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Radical Film Night #2: Protecting Country

Friday nights around these parts are film nights, so following on from our earlier offering on Mwni Wiconi & the Black Snake, here’s another indy docu film about the clash of First Nations lifeways and capital.

 

I think that the importance of hearing these Adnyamathanha and other voices cannot be understated, not if we are in any way interested in activism, environmentalism, cultural or critical thought.

  • It’s a depressing conclusion, but it’s worth thinking about whether the colonizing Empire ever really went away, or whether it exchanged its bayonets and rifles for stocks and shares. [the Maralinga Tests] How different are events like this, happening in the 21stC, from 19thC governments deciding to clear indigenous people from profitable land? Or the Inclosures Acts?
  • Listening to this story makes me think about the UK’s own struggles between environment and capital – Cumbria and the Scottish Western Isles (possibly Wylfa B on Anglesey) being the future storage sites for toxic sludge – as well as the omnipresent fracking threat happening everywhere. How different these struggles might be if we had a more living and lived connection to Country; its importance, its stories, and our responsibilities to it.
  • But because I like to end these things on a positive note: I remain heartened by this struggle – the importance of the Adnyamathanha stories, as well as the Mwni Wiconi awareness that is standing against DAPL, Keystone XL and the Alberta Tar Sands. It feels like the environmental movement is done with trying to argue with capital in the language of capital – statistics show this, they have to prove that a certain site is of especial rare scientific interest before it gets a reprieve…

It’s Not About Trump: It’s All About Trump

edited: numbers present for the earlier EDL demonstrations in London sourced as between 10-16k, not the lower earlier estimate.

Yesterday my partner and I had the good fortune to be singing with Cor Gobaith, Campaign Choirs, Raised Voices, Women in Black and many more coming together to form The Big Choir at the Trump Visit demo. July 13th wasn’t just about choristers deploring Trump’s lack of harmony, though–it was a collaboration of numerous nation-wide protest movements from the Women’s March #BringTheNoise, to Resist, Stop the War, Refugee’s Welcome and Climate Justice to name but a few.

Everyone has their own reasons to protest Trump. The President of the only extant empire in the world is rightly a catalyzing figure for progressive culture, not least because his actions affect so many, but also because our own nation (UK) is so eager to court his favor. It seems that Theresa May’s literally only chance to save her Cabinet from collapse is if she can turn Britain into a low-tariff, any-deal-will-do zone for American goods and services – and with that the implied, tacit, or overt support for Trump’s policies at home and abroad.

The day was filled with defiant laughter and bright colors. Drag Queens and Unions marching alongside mothers and hardened socialists, ‘Keep Your Tiny Hands off Us’ reads one placard, while another puts it more bluntly: ‘Bugger Off!’ I love the big London demos, which can sometimes feel more like a fiesta than a protest with our strong tradition of Pride marches, Reclaim the Streets, Critical Mass and not to forget radical singing.

The emperor of the world is a catalyzing figure, but there is still a lot of room to broaden out that resistance from the laser-guided vitriol on one man (as nourishing as that contempt can be). At my feet in Trafalgar Square, while I listen to the speakers and feel a sense of solidarity I notice a flyer: Stop EDL’s Hate, the day after the Trump Rally, Saturday 14th July.

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We had more of a say in who won The Voice than we do who runs the country.

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