Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Climate Action Tour Pack, Film & Radio..

Film of tour stop in Guelph, Ontario.
And on Google video

Radio Interview of the tour crew in Guelph, Ontario.

There is a 'tour documentation project' which has become a 'resource pack for trainers & facilitators' with descriptions of the games & exercises.. and all the tools you need to create your own climate road-show! Its really quite good - There has been lots of ace feedback already so take a look: 2.4 MB pdf

Monday, July 2, 2007

From the Rocky Mountain leg of the tour in San Luis, CO.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Floyd & Blacksburg

It's a great thing to roll through small towns where people actually know their neighbours. In Floyd VA we were put up in a wonderfully small and warm 2nd floor cafe and bookstore called Black Water Books. That night we stayed with our friend Tree who's living in a small cabin next to a stream on land that was an infamous commune starting in the 70s. We curled up around the wood stove, enjoying the light of oil lamps and lack of electricity, and chatted about Black Mesa and indigenous solidarity work, shared stories and drank tea.

In the morning we hung out with her awesome son Jonah, reading story books, playing with animal friends, jumping on the trampoline, floating dandelions down the stream, and fishing for humans from the loft. Before saying our goodbyes (it's always too short! onward to the next stop, always onward) we met the horses and planted potatoes and kale in Tree's garden. Nothing can get me more grounded than sticking my hands in the dirt!

Saying goodbye after goodbye is hard, but there's always another brilliant person waiting at the next stop to say hello to. In Blacksburg our friend Erin welcomed us with a veggie stew, homemade kimchi, and a full on salad. With full bellies and high spirits we rolled into what is perhaps our best shindig yet. A number of local groups had come out and helped promote the event, and despite being booked in a college most of the room was community members. We've been working at breaking outside of the alienated confines of young white environmental/activist spaces and this show was the best we've seen in terms of attracting a range of people. This is something we've talked about a TON, both in terms of how messed up and segregated the white activist scene is, and also how most attempts to break this down can slip into "inclusion" and "diversity" and other problems mirrored in the dominant culture. We also had someone from a carbon trading company come along.. and folks there telling of students at the college working on carbon sequestration - both false solutions we attempt to debunk.

The most exciting thing about this presentation was the willingness of people who came to talk broadly and connect climate change with other issues. In the lengthy discussion at the end we covered everything from local bike co-ops to solidarity with Palestine and the connection between Mountain Top Removal and the prison boom. We got into discussion prison abolition work, rural and city divides and potential solidarity, public transportation and classism, ended with an in depth conversation on tactics for direct action and effective strategy. It was an incredible evening, thank you to all who came!

Oh, and on top of it all, it snowed during our shindig, with a soft blanket covering Burt the Bumble Bus outside. Hard to imagine that just 3 days earlier we were in shorts and tshirts on top of a mountain cliff, basking in the sun!

- Julian

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

On the Appalation trail..

We are in West Virginia, with the great folks of Shepherdstown who just put on their annual Global-Local conference. Having just done a shindig (we've been looking for names for the thing that is not like 'show' or 'presentation' that imply one way flow of information... so we're calling it a shindig now) in Baltimore and finally got to see and eat at the legendary Red Emma's

We made it in time to spend an evening around the fire with the folks here with our Evan plus Ryan Harvey (another part of Riot-Folk) sharing some of their songs with us all. I've never seen folks dance so energetic to guitars around a fire.. Shepherdstown Rocks!

We hung out for the 2nd day of the conference - doing a little of our thing and being part of the other workshops. The first workshop was Palestine 101 which was wonderfully interactive, including some games very similar to the ones we do and was followed by a great discussion on global white supremacy, US imperialism, and the tricky depths of trauma, identity, and the Zionist charge of anti-semitism for any critique of Israel.

We did a shortened version of our workshop which flowed directly into a well-facilitated anti-oppression workshop focused on deliberative dialogue and Hurricane Katrina. Deborah, the facilitator, pushed the all white but "anti-racist" crowd to go outside of our comfort zones, saying "if you're not pushing yourself into uncomfortable situations, then you're not doing your work." We then watched a clip from Spike Lee's documentary on Katrina and did a role playing exercise of framing the many issues from the perspectives of New Orleans residents, outside helpers and aid-workers, and FEMA/Coppers.

(Julian:) I had the joy of playing a National Guard officer restoring order in post-Katrina New Orleans! "We're here to restore order and get things up and running, if only you'd stop looting and killing each other!"

All in all, the workshop reinforced the necessity of starting with the foundation of real community dialogue (outside the confines of white radical spaces) in order get any other real work done. Hopefully this tour will be a major step for us pushing ourselves to meet people where they're at, initiating and continuing meaningful dialogues with all those most affected by the disaster that is this society.

(Soph:) I think things we learn on tour are just as valuable as what we communicate - especially for me being in a different culture to where I grew up - and this was a great exercise to try to understand where different folks are coming from in trying to work through problems together.

Before Baltimore was a crazy whirl of shindigs and meeting amazing folks from Florida to Appalachia. We've been welcomed and fed buy some very inspiring communities. The Shepherdstown dumpster diving crew made the most amazing 'freegan' food; it always amazes me how well we can eat from dumpsters.

We visited a high school near Richmond and ran a class there with about 40 kids.. It was great! We broke down their stereotypes of what 'environmentalists' are and we heard they thought we are cool. The fact that we have a rocking folk singer with us really helped, and that we swap around different styles of communicating.

There was a strange moment when we were interrupted by a PA announcement for all the teachers to turn on their TVs which we ended up just carrying on and ignoring.. but the sound over the school PA continued and the point where they were meant to pledge allegiance arrived, when all of the kids stood up and put their hands on their hearts. I think they noticed the bewildered and slightly horrified expressions on our faces, and didn't all really go through with it.

I think we've all been inspired by the great reaction of the class and hope to visit many more high schools on the road.

- Julian & Cookie

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Pics from Umoja Village & Miami Workers Centre

Some of the Tour crew visited a the Umoja Village in Miami where homeless activist have occupied the land for homeless people. More info on:

And the Miami Workers Centre

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Gigs, Gas, Gardens & Gaitors..

Its only 24 hours to Talahasse

After being stranded out at the Brownfiled for what felt like eternity, disappointingly having to cancel our New Orleans gig then a nail-biting will-we-wont-we get the bus back from the shop in time for the next date.. we finally got the bus and drove into the night (with a couple of hours kip under floodlights in a mall car park) then all day to arrive at our Tallahassee gig about 5 mins before we were due to start...

What timing.. we had a great group talk after the presentation with the local folks about their campaign (including fighting coal plants,(and got to meet one of our fellow Rising Tider's great radical mum!).

Next up we headed through Gainesville and visited a fantastic community Gardens project there.

There are plans to build a new power plant in Gainesville too, which has been postponed by the amount of pubic outcry against it.. but still it looms.

The community gardens were started a few years back by the neighbourhood nutrition network, an projects supported by an organics supplier company. but then the garden lapsed.. and then it was taken up by a locals to run it themselves. It is now heading towards being an urban farm to feed the community.

We then headed south again into the warm and a great night at the Florida University in Jupiter. We tried out a few new things that evening and a great new game we developed, and the night went really well our best yet and met a diverse group of locals, students and a radical crew of high school students who were awesome!

While in south Florida went out to visit the site of FPL's proposed West County Energy Center, if it is completed, the natural gas/oil burning, would be the largest power plant in the Florida, contributing around 12 million tons of CO2 a year, and 3500 tons of other hazardous emissions. Local residents have repeatedly been told by FPL that this will be the cleanest, most efficient, burning fossil fuel plant in the country.

But there are several things that they have neglected to talk about: that the plant is located a 1000 feet from the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, home to near 30 threatened and endangered species; that it will demand 6.5 billion gallons of water a year and deep-well inject up to 21 million gallons of wastewater a day; that there are two active rock-blasting mine immediately adjacent to the proposed volatile natural gas plant and pipeline infrastructure... Not only is this fossil-fuel plant a major contributor to global warming, it is a direct threat to the world-renowned Everglades ecosystem and all the species and cultures that depend on this region for life.

Check out their youtube movies on the proposal.

FPL's River of Gas part 1

FPL's River of Gas part 2

After we were done protesting we headed over to the wildlife refuge and saw Alligators! I was so excited.. although squatting on the riverbank taking photos suddenly gave me a flashback to 'that' scene for Crocodile Dundee and I got gaiter fear! We visited a sanctuary there and better than that.. we took out a little row boat into alligator infested water!

We all survived the perilous adventure!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Brownfield, breaks, burritos & binoculars

Rising Tide have been doing their thing in Austin for the last couple of weeks .. After many a long conference call the tour crew met in person for the first time. Everyone was so different to what I expected! Our beautiful roadshow bus developed major break issues already (hey, who need breaks) and has been in the shop 'till tomorrow' for a week now.. so we've been camped out on 'the brownfield' a reclaimed piece of land near the river that the Rhizome Collective have spent the last 2 years rescuing form being an illegal dump.

The Rhizome Collective run a space which as well as a home, sustainable living in action is also a base for many of the radical projects in Austin..


Austin Food Not Bombs ,

Inside Books

Bikes across Borders

Austin Indymedia

Somewhere along the line it was thought having the roadshow planning sessions, a big national meet up of all Rising Tide North America and the Earth First! organisers conference all over about a week in the same place would be a good use of time.


The reality was a crazy whirl of meetings that I'm sure will be giving RT a bad name as meeting dorks.. the one that started around me still snoozing in my sleeping bag, which I ended up facilitating without getting up was when I realised it had all gone a bit far.. however great things were achieved.. the main thing sorted is less need for lots of RT meetings - yay!

So to the roadshow.. We have done our first two shows.. one at the fab Monkey Wrench Books

...and the other at the Radical Encuentro

Things got off to a good start, but it will be an ever evolving thing so watch this space..

Random adventure of the week: We really, really wanted to get clean... so a few of us went skinny-dipping to wash in the nearby, only slightly skanky, Colorado River ankle deep in mud with dubious items floating past in the water... only to see some creepy guy dog walking watching us through binoculars.. urg.

And.. I never want to eat another burritos. No offence to burritos.. but there can be to much of good thing.

xx cookie
(Roadshow Geek)