"from what state of   being

 

                    do    we

                 

                                   

                                     
                                  
other species


         
     
ruiN

 

 earth and sea
 
                     and treat Nature

 

as a 'collection of resources'


         to be exploited

  for short term benefit?"

                                                                                     

                                                                                       -Charles Eisenstein

EXTINGUISH



Understanding even a tiny crumb of the world means paying a lot of attention to ourselves, our thoughts, our actions. Is our destruction of the planet linked with how we interpret life itself?



Perhaps, it is time to start thinking about different ways we can speak to reflect the kind of world we want to live in.






“My name is Anna, she/her, and I’m from Ku-rin-gai Country.”


Sitting down for a morning check-in, the circle goes around. Name, pronouns, country.

Initially, those who have never known or shared that information before may be nervous and caught off guard... Most people don’t know the indigenous name of the place they live in. It’s normal. And very soon, they realise - that’s okay. The whole point is for a space to be created that encourages one’s own learning and familiarity with where they came from, and making the acknowledgement of those who came before us a fluid and conversational addition to our collective vocabulary.


“Let’s start by acknowledging we are meeting on Birri country, the land of the river people, and that sovereignty was never ceded. We acknowledge all elders, past, present and emerging.”


You may have heard something along those lines once or twice before, depending on what circles you’re in. If you’re like me, or how I was rather - living in a busy city, working in hospitality, hopping from bar to gig - you might’ve seen it at the end of an email, or the start of a speech... and it was something foreign, entering your mind for a moment, and quickly vanishing into a forgotten thought, going back to the distant country it came from.


You look around after all, and all traces, trails and footprints of that time have been replaced by concrete statues....


But this acknowledgement represents something much bigger. It enables us to face the truth of the past. A truth that society has chosen to ignore for such a long time.. a tough and horrible truth, bound to make us uncomfortable in our privileged, white societies. Though we as individuals today have not directly taken part in the horrible crimes committed in the colonial period of Australia, we still bear the weight of it’s on-going implications, and it takes an active will to try to mend that division.

It's important because it's a change in tone. It inspires new dialogue, and the first step of mending that huge chasm between city bubbles and what goes on in the rest of the world, is through our language.




In an Orwellian world, variations of words and meanings are reduced as if going backwards on the evolutionary scale. They’re condensed into random syllables, joined together to form a mutated shortcut that renders the original word(s) illegal, and effectively wiped from public memory.

In our world, languages were also lost.

Rich idioms of countless indigenous cultures across the world have been wholly extinguished.

Beaten bloody, perhaps to death, if spoken. Renamed, forced to omit and forget.

I’m not sure which of the two realities is worse.


Wiped from the mouths of children, torn from the roots by the hand of the man, and replaced instead with the rigid mould of cultural assimilation and the colourless nuances of the English language.


We see through evidence of many customs, contexts and structures that indigenous languages paint the world in many exotic shades, most of which are not yet available to us in English.

For example; in Anishinaabe, a Native American people, the word ‘puhpowee’ roughly translates to:

‘The force which causes mushrooms to push up from the earth overnight.’


In Portuguese, ‘cafuné’, means to fondle or caress someone precisely around the neck region. It carries an intention that would only be applicable to two deeply intimate people.


The fact that the word ‘love’ is such a broad, undefinable, overused, and oversimplified slogan supposed to encompass the most awe-some mystery in the entire universe....


It doesn’t come as a surprise therefore that the English language holds 70% nouns, as opposed to 30% in Anishinaabe language. Everything is an ‘it’, except us.

A tree is referred to in the same way as household object. The animal is seperate and beneath us. No thing has the right to be alive, other than us.

As Robin Wall Kimmerer put it in Braiding Sweetgrass;

“The arrogance of English is that the only way to be animate, to be worthy of respect and concern, is to be a human.”




Fighting for Peace



There is something that doesn’t sound right when it is said: “We are fighting for... peace, or justice, or a better world.”

Is it not obvious, looking at patterns in the history of so called ‘civilisations’, that sticks and stones, violence and brutality, pushes us further down the spiral of uncontrollable and immeasurable trauma, for generations to come?

Fight - combat - battle - war - so engrained in our vocabulary.

Yet it’s not so easy to navigate.... At times it really does feel like fighting is what it takes.

Words alone won’t stop bulldozers smashing forests, but our bodies will.

One person shouting against a wall won’t touch the heart of millions like strong messaging in a well organised campaign will.

Standing up against the big bad capitalist system so intertwined with our twisted governments and their policies, requires planning, strategies, a thick skin and an undeniable purpose; just like physical battle. So here we stand, in this paradox.

How to uphold ethical and moral values by example in the face of those who do unspeakable things.

As Nadya Tolokonnikova, founder of Pussy Riot says:

"Those who licked your ass yesterday will be happy to use your skull as an ashtray today."



In other conversational avenues, there are those of us who can say they've never been deeply satisfied with the idea of labels, or boxes one must neatly arrange oneself in, adhering to the appropriate method of displaying who you are to the world.

It’s engrained in our conversations, in our vocabulary - our automated responses projecting a model created by who knows what - maybe our collective ignorance or desire to fit in.

“So what do you do?”

I burned this sentence from my dialogue many years ago now, especially when it comes directly after an introduction. It has a way of squeezing someone quickly and efficiently into the ‘label/box’ dynamic, getting smaller and smaller the longer they delay answering, like those trap rooms with encroaching walls in horror movies.

“Uh.... bu...... umm...” - says the prisoner. The interrogator’s eyes google and widen, waiting to throw that box into whatever compartment contains their respective prejudices and judgements about that occupation and industry.

No. Let’s get rid of that. If you must merely substitute your automated response to a different one, try: “How do you spend your time?”

This is way more likely to stimulate a more organic response, and whilst a person may still define themselves the same way or give you the same answer as if you’d just asked the first question, their mind had to travel a different way to get there. A more scenic route, passing by other aspects of their life that happened to be left open to the conversation.




How long will it take us to dissolve this heteronormative, stereotypical way of looking at the world and its people?

When we will stop calling the Earth an 'it'?


The seedlings of a new age are being cultivated by those willing to listen and learn, by those who are willing to apologise for their mistakes and those willing to forgive them, too.


We must teach each other new ways of understanding, more elaborate methods of communicating - a new (or perhaps an ancient and forgotten), language of acceptance and freedom. And maybe then we can begin to truly understand that we are one and the same with the very planet we rape for profits.



“We never developed the language to discuss the wellbeing of the Earth as a whole system. We identify people by where they are coming from, never learning to talk about people as a part of a larger human species."

- Robin Wall Kimmerer











The Carmichael coal project, owned and operated by Adani, has proven to be one of the most disastrous, illogical and catastrophic failures in the advancement of humanity.

That's what our dear governments claim to do, right? Advance? Progress?


Against an absurd volume of scientific data, public outcry and the looming 6th mass extinction event, coal is still being dug, pumped, washed, shipped and burned - all over the world. But times are changing. The small ripple of grassroots climate activism that began many decades ago has turned into a fully sick 6ft barrel my friends, and it ain't stopping until we win.

After all, what have we got to lose?




Everything. We have everything to lose.





The Indian mining giant made itself known to the wider public in 2010 through its' big, fantastical dream - to build the biggest coal mine in the world.

It was supposed to start digging in 2013, but as a result of constant pressure from the people, through various methods of action, they have just begun scraping the top soil off this year. (During COVID. Suspicions?)


In the 7 years Adani has been forced to delay work on the mine, the company has been ham fisting a very outdated plan into the throats of the complacent population, ignoring all kinds of numbers from the market, and from science - they're even ignoring the fact that this project is simply not financially viable. So why are they going ahead with it?


We don't really know. Usually, money is the principal motivator in any business venture, but our maths doesn't add up. Maybe there's some hidden figures we don't know about, or they're just too far in now to give up... by pressure from others, or Adani's own ego, perhaps.




Things you should know about:



This morning, an environmental activist and writer, Ben Winch, locked himself to a cattle grid, stopping Adani's workers travelling in and out for the day.

Ben's action today follows the abysmal treatment of our most precious life source: water: "Adani wants to take almost as much water from the Suttor as all the agriculture users combined. And that’s just the Suttor. It also has an unlimited licence to deplete and pollute the Great Artesian Basin, the only source of fresh water for hundreds of towns and farms across inland Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory."









Another activist was assaulted at the same protest by an Adani staff member during this peaceful protest. This event was witnessed by me and 13 others.

You can view footage of this assault, here.

Immediately afterwards, Adani posted on facebook; "Anti-coal activists have thrown rocks and kicked the doors of cars and utes belonging to people working on our Carmichael Project”. They failed to offer any evidence for these false accusations. When Queensland Police arrived on the site, Adani provided false statements to the Police about the incident.



On the 28th September, Kyle Magee stopped work at the Adani coal port by locking himself onto coal loading infrastructure.

Kyle outlines: “We should be in severe damage control mode yet we’re not, we are continuing with business-as-usual, continuing to line the pockets of multi-national companies to just rip everything out of the local community to then just take off”.



It's often hard to look at snippets of reality like this and deduce much at all about what's going on in the complex shenanigans and political ping pong between environmentalists and fossil fuel supporters.




The facts of the matter are:



- Adani's water license has been challenged in the Federal court by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) this month over a deal that would allow Adani to pump 12.5 billion litres of water per year from the Suttor River, at a time when 65% of Queensland is in drought.



- It is estimated Adani will get out of paying anywhere from $253 million to over $700 million in this 10-year tax deferral/royalties deal signed by the Palaszczuk government on October 1st. Despite being described as a 'transparent policy network', very few details are actually available to the public - hence the wide estimate.



- Adani plead guilty of ripping off its' fellow industry members, and was found payable to $107 million in fines.



- The share of renewable energy broke new records for the third consecutive day on October 3rd, with wind and solar providing more than 50% of demand for the first time ever on the Australian market.


- Over 80 major banks and insurance companies have ruled out working with Adani.





The Australian government has not fulfilled their legal and moral and ethical duties of protecting our environment and our people.


legal......moral.......ethical..........



These are just empty words, the shells of which perhaps once contained something more substantial than hot, humid air - but today, in my generation - they don't.


Climate change

Climate change


We've been hearing about it since the 50's. Apparently, everyone's got an opinion on it. And more and more people are bursting their own bubble of tech and material obsession, of modern slavery and soul mutilation, the deep, deep dissatisfaction with the regurgitated advertisements we have shoved down our throats and ears and every other hole and pore, since before we are born.


Enough...... there's no time left to argue. There is only time to act.














Look locally, join a group, have a conversation.

Find out more about Front Line Action on Coal and non-violent direct action here.












1/12
Subscribe 
to juicy things for your eyes and ears.
Newsletters sent about once a month.
Fuck spam!