What a ride! Ready to go again?
Well 2013 was certainly an interesting year with many climate, environment and social justice campaigners heading into the holidays both exhausted and heart broken.
In the final weeks of the year it seemed that every few minutes there was a another announcement of a project approval or policy which would have disastrous impacts for our environment and our communities.
There were many wins last year, and great moments of solidarity and effectiveness however when I look back personally I’m immediately impacted by the sheer volume of what there is to address. Luckily 2 weeks of very little media, very few emails with a good dose of family and friends, I and many other campaigners are back on board and ready for whatever this year will bring.
A friend and colleague Nicola Paris sums up many of my thoughts about the start of this year perfectly:
“2014 is going to be the most important year we have ever had. With thousands more clearly seeing the damage to be wrought by the Abbott government we will see the beginning of rapid growth of the social movement that we will need to build in order to win. It is going to set the scenes that will see the battle lines move out of the political arena and to the frontline for years to come. We may see people jailed in this country for speaking for environment and social justice. We are in for the fight of our lives.”
I recommend you read the rest of her piece here. I couldn’t have said it any better.
For the It’s up 2 us campaign the new year sees us focusing on a few fronts (including).
- Developing strategy and collaboration between Climate related campaigns here in WA and nationally
- Continuing to build the Divestment movement in partnership with 350.org including public awareness events and initiating/supporting institutional campaigns
- Building a broad based and effective grass roots climate movement ready to respond and create, holding our leaders to account, developing solutions and protecting our home and communities.
The third area is clearly a big task however as Nicola discusses in her piece – one that is clearly needed. One aspect of this work will include running more NVDA training and continuing to create the structural and systemic support for activists working on the front line. This includes: ensuring we have the legal support necessary should people be engaging in civil disobedience, assisting in strategy development and action planning, assisting individuals and community groups to create powerful public campaigns and actions and ensuring we have strong mentoring and support mechanisms for people working in this space.
There’s an Africa saying which states: ‘If you want to go far go together, if you want to go fast, go alone’. We have to go far, fast.
2014 is going to need a new kind of action, different ways of collaborating and thinking. There’s much we don’t know about this year, what it will bring and what will be needed – but what we do know is this – It’s up 2 us to create the change we want.
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