On Day 6 of Occupy Melbourne, a number of protesters joined an action by Friends of the Earth ACE collective at the Melbourne Office of BHP Billiton, timed to coincide with the company's London AGM.
Having marched up Swanston Street to chants of ‘BHP BP Shell/ You can all/Go to hell’ and ‘System Change not Climate Change’, and escorted by about ten uniformed police - with at least one not-very-undercover plain clothes officer - protesters arrived at the headquarters to find it protected by even more.
Madeline Hudson of FoE ACE read a message sent by Arabunna elder Uncle Kevin Buzzacott to the BHP shareholders at the AGM in London, calling on them to reverse the decision to expand the Olympic Dam mine and instead spend their money on something better, and later wrapped up the protest with a rendering of ‘Eat the Rich’ in her character of No-Nukes Calamity Jane (see media clips below). Jim Green from Friends of the Earth and Dave Sweeney of the Australian Conservation Foundation also spoke, the latter quoting from a letter sent by Yvonne Margarula of the Mirrar people to UN secretary-general Ban ki-Moon after the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant – fuelled with uranium from Mirrar traditional lands (the text of this letter can be read at http://www.mirarr.net/media/Yvonne_ki-Moon_6Apr2011.pdf ). There were also brief addresses from Ben Courtice, Friends of the Earth Renewable Energy Campaigner, Lucho from LASNET, regarding the activities of mining companies in Colombia and Chile, and Susannah, on the proposed gas hub in the Kimberley.
There was yellow-cake on offer, and leaflets for passers-by, and The ACE collective had managed to prevail upon Dr Death to attend, standing in for BHP CEO Marius Kloppers.
BHP Billiton will be holding its Australian AGM in Melbourne on 17 November, and it will be surprising if there are not protests in Melbourne to mark that occasion also.
There are more photos on Melbourne Protests, including some from Occupy Melbourne before the march set off: http://melbourneprotests.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/occupy-melbourne-ctd-d...