noelene lucas

Noelene Lucas member of the Williams River Valley Artists' Project lives and works in Sydney   WRVAP_lucas_small   work in exhibition: While We Sleep  2016 2 channel HD video 3:00, looping catalogue text: PEOPLE MUST ACT WHEN GOVERNMENTS FAIL TO PROTECT LAND, WATER & PEOPLE
Coal mining companies never give up! They fought the people in the High Court & when the people won, the NSW government changed the law (BULGA) & coal mine expansion is assured. Protests against Whitehaven’s Maules Creek mine decimation of the Leard State Forrest has resulted in the arrest of over 450 activists, ordinary people who put their lives on the line to protect our land, animals & water. In the early hours of the morning a cavalcade of cars drove along dusty farm tracks, avoiding public roads patrolled by police. Eventually we reached a road near an entrance to the Mauls Creek mine. In quick succession a car was placed across the road, blocking it to all traffic, wheels were removed & a protester locked on to a huge lump of cement & steel in the back of the car. Mine security guards aggressively patrolled the area until the police came & several hours after that police rescue arrived. All the protesters who worked to support this action, except the person locked on to the car, were moved away. Many people had roles in this action. It was a finely tuned choreographed community activity to this point - but now she was there alone. Alone while she was cut out with jack-hammers & angle grinders, arrested & taken to the local police station. Coal transportation was stopped & the planet was protected for half a day. As the fines for coal mining companies conducting illegal mining activities was reduced to only $5,000, the Baird government attacked our democracy by increasing fines for those who protest against coal mining & CSG. People now face $5,500 fines for protesting & risk a maximum jail sentence of seven years, more than for rape in some cases. Non violent direct action was used to peacefully demonstrate against the mine, raise community awareness & take a stand for the environment.