Police agree on ‘right to protest’ – but block off road 4Km from Olympic Dam uranium mine
Police block mine road to protesters, BY: MARK SCHLIEBS The Australian July 12, 2012 POLICE will set up roadblocks around BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam mine in outback South Australia, creating further anger and warnings of confrontations with anti-uranium activists who plan to “shut down” mining operations during a five-day protest at the site.
Two roads leading to the Roxby Downs mine, in the state’s remote centre, have been blocked ahead of the first day of the protest on Saturday. The road protesters planned to use has been blocked 4km from the mine’s southern gates.
Only mine workers, emergency services workers and people individually approved by police can use the roads.
Protest organisers had hoped between 200 and 2000 activists would attend the demonstration and a music festival. One organiser, Nectaria Calan, said yesterday the police were being deliberately antagonistic.
“They’re blocking a public road,” she said. “On the one hand, they’re saying we’ve got the right to protest but on the other hand they’ve already made moves to prevent us from doing so.” She said the activists would decide how the protest would proceed once they reached Roxby Downs, but would not rule out blockading the roads.
Hundreds of police reinforcements, including special operations officers, have reportedly been sent to the town….. A company spokeswoman would not confirm whether hundreds of private security contractors had been flown to Roxby Downs but said preparations had been made. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/police-block-mine-road-to-protesters/story-e6frgczx-1226423874130
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