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Friends of the Earth podcast history series made in collaboration with 3CR 855 AM community radio show Acting Up!  Monday 2.00pm.  Ratbags, peaceniks and agents of change, resistance radio that explores the movements that made us. 

45 Years of Acting Up! Friends of the Earth Trade Union Solidarity audio episode

Listen up mp3
Presenters: Megan Williams and Em Gayfer.
Guests: Dave Kerin (BLF & Earthworker Coop), Cam Walker (FOE), Dimity Hawkins (FOE)

Jack Mundey, 2020. Commemorative digital poster

Image: Chips Mackinolty, Jack Mundey, 2020. Commemorative digital poster

This episode looks at how Friends of the Earth built up alliances and solidarity with the trade union movement.  Guests discuss the Green Ban actions in the 1970s, forest and dock blockades, land rights and anti-nuclear campaigns.  Over the years Friends of the Earth formed solid alliances with workers, including the creation of the Earthworker Cooperative supporting sustainable jobs, community and the environment, always campaigning towards social and economic justice for all.  Core to trade union ethos, peace actions aligned with Friends of the Earth’s anti-militarism campaigns joining in protests against the Gulf War, and shutting down the AIDEX Arms Fare.  Workers and activists continue to resist exploitative corporate power campaigning to empower workers worldwide. Keep reading to find out how to get involved.

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Disaster Cooperativism webinar
6.30pm Friday 5 June 2020

Key moments Friends of the Earth Trade Union Solidarity

1970s NSW Builders Labourers Federation, with Jack Mundey at the helm, saw trade unions take on a leading role across a range of social and environmental issues instituting Green Ban strike and boycott action across Australia to protect parklands, low-income housing and historical buildings, in support of residents’ groups.  This included protecting Kelly Flat, land across from Carlton housing commission high rise in Melbourne, and stopped a factory being built.

Trade Union activists win ALP no new mines policy.  Later ALP 3 mines policy change for Kakadu, NT area, Ranger, Jabiluka and Koongarra mines imposed on the Mirarr people.
National action on anti-uranium mining Jabiluka blockades supported by FOE Brisbane activists.  Era of resisting Joh Bejelke-Petersen’s police state LNP government fighting for the right to protest, public awareness campaign around the nuclear fuel cycle and blockades at the docks supported by Queensland trade unions. 

FOE campaigns against massive inner-city high-rise developments in Sydney, NSW in support of trade union led Green Bans. 

Indigenous land rights and uranium mine protests supported by traditional land owners, FOE and trade union activists continue to call for ALP no new mines policy in ascendency. 

1981 FOE supports the Merchant Services Guild and other trade unions to highlight the trial of offshore dumping of waste from paper mills, and subsequently offshore dumping is banned.

1990s FOE activists support the anti-war protest movement against the Gulf war.

AIDEX military Arms Fare in Canberra is shut down by FOE protestors and allied activists.

1992 For seven years under the Kennett Liberal State government, FOE Melbourne activates community politicisation and supports resistance at a grassroots level across Victoria. FOE staff, members and activists play a significant role on trade union picket lines, supporting campaigns and training protesters in non-violent action, police liaison, and community organising.

1998 FOE joins with the Electrical Trades Union, the Australian Nursing Federation and others to launch the Earthworker alliance, forming a co-operative between green groups and trade unions.

2000 FOE supported the coordination of massive protests at the World Economic Forum held at Crown Casino, Melbourne with FOE and trade unions building blockades.

2017 Earthworker Cooperative’s redrafted constitution commits to building solutions to climate change and a just transition to renewable energy, local manufacturing, dignified and democratic job creation, affordable renewable energy options, practical Treaty work with First Nations people and pathways to cooperative enterprises, quality education and training, social justice projects, and the provision of quality housing, child care, health, education, and social products for the cooperative workforce.

2019 Friends of the Earth is active on most continents around the world campaigning on environmental and social justice issues supporting workers rights as human rights.

2020 Friends of the Earth Melbourne: mobilise - resist – transform

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Check out Friends of the Earth affiliate Earthworker Cooperative
The Earthworker Cooperative is part of the transition toward new ways of living and working that empower us to take care of each other and the planet.  Our first cooperative in Victoria's coal-power region of the Latrobe Valley, is creating sustainable and healthy livelihoods for the prosperity of present and future generations in the Valley, manufacturing solar hot water technology and offering Red Gum Cleaning Coop services.Earthworker Coop

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