May 7th, 2019:
Anti-Adani Protestor Gives Insider Perspective
The people who step-up to stop Adani with the group Frontline Action on Coal (FLAC) often find themselves at the centre of a media circus. It’s part of the game they must play, but too often they’re grossly misrepresented; the popular press’ opinion pieces, written by people they’ve never met, label them as “eco-terrorists” and “dole bludgers.”
The first time the Courier Mail published an accurate story on someone from FLAC people was inadvertent. It concerned the rogue horseman who ran over a woman at Bob Brown’s Stop Adani Convoy rally at Clermont.
My friend Hayley was photographed as the first responder to the injured woman. It’s a brilliant photo, capturing the compassion on Hayley’s face as she began emergency first aid.
In the moments before it was taken, I watched Hayley try to stop the horseman entering the show ground. Crowded as it was with elderly people, children and animals, Hayley foresaw the danger and did all she could to prevent it.
The irony is that the Courier Mail didn’t know that Hayley is one of the people they’re so fond of vilifying. It portrayed her as she really is; someone who wants to make a positive difference in our world, who is willing to stand up to injustice.
Through my own time with FLAC, I’ve come to know Hayley well. She’s someone who inspires me everyday to be better.
Speaking at a convoy event in Airlie Beach, she told the crowd,
“Today I stand before you not as a greenie punk, not as an eco-terrorist or a green grub, not even as a protester. I stand here today as a mother, who holds grave fears for the kind of planet my son will inherit.”
That’s the real Hayley. If you take the time to sit with her or any of the other brave people at FLAC you’ll see they’re not so different from you. They’re not eco-terrorists or green grubs. They’re just people trying to do what’s best for their families and communities. They’re here to help, and will do so wherever they can.
Horseman photo: Matthew Newton Facebook
First responder photo: Bob Brown Foundation Facebook