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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Thursday, 18 March 2010
Legal anatomy of an anti uranium protest at Jabiluka in 1998
Mood:  energetic
Topic: legal


There isn't time or space here to write about all the SAM editor's experiences in the Northern Territory as a legal adviser and paralegal over 3 intense weeks at variously Jabiru, Jabiluka protest camp and Darwin.

From waking up on a bullant nest, willy willy through the kitchen tent, meeting the cream of idealistic Australian youth, hearing Jeff Buckley for the first time over the radio sadly drowned the day before. We slaved over a legal data base of 400 arrestees or so in the Environment Centre of Northern Territory in Darwin before flying back to duties as a single Green Party councillor at Waverley Council in Sydney. All in the suffocating real politik of the Country Party conservative NT govt. The Waverley ALP Mayor Paul Pearce, now MP, commended our hard work in open council as "brave" and for that we were gratified.

Other kudos came from middle class activists rotting in a Jabiru gaol cell who "loved" the work we did, providing a shield against the harshness of the legal system there until NT Legal Aid got their act together. (McLoughlin is gaelic for shield apparently.) And there were further loose ends back in Sydney due to a s*xual assault complaint by a protester (at the lower end of the scale) against an unidentified security officer (police or mine staff was never resolved).

Now as we hear in 2010 about a controversial uranium dump at Muckaty Station in the NT, and U mine proposed near Alice Springs, and 4th U mine at Honeymoon in South Australia, we think this document is of public interest, as well as nostalgia value. We have redacted (in the legal jargon) the identifying surnames except for the most public of figures like former MP Jo Vallentine.

Suffice to say many of these folks are now serious professionals in Australian society and no doubt hold similar beliefs today and God bless them for that. Now this reader needs more of that goodwill too as we contemplate re-commencing a legal career after an at times bruising phase in the green ngo sector under the heel of a cunning and often cruel, dishonest ALP Govt in place for 15 years in NSW.

The handwritten labels indicating "db" were an accounting device in the  transfer of 118 names and details here into a much bigger computer database of 400 plus arrestees built up by this writer in the next 2 frenetic weeks.)















Posted by editor at 10:38 AM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 18 March 2010 7:27 PM NZT

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