first... some stories...
I want to start this section by linking to some awesome stories of the Earthdream convoy
in 2000, that went to nuclear mines like Beverley, with Uncle Kevin Buzzacott and the local Indigenous communities (you can
find the audio here) and also, I always love reading the Labrats' epic tales, and you might too.
These stories are examples of direct actions, and the transformative power of just being out there, bearing witness to injustice,
and taking direct action where it is strategic to do so. Direct actions have such a great way of unmasking power for what
it is, and are opportunities to begin passionate conversations with people who were actively involved or observing.
Skilling up each other as Organisers
There is a great value in the practice/ praxis of "organising" in everyday life. There are so many opportunities to wake people
up to power relationships, increase solidarity and to increase peoples' confidence in facilitating their own community decisions.
[see this section to read a story about my organising experiences]
Supporting each others'development as change-makers
My lecturer, Lyn Carson, encourages us to develop a culture of critical self-reflection, by cultivating practices such as (professional) journal
writing where we evaluate our assumptions and our realisations, striving to become more effective and open-minded. Also, having
a "critical friend" who listens to our situation and asks Strategic questions for example "what are the barriers in the way of you doing this goal?"
If we want our communities to become better at critical thinking, we've got to stop being afraid of arguments. George Lakoff
points out an overriding metaphor in our culture, that we see ARGUMENT as WAR, and therefore something to be avoided. However,
what is to stop us from seeing argument as a dance?
Unless we are prepared to confront each other and focus not on what unites us, but try to clarify/ crystallise AND
RESPECT our differences (and not see that as a threat to unity), we will not have the ability to deal with bigger issues
Crucial to this is an understanding that disagreement does NOT presuppose binary opposition. It is the binary mindset that
thwarts the fertile potential of disagreement. (dialectical productivity)
for a vision of an Australia that sees beyond binaries, read Derrida's vision for Europe
After the federal election, the willingness of Australians to re-elect a morally bankrupt Liberal party to office suggests
a fearfulness that cuts to the heart of suburban mortgages.
Ironically, it was control over the economy, and interest rates that figured high in voters' minds. This is the only kind
of self interest that the Liberal party can claim to satisfy working class people with. Everyone is trapped by the cycle of
debt. (Read Antonio Grubacic's article on Zmag for an insightful analysis of post-US elections- ppl voting against even their self-interest)
This is in the context of a world where interest rates are far more influenced by the war on Iraq than by any domestic measures
to reduce inflation. Even governments are left "helpless" bystanders when they have ceded their power to corporations and
IFI's (International Financial Institutions).
The Liberal Party now claims it has a "mandate" for sweeping changes, (it calls "reforms") that are likely to pull the carpet
of security from beneath the feet of ordinary Australians.
Financial, moral and social securities, will become subjugated to technologies of insecurity: surveillance and militarisation.
To the right is a poster I wrote a caption to, that you can download. The picture is sourced from Not Bored.
Will post more later.- Write about Ghassan Hage
and transforming/ resisting the current model of political parties