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Protesting Permaculture: the last five weeks and the last five decades

Protesting Permaculture: the last five weeks and the last five decades

On Saturday 13th and 20th November, my partner Su Dennett and I joined others from central Victoria travelling by train to the “Kill the Bill”/anti-lockdown/anti-mandate protests in Melbourne. This essay documents the experience, and reflects on the relationship between permaculture and oppositional activism over more than 40 years.

David with his historic permaculture banner at the November 13 rally in Melbourne. Photo from Reignite Democracy website collection.

I also want to highlight the opportunities for permaculture activism in a time of a pandemic to help those in need who have the capacity and motivation to increase their personal, household and community autonomy, resilience and connection to nature. This should be independent of their beliefs, and certainly without the judgemental othering that has accelerated with Covid. In the process, I believe we will all learn to live more lightly on the earth in consideration of fair share and the future.

I was raised in a family at the front lines of the battle to “Stop the War” (in Vietnam). Consequently, as a primary school kid, I knew what it was like to be ostracised as a “commie traitor”. Later, I found my opinions progressively adopted as a symbol of the “generation gap,” also characterised by sex, drugs and rock and roll. If the war had lasted long enough, I knew I would face the prospect of going underground or burning my draft card and doing time.

David’s first demonstration (in pram) cropped from photo of Fremantle May Day march 1956 from Venie Holmgren’s ASIO file (released to public archives in 2016)

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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