Anti-nuclear protest and music festival, Roxby Downs, South Australia, 2012.

In July 2012, around 500 activists, artists, musicians, performers and concerned citizens descended on the town of Roxby Downs in South Australia. They set up camp just outside the BHP Billiton Olympic Dam uranium and copper mine and stayed for over a week of protests, performances and music. Surrounded by over 500 police with constant helicopter surveillance and road blocks, the protesters came together for the Lizard’s Revenge festival to oppose the planned expansion of the mine. BHP has since shelved the $30 billion expansion after suffering great losses in commodity prices. The expansion would have seen Olympic Dam become the largest open-pit mine in the world, and the largest uranium mine in the world.

Arabunna elder, Kevin Buzzacott called out to people all around Australia to come and protect his peoples sacred and traditional lands, which he has been fighting to protect since the mine’s inception in the late 80s. One of the mines’ shaft’s is piercing through the traditional Kokotha dreamtime creature, the sleepy lizard, and this protest proclaimed “the sleepy lizard has woken and will seek revenge".

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