In this paper, Marty Branagan provides a brief historical overview of the Australian movement against uranium mining, before focussing on two major campaigns: Roxby and Jabiluka. It describes the reasons the activists gave at the time for their blockades of the Roxby Downs uranium mine in South Australia in 1983 and 1984. These reasons – such as perceptions that the industry is unsafe – have changed little over time and were the basis for the campaign against the proposed Jabiluka mine in the Northern Territory in 1998. They continue to be cited by environmental groups and Aboriginal Traditional Owners to this day as new situations arise, such as the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.
The paper describes how the movement evolved between the Roxby and Jabiluka blockades, with changes to the movement’s philosophy, strategy, tactics, and internal dynamics. This analysis includes a comparison between two anti-nuclear bike rides, one a year after the 1984 Roxby blockade and involving some of the same activists, and another at the time of
the Jabiluka blockade. It provides an introductory history of these campaigns, examining the direct action components, the practicalities of nonviolent campaigning, and the evolution of Australian anti-uranium activism.
The article was originally published in the 2014 International Journal of Rural Law and Policy, Mining in a sustainable world, Special edition 1 and was provided courtesy of the author, Marty Branagan, who has also written the novel Locked On!
- Historical background
- Opposition to Roxby Downs
- Aboriginal Leadership and Solidarity
- Larger, more professional campaign
- Active resistance
- Better support for arrestees
- Improved relationships with police
- Anti-uranium bike rides
- Improved artistic activism
- Corporate campaigning
- More sophisticated industry tactics
The Australian Movement against Uranium Mining: Its Rationale and Evolution
- Australia - South Australia
- Cyclists_Bike riders - Political activity
- Direct action - Non violent NVDA
- History - Australia
- Movements_Campaigns - Anti nuclear_Uranium
- Movements_Campaigns - Anti nuclear_Uranium - Jabiluka, Northern Territory
- South Australia