XRWA support for Disrupt Burrup Hub activists

XRWA support for Disrupt Burrup Hub activists

Extinction Rebellion Australia, 30 Sept 2023

XRWA and members of the climate activist community rallied at Perth Magistrates Court on September 28 in support of four Disrupt Burrup Hub campaigners facing court on serious indictable offences.

National attention was drawn to the destructive nature of Woodside’s Burrup Hub project when Joana Partyka and Ballardong Noongar man Desmond Blurton defaced, but didn’t permanently damage, the famous Australian painting 'Down on His Luck' at the Art Gallery of WA in January this year.

Joana subsequently pled guilty to criminal damage at Perth’s Magistrates Court and was fined. Her home was raided a month later, when WA police executed a warrant which specified suspected criminal damage and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence. Nothing incriminating was found. But the counterterrorism unit officers wanted ana to hand over her device passwords, and she refused to do so.

In an astonishing admission, police later confirmed that the February raid on Joana's home – and the subsequent seizure of her devices prompting the failure to obey charges – was investigating a conspiracy to commit indictable offences that had not yet occurred nor been identified. For more information see the full article on the Sydney Criminal Lawyers website: Climate Defender on Trial for Refusal to Disclose Device Passwords: Disrupt Burrup Hub’s Joana Partyka

Joana Partyka and Ballardong Noongar man Desmond Blurton
Joana Partyka and Ballardong Noongar man Desmond Blurton during the January action at the WA Art Gallery

The September 28 rally took place as 19 year-old, Disrupt Burrup Hub activist Matilda faced court on a charge of Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence after she was ambushed by more than a dozen counter-terror police outside the house of the Woodside CEO last month. 21 year-old campaigner Emil was charged with the same serious offence after unmarked police pulled a gun on him the day before the protest, which he didn’t attend. Joana was charged with eight serious counts for the full evacuation of Woodside HQ - a protest she didn’t attend either. Activist Kristen was back in court after enduring weeks of house arrest for the same safe, successful evacuation.

As he left the court Emil said: "You might think this is a free country but that's only until you stand up to the fossil fuel companies. So I'm here today again, because of the current over-reaching behaviour of the WA Police. I can't associate with a total of six people because of a protest I did not even attend. I'm scared for my future, but what I'm not scared of is Woodside and the WA Police, and I'll keep fighting for this country, this sacred country that I need to protect."

Supporters from Drummers for Climate Action, XRWA Grandparents and XRWA Western Suburbs
Supporters from Drummers for Climate Action, XRWA Grandparents and XRWA Western Suburbs - James Wylie photography

A statement from XRWA said:

The Burrup Hub gas expansion is a disaster waiting to happen. The emissions that are projected to come from this project are more than our entire carbon budget allows for and the project is already eroding thousands of pieces of ancient First Nations rock art located at Murujuga.

The Disrupt Burrup Hub campaign is essential for saving the planet from the destruction that Woodside Energy is instigating with their attempts to expand their fossil fuel production during a #ClimateEmergency, and is essential for protecting sacred sites which are home to some of the oldest petroglyphs in the world, including the earliest known depiction of the human face. Allowing this project to go ahead is a huge loss for #ClimateJustice and #FirstNationsJustice.

We cannot allow the #BurrupHub project to go ahead and so we are 100% in support of the actions of Disrupt Burrup Hub and we commend their bravery in the face of an accelerating harassment campaign from the West Australia Newspaper and the Western Australian Police Force as well as a failure to take climate action from the Roger Cook and Australian Labor Party government in WA.

The WA climate activist community will not be silent as the #CapturedState refuses to listen to the science of the climate crisis which says no new fossil fuels, refuse to acknowledge the impact that the Burrup Hub expansion has on the Traditional Custodians of Murujuga and refuse to act on their duty of care for people in WA and all those who will be affected by the worsening effect of the #ClimateCrisis.

Supporters from Walyalup Climate Action
Supporters from Walyalup Climate Action - James Wylie photography

On the same day that the Disrupt Burrup Hub activists faced court, the Australian Federal Court ruled that Woodside no longer has approval to conduct seismic blasting at its $16.5b Scarborough gas development.

The ruling came in response to a judicial review launched last month by Mardudhunera woman Raelene Cooper, who argued that the decision by the offshore petroleum regulator to allow Woodside to begin blasting was not legally sound on the basis the company did not properly consult Traditional Owners. It was a powerful reminder that when we all stand together, listen to each other and keep the pressure up, we win.

Climate activists in WA are facing an unprecedented civil liberties crackdown with escalating police counter-terror raids, seizures of phones and laptops, and absurdly excessive charges for peaceful climate protest.

Follow Disrupt Burrup Hub and support the brave young campaigners standing up against fossil fuel bullies. Send a message to Woodside and the WA government that we demand climate action and we won’t be intimidated!

Get involved

Find in person and online events

Join your friendly Local Group

Connect with our Special Interest Groups

Learn more about Extinction Rebellion