Projector makes light of Santos protest for NEC

One of the protest projections from the Nimbin Environment Centre at the Santos City of Lights display at Southbank, Brisbane.
One of the protest projections from the Nimbin Environment Centre at the Santos City of Lights display at Southbank, Brisbane.

PROTESTERS from the Nimbin Environment Centre have managed to make waves at a mining company-sponsored event without raising a single placard.

Instead the crew of six Nimbin Environment Centre members and four Brisbane-based protesters fronted the Santos City of Lights laser display armed with a solar-powered projector and a series of computer files attacking the mining giant.

Environment Centre secretary Alan Roberts said the posse managed to project their slogans onto the same wall as the light show for about an hour-and-a-half, engaging in a light-battle with spotlight operators who tried to literally outshine the protesters' projector.

"After about 20 minutes some invisible operator found the controls that turned the lights on and controlled both spot size and direction," Mr Roberts said in a statement.

"Unfortunately for Santos they needed both spots covering our image to nearly effectively blot it out, leaving a lot of wall unguarded.

"Much to the amusement of the camera ready crowd on the riverbank our image was able to nimbly skip away from Santos' clumsy spotlights in a manner akin to a Punch and Judy show."

Mr Roberts said the fun ground to a halt when a group of security guards and police officers confronted the group to kick them out of the park.

"First the security people, copybooks at the ready, wanted to issue exclusion notices to us all," he said.

"For this they wanted name, address, date of birth. Not likely.

"They said it was under the Corporations Act, but didn't know or understand why we wanted to know which section and paragraph number we were being excluded under because we hadn't broken any law. We had impressive negotiators.

"Finally a policewoman gave up in exasperation: 'Alright I'll give you a police one'. She ran through the move on 'for any reason' order screed, said it is now 23:19, you are to move out of the Southbank Corporation boundaries and not return until 3am!

"Of course we were devastated."

This wasn't the Environment Centre's first run-in with Santos at Southbank. The group used the same methods to disrupt last year's light show.

Mr Roberts said the projector sat in a trolley and could run for up to three hours from its solar-charged battery.

Topics:  santos

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