Today activists stormed into the Sky City Convention center running past security guards and up escalators to where Don Elder CEO of state owned enterprise Solid Energy was talking about the "sustainability of coal". The activists played a game of cat and mouse with security running up then down escalators finally ending up outside the conference room where they screamed "Blood blood blood on your hands" in reference to the third world victims of climate change. And "S.C.U.M what does it spell SCUM!" to remind Don Elder of his complicity in human induced climate change. When cornered by security I was thrown against a metal lift repeatedly. I told the security guard it was assault and he told me that "Its my F**king building I can do whatever I want!" and proceeded to slam me into a metal column. After being thrown to the ground I decided to stay there chanting and making a racket while the security guard screamed “Get up!” eventually manhandling me to my feet. I was keen to leave at this point having made my point and with ever increasing numbers of security guards arriving and kept telling the guards that I did not want to keep trespassing. Inside an elevator on the way down the head of security said " There are no cameras in here I can do what I fucking want!" and telling me as I left “iI I ever see you in this building I will kick the shit out of you!”
Meanwhile another activist who had been playing cat and mouse with me was cornered, thrown to the ground and put in a head lock leaving scratches from the nails of the security guard. Media quickly came out of the conference room and the talk was abandoned while the activists were removed. This is a first for Don Elder in Auckland, now he will know that wherever he goes in New Zealand there are those that are willing to put their bodies on the line to stop his bullshit.
Outside the street reverberated to a noisy demo with whistles, a siren and chanting disrupting the talks inside. The voices of the screaming activists shattered the central city with public and tourists informed of the corporate bullshit going on inside. In the words of James, a protester present at the demo, "Solid Energy has shown contempt for human life, animal life and the health of the planet" saying " Coal can never be sustainable, and Solid Energy can never be allowed to continue! " and that "The time has come to take our resistance to climate change to the streets and to the mines". Another protester, John called on the government to "put its call for sustainability into practice and prevent Solid Energy from further fuelling climate change" saying that "Any government that allows coal mines to continue and the climate to warm is immoral and should be resisted".
Solid Energy is a government owned company that is currently mining coal on the West Coast of the South Island. This coal is then burnt overseas releasing millions of tons of carbon dioxide annually and further fueling climate change. Solid Energy has plans to mine Happy Valley, a pristine alpine wetland in the Waimangaroa valley near Westport. The valley contains kiwi and several threatened species which would be decimated by mining. Environmentalists and members of the public have been occupying Happy Valley for over a year now in New Zealand’s longest running environmental occupation. Activists have begun camping near the active Stockton mine. Recently Solid Energy has deliberately triggered explosives within several hundred meters of the camp – a clear breach of New Zealand law, needlessly endangering human life.The public are urged to come to a street party against climate change at 3pm this Saturday the third of March in Auckland city meeting outside St Kevin’s Arcade and then taking K road.
To find out more visit http://www.savehappyvalley.org.nz/ or http://www.indymedia.org.nz/ for ongoing climate change updates.