Pacific protesters block Newcastle coal port

Kayakers and canoeists have blocked the port of Newcastle by paddling across the harbour on Friday.

Local protesters were joined by members of the Pacific Climate Warriors action group, who had travelled from nations such as Fiji, Vanuatu, the Marshall Islands, Tokelau, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

Fijian protester George Nacewa said the effects of climate change where evident in his home nation, where erosion and sea-level rise have impacted on the lives of locals.

“To date there has been the relocation of two villages, they’ve moved further inland,” Nacewa said.

“That’s Fiji alone, and the other Pacific islands are more affected because most of them are just atolls.”

The 30 Pacific protesters were joined on Horseshoe Beach by hundreds of locals.

Marshall Islands protester Milañ Loeak said the climate warriors were joining the protest to tell people their stories in the hope more would join them in their fight.

“Just last week we had a king tide that affected some homes in the villages,” she said, adding that droughts and floodings of Pacific islands were frequent.

Bulk carrier Rhine was delayed for a short time before police on jetskis cleared the way.

Kayaker Donna Bartlet said police were intentionally trying to unbalance the protesters by creating wake and spray.

Several protesters were detained although no charges were laid.

Image: Guardian Australia

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