Thursday, 24 March 2011

domestic extremists

I watched the rushes this week of a new film Just Do It, following the lives of some of the climate protesters who are mostly young but who include the awesome Lewes resident Marina Pepper. It’s a pretty moving story of people who literally put their bodies in the way and who have managed to help stop such climate polluters as Kingsnorth power station and Heathrow’s third runway. These activists call themselves domestic extremists, and their clear aim is to help preserve life on earth.

One of the interesting themes from the film is the realisation that we have to tackle climate change at its source, and that is our industrial growth society and the institutions that perpetuate it: corporations and banks and governments that do not regulate and tax them sufficiently. You don’t have to be an anarchist to be saying that now: mainstream institutions such as nef, the Bank of England and the recently CEO of pharmaceutical Glaxo Kline agree that the system isn’t working. Which is why I will be to march this Saturday with UK Uncut - taking the 8.07 to meet up at 8.30 in Brighton and 11 in Kennington tube. Uk Uncut is a very new movement playfully occupying high street corporate and banks to demand that corporations stop evading paying their taxes. We’ll probably all end up on Oxford Street.

I remember Joanna Macy’s story about there being three types of action necessary for humans who wish to support the Great Turning (away from the industrial growth society to the life sustaining society). Holding actions – such as those of UkUncut, Plane Stupid and Climate Camp, trying to prevent further damage to life. New realities - and the Transition Town movement is firmly in this camp by creating parallel public infrastructure. And change of consciousness.

The latter can be a problem as I notice it’s an easy excuse for some of my spiritual pals not to change their behaviour – ie trusting in God without tying up their camel.

But at any one time, it’s good to be wholeheartedly and realistically involved in any one of the above – after all, what are we here for if not to be co-creators of our world?

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