Anti-nuclear protesters camping at what they describe as “the gates of hell” — that is, on the edge of BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam uranium mine in the desert of South Australia — decided to play a game of cricket on Tuesday, July 17, in order to publicize their message: Uranium isn’t Australian.
“It’s just not cricket,” they chanted, “and that’s why we picket.”
Police, however, wanted to play rugby. After a scrum, the cops confiscated the ball but failed to clear demonstrators from the road leading to the mine’s entrance. Then came the tear gas. Next, the mounted police.
The activists, who were gathered in the Outback to shut down what is slated to be the world’s largest open-pit uranium mine, should have known better than to tempt BHP’s army. Earlier that day, six protesters had been dragged away by officers of the law for serving porridge at the mine’s gate. After the cricketers were cleared from the road, three female activists attempting to relieve themselves in the bush were carted away by two policemen.
There’s no room for nature’s business in the uranium business. That’s why BHP is digging into the belly of Kalta, the sleeping lizard who, according to aboriginal legend, lives under the rocks at Olympic Dam. BHP is sucking yellow uranium poison out ...