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Activist Shut-down Of Coal Mine Comes To A Close

Press Release – Extinction Rebellion Otautahi

Monday, 28 September After shutting down Bathursts Canterbury coal mine for 8 hours, climate activists from Extinction Rebellion (XR) tautahi, Te Waka Hourua (XR), XR tepoti and XR Whakat have concluded the blockade. Sixteen activists …

Monday, 28 September

After shutting down Bathurst’s Canterbury coal mine for 8 hours, climate activists from Extinction Rebellion (XR) Ōtautahi, Te Waka Hourua (XR), XR Ōtepoti and XR Whakatū have concluded the blockade. Sixteen activists have been arrested, with a number forcibly removed from locked-on positions.

Early on Monday morning, the 35 activists blocked entry into the mine and locked themselves inside diggers in protest against Bathurst’s proposed mine expansion.

“Coal is cooking our climate, and we’re seeing the effects of the climate emergency in real time as fires in California and the Arctic Circle consume homes and lives,” says Julie Thompson, one of the arrestees.

Bathurst is consented to take 20,000 tonnes of coal from the ground per year, but it is estimated to already be taking up to 100,000 tonnes.

“Bathurst has it coming. It has been running rough-shod over its own coal consents and over the climate. We’ve taken a stand here to protect our land, water and communities,” says Thompson.

The group is calling on Bathurst to withdraw its application to expand the mine, and is encouraging the government to work with Bathurst to decommission the mine and transition workers into decent jobs in clean industries.

“It’s well past time that companies like Bathurst – and its main Canterbury coal mine customer, Fonterra – faced the facts and farewelled this climate-cooking fossil fuel,” says Erik Kennedy, who supported the blockade.

“We are running out of time. If we want a future where everyone has clean water, clean air and a safe and stable climate, we must stop mining and burning coal.”

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