Australia's Threat To Outlaw Mining Protests Highlights Industry Split: Russell

The boss of a major mining company last week made a plea to the industry to do more to win the hearts and minds of the broader public. A few days later the leader of the country hosting the bulk of his operations threatened to outlaw those opposed to mining.

What makes the situation more bizarre is that the threat against the right to protest was made by Scott Morrison, the prime minister of Australia, a country with a long democratic tradition and a history of political tolerance.

Morrison, the leader of the conservative Liberal Party, told a meeting of a mining lobby group on Nov. 2 that there is a “new breed of radical activism” that didn’t permit the expression of alternative viewpoints.