme Court Action to stop Yeelirrie uranium mine project and uphold environmental laws and long time activist and respected speaker on creating a nuclear free future, Dave Sweeney from Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) Nuclear Free Campaigner. International speakers from Canada, Taiwan and the United States.
Stay tuned for more updates and please share and invite friends through the Facebook event:

 

WALKATJURRA WALKABOUT

Due to some people having to cancel in the last few days there are a few spots still available  for this years Walkatjurra Walkabout.. If you would like to come out on Country to hear from Traditional Owners and see first hand the beautiful areas that this Government will allow uranium mining on then Register here to join this years Walkatjurra Walkabout

This years Walkatjurra Walkabout will be an important part of planning for the next phase of the campaign.  Come and contribute, share and learn as we walk with Traditional Owners to Keep the uranium in the ground.

Together we can still stop this

It is nearly a month since we heard the shocking news from the State Government allowing the 4 proposed uranium mines to proceed – Yeelirrie, Wiluna, Mulga Rock and Kintyre. The decision to allow these approvals to stand without so much as an inquiry to investigate them and without consulting with local communities, workers and Traditional Owners is tragic.    I really urge you all to continue to call, email, write, to the Premier, the Environment Minister and the Minister for Mines and Petroleum and your local Labor member.  See below for some contacts and suggestions.

Premier   wa-government@dpc.wa.gov.au – (08) 6552 5000
Environment Minister   Minister.Dawson@dpc.wa.gov.au – (08) 6552 5800
Mines & Petroleum Minister Minister.Johnston@dpc.wa.gov.au – (08) 6552 6700

___________________

Here is some draft text you could adapt to send to them or use as speaking points for a call: 

I’m contacting you to let you know I am disappointed by the McGowan Governments decision to allow the four proposed uranium mines in WA to go ahead. The Premier went to the election saying that uranium mines would not be allowed to proceed unless they had final approval or were in construction.  None of these projects have final approval, none are under construction – so they do not meet Labors criteria. These mines should not be allowed to proceed under a Labor Government.

In their rush to establish a uranium industry in WA, the Barnett Government created a modified and simplified approvals process for uranium projects.
This approval system for uranium has seriously compromised environmental standards while unfounded and exaggerated claims of economic benefits have been used to justify non-compliance with WA’s environmental laws.  These uranium mine proposals require rigorous assessment and not simplified fast tracking.  

Labor needs to ensure that policy decisions in relation to mining uranium are based on a rigorous process, robust review and that are evidence based.   The process needs to have a detailed assessment of the best evidence and this has not been evident in the process to date.     Consult with Traditional Owners, local communities and workers to uphold your clear and strong policy against uranium, nuclear power, and nuclear waste that I support.  

You and your party have a unique opportunity to prevent and ban uranium mining in WA and instead support a Renewable Energy Target and ensure a clean energy future for West Australians.

I urge you to take positive action and make certain that there is a rigorous approval process to ensure that WA remains nuclear free once and for all. This will create certainty and relief for communities that have endured eight years of negotiating and fighting with uranium mining companies and the Barnett Government.

Keep sending your selfie to WA Labor!!  Instructions here: http://www.ccwa.org.au/nuclearfreewa

If you haven’t seen the video from Janice Scott – Spinifex woman and her message to Labor – please check it out here and send your message to Labor letting them know that their decision to allow WA uranium mines to proceed on Aboriginal lands was a clear broken promise and a kick in the guts for communities and the environment.

Join Janice and individuals across WA and send your own photo message to the new Government!

Janice’s call to action could not be clearer: “Let’s stand strong against uranium mining. This thing can only be stopped if we all come together and stand strong against it.” 

Check out Janice’s video here

How we win the West

The Walking for Country Film will be showing tomorrow (Friday 14th) in Melbourne as part of the Melbourne Documentary film festival at the Nova, Lygon st, Carlton. Get along and check it out!!!

Thursday 3rd August at the Fremantle Town Hall from 6pm.
Entry is by donation and we are urging all to come down, be inspired and motivated to see how we are going to win the west from mining uranium!  The night will include the official WA premiere screening of Fremantle film maker, Reza Nezamdoust’s “Walking For Country” — a 20 minute documentary of the 2015 Walkatjurra Walkabout, which has been doing the international film festival circuit for the past year and screens this month at both the No Nuke Film Festival in Taiwan and Melbourne Documentary Festival.

Highlighting the rich vein of music talent running through the Goldfields, Marcus McGuire will be performing his original music all the way from Kalgoorlie.  Director of the Conservation Council of WA,  Piers Verstegen will officially launch the Supreme Court Action to stop Yeelirrie uranium mine project and uphold environmental laws and long time activist and respected speaker on creating a nuclear free future, Dave Sweeney from Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) Nuclear Free Campaigner. International speakers from Canada, Tiawan and the United States. Stay tuned for more updates as they are confirmed but lock in the date for an awesome night!

Shirley and Lizzie Wongabong have been in town this week and have been working together with the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) on their statement as part of the Tjiwarl Native Title holders group who have opposed the Yeelirrie uranium mine project for over 40 years.   They both continue to speak staunchly about their country and how they want the uranium left in the ground.
To keep this important work going click here for more details.

July 7 this year marked a historical day around the world as the United Nations adopted a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons.  The very worst of weapons of mass destruction are banned as 122 countries said ‘yes’ to humanity.  The Brunch with Bishop action was great timing to now urge nations to sign onto this important treaty!  People for Nuclear Disarmament (PND) members Matt and Hannah officially handed a letter to Julie Bishops office on Monday to urge the Turnbull government to sign the treaty to ban nuclear weapons.  The treaty will be opened for signing on September 20, and will formally come into force when 50 countries have signed and ratified the document.

Attached to this letter was the United Nations draft treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons that clearly outlines the actions for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. The treaty requires of all ratifying countries “never under any circumstances to develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.” It also bans any transfer or use of nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices – and the threat to use such weapons. For more information see the ICAN website who have been instrumental and worked tirelessly on these negotiations at the United Nations to see a world free of nuclear weapons. Thank you!

WALKATJURRA WALKABOUT

A couple of spots have opened up for this years Walkatjurra Walkabout..  Register here

Or, You can  register here to go on our waiting list and if a spot comes up we will let you know.

BUT if you still want to come for a week or two then grab a few friends and drive on out. 

This years Walkatjurra Walkabout will be an important part of planning the next phase of the campaign.  Come and contribute, share and learn as we walk with Traditional Owners to Keep the uranium in the ground.

Together we can still stop this


Join Janice and individuals across WA and send your own photo message to the new Government!

Janice’s call to action could not be clearer: “Let’s stand strong against uranium mining. This thing can only be stopped if we all come together and stand strong against it.” 

Check out Janice’s video here
Keep following us on FACEBOOK and TWITTER and keep SHARING

Remember to tune in to Understorey – and the Radioactive Show this week for all the latest nuclear and peace news.

Please share this update with friends and family

Peace & Solidarity
Walkatjurra Walkabout crew

Legal action launched today to Stop Yeelirrie uranium mine proposal

Hi Everyone…

The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) and members of the Tjiwarl Native Title group, represented by the Environmental Defender’s Office WA (EDO), have commenced proceedings in the Supreme Court of Western Australia for a review of the decision by the former Minister for Environment, Albert Jacob to approve the Yeelirrie Uranium Project in the last days of the Barnett Government.
More info here

TONIGHT
FILM, INFO & STRATEGY NIGHT

Tuesday 4 July
5pm – CCWA Lotteries House 

Every welcome to come and see the Walking for Country Film (20mins) see trailer here. Afterwards we will share information on the current situation and then talk about how we can all help with upcoming actions and events.
More information call K-A 0401909332</h4>

WALKATJURRA WALKABOUT

A couple of spots have opened up for this years Walkatjurra Walkabout..  Register here

Or, You can  register here to go on our waiting list and if a spot comes up we will let you know.

BUT if you still want to come for a week or two then grab a few friends and drive on out. 

This years Walkatjurra Walkabout will be an important part of planning the next phase of the campaign.  Come and contribute, share and learn as we walk with Traditional Owners to Keep the uranium in the ground.

Together we can still stop this

Keep sending your selfie to WA Labor!!  Instructions here: http://www.ccwa.org.au/nuclearfreewa

If you haven’t seen the video from Janice Scott – Spinifex woman and her message to Labor – please check it out here and send your message to Labor letting them know that their decision to allow WA uranium mines to proceed on Aboriginal lands was a clear broken promise and a kick in the guts for communities and the environment.

Join Janice and individuals across WA and send your own photo message to the new Government!

Janice’s call to action could not be clearer: “Let’s stand strong against uranium mining. This thing can only be stopped if we all come together and stand strong against it.” 

Check out Janice’s video here
Keep following us on FACEBOOK and TWITTER and keep SHARING

Remember to tune in to Understorey
– and the Radioactive Show this week for all the latest nuclear and peace news.

Please share this update with friends and family

Peace & Solidarity
Walkatjurra Walkabout crew

Four Uranium Mines approved in Western Australia

Hi Everyone…

Yesterday we heard the disgraceful news of a serious broken promise by WA Labor to allow the four uranium projects in WA to proceed – Yeelirrie, Wiluna, Mulga Rock and Kintyre.  This terrible decision is a betrayal of the many people, communities, Traditional Owners, trade unions, churches, and environment groups who placed their faith in Labor to keep WA uranium free.

KEEP WA URANIUM FREE SNAP ACTION
Join us next Thursday 29 June at 8am Parliament House, Perth
Facebook event site  PLEASE INVITE & SHARE:
We have kept the uranium in the ground for this long and we will continue to stand in solidarity with Traditional Owners and communities to keep Western Australia nuclear free.  Join us next Thursday 29 June at 8am Parliament House, Perth for an KEEP WA URANIUM FREE SNAP ACTION.

The McGowan Government may think it is OK to let some of the worst decisions in the state’s history stand, but communities, environment groups, workers and Traditional Owners certainly won’t be backing down in our fight to prevent this bad decision turning into a series of toxic and polluting uranium mines.

Keep the pressure on the Labor Government to stop uranium mining. It’s up to us to stop four uranium mine projects that currently threaten special desert environments and cultural heritage sites. SO LETS KEEP ACTIVE NOT RADIOACTIVE!

CAN YOU GIVE AN HOUR OR TWO
This Friday could you come in to CCWA at West Perth and help make phone calls to let people know about the action at Parliament next Thursday..
If you can come in please call K.A 0401 909 332

This is a real defining moment so please continue to ring, email, text your Local Labor member and let them know how you feel.  All contacts can be found here.

Keep sending your selfie to WA Labor!!  Instructions here: http://www.ccwa.org.au/nuclearfreewa

If you haven’t seen the video from Janice Scott – Spinifex woman and her message to Labor – please check it out here and send your message to Labor letting them know that their decision to allow WA uranium mines to proceed on Aboriginal lands was a clear broken promise and a kick in the guts for communities and the environment.

Join Janice and individuals across WA and send your own photo message to the new Government!

Janice’s call to action could not be clearer: “Let’s stand strong against uranium mining. This thing can only be stopped if we all come together and stand strong against it.” 

Check out Janice’s video here

Walkabout_Tshirt (reduced)

WALKATJURRA WALKABOUT

A lot of people put a lot of hope in WA Labor and their position against uranium mining before the recent election – Traditional Owners, unionists, pastoralists, scientists, workers, and communities all strongly supported the policy to keep WA’s uranium in the ground.

Due to an overwhelming response to this years Walkatjurra Walkabout we are now full…

BUT if you still want to come for a week or two then grab a few friends and drive on out.

Or, You can  register here to go on our waiting list and if a spot comes up we will let you know.

This years Walkatjurra Walkabout will be an important part of planning the next phase of the campaign.  Come and contribute, share and learn as we walk with Traditional Owners to Keep the uranium in the ground.

If you can’t make it to the Walkatjurra Walkabout, but you would like your voice to be heard. Please come to Parliment House on Thursday the 29 June at 8am.

Let Labor know that you will not allow uranium mining to happen in Western Australia.

Together we can still stop this

14714959_1110606548988367_8562563874757791946_o
Keep following us on FACEBOOK and TWITTER and keep SHARING

Remember to tune in to Understorey
– and the Radioactive Show this week for all the latest nuclear and peace news.

Please share this update with friends and familyPeace & Solidarity
Walkatjurra Walkabout crew

Keep Western Australia nuclear free

Hi Everyone…

The Walkatjurra Walkabout for this year is now full…  If you still want to come you will have to arrange your own transport out…  Or register here to go on our waiting list and if a spare spot comes up we will let you know.

As we wait patiently for the Labor Party to make their decision on uranium mining in Western Australia lots of people are sending messages and selfies to the labor party encouraging them to make the right decision and implement a ban on uranium mining.

Join Janice and individuals across WA and send your own photo message to the new Government!

Janice’s call to action could not be clearer: “Let’s stand strong against uranium mining. This thing can only be stopped if we all come together and stand strong against it.” 

A lot of people put a lot of hope in WA Labor and their position against uranium mining before the recent election – Traditional Owners, unionists, pastoralists, scientists, workers, and communities all strongly supported the policy to keep WA’s uranium in the ground.

Janice Scott is a powerful voices for the Spinifex people who are fighting to protect their country from uranium mining. The Spinifex people settled in WA at Cundeelee station in the 1950s as refugees from the Maralinga British Atomic weapons test in SA. They have lived and practiced law and culture in the area around Mulga Rock since then. They know the stories for that country and have used those areas for generations. Janice and her family and other Spinifex people love that country like it is their own, they have looked after it and are worried that the nuclear cycle threatens their home again.

 

We look forward to seeing a lot of you out on the Walkatjurra Walkabout this year