Miranda’s Daily Blog: Day 148
I watched the sunrise, the air cold against my face as I peered out from my sleeping bag. Golden morning light filled the valley. It started to rain, a soft gentle rain that glistened like little diamonds as the morning sun was reflected in each and every drop. I couldn’t see the mountains beyond, all I could see was a thick golden glowing mist stretching forever into the distance, sparkling with a million diamonds. It was a spectacular morning. And while I lay there cosy in my sleeping bag, Rosie watched the very same sunrise as it shed it’s light across the harbour. She had been up for hours already. And in the predawn light she and two others had crept quietly into the confines of Hobart wharf. And now as the sun began to rise, the dark shadows taking form, illuminating the huge ship with its great cranes that reached up into the sky, Rosie sat perched high above the ground.
Unlike my tree top perch, her position was less comfortable, straddling the crane. Unlike my view of beautiful trees alive with the chatter of early morning bird calls… Rosie looked down onto a boat loaded with veneer, thin slabs of what had once been beautiful trees, once alive with the chatter of birds too. Now they lay packed onto pallets, the only sound the plastic wrapping flapping in the wind. When I asked Rosie this afternoon about the action, she said the thing she remembers most is looking at these strange blocks of wood and thinking “they look so different. It’s hard to even imagine the tall eucalypt forests,tree-lined ridges and rainforest gullies that they were once a part of. Now they sit lifelessly on this boat on their way to the international market, to end up as flooring” she said.
Looking out across the harbour as the sun came up, Rosie mused that her life is quite interesting! She imagined if herself at aged 10 could see her now! She never would have thought this is where she would end up… perched on a crane atop a veneer ship. So I asked her, “what is it that led that 10-year-old to grow up to do what you’re doing? why did you end up there?” She laughed and said that she liked the view. Then she laughed again and said she did it because someone has to. This was kind of a joke, but there is truth in it too. The forests are getting destroyed and if no one does anything we could very well lose them forever. “You know that saying, how does it go? Its better to die on ones feet than live on ones knees? Well, that’s what it makes me think of” Rosie pondered “I believe it’s better to stand up for what you believe in, than to just stand back and do nothing. That’s why I do it, because I believe we have to do everything we can to protect the last remaining wilderness left on the planet”
And why this crane? Well, the veneer being loaded onto this ship is from Ta Ann. It is the product that is driving the ongoing destruction of our high conservation value forest. Yet this very veneer, being loading onto that ship today will end up in Japan and will be sold as “eco ply.” Spokesperson for today’s action, Jenny Weber from the Huon Valley Environment Centre said “As recent as this week, Malaysian news reports and Australian online industry news, claimed that ‘Ta Ann is producing eco-friendly products for the Japanese market using entirely imported logs from its plantation in Tasmania’,”
Rosie sat uncomfortably crouched on the cold metal crane in the chilly Hobart morning air. As I peered out from my sleeping bag, she was peering out from her marine jump suit that kept her warm, apart from the cold breeze across her face. After several hours she was removed by police, who came up beside her in their own crane. The rest of the day was spent in the confines of the police station. It was late in the afternoon by the time she walked out of there, weary and holding her notice for appearance in court on the charge of trespass.
“I can’t just stand back and let this company destroy Tasmania’s unique ancient forests” Rosie said when I asked her how she had felt about taking part in the action. “There are spectacular forests right across the state being clearfelled right now to produce this product. And the horrible thing about it is that people buying it belive it is environmentally friendly. We need to do something to expose the truth behind these destructive lies.”
It had been a big day, so I thought I better let Rose get off the phone. She was just about to head home when I called her to catch up on how the day had gone. So I guess she’s headed back to her house for a well-earned rest. And now I’m back in my sleeping bag, writing this underneath a starry sky. As I look out across the silhouettes of eucalypt branches I sincerely hope that they never end up on the Hobart wharf wrapped in plastic and destined for Japan. And I am hopeful. Because although am all alone in my tree top perch, I am not on my own in this fight to protect these forests. I am joined not only by Rosie, but by people all around the world, by thousands of people in fact. They may not all be climbing onto ships and up cranes, but they are getting online and signing the cyber action! And the more people who do the better chance we will have of making sure this forest never becomes flooring.
Please take a minute to help defend Tasmania’s ancient forests.
Click HERE to sign the online cyber action.