“I shall continue to be an impossible person so long as those who are now possible remain possible.”Mikhail Bakunin
The Current Situation
One of the things I keep repeating is something which seems very obvious to may activists.
We have reached the tipping end of Climate Change, and there is very little we can do except to try to mitigate the most extreme aspects of that change.
The Pacific is dying.
We have a major long term problems with nukiller power & nukiller waste.
Yet the number of activists who are campaigning to stop these problems is extremely small.
Countering the campaigning myth.
One of the continual myths that abounds is that we can change things by organising big national demonstrations, lots of nonviolent direct action, and building a mass movement.
I’ve heard the same thing said many a time, and then watched people fall away with burnout, while stating that they need to ‘take a rest for a while’.
Thus campaigning goes in waves of activities, while the latest political crisis diverts a lot of individuals attention from these issues.
Yet the dangers posed by global warning, nukiller power, and radioactive waste grow by the hour.
Having regular rests might be good for the individual activists, but it’s not good for the those activists who keep going hour by day by month by year by decade on end. [ That comes with a financial and emotional cost which I’ll not go in to right now.]
For the long term activists it’s not just a question of keeping up with the issue, as the nukiller industry is multifaceted, but constantly working to share that knowledge.
Thus the best campaigners need have to a wide ranging knowledge of different subjects, be multi-skilled, and possess the ability to keep summing up that knowledge in different ways.
Just doing that while organising very small actions is the very most which most long term activists can hope to achieve.
This is particularly so as there are just not the numbers to sustain anything else.
Thus the line about ‘direct action is the only way’ becomes more of a chant than the reality.
Just keep in mind that:-
– Long term campaigning means we have to transcend both class and culture.
– Long term campaigning means constant self-education.
– Long term campaigning means just that.
– Long term campaigning means constantly campaigning for years on end without a break.
Constantly campaigning is the name of the game.
Just How do we do it?
The reality for most campaigning groups is that everything comes down to a few activists.
– How do we get away from only ever being able to organise regular pickets or leafleting sessions which just consist of 2,3, or 4 people ?
– How do we get away from meetings or public meetings at which we are only a small group of committed individuals ?
– How do we keep campaigning for years on end with little or no support?
Most importantly of all.
– How do we motivate people in to action ?
There are no easy answers to these questions.
A few workable options.
My thinking is that there is just not the money, people, or the resources around to think about any major national events.
Yet we can do the following:-
– Make sure to get to any pickets of demonstrations by other groups which are going on within the area or region one is living in.
– Hold more co-ordinated demonstrations or pickets on set dates.
e.g. During the next DRS open day will be held at their Carlisle depot on July 18th.
– Have more nukiller waste train leafleting sessions which are held at those times when regular commuters go through the effected stations.
That in turn could be used as a pre-requisite to setting up more local anti-nukiller groups.
– Encourage activists from other local groups to come visit & find out more about our own nukiller plants.
This is something which will both widen our knowledge base, and help to build support for each other.
For example: –
It would be very useful for more activists to go see all of those plants which will be effected by rising sea levels, such as Sizewell, Dungeness, & Heysham.
Capenhurst & all those places through which Uranium Hex is transported.
– Getting away from thinking about supporting those these groups which have paid fund-raisers.
The real need is to pay for the leaflets which are handed out by activists, and getting people to these protests on a regular basis.
That means making a few small regular donations to cover paper, ink, and train fares.
All of this might not seem like such,
but it is a very basis need if we are ever going to sustain any long term anti-nukiller campaigning.
Re-penning the campaigning manuals.
As a last observation.
Many of these issues are just not covered in most campaigning manuals.
The presumption being that each campaign has an easily defined time scale.
Yet this does not apply to nukiller power, as we need to look at the many year which they will be around, and the long term impact they will make.
Even if we stop new build and close down all the nukiller plants in one go, then there will still be the decommissioning and radioactive waste issue which will need to be addressed.
There is real need for campaigning manuals to examine just how we might support long term campaigning, and thus how best to work in mixed aged groups.