Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

US President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison shake hands during a visit to Pratt Industries plant opening in Wapakoneta, Ohio on September 22, 2019

US President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison shake hands during a visit to Pratt Industries plant opening in Wapakoneta, Ohio on September 22, 2019. (Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

Australian PM Morrison Pledges to Outlaw Climate Boycotts

 “A new breed of radical activism is on the march. Apocalyptic in tone," said Morrison, an evangelical Christian and a very vocal supporter of US President Donald Trump.

Common Dreams staff

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison attacked environmental activists in a speech Friday, warning of a “new breed of radical activism” that was “apocalyptic in tone” and pledging to outlaw boycott campaigns that he argued could hurt the country’s mining industry.

“We are working to identify mechanisms that can successfully outlaw these indulgent and selfish practices that threaten the livelihoods of fellow Australians, especially in rural and regional areas,” Morrison said. “New threats to the future of the resources sector have emerged,” he said. “A new breed of radical activism is on the march. Apocalyptic in tone. It brooks no compromise. It’s all or nothing.”

Morrison claimed that “progressivism” – which he labeled a “new-speak type term”, invoking George Orwell – intends “to get in under the radar, but at its heart would deny the liberties of Australians”.

The remarks were made  in a speech to the Queensland Resources Council, an organization representing mining interests in the northeastern Australian state. The Human Rights Law Center, the Australian Conservation Foundation, and the Greens immediately attacked the proposal as undemocratic and an attempt to undermine people’s rights to protest, often at the behest of big corporations.

“From ending slavery to stopping apartheid, boycott campaigns have played a critical role in achieving many social advances that we now take for granted,” Hugh de Kretser, executive director of the Human Rights Law Center, said in a statement. “The Morrison Government’s announcement that it is looking to ban certain boycott campaigns is deeply concerning.”

“It’s vital that people can come together and campaign against not only the companies that are committing human rights abuses or harming our environment but also the companies that profit from doing business with them.”

“Protest is an essential part of our democracy. To protect our democracy and help ensure a better future for all Australians, governments should be strengthening our rights to come together and protest, not weakening them,” said de Kretser.

Green party leader Adam Bandt called Morrison “a direct threat to Australian democracy and freedom of speech. The prime minister’s commitment to outlaw the peaceful, legal protest of Australian individuals and community groups reads like a move straight from the totalitarian’s playbook,” he said. “Instead of getting tough on the climate crisis, Scott Morrison is dismantling democracy.”

PM Morrison is an evangelical Christian and a very vocal supporter of US President Donald Trump.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Scientists to BlackRock Vice Chairman: New Fossil Fuel Development 'Incompatible' With 1.5°C

"The only responsible course of action is to do everything in our power to stop fossil fuel expansion and further emissions."

Jessica Corbett ·


Goldman Prize Awarded to Activists Who Showed Nature's 'Amazing Capability to Regenerate'

"While the many challenges before us can feel daunting, and at times make us lose faith, these seven leaders give us a reason for hope and remind us what can be accomplished in the face of adversity."

Julia Conley ·


Faith Leaders Call for Federal Election Monitors in Georgia to Protect Black Voters

"It is imperative that our election this November is monitored to preserve ballot integrity and ensure ballot security."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Inaction Is Bought': Here Are the Receipts on NRA's Purchase of GOP

"The issue is money in politics," said Nina Turner after the nation's latest mass killing of students and teachers. Right-wing lawmakers are "allowing children to die because of the gun lobby."

Kenny Stancil ·


'This Is on You!' Beto Interrupts Abbott Press Conference on Texas Massacre

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke accused Texas' GOP leaders of "doing nothing and offering us nothing" in the wake of the massacre at Robb Elementary School.

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo