Protesters threaten 'escalation' at petrol conference

Can we live without this? Yes, says Greenpeace.

Can we live without this? Yes, says Greenpeace.

Protesters are threatening an "escalation in protest tactics" at an annual petrol conference at SkyCity next month.

The campaign to disrupt the event, led by Greenpeace, is recruiting members of the public to take part in a show of civil disobedience inspired by the likes of Ghandi, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jnr. 

Transport and energy minister Simon Bridges said he respected all New Zealander's right to protest, but was unavailable to comment further.

Transport minister Simon Bridges will address the conference.

Transport minister Simon Bridges will address the conference.

Scaling buildings to drop banners, gatecrashing venues and blocking off streets with thousands of people, have all been tactics used in recent times.

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But this time protesters need to do more, said campaign organiser Steve Abel. 

"There's a different level of intensity with what we're calling for, and different escalation tactics" he said.

"We want some things to be revealed to Key and his oil industry chums on the day, but we will be giving ongoing information to all those who are interested in being part of this."  

While he could not reveal what would be briefed to the crowd, it would be non-violent, he said.

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"We're expecting a good turnout indeed."

Abel said the anti-petrol stance is part of a larger call for Government to switch to a 100 per cent clean energy policy, to reduce climate change drives which cause flooding, storms, and droughts.

"Just last night I had a phone call from a land owner down in Taranaki who was very, very distressed about Shell Todd oils plan to seismic blasting and fracking of their farmland."

"The offshore drilling programme is very extensive, there's vast areas of ocean that is open to seismic blasting which affects marine mammals," he added.

"If they find oil then they set about doing the riskiest kind of drilling...all for this oil that we have to leave in the ground if we want to avoid catastrophic climate change, the unburnable carbon."

The whole oil agenda was a "19th century mindset", and Abel believed there was not a shortage of oil already discovered.

The event organiser, Petroleum Exploration and Production Association New Zealand (PEPANZ) have been contacted for comment.

 - Stuff


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