From the Archives, 1976: Protesters pitch tents in anti-uranium rally

First published in The Age on May 19, 1976

Canberra’s camping show proves very non-U

CANBERRA — They tried to top Melbourne’s caravan and camping show in Canberra yesterday and there was no doubt the attempt was very non-U.

David Clarke and the tent protest outside Parliament House.

About 400 anti-uranium protesters pitched tents and then crawled and staggered across the main road outside Parliament House in a mock enactment of a nuclear holocaust.

The demonstrators, wearing gas masks and painted faces, blocked the road for about 10 minutes in the climax to a day of offbeat protests against uranium mining proposals.

They had put up about 100 tents on the lawns and were preparing to spend last night, complete with a lifesize symbolic windmill, in near zero temperatures.

The protests, organised by the environmental group Friends of the Earth, came at the end of a week-long ‘Ride Against Uranium’ by separate contingents from Melbourne and Sydney.

A spokesman for the group, Mr. David Clarke, of Adelaide, said the protest was part of a worldwide campaign against the use of all forms of nuclear power and the mining of international uranium resources.

Five representatives of the group met the Minister for National Resources, Mr Anthony, for about an hour in his office during the afternoon.

“We put our views and he put his,” Mr Clarke said after the meeting.

“It was all quite frank and friendly, but I’m not sure how much either side gave.”

A spokesman for Mr. Anthony said last night the Minister had promised the group the Government would give serious consideration to the Fox report on the Ranger uranium project.

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