Culture

Aussie Rugby Star David Pocock Is Getting Arrested Right Now For Protesting A Coal Mine

It's a Wallaby protecting wallabies!

If you’re not up on rugby union, chances are you’re not too familiar with your new boyfriend David Pocock, the 26-year-old Wallabies and ACT Brumbies flanker who’s widely considered one of Australia’s most talented players. He’s been bedevilled by injuries for the last couple of seasons, but he’s looking to make a comeback in 2015, and people love him enough to make glowing YouTube tributes in his name inexplicably set to Bon Jovi’s ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’, which is a very specific plus on anyone’s CV.

He also looks like a golden-haired angel fell from Heaven into a really comprehensively-outfitted gym, which never hurts.

When they’re not being hero campaigners for marriage equality, David and his wife Emma like to pass the time by driving ten hours into rural NSW and protesting the logging of endangered forests for coal mines by legit locking parts of their actual bodies to mining equipment. That’s where they’re at right now, incidentally.

David and Emma travelled up to the Leard State Forest outside Narrabri in northwest NSW over the weekend with about thirty ACT residents to join the Leard Blockade, a long-running attempt to stop the construction of an immense open-cut coal mine smack in the middle of a national park home to more than thirty endangered plant and animal species. If the Whitehaven-owned mine goes ahead, more than half of the forest’s 8,000 hectares will be cleared, and Australia’s total carbon emissions will go up by around ten percent.

That bloke in the selfie with David is Rick Laird, a fifth-generation farmer. Along with fellow farmer Cliff Wallace and activists Murray Dreschler and Jonathan Moylan, Laird’s been protesting the mine for around four years; Dreschler and Moylan camped out in the bush by themselves for almost two years to stop the bulldozers.

Besides physically stopping the clearing of the forest, Pocock and other ACT residents who made the trip up this weekend are hoping to pressure the ACT government into dropping their investments in Whitehaven Coal, the company behind the mine.

Emma Pocock was also locked on until a short time ago, when she was arrested and driven away in a paddy wagon. She’s been livetweeting her own arrest, which is a first for her.

David hasn’t tweeted in a while, but unless he’s been cut out of that heavy-duty-looking pipe on his arm and taken into Narrabri, there is still a Wallaby locked to a bulldozer protecting wallabies in the bush. Outstanding.