Congratulations World! & Greens Fight Tunnel
|Sea Shepherd in Melbourne recently|
I can't believe it! What wonderful news greeted us on waking this morning. Finally - whaling in the Southern Ocean has been banned by the International Court of Justice, and Japan has agreed to abide by the ruling.
On my walk this morning, I alternately smiled and cried, thinking about the whales gambolling in the Antarctic waves safe at last from the threat of destruction. I knew exactly where I wanted to be - aboard one of the Sea Shepherd vessels, partying on its deck with its heroes.
|Please can I come to your party?|
Earlier this week I saw a wonderful film called Sharkwater, which I recommend to you. I was overwhelmed by the bravery of the whale warriors that it depicted. Captain Paul Watson and his crews deserve all our gratitude and the gratitude they will undoubtedly receive from generations to come.
Of course they didn't do it alone. Thank you too to Greenpeace, Bob Brown, and the numerous other champions who have been fighting for the whales in the courts, in their communities and behind the scenes.
Which brings me back to the meeting I attended last night in the CBD at the office of our Federal Greens Minister, Adam Bandt. A small group of people representing community groups opposing the East-West Link, tunnel picketers, the Fitzroy Legal Service, Greens parliamentarians or their representatives and Greens staffers met to discuss where they are up to with their respective campaigning and to hear the proposals of the Greens for their next moves.
It was a very informative meeting and it was most interesting to hear from Adam Bandt, whose opinion about future strategies is very aligned with those of us tunnel picketers.
The crux of the matter, he agrees, is how to convince the State Labor party to tear up the contracts, should they be signed before the election. This is critical because even though Labor parliamentarians to a man and a woman opposed the tunnel in scathing terms at yesterday's Hearing, their leader was still saying after Sunday's mighty rally, where the resounding cry to Labor speakers was: 'Tear up the contracts', that he would honour them.
The Greens response to Labor intransigence is to utilize the strategy which worked so brilliantly for them in returning Adam Bandt to Federal Parliament despite the major parties' conniving. That strategy is community organising.
The Greens aim to train 40 - 50 core volunteers, to organise 20 'contact events' (door knocks or phone banks), to knock on 6,000 doors, to make 2,000 phone calls, to get 1,000 Trains not Tollroads placards on homes and to sign up 5,000 people to the campaign. I loved those maths and to feel the strong Greens organisation moving into action behind us. This is the postcard they have produced to stimulate support:
But it also felt somewhat strange that it has taken the Greens this long to move into the action phase of their campaign. Having just celebrated our six month anniversary - thank you, Keith - it feels like we tunnel picketers have been fighting forever.
But this morning's triumph has reminded me that often it requires a flotilla of people resisting in a range of different ways to secure success:
For me, the Sea Shepherds are analogous to the Socialist Party-led Tunnel Picketers. Although bruised and battered, we will never give up, and are practised at keeping the issue in the media spotlight. Then there are all those hard-working people who have made submissions and/or are attending the Hearings. There are also groups organising rallies, protests, stunts, regional visits (with or without caravans). There is a legal team investigating the legal possibilities. And then there are the Greens, who as well as applying pressure in parliament, are putting their strategising nous and experience and skills at co-ordination at the service of the cause.
With all this talent on board, today it seems to me that we are invincible.