Friday, 3 July 2015

May-be

Maybe it started with a petition
or clicking ‘like’ on a post,
by a friend
who you always think of as a bit quirky,
but fair-minded…
Maybe it was when you shared the post,
joined an online group,
said you’d attend an event
… actually attended an event?
Maybe these gateway steps brought you hesitantly to put your feet,
one in front of other onto streets,
streets now echoing with ownership.
Never having considered: whose streets?
let alone the actually true answer: OUR streets.
Maybe from there it went
in-tents,
surrounded
by unusual,
not common…
yet natural
yet familiar
sounds of humanity
stretching at its edges?
Voices calling, shouting, whispering, hissing
pleaing, preying, hoping, begging
…from personal, profound, perplexing, passionate
extremes;
tearing at seams
that once held
us all a-part.
Sections,
unsectioning.
Messy
mismatched
matchings
forming
in nonconformists shapes
of people
JUST people
…who once
signed a petition
liked a post
shared a post…
made the most of the journey to
‘out of here’
Maybe it was then that the activist broke through?

Friday, 26 June 2015

Letter to Activists...

Written to Activists after a long week standing against Cuadrilla in Lancashire:
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Whatever happens - the hard work, honourable behaviour and honesty of those defending our communities is outstanding. Also a stark contrast to the manipulation, outright lies and despicable behaviour of some in our Council and our Government.
Sadly, it was this type behaviour that took me from my formerly lovely life of 'normality' - to take my first stand as an 'activist' via Occupy in October 2011. I just wanted to have a democracy I recognised as one and at the time, the government was bailing out banks and introducing austerity - so blatantly wrong I couldn't watch in silence any longer.
Fighting fracking became an urgent necessity due to the imminent threat and so I was drawn away from exploring, exposing and confronting the lies and hypocrisy of our clearly fraudulent system, that serves business interests - not human ones. Or so I thought...
Yesterday - I found myself back at the beginning. Any joy tarnished with the knowledge that fracking is another ugly and dangerous symptom of an uglier, more dangerous disease. I genuinely believe that our system of government has at some stage become so infested with private interests of big business - that it needs rescuing and reclaiming.
I never wanted this to be my life and don't expect any of you did - I miss my family time and whatever it was I used to talk about before this all happened... but there is no turning back, no exit door (all those have my granddaughter's face on them) because if WE don't see this through, what does the future hold for our children and theirs? Already, access to legal aid is diminished and with each new bill and law, the tools of democracy are taken away.
Wish there was a happy bit to this but currently there isn't - just more revelations of the ugly stuff. Oh, except...
Yesterday the police asked the drummers if they could play and they did - I have been harmed and witnessed such extreme brutality by some police forces during these past 4 years... but here in Lancashire, we're certainly a bit different!! Not only were they genuinely exceptional drummers - they showed themselves to be warm human beings.
There were some more 'extreme' activists (or certainly many of us knowing it could make us this way) there yesterday - we had spoken about how the community was FIRST taking every avenue democracy offered and ONLY when that failed would we be in the position to consider different reactions. Many were so shocked by the behaviour of our Lancashire police (in all the best ways) and I believe that everything we are doing is having a profound impact on the way 'activism' is being done too. We are ALL learning and there are little miracles along the way.
So for now, head down, deep breath and we plough on to Monday. Many exhausted supporters will be there showing the beautiful humanity that exists outside the Council... and doing all we can to lift spirits in any way possible. I cannot guarantee anything about what will be the response from outside on Monday, to whatever the vote brings - each activist is autonomous... here's hoping we can manage to get through and still smile at the amazing Lancashire police at the end of the day. I fear though that like our Councillors, their hands are tied and their actions will be dictated.
We each have played roles beyond our expectations and made connections that enrich us... we are strong in our unity and determination and when the crowd outside hear each speaker from the community groups over the PA - the admiration is loud and joyous. Thank you to all in this for your work, you make us so proud and set examples that change hearts and minds - maybe not always the ones you intended on though.
Much love, respect and admiration,
Tina heart emoticon

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The Frack Stops Here 2... #FrackStopsHere




Details on how to arrange travel for the fracking planning-decision days in Preston, Lancashire 23-26 June 2015. The 23rd is the big one and a nation-wide day of solidarity and resistance to fracking in the UK so if you can't make it, you can always do something where you live and share messages of solidarity on social media. #FrackStopsHere



Friday, 15 May 2015

SOS for Democracy...

Is our system of government in trouble and in need of an intervention?  

Our method of government (the system of administration in place to fairly and wisely look after things like health, education, defence, care, infrastructure etc.) appears to have been switched/hijacked/stolen or otherwise come under the control of corporate interests and is no longer performing as representative of the people at all. 

The projects, plans, deals, bills and laws being pushed through (that can and do harm citizens) are evidence that it is in no position to save itself. It grows ever more undeniable and obvious that the generally understood meaning of 'Democracy' ...is NOT what we are witnessing and living. It barely sustains us and allows suffering that WE as the citizens, would not permit.

IF we were truly represented:
-how could our most vulnerable be targeted with austerity that results in genuine suffering, whilst the very wealthy and corporations are allowed to escape paying taxes that would mean we don't need austerity?
-how could our system of healthcare be allowed to fall into the 'at risk' category for finances when it is an essential for all lives? WE would not have accepted the ridiculous terms dictated by Private Finance Initiatives (PFIs) that require only specified (expensive) contractors for work and put our hospitals into high-interest debt over 25-60 years?
-how could a once respected profession be stripped of integrity and reduced to entertainment and manipulation rather than factual, accurate NEWS reporting? Most of the 'media' that the majority take in (TV/Newspapers/Magazines/Books) and have taken to be true - is owned by 4 corporations with investment interests across a broad range of industries - industries it would serve them well to share good things about ie: fracking is good, TTIP is good, war is necessary (along with the arms trade it profits), privatisation is a better option?!
-how could an unwarranted 'dash for gas' be happening and putting so many people at potential risk from unconventional energy techniques like fracking? Individuals and entire communities across the country worried and unclear - asking for a pause in the dash; time to consider all the implications and for a report back on what can truly be expected. Who wouldn't insist on a report (without bias) that is transparent, full and clear?

-how could the evidence that points to crimes against our children, not have lead to immediate action to safeguard others? Evidence buried for years, stories silenced, victims/survivors ignored or worse and criminals protected; that is the story on the paedophile investigations. There is every reason to believe that a child is suffering now and yet there is no urgency. That many of the crimes have involved individuals and premises that are associated with the government - makes me certain that this government, the last and many before that, are not governments of WE the People. WE would not hesitate to safeguard a child, the moment we became aware they were being harmed.

At some point very soon, the 76% of eligible voters in the UK who did not put an X in the box for the party now in government - will need to work together; to make clear that the active support of just 24% of the population does not give this government the right to impact all of us.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Monday, 11 May 2015

Gathering Ourselves...


There will be many ways to react to this awful election result; that does not represent the will of the vast majority (only 1/3 voted to have this government). At local levels, creating strong local networks that can assist those affected by policies, improve community awareness of the impact of those polices, skill-share, react quickly and link with others nearby and nationwide when larger actions call for it - seems a good project.
I was very inspired by this beautiful reaction by community organisers locally in Blackpool - made me think it would be of worth to have local gathering places for alternative thoughts, everywhere ...not under any other banner or cause - just gather, connect, share and plan:

Saturday, 9 May 2015

There's no Time...

There is too little time - we cannot wait 5 years. David Cameron formed the government the day of the the election results (despite it being VE Day & the Queen having a bit on)... already he is instigating cuts to welfare and looking to reinstate fox hunting and the clashes today with police in London, were met with a level or ready-brutality and intolerance. As planning for frack sites across the country come to councils now, they will be helped-along their way with Conservative zeal.


We know that this is bad - I had hoped though that there might be a moment to pause, to catch our breath and to find some way of uniting our fractured pieces - torn apart and scattered after politics caused rifts and divisions amongst people who were each simply aiming for better in their own way,
The wrongs and rights we see are not the same but everyone I know who is standing against fracking, standing against harsh austerity or looking to find a better system whilst trying to break down the old... is doing so because sitting on the sofa and swallowing the lies and myths and spin just wasn't tolerable anymore. No-one is acting in self-interest or with ill-intent - I may not agree the methods, reasoning or approach of all but I hugely respect any that got up to act.
I hope we find our MASS of 'we the people' - because this is not the time to go it alone, not the time to argue over anything that compared to where we stand now - cannot matter as much.
Where now, how now? No idea but I do know that we need each other more than ever.
NAMASTE x