Enviro Pro-Poli

Bill Ryan: Age 92, Arrested for Protesting Coal Mining

At 92, I was arrested for protesting against mining. I’m glad I took a stand

What concerns me is that this coal will eventually be burnt and produce carbon dioxide, and add to the global warming we’re experiencing, which scientists say will only get worse. They also say we need to keep 80% of the coal in the ground, otherwise it will be a catastrophe for global warming. The use of fossil fuels must give way to renewable energy.

I’m now 92 years of age and I was a veteran of the second world war. I served in the Kokoda campaign in New Britain. I thought what we were fighting for there was proper democracy. But I’ve learned that was not the situation. The government doesn’t listen to the people, and this mine is a good example. There were over 300 submissions against the mine, and one submission for it. But it was approved….

The coal industry gets enormous subsidies from the government. We need to take them away from the mining industry, with their lobbyists galore in Canberra, and use that money to assist in the development of our renewable energies. We’re in a unique position in this country to use wind power, solar power, and other renewables.

Otherwise, what is the future for my children? I’ve only got a few years left, but I feel in my conscience that I have to take this stand. I’m happy to say that I’ve been here on four occasions, and each time, the numbers are increasing. This sort of direct action is the way of the future.

Bill Ryan

Bill Ryan is one of 100’s of protesters attempting to block coal mining in Northwest New South Wales, in Australia. They have been protesting with nonviolent direct-action for over a year.

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About the author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She sometimes writes fiction about Chester (the Alpha Bichon) and his friends -- with a dash of humor and dab of Poli-Sci. JoAnn's views and insights are tinted by her past profession in Counseling, Christian theological studies, and Library and Information Science training. Retired now, JoAnn enjoys the creative life.

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