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Fossil fuel divestment campaigns are working. They're working so well that Big Coal is scared and striking back, frantically trying to censor climate activists and ban these campaigns.

Our friends at 350 Australia told us that the Minerals Council of Australia is trying to outlaw coal boycotts in their country, effectively criminalizing speaking out for the climate. Australia is the world's leading coal exporter. If Big Coal succeeds in silencing their opposition there, they will try elsewhere -- including here in the United States.

Australian colleagues have told us that their government is sensitive to American opinion. That means your voice matters on this -- together, we can help stop Big Coal from censoring its opponents!

Sign the petition to the Australian government: Our climate is depending on you -- don't ban divestment campaigns!

More after the jump, including Desmond Tutu and Neil deGrasse Tyson.

This really is as absurd as it sounds -- Big Coal is trying to make it illegal for you to ask others not to invest in coal. Think about that: Ask a retirement fund or university not to include coal stocks in their investment portfolio, go to jail.

The Australian coal companies claim that only a "small number of noisy extremists" support divestment, but the true extremism comes in harming our climate and silencing the opposition. One Minerals Council executive even wrote an op-ed called "Economic vandals must be jailed." I would love to get him face-to-face and ask if he really wants to jail Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu, who just wrote an op-ed of his own called "We need an apartheid-style boycott to save the planet." [3]

This is a desperate move on the part of greedy Big Coal, and it's all because divestment is working. We are not small in number -- thanks to the leadership of Archbishop Tutu, 350.org, and the Sierra Student Coalition, more than 20 U.S. cities, 26 churches, and nine colleges have all declared they will not invest in fossil fuels! This type of campaign helped end apartheid in South Africa, and now it's going to help bring down the corporate polluters.

Raise your voice and tell the Australian government: Don't give into Big Coal! Censoring environmental activists fighting for our planet is wrong!

Neil deGrasse Tyson said something great on the updated "Cosmos" TV show: "The words of the powerful may prevail on other spheres of human experience, but in science, the only thing that counts is the evidence and the logic of the argument itself." [5]

Tyson's right. And while Big Coal may be powerful, climate science is on our side. That's why the fossil fuel industry is terrified of you -- but a terrified animal fights the hardest, so we have to remember that we have the upper hand and keep fighting back. Our grassroots voices will always overpower their deep pockets, but only if we don't stay silent.

Originally posted to SierraRise - Stories to save the planet on Thu May 15, 2014 at 12:23 PM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots.

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