Wallabies flanker David Pocock has been arrested by police in Australia after chaining himself to an excavator for ten hours as part of a mining protest. Pocock and seven others, out of a group of thirty protesters in total, chained themselves to the large excavator at a new coal mine at Maules Creek in New South Wales.
— FrontLineonCoal (@FLACCoal) November 29, 2014
Protests have been going on at the site since 2012 following the NSW government's decision to allow excavation to go ahead on the area of land known as the Leard Forest and locals farmers and environmentalists have been calling for an immediate halt to mining operations at what will be one of the country's largest mines, as well as an inquiry into the approval process undertaken by state and federal government.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Pocock, who has been out of action for quite some time following two reconstructive knee surgeries, said that it was important to support the extensive efforts which the local people have gone to.
In 2014, to put a coal-mine in the middle of a state forest just doesn't seem to make any sense.
The local people are not only concerned about the effects of this mine on the climate in the future but also how it affects the water table. When you're living around the mine, that's stuff you have to think about.
He went on to say that his career as a well known rugby player had nothing to do with the protest, insisting that the protest "is part of being a human being".
I would be doing this regardless of what career I had. It is part of being a human being and taking on the challenges we face as a society. It is about giving back and getting the conversation going.
Although Pocock's career may not be directly relevant to the protest, his standing among the Australia's finest sportspeople has certainly focused quite a lot of national and international coverage on the mine.