25.1 C
Byron Shire
January 28, 2021

Editorial – Nonviolent activist of the week

Latest News

It’s legal to grow and distribute – but only by the anointed

Byron based medicinal cannabis producer is sending cannabis to Germany in a breakthrough $92m deal yet the humble plant remains illegal for locals and continues to put people behind bars.

Other News

Two charged with assault in separate incidents

A man and a woman have been charged with assault after separate violent incidents last week, one in Byron Bay and one in Mullumbimby.

A short history of our rail corridor debate

The debate over our disused rail corridor has long gone stale. It is acrimonious, ideological, and exhibits a strong tendency to avoid key points.

Interview with Phil Manning of Chain

Phil Manning picked up the guitar at 15. He’s been playing now for nearly 58 years. This year, Chain play the Byron Blues Festival.

Hand-picked beans make the best brew for Bangalow Coffee

Story & photo Melissa Butters Andy and Michelle have been serving up great coffee at farmers markets for 18 years....

The light within emerges from the ashes

Massimiliano Guerrisi will never forget the sight of his Bega Valley home being devoured during the Black Summer bushfires.

Rail trail debate

Geoff Meers, Suffolk Park It was good to read David Lisle’s comprehensive and reasoned discussion of the history of the...

US academic Gene Sharp (1928–2018). Photo supplied.

Hans Lovejoy, editor

While Dr Martin Luther King Jr., Mandela and Gandhi may be known for their nonviolent activism, there’s others who have advanced the cause.

The writings on civilian-based defence by US academic Gene Sharp (1928–2018) have been used around the globe, and not just by activists against tyrannical regimes.

The Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian governments all drew upon his ideas during their separation from the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. As founder of the Albert Einstein Institution, Sharp was a student of Mahatma Gandhi’s struggles against the British for independence.

The Atlantic’s Franklin Foer recently penned a piece on Sharp that gives hope that there is a way to defeat the noxious tyrannical weeds that invariably emerge and try to take over democracy.

‘Sharp wanted to understand the weaknesses of authoritarian regimes’, Mr Foer wrote, ‘and how nonviolent movements could exploit them.

‘Sharp distilled what he learned into a 93-page handbook, From Dictatorship to Democracy. A Conceptual Framework for Liberation’.

Mr Foer’s observation is that the 45th US president’s authority may finally be on the decline to illegitimacy.

‘Sharp’s foundational insight is embedded in an aphorism: “Obedience is at the heart of political power.” A dictator doesn’t maintain power on his own; he relies on individuals and institutions to carry out his orders. A successful democratic revolution prods these enablers to stop obeying. It makes them ashamed of their complicity and fearful of the social and economic costs of continued collaboration’. 

And since the BLM protests, that appears to be unfolding at a rapid pace for the 45th president.

‘As each group of elites refuses [the 45th President], it becomes harder for the next to comply in good conscience’.

So kryptonite to a tyrant like the 45th President – and indeed any similar wannabes like him – is to encourage those key supporters of the system to gain the confidence to speak up.

In the case of the Australian government, there are a plethora of scandals that continue to plague the ethically bereft Morrison cabinet. Just a few that the public know about include: Paladin, Fraudband (NBN), Watergate, HelloWorld, SportsRorts, Robodebt and the Ruby Princess. It’s never too late for those who are associated with these scandals to speak up. A return to political resignations for poor performance and corrupt behaviour is sorely needed to restore some trust in the system.

News tips are welcome: [email protected]


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

1 COMMENT

  1. Nonviolent activism is a tough call these days. The
    lies, secret deals & underbelly of what Australia
    stands for is one hell of a summons. We are caught
    up with dithering parliamentary followers …….[sleep
    -walkers] following the Murdoch trail of Rand-ism &
    cluelessly believing they are defending what they
    see as the old ‘motherland’. Meanwhile, the goose
    that laid the golden egg is a long time gone. Sure,
    we need to return, once again, to our comrade
    spirit of equality/ trust/ & give a friend a helping hand.
    However, justice is a noxious weed. The scandals
    that surround our government are pitiful. If we are to
    be responsible for their dictatorship we’d best accept
    our lot & shake ‘the money tree’ fleeced from an
    un-acceptable accountant. If our country is going to
    grow again we must listen to the students & science.
    Liberty’s been away too long. We must bring it back
    to all colours & creeds & re-seed the lands’ tomorrow.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Rail trail debate

Geoff Meers, Suffolk Park It was good to read David Lisle’s comprehensive and reasoned discussion of the history of the Casino to Murwillumbah rail corridor....

No respect

Chibo Mertineit, Lillian Rock Once again it’s that time of the year where we are meant to celebrate Australia day on 26 January. The day...

A window of trust

Baden Offord, Ocean Shores Wholeheartedly agree with Dave Rastovich’s spot-on letter regarding the value and benefit of The Echo, that it is a ‘trusted window’ (Letters,...

Conspiracy and pubs

Art Burroughes, Mullumbimby Regarding my article Conspiracy in the Pub becomes talking point (Echo, 20 January). How can we avoid falling foul of the growing tsunami of...
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -