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Staunton

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  1. Staunton

    Climate change protests

    Baron99 identifies a fault line in post- democratic politics, a disparity between the ageing indigenous white populations of Europe and the USA and the turbulent demographics of the global South. During the era of globalised capital we were witness to planetary upheavals as the legacy of Western colonialism and the recent Bush/Blair adventures of death and plunder coalesced to deliver a legacy of rage and provoked the logic of migratory imperative. Our institutions proved vulnerable to dissolution by the corrosive of free-market doctrine, and the ensuing failure of Western democracy has allowed neo-reactionary dogma to exploit the natural fears of European and US citizens as we struggle to comprehend contemporary population redefinition. These are troubled times and our exhausted and anxious intellect craves the stability that strong leaders love to promise. It is a savage irony that we must simultaneously suffer the shocks that the environment is delivering. As Baron99 also notes, the Extinction Rebellion comprises a broad spectrum of activists, from lefties to the privileged, from media stars to wealthy individuals. It seems like an impossible mix of trends, personalities and theories, but the unexpected is always friend to action. And no one can deny that action on an unprecedented scale has been mobilised in London over the last few days.
  2. Staunton

    Climate change protests

    One of the reasons that Occupy features large in my current thinking is that it is now possible to see a feature of that movement unknowable at the time - that it represented the last opportunity for democracy. My own lack of foresight, my inability to imagine that, should neoliberalism fail, it might give way to something yet more destructive in the form of the neo-reactionary demagogue, haunts my analysis of Extinction Rebellion activism. The current struggle for environmental responsibility seems likely to be our very final chance. These are, as hackney lad rightly discerns, themes of biblical proportion. I make a plea that we might all look beyond the tactics and the character of those engaged in the current street protest, and allow ourselves to acknowledge and embrace the urgent need for radical change that they seek to communicate.
  3. Staunton

    Climate change protests

    What do we do when it seems that nothing can be done? If we accept that ethical action is pointless then we are left with cynicism. We sign off from any hope and simply retreat. This is precisely what the corporations desire - that we should just leave them alone. I am hopeful. That is why I suggest that Extinction Rebellion is the last chance we have. But maybe my hope is misplaced? Maybe it is already too late? So, I recommend and honour Anna B's admonition.
  4. Staunton

    Climate change protests

    We have been exhausted by a thousand cuts. Our places of work have become sites of exploitation and abuse, our positions precarised. Anxiety has replaced confidence, branded products have eclipsed community in our hearts. No wonder we find it hard to focus on our interests when we have been repeatedly disciplined to accept that we must embrace the privations and displacements of austerity in order to achieve some sunlit upland somewhere, some day, only to find that promise empty. Thus the future has gone. We no longer see a future, so the notion of a tomorrow being menaced by such catastrophe as that represented by global warming and climate disaster paralyses our exhausted collective intellect. No wonder we are fearful, it is not surprising that we ridicule those who try to stimulate our sluggish imaginations and alert us to the horrors that are already hidden in the future. They remind us of our humiliation.
  5. Staunton

    Climate change protests

    The defeat of Hilary Clinton represented the dying gasp of the neoliberal project. She, along with that basket of deplorables that included but was by no means limited to Thatcher and Major, Reagan, her husband Bill, Blair, Milliband, Osborne and Cameron, have vacated the stage to the neo-reactionaries. However, the cultural infrastructure of neoliberalism was buried deep and is still in situ, decayed but active, remaining toxic, an infected carcass. There is no cause for complacency. The monsters now clamouring for our love, from Johnson to Francois, Orbán to Erdogan, Modi to Trump, are as indifferent to our human needs as their globalist predecessors. As Ilkley Moor blazes in this April heatwave, we must allow the emergency of our situation to prompt our better selves to action, to embrace the message that Extinction Rebellion has inscribed in our imaginations, and seek a way forward for human and bio survival. Nothing less shall be sufficient.
  6. Staunton

    Climate change protests

    They became exhausted by the enormity of the task, their energies depleted by attrition, beset by strategic legal obstacle. It happens to all political experiment, as the tory party have just discovered. We have been witnessing their death throes as they collapse into a cess of discharged puss and hawked bile, abuse and disgrace. Unfortunately, the political parameters look in auspicious as the neo-reactionaries seek opportunity to assert their own brand of misery on us in the political space vacated by the collapse of neoliberalism. I don't imagine for one moment that they shall be sensitive to the pressing environmental concerns that Extinction Rebellion are so bravely articulating.
  7. Staunton

    Climate change protests

    Again, as I have related elsewhere on the forum, in 2011 Occupy represented the last chance for us to listen and act as finance capital rotted the core of democracy. Too late - we did not take any notice. We preferred to mock and sneer, and now we face the neo-reactionary forces that have infested the body politic. Similarly, we cannot allow the business-as-usual adepts of political distraction and corporate propaganda to prevail. Extinction Rebellion are offering us this very last chance to engage meaningfully with the existential crisis that is facing us all as the planet begins to boil and rage beyond habitability. And too late this time really shall mean too late for everythying, for everyone. We might be exhausted and humiliated, our critical faculties diminished as collective intellect gives way to confusion and anxiety, but unless we summon the energy to halt the forces of petro-brutality and calculated political inaction, we shall face true devastation. Extinction Rebellion are asking us to recognise our common plight and understand the urgency of the task.
  8. Staunton

    Climate change protests

    Perhaps you could explain precisely who these targets are, and outline an effective means of challenging their practice and policy in such a manner that further global warming is averted? And please do give us some indication of who shall be tasked with this challenge.
  9. Staunton

    Climate change protests

    I believe that the Extinction Rebellion symbol is intended to represent that sinister and terror-inducing item, the egg timer.
  10. Staunton

    Climate change protests

    During the years in which neoliberalism prevailed, our capacity for reason was under constant assault. The market was installed in our schools, competition became received wisdom in the classroom via league tables and a narrow inspection regime that stripped out the humanities. Our children were denied the opportunity to learn anything other than the basic skills required by the low-wage economy. Families were exhausted by the ongoing increase in work-place demands and dwindling income, depleted of energy as they struggled to manage and cynically served a diet of high definition TV drivel and distress. The press became adept at provoking an emotional response that bypassed our critical faculties. That exhaustion and emotional overload has left us struggling to make sense of the increasing complexities of life. We now face a political crisis as discredited politicians go frothing and spitting into oblivion. But they have set a trap for us all - environmental devastation. As moorland fires rage here in Yorkshire and in Scotland, in April (!), we must seek to appreciate the message that Extinction Rebellion attempt to articulate, no matter their personality or their tactics.
  11. Staunton

    Climate Change thread

    Elsewhere on the forum I have pointed out that students 'face decades of debt', that 'our children cannot hope to buy a house', and that 'we have delivered the young into the hands of the loan-mongers and landlords'. Of course such points are of no consequence whatsoever if we leave our children with nothing to breathe.
  12. Staunton

    Sheffield Cathedral, Barclays, HSBC

    Some people are clearly not interested, but we all have an interest, and that interest is not being defended by those elected to govern. We have a prime minister who is clearly inadequate to the task and an opposition leader who seems incapable of opposing. Today the UK is in crisis. Law and order has broken down, the police depleted beyond the capacity to function, the courts failing, probation and preventative services hollowed out, privatised and wholly inadequate to the demands of their remits, the prisons in chaos. Schools and hospitals are struggling on as best they can thanks alone to the selfless work of their dedicated staff, even as the privatisers and profit-seekers circle. Council functions are now in the hands of private interests, that is why tree-felling came before the basic needs of people with care needs or disabilities. Students face decades of debt, our children cannot hope to buy a house, we have delivered the young into the hands of the loan-mongers and landlords. Occupy saw these forces looming and sought to draw our attention to the criminal and corrupt practices of the CEOs and politicians as revealed in the financial scandal of 2007/8 and the public-funded bailouts that followed. Unfortunately we didn't listen, and it's taken Cameron's hopelessly miscalculated EU referendum to shine some light on the inadequate, grasping, venal character of the government. But too late. The hard right is preparing to clean up. And if we pause to consider the character of individuals such as Rees Mogg, Farage and Francois we are unlikely to discern any compassion, we shall detect no concern for the vulnerable, the poor, the sick or the low-paid worker except, of course, as scapegoats.
  13. Staunton

    Sheffield Cathedral, Barclays, HSBC

    Occupy were resource poor, but they disrupted their own lives in selfless service to the common good, enduring scorn and abuse, and put themselves at risk. They found a peaceful and open way to draw attention to the corruption of neoliberal politics and the financial scandal that ordinary people were paying for with their jobs, their savings, and the services that have been lost to them. All factors that one would have expected followers of Jesus to embrace. Sheffield Cathedral failed so to do. Their established position, their wealth, their privilege came first, before the basic needs of ordinary people, here in the UK, and across the globe. Bradley is unlikely to answer for any of the harms he or his friends in finance capital have done, not because he is defenceless but because he (like they) simply refuses to be held accountable. It's a standard policy for the wealthy and powerful self-enrichers that strode the neoliberal stage. Now that neoliberalism has collapsed and even more sinister forces are taking advantage of the political vacuum, wealthy self-aggrandisers like Bradley will be insulated from much of the devastation that today threatens ordinary people. Neoliberalism effectively dissolved democracy, the very notion that Occupy sought to champion, and opened the door to the likes of Farage and Francois. Now that we begin to see these even more vicious forced at work we should honour the selfless dedication of those who committed their efforts and energies in an attempt to mobilise some resistance, to alert people of the horrors that austerity unleashed, and that the coming authoritarian move shall only inflate. Sheffield Cathedral had a chance to do the right thing, but ease and sleaze prevailed. That is hypocrisy, a moral dereliction, and it is a disaster for the people of their diocese.
  14. Staunton

    Sheffield Cathedral, Barclays, HSBC

    Oh what a jolly wheeze eh? What fun, what a lark. But not really. In fact not at all! Sheffield Cathedral was presented with a unique opportunity to support Occupy, to make its resources available to their movement, to facilitate the urgent debate that Occupy represented. Instead the institution demonstrated contempt, and employed cynical legal strategies to destroy the movement. And it did do with the overt interests of finance capital as its motivation, which was clearly signalled by Bradley's craven epistle.
  15. Staunton

    Sheffield Cathedral, Barclays, HSBC

    What a strange idea. I don't expect peter Bradley to do anything. He successfully used his privileged position to attack the few people who sought to draw attention to the vicious, criminal practices of finance capital. The Occupy movement understood an important fact, that it's no good having a march or spend an afternoon on a demonstration. They knew that they had to maintain an enduring presence. And that is why it was attacked, with violence in the precincts of St Paul's and with cynical legal tactics at Sheffield Cathedral. Bradley's sneering letter exposed his hypocrisy - defending the rich and powerful even as they lay waste to our world. The urgent debate that Occupy sought to begin is not over yet. After nine years of ideologically motivated austerity the North of England has been drained of capital, it's public institutions left exhausted or corrupted by private interests, while the resulting social despair has opened the door to the authoritarian threat manifested by the likes of Jacob Rees Mogg, Arron Banks and Mark Francois. Sheffield Cathedral would like us to believe that Christ is represented in its presence and its mission. Yet there is nothing of the spirit of Jesus in their institution or their conduct.
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