It’s Bleak, But…

By ANN NARKEH

We are living through a crisis of biblical proportions.

This is the 6th great extinction.

Most of us have been distracted from the fact that our lifestyles are killing the planet by dark forces brewing an unholy, apocalyptic war.

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There will probably be no Extra Terrestrial saviour. It’s unlikely that God is coming to save you. Good science could have saved you, but good science has been bought off by ecocidal, multinational corporations. The Governments of the world almost certainly aren’t going to save you.

There is no way out. There is no quick fix to the problems we are facing. Nobody is coming to save you. It’s down to you, your friends, your family and every living being on this planet. We have to start working together, to save what’s left. To prepare for what is coming. To keep love and hope alive.

Terrorism

The 1% media have been in overdrive sensationalising the attacks in Paris. The City is in total lockdown, with 10, 000 troops on the streets and curfews in place, following the recent atrocities. Far right groups have sadly been quick to respond with predictable hate, anger and violence, directed at all Muslim and non-white people. The French Government have dropped yet more bombs on Syria, doubtless creating yet more terrorists.

The overwhelming majority of Muslim people deplore ISIS, in the same way that most Christian people deplore the KKK, or the Westboro Baptist Church. Muslim people all over the world have taken to social media under hashtags such as #NotInMyName and #TerrorismHasNoReligion

Russian President, Vladimir Putin claims ISIS was created by the West as a proxy, just as many people, (including former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook) believe that Al Queada was created before it.

Some people have pointed to the fact that Benjamin Netanyahu had openly threatened France not to recognise Palestine, which the French Parliament did just days before the attacks.

Others point to the upcoming 21st Conference of the Parties in Paris, the latest global climate summit, COP21. Huge numbers of activists from all over Europe have been planning to converge on the capital to lobby world leaders for meaningful action on the climate crisis. Negotiations between French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius and campaigners ended without reaching an agreement. COP21 marches, protests and demonstrations are scheduled from 29th November for a fortnight of direct action.On Wednesday, the French Government announced a blanket ban on public demonstrations around the conference following the attacks.

The 1% media has been broadcasting that ISIS is basically refugees and anybody who’s not white – provoking yet more violence. The bitter irony of accusing people fleeing terrorism of being terrorists and thereby making the case for denying them asylum is difficult to express. It bears mentioning that the number of refugees currently arriving in Europe is higher than the 2nd world war, yet is still a tiny fraction of the staggering numbers of displaced people in the world today. This again, is an even tinier fraction of the numbers expected to be displaced by climate change in the coming decades.

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Tragedy Hipsters

People mourning for those killed in Paris were confronted by what Jamile Larty described as ‘Tragedy Hipsters”. In a long and insightful series of tweets, Larty discussed why activists and the left should avoid attention-hijacking.

“..the impulse to say in effect “yes Paris was bad, but why didn’t you get outraged about Beirut/Boko Haram/Garissa/etc” walks dangerously close to the #alllivesmatter attempts to mute real and specific black suffering and grievance.

“Some commentators today honestly sound like tragedy hipsters, “Bro- I care about suffering and death that you’ve never even heard of”

“We of the left are required to centre the experiences of marginalized people in response to the global, systematic devaluing of their lives. “

We are all preconditioned to respond to events which we don’t understand with abject fear and panic. Mindless shock. Paralysis, followed inevitably by a the irrepressible force of righteous anger. That anger prevents us from thinking clearly and divides us into ever decreasing ideological echo chambers, thereby conquering us – IF we allow it to.

The 1% media and their more nefarious minded colleagues in the corridors of power are steering the collective consciousness towards xenophobia, which is polarising western Europe and already leading to violence on the streets. As Waleed Aly reported on Australian TV show ‘The Project’ – this was precisely their strategy in Iraq – to drive the Muslim communities in western Europe into the arms of ISIS.

White Privilege

Our cultural conditioning teaches us that privileged white people are entitled to roam the world freely, littering defenceless countries with bombs and death to maintain our dominance over them, their labour and their natural resources. Whatever you think about the moral implications of this, it has become the elephant in the room with most of our political discourse, which is an extremely dangerous blindspot to have, however you think about it.

It is a horrific fact suppressed by our own subconsciousness, so dis empowering that it must be compartmentalised away for the sake of our own sanity.  I am struggling to articulate this phenomenon now, because I’ve been conditioned not to think or talk about it like this, but I think it’s important to share – to show that I’m not afraid of my own thoughts and I shouldn’t have to be. It’s important to show myself, UK Gov. Plc, and anybody who’s interested, that it is possible for us to be sane and calm in spite of all the insanity and chaos around us.

ISIS is a consequence of many things, but broadly what the 1% media calls ‘meddling in the region’ – which is a euphemism for brutal warmongering and centuries of exploitation. If you terrorise people, they terrorise back. If you continuously and maliciously antagonise, marginalise, demonise and terrorise a community of people, they will eventually become so disempowered and desperate that a minority will choose to resort to violence, which will only create more violence.

The world’s anger should rightly be directed at the corporations, banks and Governments perpetuating this cycle of violence, but in Europe it has been misdirected at the domestic Muslim population and refugees at the borders. It is my opinion that we privileged white people have a responsibility to speak out and to defend our non white brothers and sisters. We have a responsibility to challenge the root causes of our culture’s islamophobia and the structural violence which enslaves us all, one way or another.

Intersectionality

All of our struggles are interconnected. The struggle of the downtrodden British working class is directly related to the struggle of the slaves who made their clothes in Cambodian sweatshops. The struggle of the middle class is directly related to the struggle of the slaves who produced their quinoa and muesli. All of our struggles are interconnected with the struggles of workers in factories with suicide nets who produced the shiny gadgets we’re using now and with what’s left of the planet we’re destroying to power them.

It’s bleak, but if I as a privileged white person can recognise this concept, which some intellectuals have called ‘intersectionality’, then we are all capable of recognising it.

I can’t imagine being a refugee fleeing Syria, or Iraq, or, Afghanistan. I can’t imagine being born in Palestine. I can’t imagine what it must be like for a Muslim person living in a western European country right now, but I know that it’s important for me to try to.

I think we all should.

Together, we can take collective responsibility for the state of the world. Together we can find effective ways to fight the rhetoric, hate and violence with conviction, love and peace. Let’s not just #PrayForPeace – let’s make it happen.

Be excellent to each other.

(This article was originally published on realmedia.press, 19th November, 2015)

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