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Arrests made over climate change protests

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More than 40 activists, identifying themselves as belonging to protest group Rising Tide Newcastle, stopped a coal train on Sunday, chaining themselves to it and the rail tracks to effectively close the line at Newcastle. "A number of arrests have been made," a police spokesperson said in a statement. Rising Tide Newcastle claim 23 people have been arrested. The protest came about in response to the disappointing outcome of the climate change conference in Copenhagen, which even United Nations (UN) secretary-general Ban Ki-moon admitted had failed to win global consensus and would disappoint many. "The US, Australia, and other wealthy countries wrecked the Copenhagen climate talks," said protest spokesperson Steve Phillips. "They refused to lift their paltry greenhouse pollution targets to the levels required to avoid catastrophe. They could have done something great, but they failed. They let greed and self interest take precedence over the survival of life on earth, and we are here today to condemn them in the strongest possible terms." The group said coal exports from Newcastle were Australia's single biggest contribution to the climate crisis. Australian Greens leader Bob Brown said the coal industry, a major contributor to the Australian economy, should be prepared for more protests.

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