The reflections have given way rapidly to a busy looking couple of months… as weekends get taken over by training and activist work, I am remembering to be grateful – to have this problem. It is work I most want to be doing, and it is some of the work that most needs to be done in this country. We need to build capacity from the ground up.
Today I saw a stark reminder of the challenges we are facing. A harried looking CEO complains about being tired, as the media is seeking answers, whilst sipping from the bottled water he has forced a town of 300 000 people to rely on, because his company, ‘Freedom Industries’ (yes, really) has contaminated their water supply as part of their coal operations in West Virginia. You couldn’t write this better as dark satire. As this company finally faces the scrutiny it deserves we will see more stories emerge of cover ups, and how little regard they showed the residents of the town in holding back from reporting the incident. We are seeing more and more of this in the United States and across the world.
Water is a human right. Profit is not.
And profit at the cost of drinking water, and contaminated farmlands is something we all need to collectively raise our voice up against in this country. Lock the Gate have released more important films which give great context, and people will be gathering in increasing numbers at Leard state forest to blockade the proposed expansion of coal by Whitehaven – which is opposed by traditional owners, farmers and people across the country who are living in heat waves that will only grow in the face of increasing climate disruption.
Upcoming trainings include a day of training for the East West Tunnel group, a day of nonviolent direct action training for climate activists on the 1st February, and the launch of a new campaigners training course that I am coordinating in collaboration with Friends of the Earth and Melbourne Campaigners Network, and a range of workshops of the horizon from working with feminist groups to those opposing the shark cull in Western Australia. Exciting times.