This week in the Senate I thanked the 6,000 peaceful protesters who came from across the globe to protect the Franklin River.
Conservationists are often labelled economic vandals in my state.
The truth is, given time to reflect on history, they are quite the opposite.
They have turned out to be state builders.
They have delivered positive, sustainable, structural change to Tasmania’s economy.
With all the doom and gloom currently surrounding Tasmania’s economy, our wild places and the tourism they attract is one bright light in the economy.
Our protected, wild and rare World Heritage areas are critical to our Tasmanian economy and future prosperity.
Peaceful Protest - An evening discussion with Ian Cohen
Hosted by Australian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson
Where: Fresh on Charles
When: Monday 10th December
Time: 7pm – 8.30pm
Cost: By donation
Ian Cohen is known in Tasmania for playing a key role in the Franklin River Dam protest.
He came to international attention in 1986 when photographed on a surfboard, while clinging to the bow of the destroyer USS Oldendorf (DD-972), as she pulled into Sydney Harbour to participate in the 75th Anniversary of the Royal Australian Navy. He was reported on ABC news as stating of the incident: “I think we sent a really strong message to the powers that be at that stage of the Cold War that there were Australians who objected strongly in a non-violent manner to the entry of nuclear warships into Sydney Harbour.”
Peaceful protest is a vital part of a democratic society and has a very long and respected tradition. It is a very powerful tool and many of the rights and freedoms we enjoy today were gained because people were prepared to stand up and peacefully protest for what they believe in.
Please join Ian and I next Monday for a discussion about peaceful protest and its role in contemporary democratic societies.