Jo Faith, Sunrise Beach
I recently read, with more alarm, in The Echo that ‘green’ Cr Michael Lyon was miffed that Upper House Green MP Tamara Smith had entered the debate with insightful research re the Bypass.
Indeed, I attended a meeting many months ago when the despairing Butler St community was assured by Tamara that it was time ‘to return to the drawing board’ and address the many contradictions that existed in the Bypass DA approval. Michael suggested, words to the effect, that Tamara should concentrate ‘on the forests’ and not get involved in the debates over the Bypass ‘patch’.
This statement struck me as a breath away from the sexist maxims of the old crusty patriachs who burped and seethed when socially conscious women spoke out and were reminded by these male relics to ‘get back to the kitchen’. What is happening in Council? We had the mayor demanding that the former mayor Jan Barham ‘be quiet’ or the rightful democratic taxes-paid-for structure, ie the Council Chamber meeting would be closed! Why are these young male ‘green’ representatives, somewhat bloated with hubris, attacking green women? All of these people have been placed in the superior role of governance. What flows from this fact is the vital role of superior responsibilities. This is aided by higher principles that govern democratic free speech.
Frontline protectors, such as the Quakers before them and anti-war protesters can give testimony in court on points of conscience as conscientious objectors, under Article 9 of the European Convention of Human Rights (Right to Freedom on Conscience), until new precedents are established in court.
This subsequently paves the legal way for Extinction Rebellion protectors, citizens of conscience in structurally challenged democracies such as local Byron citizens and other members of civil society to give rightful voice to power. Furthermore, the advance of modern science outstrips the level of education and conscience of the neo-liberal political class as we attempt to save sentient beings/eco-systems on a threatened planet. This is the Sixth Great Extinction and yet capital will develop greater technologies of repression. Let us be reminded of the plight of Julian Assange the bravest Australian ever.
I ask Council representatives to take stock of this useless neo-liberal sexist warfare and respect universal rights and rightful gender free speech. Avoid ‘Ditch the Witch’ narratives and find a green way to work and walk with the community of conscientious objectors… who can see ecocide all around them. Heartfelt thanks to all the hard work of Earth protectors.