I don’t know if Naomi Klein coined the term, Blockadia, but it is, it seems, the new name for universal protest. And it is growing.
Before we get into what that term means, this post is a small diatribe about the pathetic excuse we refer to as the media, a mild condemnation of BIG GREEN (Sierra Club, WWF, etc.) and a note of optimism regarding the way we all work together when faced with threat.
Seems we don’t rely on the BIG LIE MACHINE as much as I thought.
OK…Blockadia (the term for protest Klein employs for resistance all over the globe) is a grass roots, local and disorganized force for resistance to BIG INDUSTRY beyond the local level. It is (mostly and currently) protest against the petroleum based economy in essence and, while likely a bit hypocritical (in that protesters drive to the protest site), the protesters are totally aware that petroleum AND BIG BUSINESS is the root cause of global warming and that they have to do something about it.
Seems the first thing they are doing is stopping the petro projects before they get off the ground. In BC (where I live) popular anti-petro sentiment has grown to the extent that the Northern Gateway project is likely dead-in-the-water. Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion into Vancouver is also facing overwhelming resistance. After the disaster that was Mount Polle, a mine with open holding ponds will likely be severely resisted, too. The hoi poloi is protesting BIG industry all over the place.
The news is that this is coming from local people, disorganized except for the fact that they are the local and most directly affected by whatever it is they are protesting. Basically, Blockadia is NIMBY grown large. And NIMBY doesn’t do press releases or fund raise.
I write about it because Naomi did. But the shock in her writing is that this kind of thing is a local phenomenon everywhere. From rail-lines carrying toxic sludge through small communities to refinery expansions in big cities, people all over the world are organizing locally and saying NO. Even Mongolians are protesting coal mining in China!
And there is no well-funded, well-known BIG GREEN MACHINE behind them. These are local people resisting BIG INDUSTRY simply because they are against any more earth-poisoning at any level. It would appear that green consciousness is alive and kicking hard all over the world.
Ironically, fracking seemed to be the straw that broke the dam. Even tho oil is the big bogey-man, it was fracking being done close to affluent neighbourhoods that turned mainstream system supporters into radical freaks. Behind every cloud…..
‘Course, you won’t hear any of this from the media. “Who cares if a group of neighbours blockades a pipeline extension in New Brunswick. Lead the news with the puppy stuck in the well and cut to the weather!” But it turns out that particular local protest in NB did make the news after all due to the RCM Police over reaction at the time and their snipers aiming rifles at moms and tots. But BIG media is generally NOT covering the BIGGER story of quiet, locally-based but international resistance to BIG OIL. And it is happening all over the world. Even the Nigerians are starting to fight back despite the Niger Delta being likely the most polluted-but-still-populated place on earth!
The real story is international resistance to BIG institutions. You get puppies on your local news station instead. But somehow the people are getting the message.
Does that mean they will win? Who knows? In lesser countries protesters go to jail for years simply for protesting. Some are disappeared. Hundreds if not thousands have already been killed by police and even we in the supposedly freer countries have had grannies carted off to jail and youth gassed and beaten. BIG INDUSTRY pays for government and government pays the police. Conflict is likely to escalate before it ebbs.
“Dave, why tell me this?”
Well, two reasons: people should know that their local protest, if not part of a larger organized movement is part of a larger consciousness movement. If you are protesting the removal of mountain tops in Appalachia or fracking in Greece or pipelines through Wyoming, know that more and more people are doing what you are doing except they are doing it in their local area. Resistance is universal and international and you should know that others are on your side at least in spirit and sentiment. And all this on a scale that you are not likely aware of.
And secondly, I suggested in the last blog that conflict will escalate not only because police actions foster resistance but because people the world over are fed up with the BIGGIES and they are resisting. That one of the BIGGIES is their government and the corrupted party politics system has yet to be openly resisted may just be a matter of time ….or it may never come to that if government ever gets a clue and starts doing the right thing. Regardless, everything else BIG will feel the increasing resistance of the people.
Somebody had to point that out to us. And Naomi Klien did (THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING). She makes a compelling argument that the revolution has begun in some small but growing corners of the world. And, implicit in her message is an invitation: you might want to consider getting on board.