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After the Action; Reflections on Coal Export

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Everyone has mixed emotions about the relative effectiveness of the non-violent civil disobedience that took place over the week of the 13th. Certainly it didn't sway the land board, the regulators, the unions or the editors of the local papers.  It is very hard to judge the effect on popular opinion but this raises a real point about the messaging the organizers are putting forth and any influence the radical faction can have.

All I know is nothing will change if we don't agitate. This means engaging the battering ram wherever liberal/progressive folk gather, challenging their basic assumptions, questioning their tactics, getting them used to a discourse where a systemic critique is REQUIRED. For me, this includes protests and demonstrations and actions no matter how boring or uncreative. At these unimaginative moments, well meaning liberals can be approached in a sincere, sensitive manner and shown a new direction.

There is a vast army of cynical, apathetic but intelligent people out there aware that the basic systems and institutions are screwed up. When we introduce the notion that not only are they corrupt, inefficient and unjust but also totally unable to deal with an existential threat as real as climate change, folks will begin to listen. Folks are afraid to isolate themselves by adopting a radical critique. We show them solidarity.

Marx thought the historical force for revolution would be the unavoidable clash between the relations of production and the relations of society, in other words, class war. But of course the workers were absorbed into society.

I think the unavoidable clash between democracy and capitalism, symbolized by the inability of "politics" to deal with climate change, could initiate the end. The global economic system is tottering, the financial system a sham, the social fabric is unravelling and CO2 building. It is our task to demonstrate and explain how they are all connected. We connect the dots and physically widen the cracks where possible. Nothing is certain... but that does not lessen the imperative.

Dave

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