December 19, 2012

30th Anniversary of the Franklin River Blockade

30th Anniversary of the Franklin River Blockade

30 years ago this month the Franklin River Blockade changed the face of environmental politics. Several thousand people converged in Southwest Tasmania to protest the construction of a hydropower dam in a world heritage indigenous and forest area.

I spent the summer of 1982-1983 involved in the protests. It's over thirty years ago now, but the buzz of the time still resonates. I was privileged to also be present at a small party that walked into the forest and stood round a tree and issued a declaration on the area's status. We arrived late in Strahan at night, stayed at an old local building (very secretly)  and left for a boat ride some time later.  How I got there is lost in memory, but I recall a fellow called Peter Wolf (?) who worked for Greenpeace inviting me to get involved. All because one day I walked into the Wilderness bookshop.....I then attended a planning workshop some way out of Launceston for several days on a rural property, and my involvement grew from that.

This is a brief account of my experience at the Franklin River Blockade It's short on history and context and really is just one person's memories. A wonderful website someone recently suggested to me  on the Blockade is here.