May 16th, 2017

How a 95 yo Kokoda Veteran Closed Down Downer

Great-grandfather Bill Ryan is a legally-blind 95-year-old Kokoda veteran, the oldest known person to ever be arrested in Australia. Bill joined fellow Sydney citizens to engage staff of Downer Group today, talking to them about our Nonviolent Direct Action plans to get Downer out of bed with Adani.

We found a lot of security guards but very few staff! Downer had locked down their buildings, asked staff to stay home, and even ordered catering so staff at work didn’t need to frequent the downstairs coffee shops. Staff had even been shown video of our last Downer action in preparation.

Downer locked down their Brisbane headquarters as well, possibly other locations too. Maybe it was because we warned Downer of our direct action campaign in the media and through a letter to their CEO?

Seems you can close lock-down multiple workplaces with 15 people and a Facebook event! Bill wasn’t deterred and with fellow citizens tried to access the floor where Downer executives work.

After Bill forced the issue an executive came down and talked to Bill and Ben (yes, we know) for 20 minutes. Bill pressed the urgency of climate change and the emotion of his concern for his kids, grandkids and great grandkids. Ben outlined why Downer will be targeted with direct action by a passionate environment movement, escalating over time in locations all around the country. In this section we asked what would happen if Downer got out of bed with Adani. He said no jobs would be lost but profit could be threatened. We need to make sure WE are the threat to their profits!

Being an activist legend like Bill can get you some media attention. The Sydney Morning Herald ran a great story on our action and there could be something special coming up on ABC TV soon.

Without Downer, Adani will need to find another Australian company of similar size and speciality to build and run their mine. Any candidates will know we’ve forced Downer out. They’ll also know we’ve got dozens of direct action groups waiting for them which are escalating and becoming more effective. Good luck with that Adani!

So we need your help to engage Downer staff and contractors all over the country. Then to target them strategically with Nonviolent Direct Action till they get out of bed with Adani. Some of these actions will be completely legal. In others people will risk arrest. Every action we do has non-arrestable roles. No excuses!

Join your local campaign to get Downer out of bed with Adani


Donate to professionally train citizens in Non-Violent Direct Action


In 40 years time people will be talking about the campaign to stop Adani like they now talk about the Franklin. “Where were you and what did you do?”

– Bob Brown