Work has been disrupted this morning on Adani’s Carmichael rail line on the Gregory Highway near Clermont, with two people locking themselves to machinery. The two men say their action is in solidarity with indigenous people oppressed by Adani’s coal projects in India and Australia

Bush regeneration worker and organic farmer Sam Brown locked himself to Adani’s flash butt welder, while student Abhijeet Swami did the same to immobilise the concrete batching plant. A group of supporters nearby held a banner saying “from Adivasi to Aboriginal land, stop Adani’s destruction”. Adivasi are the indigenous tribal people of India.

Mr Swami said “Adani is leaving a trail of destruction wherever it goes. The theft of indigenous land, the collusion with governments, the extraction and use of polluting resources, and the attacks on those who speak out against the company are the same in Australia and India; for the Adivasi people resisting Adani’s coal-fired power station at Godda and the Wangan and Jagalingou people fighting the Carmichael mine. 

“The tactics used against indigenous people are very similar: extinguished native title and compulsorily acquired land; and targeting of prominent individuals like Adrian Burragubba and Hidme Markam. But the other similarity is the courageous resistance from people who will not allow Adani to destroy their sacred land without a fight.”

Adivasi activist Hidme Markam has been held in prison without trial for two months now. She is one of the most prominent of thousands of Adivasi activists who have been resisting Adani’s Godda power station and other destructive projects.

Mr Swami said “Adani claims their coal will benefit Indian people, but if you look at what’s happening in India, you see Adani’s power stations and other projects are displacing some of the world’s poorest people. Indigenous people will also be among the worst affected by climate change. But the coal industry is not just destroying our natural ecosystems through carbon emissions – it is the continuation of a colonial system that for hundreds of years has seen some people as dispensable if they stand in the way of profits for the wealthy.”