Australia has a rich history of environmental protest. We shouldn’t threaten communities trying to speak out

Coming from Sri Lanka, where dissent has been violently quashed and stable government broke down, I know how important it is to sound the alarm when our democracy is being threatened.

My first experience of protest was watching my primary school teachers strike to gain better working conditions. The biggest was the rally to protest the war in Iraq in Melbourne. The most moving have been those to free asylum seekers from detention.

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