• 1 year anniversary of Black Tuesday, when 26 people were arrested at Manari Road Blockade
• Arrests later shown to be for stopping illegal activity
• Crowd gathers to hear from those arrested
• Arrestees release media statement (attached)
On the one year anniversary of ‘Black Tuesday’, a group of those arrested have addressed the crowd at a gathering in Broome this morning.
On July 5 2011, riot police were bought in to break a community blockade at the corner of Manari and Cape Leveque Roads. The blockade, manned by Broome locals, had successfully prevented Woodside from gaining access to the controversial James Price Point site for 29 days. 26 people were arrested that day, as huge numbers of riot police descended on Broome.
At the time protestors asserted to police that Woodside did not have the permits required for this clearing and that their work was illegal. Information provided as part of Woodside’s retrospective application for planning approval later in the year proved this to be the case.
Shaun Clark, one of those arrested last year said “A year ago a large group of people assembled and were determined to do whatever we could to prevent Woodside destroying important environment and heritage sites, and changing our community forever
"With every passing day these goals become more achievable and the Broome community is more determined than ever that we will never give up. The whole of Australia now knows that this project does not have the backing of the local community, has no social license to operate, will damage a National Heritage site and is environmentally unsound.”
Statement from the Black Tuesday arrestees on the one-year anniversary of their arrest
On July 5th of last year 26 people, most of whom were Broome residents, were arrested at the corner of Manari and Cape Leveque Roads, while defending their community.
The arrests on what became known as Black Tuesday occurred when riot police charged a community blockade aimed at stopping Woodside from transporting heavy machinery onto country to clear land.
At the time protestors asserted that Woodside did not have the permits required for this clearing and that their work was illegal. Information provided as part of Woodside’s retrospective application for planning approval later in the year proved this to be the case.
We were arrested for trying to stop illegal activity from occurring by the very people who are supposed to stop illegal activity.
This happened a year ago today. Last month Woodside again tried to get their machinery onto country after the wet season this time with an overwhelming police presence alongside them.
Our community has been intimidated, community members with no prior history in the justice system have been made into criminals, and our concerns have been ignored.
A year ago the large group of protestors assembled were determined to do whatever they could to prevent Woodside destroying important environment and heritage sites. With every passing day these goals become more achievable and protestors more determined that they will never give up. The whole of Australia now knows that this project does not have the backing of the local community, has no social license to operate, will damage a National Heritage site and is environmentally unsound.
Splits have appeared within the Joint Venture Partners, with some partners now publicly preferring a different site to process the gas.
Splits have also appeared between the Joint Venture Partners (JVPs) and Government, with Premier Barnett, who seems obsessed with industrialising the Kimberley, demanding that the JVPs use James Price Point – whether they like it or not.
Financial analysts have repeatedly voiced their doubts over the project’s viability.
Government processes and decisions have been shown to be sorely lacking in transparency, integrity or probity. Multiple court challenges have been launched, and more lie waiting in the wings. More Ministers should be copying the Minister for Environment who chose to seek legal advice before accepting a recommendation from a heavily conflicted Environmental Protection Authority which was trying to make a decision outside its operating guidelines regarding quorums.
The campaign to prevent the construction of the gas hub at James Price Point has grown into a truly national movement. Former Greens Senator Bob Brown, on his recent trip to Broome, likened the campaign to that which saved the Franklin River.
Today, a year after Black Tuesday, we come together again to remember the manner in which our community was treated. But we also gather to celebrate what our campaign has grown in to, and to remind Woodside and Premier Barnett that we will never allow a gas hub to be built at James Price Point. There are alternatives, and we advise the WA government that it is time to choose one of them.
Carmel Leahy, Shaun Clark, Steve Pearse, Ushan Boyd, Hrimnir Benediktsson, Russell Massey, John Wylie, Jason Weguelin, Janet Cox, Jane Lawton, Jan Lewis, James Fowler, Glen Malcolm, Gerard Renehan, Alison Southern.