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Byron Shire
August 16, 2022

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Our Inconvenient Youth

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Some weeks it’s hard to navigate the big feelings I have around injustice; the kind of injustice that occurs every day, everywhere, underwritten by the privilege of some at the expense of the many. The shit stuff people get away with! The shit stuff no one notices. Shit stuff always happens to people who don’t have much to start with. I sometimes wonder how you can hear story after story and not realise the system is broken. Capitalism sucks. Let’s go break stuff – like, the dominant paradigm! We haven’t managed to subvert it – so can we smash it into tiny pieces? Please?

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Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Our Inconvenient Youth. Photo by Kevin Grieve

They’re rising. And when I say ‘they’re’ I don’t mean them. I mean us. We’re rising. The people.

You might remember us. We’ve done it before. We’ve brought down governments. We’ve beheaded the aristocracy. Currently we’ve been corralled into our capitalist feedlots, doe-eyed with mortgages, addictions, obesity, and this belief that we’re powerless.

But we’re not. The sedation is wearing off. We are angry people. Pissed-off people. People tired of waiting. People who know we’ve got f-all time to make the systemic change that might have a a chance to turn back the impending environmental armageddon.

This is no time to sit back and be polite. This is the time to rattle the cage. To scream. To disrupt. To bring attention to what matters. Last week in Brisbane 70 people got arrested at a peaceful sit-in that shut down parts of the Brisbane CBD and caused ‘commuter chaos’.

One of the arrested was a quoll. Well not an actual quoll. A guy in a quoll suit. Watching the police trying to contain a guy in a fur suit was both hysterical and heartbreaking. We are arresting the wrong people.

The real cause of social disruption isn’t a bunch of people having a sit-in for climate change; it’s corporation. Don’t arrest a guy in a quoll suit; go grab a few corporate honchos, arrest the CEOs. And their shareholders. They’re not just stopping a little bit of traffic, they’re co-conspirators in the END of the WORLD. And the end of the world is about as inconvenient as it gets.

Welcome to the Extinction Rebellion. XR. The door is open for you to step through and join the uprising. This is global. All around the world activists are making noise about climate change and demanding immediate action because their politicians were too weak or self-invested to act on their behalf. Because their governments are handmaidens to corporation. Because everyone wants to get elected and no-one wants to be the architect of real change.

Our governments continue to pass the environmental buck to the next incumbent. It’s like Pass the Parcel. Except what’s in the parcel isn’t a plastic toy. It’s our planet. It’s us, our kids’ future, and by the time the music stops and the last idiot unwraps it there’ll be nothing left. Except plastic of course. There will be a shit load of plastic.

The Extinction Rebellion is here. This is a sociopolitical movement that uses civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance to protest against climate breakdown, biodiversity loss, and the risk of social and ecological collapse. Last week when they shut down parts of the Brisbane CBD the reaction by the Queensland premier and Brisbane Council was to suggest that ‘inconveniencing’ people was not a good way of getting attention about climate change. Bullshit. That was a lead story. The Quoll being arrested is all over social media.

I’d say it’s a bloody good tactic. This IS the time to inconvenience people. Remember Al Gore’s movie The Inconvenient Truth? That was his attempt nearly 14 years ago to educate people about global warming. It wasn’t enough. This is not about payback. This is not about global terrorism. It’s about survival.

In London, the Extinction Rebellion have their sights on the textile industry and London Fashion Week and they’re demanding instead a people’s assembly of industry professionals and designers as a platform to declare a climate and ecological emergency. If this doesn’t happen they’ll blockade the venues. Because even in this tech savvy world, something as simple as a blockade still works.

Like the kids in Brisbane who blocked a bridge with their kayaks… and then were called ‘spoilt brats’ by the Courier Mail. Wow, when did wanting a sustainable future make you a spoilt brat? Aren’t we, the generation 50-plus, the baby boomers, the economic groomers… aren’t we the spoilt brats? Aren’t we the greedy change-resistant generations who have forced our kids onto the streets in protest?

The Extinction Revolution is here. And you are either part of the solution, or you are the problem. You decide. But I should warn you. There’s no time. Become an Inconvenience.

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  1. An angry Mandy is needed. And I’m a warmed-up
    74 year old boomer who supports the students &
    the Rebellion. As well I am inconvenienced by our
    parliament & their mentors ie; CEO trolls, honcho
    share-holders & slack back-sliders who don’t give
    a damn about the situation we’ve allowed world
    governments to get away with. The ‘wake-up’ call
    has now gone beyond the ‘environmental red alert
    halt button.’ Coal, oil, Gas & fracking is deadly to
    to this planet & all who & what sail within her. As
    well Mother Earth must unhappily retaliate. Think
    on it. Time’s short.

  2. Right ON Sista ! Write ON !!
    The time has arrived for active resistance. Corporate governance has sold us out.
    Let us join the ‘kid’s’ who are showing more sense
    and gumption than our generation, of way too comfortable climate change deniers – addicted to an unsustainable lifestyle.
    I’ve survived off grid for 8 months now – trying to do something…

    • Yeah good work brad !! Off the grid for 8 months ,would that include everything connected to coal as well ? One wonders if the rest who have made comments regarding this article including mandy? have taken some responsibility as individuals? All this hysteria, and propaganda, regarding Australia’s contribution to Global Warming 1.3 percent ..ANYONE would assume Australia are the major polluters of the world.. china 27 percent?? finkel Australia’s leading scientist on GLOBAL Warming, admitted that even if all Australia shutdown for 6 months .it would no difference to Global Warming …you only ever here from the scientists supporting doom and gloom.. Why is this
      ?? Brad check this out !! Nils axel morner scientist for 50 years on GLOBAL Warming..worked with the United nations, ipcc , and quit because of all the untruths and lies supporting GLOBAL Warming…you can Google it …his interview with Allan Jones …always two sides to each story ..!! Well worth watching Brad ..

  3. Right Mandy!
    Extinction Rebellion is NOT about being inconvenient, or disrespectful or even being angry!
    It is a activists” movement, using civil disobedient, and direct actions as their main strategies!
    And: it is based on RESPECt and peaceful action. Not on anger and verbal abuse, no shaming and blaming.
    When we got arrested, we respected the police, we spoke to them as fellow human beings, who sitting in the same boat, the Titanic, that is destined to go under. That’s a fact.
    I was treated firm, but fair by the police on my arrest; I was asked to either leave the road blockade
    or being arrested,….
    XR doesn’t need anger or abusive tactics to be effective!
    We need 3.5% of the population to get up, to rise and be activists and (potentially) get arrested and cause a FUSS, Disrupt and force the government to tell the truth about the climate emergency, demand a 0% carbon emission and give the people a voice.
    Thank you for your support Mandy, and maybe we continue our dialogue one day in a cell, with some other rather famous people?


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