Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Woodside in the Kimberley; Exploitation Inc — Antony Loewenstein

Woodside in the Kimberley; Exploitation Inc — Antony LoewensteinWhat I saw on the cur­rent Wood­side com­pound near JPP chal­lenged this as­ser­tion, with count­less bits of bro­ken con­crete in the dirt, air-con­di­tion­ers at­tached with flimsy pieces of rope and leak­ing water. Ev­i­dence for this dam­age is con­stant and in­cludes en­vi­ron­men­tal ex­perts dis­put­ing Wood­side claims.

As we walked around the site, a man ap­peared car­ry­ing a video cam­era—he re­fused to say what he was doing or for whom he worked—and began film­ing us. He dis­ap­peared 30 sec­onds later.

Later, an­other man ap­peared, wear­ing a bright-yel­low flu­o­res­cent Thrifty car rental vest and dark sun­glasses, and a small cam­era at­tached to his chest was flicked on to film us. He re­fused to say what he was re­ally doing (apart from claim­ing he was pro­tect­ing our “safety” near the Wood­side com­pound) or where the footage would be screened or used.

My guides in the area, Damien and David, two men who have spent months at the block­ade at JPP and es­tab­lished a sus­tain­able camp with phone and in­ter­net cov­er­age, said that these kinds of acts—the guards are em­ployed by Hos­tile En­vi­ron­ment Ser­vices (HRS)—oc­curred daily.

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