Let’s be clear. Showing “solidarity” in 2023 is not signing a letter, making a statement, not just going on a march, and certainly not doing another nice detached intellectual interview about obscene injustice. At the present moment doing these things is no longer just bad taste, it’s fucking disgusting. Or haven’t you seen what fast death and slow starvation look like – for those who don’t have the privilege to look away, to exit the situation, or to “take a break”? For those who face killing, not of their making, whichever way they turn. For whom there is no escape.
And soon enough what is happening “over there” will be happening to us “over here”.
When I was 18 I went to India to work with a civil rights organisation. I was a cocky teenager – thought I knew the score. The week before I arrived 20 striking textile workers got shot by the police. Then the murderers went into the villages of the workers and raped the women. I was knocked flat. Wiped out. The guy in charge told me words to the effect of “get the fuck back to the global north and bring down the governments that are creating this shit”. I will never ever forget the look in his eyes. I got a scholarship to the London School of Economics but left after a year to follow his instructions. And never looked back.
After the start of Extinction Rebellion, I did around 100 interviews on the mass death project with journalists, up to about a year ago. Then I stopped. I realised it was rotting my soul. Talking about the suffering of people as if it was some sort of puzzling curiosity. The “issue”, the “problem”, the “solution”. There was a reason why the Nazis referred to their mass killing as a medical exercise. A question of hygiene. A scientific matter.
When I go into an interview now I have one thing on my mind. Mobilisation. When asked about “China”, “violence”, and all the rest of it, I go “that’s not what I am talking about here”. I feel shit about it. I actually hate having to be disagreeable, rude, and divisive. But what I hate more is the rotting of my soul.
The single biggest thing we need to do at this moment in time is to step into our power – which means stepping into our rage – which means actually expressing our rage: “You don’t fucking get to stand by while this shit is happening”. With a look in your eye like the look the revolutionary gave me in India all those years ago. Total certainty. Total commitment.
In the Revolution
of our lives
No nonsense. Change your mind anytime.
This is what the Rupture looks like.
I love intellectual conversation. I live and breathe ideas. We all would rather be doing something else right. But the days of what we “would like to do” have gone.
A friend from XR told me this week about this soul rotting trying to jump through the hoops of humiliation to get NGOs to be “partners” for the “The Big One” demonstrations in April. Efforts are being made to get the liberal elites to act but the window of opportunity for them is closing fast, as the surging of the repressed rage of the young grows by the month. The institutions of our societies are utterly moribund, in a suicidal death spiral of hypocrisy and cowardice. The depravity of showing “solidarity” while doing no such thing. To say it makes me sick doesn’t even approach how I feel. With what is at stake. With so little time.
I confess to having a soft spot for Aaron Bastini. He is an example of what a leader of his generation could be but has not yet had the courage to become. Novara Media is in that disappearing no man’s land between siding in with the coming praxis of revolution or slipping back into the comforts of the “Left” media silo, talking to itself until the shelves are empty for them too. The comments below the video show the desperation and the impatience: “We want to act, we want to play our part” – in this great battle. The centre will not hold. There is no neutral ground. This system is finished. The great destiny of the younger generation is to act to build what comes next. Not to talk about it.
The new leaders have to go out on the streets and put themselves in harm’s way. To look into the eyes of the oppressed and say, “Yes I will act in solidarity with you. Fuck yes.” And then to actually do it.
Novara – the moment of decision is upon you.
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