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Byron Shire
October 16, 2021

Here & Now #11

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S Sorrensen
My place. Monday, 4.15pm

What do you take into war?

Something to hurt your opponents with, I reckon. That would be a good start.

I’m packing my van, Morrison, for combat. We’re off; off to the northern wildlands to do battle against the forces of darkness that are invading our country, raping and pillaging as they go.

Well, maybe not raping.

But lots of pillaging – poisoning the land and water, dividing communities – then shipping our common wealth to foreign shores. I’m talking CSG mining, of course.

The right weapon is tricky because I’m not fighting people; I’m fighting corporations and corporation-owned government. Sounds heavy. It is. And exhausting. Luckily inside Morrison there is – besides the book of Viking tales and selection of Mozart’s hits – a rather comfy bed. Morrison is the perfect combat vehicle. It’s even camouflaged. Against any old rusty water tank or sea-scarred cargo container, it’s practically invisible.

In my shack I have an old Japanese sword, given to me by my stepfather who is a warrior (first class, retired). But I reckon the sword may be difficult to explain if the Queensland police stop Morrison on its way to the western front at Tara on the Darling Downs.

And given that Morrison is a 1989 Hi-Ace held together by gaffer tape and stickers proclaiming my allegiance to renewable energy sources and reminding me to breathe, chances of a police ambush are high.

I’m an old-school warrior. Like soldiers of old, I march (or drive) into battle with all colours flying. Besides its stickers, Morrison will have a ‘go solar’ banner flying from its antenna, and I’ll be proudly wearing my yellow and black Knitting Nannas Against Gas beret. (This honour was recently bestowed upon me by the Nannas, despite my gender and my appalling purling.)

The weapon for those on the human side in this war is public declaration of our principles; is in taking action by just being there.

Opinions are easy. Everyone has one. Often in 140 characters or less. (Best not to have complex opinions…) Being informed is essential. But opinion is just the first step. The next, which sorts the whingers from the doers, is action.

In this battle, a Japanese sword is pretty useless. The company minions and their government stooges have pretty tough skins. And these corporations have no regard for human life – or life of any sort. So a sword is of no use. (Though a cheese knife for the evening platter is recommended.)

Our best weapon is ourselves. Being there. Showing our human colours.

So, what do you take into war?

First aid. I have paw-paw ointment and Panadol; in case of toasted marshmallow burn or loud battle music. Oh, and a bottle of vodka if pain persists.

Water. The Condamine River, which runs through the occupied territory, is bubbling with methane. Very sad. BYO water.

Ukulele. The battle tactic is a simple one: to happily give support to the embattled local people opposed to CSG mining in their homelands. Many of the warriors going to Tara are armed with musical instruments. Some have rapid-fire jokes. Me, I’m taking my uke. A little tune helps if the idea of having to fight your own government for clean air and water makes you depressed…

Yes, there’ll be partying, but this is serious partying, because without human resistance, corporations (and their elected servants) will lay waste to this wide, gas-filled land.

So, what else will I take to Kenya Gasfields?

A bright shirt. To show that I am human.

A friend. Ultimately, it’s a numbers game.

And a gas mask. To help me breathe where the air is toxic.

For more info on Dayne’s Party check out csgfreenorthernrivers.org.

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  1. FabboI love this story- i love these people who go out and battle against the odds. I heard a farmer interviewed on radio national say he had concerns about what csg mining would do to the water table and he had concerns for his grandchildren,s future, but he wanted to help his kids buy a house now so he was going to put his trust in the mining company. Sadly corporate snake oil salesmen have always been able to tap into the gullible self interest of the public and so the story continues.

  2. Good on you S, I was in Gunnedah and Tamworth a week ago and met genuine long-time farmers who are strongly opposed to the poisoning of their valuable properties by CSG mining. They are dismayed this could occur even if their neighbours sell out to the miners.


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