The “protest community” have a very stark choice about options for non-violent direct action and other forms of demonstration this week. Either you do something to entertain and amuse people, or you do something to annoy.
At a stretch you might even manage to do both, but for the most part it is an either-or situation. Do you hold a street party in fancy dress, or do you try to blockade something, lock on and shut it down ?
Do you publish a newspaper pulling apart current Economic, Energy and Climate policy ? Or do you set up a tent outside the London Climate Exchange and refuse to leave ?
What about other forms of action that could highlight problems and demand solutions ? Well, there is the excellent strategy of “avoid”. By that, I don’t mean stay away from the action. By all means get involved in the various actions, direct and otherwise.
By the term “avoid”, I mean disengagement. Disengage from the activities that support the current mess we’re in. Meditate instead of consuming. Share instead of buy. Stop borrowing money. Stop burning natural gas and petrol. Wrap up warm when at home and cycle or walk to get about.
Distance yourself from adding to the wealth of those that are destroying our chances for change. Don’t buy from supermarkets, large coal-fired energy suppliers, failing car manufacturers, dead-end banks.
Avoid making a profit for your employers. Avoid Carbon Dioxide emissions by using less Energy. Avoid exploitation by buying only Fair Trade. Buy local. Live local. Don’t fly. Don’t drive.
Public consultations reveal nothing and achieve nothing. Voting doesn’t change things. Policies are being watered down.
There is A Void to avoid. There is nothing happening that seriously tackles Climate Change, the Energy problem and the Economic crisis.
There is a policy vacuum, a leadership vacuum. Step into it. Lead from the front, from the inside, from the outside, from the back. Lead by reducing your consumption. Lead by educating yourself and others about how to live a Low Carbon life.
Lead your so-called leaders by taking part in the G20 demonstration actions – in whatever capacity you have. Do what you feel safe and comfortable with. Don’t take personal risks, value your freedom from arrest. Be non-violent. Take part but don’t go beyond your own personal limits of fear or endurance. Be peaceful, loving and kind. But do annoy and do amuse.
We are all Fossil Fools.
We are all Stupid.