THOUSANDS of protesters aged between 15 to 97 years old risked arrest as they occupied the Newcastle Ports shipping lane to stop coal exports from leaving the major seaport.
The port of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia is the country’s most important terminal for coal shipments and touted as the largest coal port in the world.
An estimated 3,000 people took part in the climate protest approved by the police.
The activists paddled into the water using kayaks, surfboards, and pontoons.
They have occupied the channel for 30 hours to stop coal exports from leaving Newcastle for the entire weekend.
Protesters claimed that the climate action prevented more than half a million tons of coal from leaving the country.
“Hi. My name is Decklin. I’m 18 years old…that we need to hold all fossil fuel production by 2030,” according to Climate Protester.
“Hi. I’m Carol Bennett…of the largest coal port in the world,” Carol Bennett, Climate Protester said.
Rising tide – the organizers of the weekend protests – called the act the “biggest act of civil disobedience for the climate in Australia’s history”.
On Monday, 104 people were arrested for refusing to leave the channel.
Five minors were arrested but eventually released.
Among those detained was Reverend Alan Stuart, a church minister.
Organizers claimed the 97-year-old was the oldest person ever arrested and charged in Australia.
“Whatever happens to me doesn’t matter, but what happens to the climate, because the climate is going to affect future generations. My grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and so on, and as well as other peoples. I want them to have the same privileges that we had growing up,” according to Rev. Alan Stuart, Church Minister.
Australia is the world’s second-biggest coal exporter, behind Indonesia, and has the third-largest reserves of coal in the world.