Archive for climate camp

Padlock and chain

Posted in Activism, Anarchism, Climate Camp, Climate change, Folk music, Police, political music, politics, radical art with tags , , , , , , , on December 17, 2010 by Weary Hobo

Dear Lurkers,

Two weeks ago, I was one of the people who locked-on to a coal track in a protest against the building of a new coal-fired power station. I don’t break the law regularly. Don’t even have a speeding fine. Two days ago I sat on a coal track to stop the trains and refused police requests to move. Over the past seven years I have tried a variety of ways to participate in the growing climate change movement including:

  • changing my light globes and lobbying my parents ; )
  • local campaigning, lobbying and protest at Macquarie University and in the community with ASEN and Climate Action Newtown and at work,
  • national lobbying of politicians and corporations, campaigning and creative actions with AYCC,
  • international actions with Youth of the United Nations NGOs, and
  • making activist climate music with The Lurkers

It is important that there is variety in the way we address an issue like climate change because it is an issue unlike any faced by the globe. I sincerely believe that all of these actions listed above help in small and large ways and congratulate you if you are doing any of them. On the weekend I took the further and less common step.

I did this because I reflected on what is effective. I don’t have cash to donate. I do climate unfriendly stuff like drive a car. I work and have fun. When I looked at what needs to happen in our community to get traction and what I can offer, this action fitted the spot. If you want to know more about Bayswater check out this site. As the UN negotiations to respond to climate change continue past their sixteenth year our planet continues to heat up due to coal burning and other fossil fuels. As our leaders talk about the difficult decisions without acting, the time to act is here.

In Copenhagen last year young people were asked by Kumi Naidoo from Greenpeace International to give their lives to solve climate change. He asked us to act, not out of desperation or fear but to act out of love for the world. Climate camp at Bayswater was overflowing with this love.

So that Friday, I went along to Climate Camp in the Hunter Valley and on Sunday I participated in civil disobediance with 130 other people. They were people from the local area including indigenous people, local farmers and city folk like me. I locked-on to seven other people making it impossible to be moved by the police while causing no property damage.

I was hooked up with carabeenas and rope to my old friend Erland as well as four sixteen year old girls from northern NSW. We had a huge amount of support and care from friends and activists who gave us sunscreen, water and food. We sat in the beating sun and heavy rain singing, dancing, telling stories and playing music for seven hours. There was even a radical marching band!

Police took us away in the paddy van and we sat in the holding cell for a few hours chatting and were out by 10:00pm. The under-age protestors got a lecture from the police and were let off without any charge! My court date is set for 21st February, 2011. Me and Erland will be heading back up to Muswellbrook on that Monday and might be let off the charge of ‘tresspass and remain’ and ‘ locking on’ with a Section 10 if we can show we are of ‘good character’.

The action was a coordinated, peaceful demonstration of the community’s frustration about expansion of coal-fired power stations in NSW. It was successful and positive. I feel proud to have been involved, even as someone who was not brought up to be politically active. Climate change is something that I think we can beat if we act in substantial ways now and continue to. I have not written this to convince you to lock-on but to explain my story.

When we were locked on we sang a lot of songs. One song by David Rovics resonated with lots of people. Here are the lyrics and here is a video of David singing it for some people arrested in the Copenhagen demonstrations.

So much gratitude to the Climate Camp organisers for creating such a wonderful event.


Weary H. and the lurkers

They’re keeping a file on me

Posted in Anarchism, ASIO, Climate Camp, Climate change, Culture, Hazelwood, Music, Police with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 30, 2010 by Desert Rat Shorty

It was nice to see so many fans with video cameras when we played at the Switch off Hazelhood protest last month.  Hazelwood power station is the most polluting power station in Australia.

At gigs, and even when we’re busking, people invariably take photos or videos.  I always wonder where on earth those dodgy videos end up…

I can only presume these coppers were desperate to show their mates back at the station the awesome Lurkers gig they missed out on.  Because if it was for ASIO, what the hell are they gonna do with a recording of The Lurkers playing Environmental Evangelism Makes no Friends?! 

Then again, maybe they were genuinely afraid of the protesters.  I know that nothing strikes fear into my heart quite like a papier mache globe.

There  so many cops at the protest, they had to get creative about their modes of transport.  We saw dirt bikes, helicopters, inflatable boats, 4WDs, horses. 

In fact I think the only transport mode missing was the elegant bicycle.  I guess that would have been too environmentally friendly for the occasion.

If you feel like doing something to save us all from the impending doom cause by climate change, join us at Climate Camp this weekend. 

If we’re in luck, we might even get a few cops turing up to The Lurkers songwriting workshop this Friday.  Cause nothing threatens the state quite like a rhyming couplet.

Radical philanthropy

Posted in Activism, Climate change, Culture, Feminism, Philanthropy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2010 by Desert Rat Shorty

People are often shy about talking about money – how much they earn and how much they give.  But I’m interested in having the conversation…

A few weeks ago, my old university called me up to ask me to donate to one of two worthy causes – one for ground breaking cancer research that the uni was doing, or supporting a scholarship fund for disadvantaged students (so you still have an appealing option even if you are a conservative or a bleeding heart).  I was conflicted – I recieved a scholarship for rural disadvantaged kids that subsidised my accomodation for my first year of uni.  And I think equal access to education is one of the most important things society can offer.  But surly it should be publically funded, rather than dependent on the wealth of the alumni and prestige of the uni?

But on the other hand, I earn more money than I need to live so I feel an ethical duty to donate money to organisations who are making change.

Which got me thinking about all the worthy organisations out there who don’t have the resources to ring me up and ask for donations.  And especially the ratbag organisations who don’t even qualify for tax deductability cause the Government hates them (because they are good at political campaigning).

So my new policy is every time I’m personally approached by a large organisation looking for donations, I will donate to a small ratbag organisation instead.   (Not that I’m hacking out on bigger organisations – I also donate to Oxfam and the Wilderness Society)

I’m currently working through this list:
 – Rising Tide
 – Jura Books
 – Asen
 – Friends of the Earth
 – Cuntastic
 – Climate Camp
 – Redfern Legal Centre

I’d love to hear your suggestions for other awesome organisations that are either too radical or don’t have the resources for mass fundraising.

Anyone who has no corporate sponsors, has been struck of the tax deductability register or who engages is civil disobedience is going to be off to a headstart : )

Desert Rat Shorty