Adani supporters resorting to death threats and abuse
MEET public/Adani enemy number one.
He's had 100 death threats, blocked 1000 Facebook trolls, and has twice been roughed up by security.
Stop Adani's Ben Pennings, an unemployed father-of-four, now believes he's the target of "hate groups" and "dark arts" by the Indian mining giant - and on Friday he filed a complaint with Queensland Police.
The Brisbane-based serial activist is no stranger to the law. He's been arrested five times at protests since the age of 18.
"It is a badge of honour to be Adani's public enemy number one,'' the 45-year-old told The Sunday Mail.
"Hero or villain, I'm just trying to stop the crony capitalists, prevent ecological damage and save the Reef."
Last year the former Greens candidate was charged and fined $250 for unlawful protest and was cited on the police charge sheet for "prancing" about with a traffic stop sign.
But the frontline of green activism against the $16.5 billion coal mine in the Galilee Basin has just got a new shade of ugly.
"GDay nob. Please stay in Sydney and away from Bowen as your safety can't be guaranteed,'' posted one north Queensland local.
"Go away Ben before you cop a flogging,'' texted another.
"Might cop a bullet who gives a rat," a post said.
Mr Pennings notified police about a spike in vile online abuse over the past two weeks.
"Should be treated like other feral animals,'' said one text.
"Ben is a c--t. Ben should be bashed on a daily basis," said another.
"Let's hope Ben chains himself to some machinery that starts up automatically and turns him mince meat,'' one post read.
"You are a pseudo-sanctimonious/predictable/gutless imitation of a man. Stop hiding like a green Mullah, you ponce. come up and face the people. You gutless little PIMP.''
The attacks follow "two big victories" of the NAIF loan veto and convincing major contractor Downer to withdraw from the $2.6 billion agreement to build and operate the Carmichael mine, Mr Pennings said.
"Threats of physical violence towards anyone is never acceptable,'' he said.
"They should get angry at the billionaires and politicians that have let them down with false promises, not me."
Tensions are simmering between north Queensland locals keen for jobs and development, and mostly southern anti-coal protesters.
Transport networks to Bowen's main export hub have been blockaded in a new wave of acts of civil disobedience, costing the economy millions.
Queensland Police said it was hard, under existing legislation, to prosecute complaints of online abuse, threats or harassment.