Pissed off Hobartians stage Guerrilla Dark Mofo Exhibition

Dozens of fed-up citizens have staged guerrilla exhibitions throughout Hobart’s Dark Mofo festival in protest of the Tasmanian government’s proposed anti-protest laws.

The impromptu artists, who organized the protest as Grassroots Action Network Tasmania, stood silently as bound and gagged Loraxes at locations including the Winter Feast and Melville Street hub.

The mixed medium performance was illuminated by footage of old-growth Tasmanian forests being firebombed and clearfelled by Sustainable Timbers Tasmania, collected via drone throughout the year.

The laws, which have passed the lower house with Labor’s support, would see individuals charged with a first peaceful offence face up to 18 months in jail or a $12, 975 fine – the same penalty as that for aggravated assault or trespass with a gun.

According to spokesperson Lucy Capurso, the laws would mark a harsh suppression of free speech while enabling a chilling descent into fascism and profit-fuelled destruction.

“The current anti-protest laws are the most recent development in the government’s systematic attack on our rights. We have seen similar laws passed in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales already, with disproportionate consequences for non-violent, peaceful protestors.

They represent a worrying and dangerous shift away from Tasmania’s and Australia’s long history of protest, with historic cases including the Blockade of the Franklin River Dam, reforms to Tasmania’s discriminatory provisions, and the “Weld Angel” at the Tahune Airwalk.” 

At the same locations, Grassroots Action Network Tasmania will be staging another guerrilla exhibition on Saturday the 18th from 7pm. 

The passing of these laws is a huge breech of human rights. They highlight that the Tasmanian Government cares more about profits than Tasmania’s wild places and our democratic rights. 

The LNP and ALP claim to be protecting workers’ safety and Tasmania’s economy, but since 2014 no injuries have been reported to WorkSafe as a result of protests, and the Native Logging Industry loses $1.3 billion every 20 years.

Now, more than ever, the imperative for climate action is greatest. In Tasmania, the Forestry Industry is protected under the mask of Tasmania’s ‘Net-Zero’ title, but according to a new report lead by Dr Jen Sanger the Forestry Industry is the largest carbon-emitting sector in the state releasing 4.65 million tonnes of CO2e per year.