Posted by sigismund on January 25, 2012, at 20:01:58
After Joe Bageant died some of his essays were collected in "Waltzing at the Doomsday Ball". In the reviews here it mentioned how he decided to escape the American hologram and the political theatre and went to live in Belize. I only found out during the reading of "Rainbow Pie" how much sympathy he had for those deemed surplus to requirements by the corpocracy. And how he reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut and Cormac McCarthy in different ways.
Australia is 20 years behind the US, but the following speech could have come from the pages of one of JB's books. The background is that farmers were protesting the presence of coal seam gas exploration by Arrow Energy on their land.............
With the rig ready to depart, Kerry Valley farmer Rod Anderson, Akubra hats in hand, gave a stirring address.
Ive been standing over by that strainer post for the last bloody ten days, quietly behavin like all of us locals have. Ive got a little place up the top there, its only small, might be insignificant to some, but its my house and its my home.
And fancy, its just absolutely mindboggling that good citizens and good farmers and good people with no criminal history just blokes off the street who are trying to do the right thig for this country are forced to come down here and bark at cars like mongrel dogs.
Thats b*llsh*t. Its not fair. The whole place here is built on generations of farmers, generations of business people that have done the best they can do for this community and are putting stuff back into the community.
I cant believe that we have to justify ourselves to the government Arrow should be down here justifying their existence to have the right to ruin our water. And the governments letting them do it.
So Im here to make a stand for all the people who were too afraid to come down here because of the standover tactics and they didnt want to be involved and they didnt want to be seen. They were frightened.
But by gee whiskers theres a lot of bloody locals here that have had enough and I tell ya what if that rig or any other rig comes back into this community there will be a shitload more people thatll stand up.
So Im putting my hat down in protest, and all the other peoples hats down, people that I know that are me mates. Ive had a gutful.
Drive over that! Anderson yelled at the rig, followed by fellow protesters placing their hats in the roadway. Im not touching em, one police officer was overheard to say.
What followed may well be a watershed in the battle between farmers and the coal-seam gas companies.
Two semitrailers rode over the Akubras, crushing them into the gravel.
The symbolism was astounding. In the aftermath, farmers were visibly shaken, police struggled to contain their emotion.