We are at a bit of a loss. In time more words will come. Bill Ryan was a model for aging disgracefully. Using his age and his experience/s to challenge expectations and defy fossil fuels, he supported training for, and participating creatively in nonviolent resistance for climate justice.
We were honoured to work with him. And floored, that his son Colin, another friend of CounterAct, has recommended donations to CounterAct in lieu of flowers or other gifts. We will take any donations gracefully, and we try for a thousand flowers blooming. Of resistance. And revolting young and old!
Bill has been honoured today in articles in SBS News and 7 news, another here and that is surely just the start. High profile members of Parliament, media and people across the continent are speaking out on one of our greatest activist elders.
He has been honoured by Traditional Custodians for his stance defending the Leard Forest and the Pilliga with Gamilaroi and Gomeroi families. He loved his “feral” mates and young student crew, and was in turn, adored by them. He was funny and smart and loved being the “queen bee” as Col put it once, having all the knitting nana’s fuss over him. Week after week, vigils in Martin Place, changing hearts and minds.
He gave us all a fright as he fell into the ocean in a capsized Pacific Warriors canoe as part of the coal ship blockade a few years ago, which even featured in a Josh Fox documentary, complete with some of the most epic camera shots you will ever see… but weathered it, strong as ever, whilst our hearts were beating out of our chest.
Watch more – on the Feed, a bit of recent advice for Extinction Rebellion and we will get stuck in and dig up some fun archives in coming weeks. We found one short video where he suggested regarding his activist mates, “they are more likely to kiss you than kill you“.
There is much more to say, but for now, thank you, for everything Bill. I look forward to catching up for that overdue beer sometime if I’m ever cool enough to get let in where you end up.
With love to Col and the rest of the family… and his extended activist family of 10s of 1000s.
Nicola – and the CounterAct team.