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A day of action for climate justice

A day of action for climate justice

27th March 2018 3.50pm

People representing a diverse range of community groups rallied for climate justice and blockaded the Oil Industry Summit at the TSB Arena in Wellington today.

Spokesperson India Logan-Riley says, “People have come together from all around Aotearoa to send the message to the oil and gas industry that their business is unacceptable. It’s been inspiring to see such a large, diverse group of people showing out to stand up for climate justice.

“This is no longer about the environment but about the ‘haves’ versus the ‘have-nots’. We already have climate refugees here in places like Edgecumbe and Takaka. Māori, the poor and primary industry workers in particular are already suffering the impacts of extreme weather events, sea level rise and ocean acidification.”

Church leaders, grandparents, artists, scientists, tangata whenua, activists, unionists, health professionals, school kids and parents attended the rally demanding for an end to fossil fuel drilling, support for workers in these industries to transition their livelihoods, and solutions centred around frontline communities.

The conference entrances were blocked by people holding banners, preventing delegates from being able to enter the venue and forcing them to watch some plenary sessions from nearby hotels. Four activists were arrested at the protest and several people needed medical attention following excessive police force.

Today’s rally and blockade followed yesterday’s opening ceremony, at which 350 Aotearoa and other groups created a sunflower outside the Oil Summit to symbolise the resistance and determination for an end to the industry and the creation of a sustainable and fair world.

The conference has traditionally been used by the government to announce ‘block offers’ of new territory opened up for gas and oil exploration. At this year’s event, however, Climate Minister Megan Woods addressed the conference to postpone any such announcement.

“Although Megan Woods’ block offer delay is a win for the climate movement, we really need a dependable commitment to real climate solutions - and that’s still yet to be seen from both our government and the fossil fuel industry,” said India.

“There has been a lot of talk from the government about climate change being this generation’s nuclear-free moment, but we’re still not seeing the strong leadership and action that’s desperately needed if we’re going to prevent catastrophic climate change.

“We’ll keep up the pressure on the government to commit to taking this action - and taking it soon. We invite New Zealanders and people all over the world to take a stand against the oil and gas companies that are destroying our climate in the name of profit."





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