14 December 2006

Causing trouble in Victoria - The G20 & Gippy Forests

Wow so life has descended into another crazy blur.. a house, home & bed seem like a hazy luxurious dream and it seems like forever since I slept somewhere where we weren't on full alert for an early morning bust.

5 new photo sets on my flicker!

First it was down to Melbourne for the G20 madness. A crazy week of squatted social centers, spoke councils, rebel clowning, snatch squads, vegan yumminess, tram jumping, dumpsters, police violence & paranoia. Sounds like a summit to me! Lots of photos here

Oh and somehow (..I blame that Irish boy) ended up as climate speaker at the 'big rally' which was pretty intense as there were thousands of folks around and a wall of press.. I NEVER go and listen to speakers at rallies! But there I was.. and how a copy of it can be found here - Most of it plagiarised from London Rising Tide.

So with post summit snatch squads circling and paranoia heating up a crew of us head out to the victorian forests where we hear of a coupe being logged that might be saved after the upcoming elections...

"A three hour drive".. "leave at 3pm"... Hmm, there in time for tea then. Marvelous.

My first trip with the veggie oil van dumpster crew is a fantastic initiation to the true power of faff as we finally rock up to East Gippsland at dawn the next day after a mammoth tangental all night drive. However fun and dumpsterfull! And when we get to business we are a newly bonded tight crew - it was the most cuddly blockade ever.. Check out the really ace photos

We stopped logging in a coupe near Goonerah. There were four big machines there all put out of action, two by lock ons and two by being ties off to a tree-sit hanging of a branch. We went in after dark and spent the night setting up..

I headed up the road with a few folks to 'scrub' (pulling lots of stuff onto the road to slow the loggers & down when they arrive and buy us some time).

A frantic mission searching around with head torches and hauling logs & stones - whip a clove hitch around a log then haul on the rope.. oftern with many of us hauling & pushing with improvised leavers.. 1..2...3.. urrrragh...1...2...3.. urrragh...

Then the sky starts to lighten.. not long till the contractors show up for work and soon we can see without head-torches... and such an essential never leave your side item becomes redundant for the next 17 hours. Everythig is ready and now we wait... we huddle round the fire in the pre-dawn chill.

I buddy for a friend locked on to a 'Logmate' AKA 'Forest Fucker' a huge beast with clamping jaws thats grab tree trunks as a automated chain-saw cuts them down than then the jaws attached to an articulated arm to stack the cut trees in a pile.

The contractors show up, grumble a bit, take photos and leave. Later the cops show up and do the same thing. Then the forest is ours. I fInd a sense triumph sitting on the machinery, so do it a lot. Big hunk of metal not destroying the forest today..

Later Reinforcements arrived so Red & I hit the road for more forest blockades across the bass straight., via a look-see around the Sea Shepherd's Farly Mowat, and onto the overnight ferry away from the mainland and back to Tasmania...

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