Seed Mob — a Mob for our future
Right now the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and thousands of supporters are in North Dakota protecting Country against the proposed construction of an oil pipeline that not only threatens sacred land and the vitality of local ecologies and clean water, but the planet as a whole as a result of carbon being emitted into an already fragile atmosphere. People opposing the pipeline have been assaulted by attack dogs, threatened by police and the US National Guard. They have also been periodically refused basics such as water and food supplies. Media coverage of the action has been left largely to the maverick and grassroots guerrilla outfits that have managed to get the story out to the world. (When the renowned Amy Goodman of ‘Democracy Now’ reported on the action a warrant was issued for her arrest).
While the action in North Dakota has been reported as a ‘protest’ (with some legitimation), First Nations people involved in the gathering of over two hundred tribal groups have gone to some length to remind us that they do not regard themselves as protesters as much as the ‘protectors’ of sacred lands. Their point is more than a subtle one. While the comment itself is not a criticism of, and oppositional to political protest as a legitimate strategy of resistance, the protection of land against repeated acts of environmental vandalism and colonial violence, represents a deeper spiritual conviction and connection to Country.
Climate Change, while concerned about environmental and ecological destruction, is an issue of human rights and social justice. Indigenous nations and the poor and disadvantaged more generally have produced the smallest carbon footprints on the planet. Additionally, traditional Indigenous knowledge systems, which remain central to Indigenous life today, are scientifically and intellectually vital to the maintenance of the planet. Regardless of the repeated attempts to dispossess people of Country in Australia and the racism Indigenous people continue to face, it is remarkable that a group of young Blackfellas are not only fighting for the protection of Indigenous Country, but the protection of the planet itself.
Seed Mob is an organisation of young Indigenous people at the forefront of action on Climate Change in Australia. Like the Standing Rock Sioux people, Seed Mob’s brief is primarily the protection of sacred land. By standing up for Country Seed Mob are also standing up for, not only all Australians, but all people and animal species across the planet. Please dwell on this point for a moment. While Indigenous people have historically been pushed to the margins of ‘mainstream’ Australian society and witnessed the theft and destruction of Country, young Indigenous people today will be central to the successful strategies, including necessary philosophical, economic and socio/cultural shifts that will combat global warming.
A key activity of Seed is education. Members work with communities to inform them about Climate Change and what we must do in order to halt it. Importantly, Seed work with young Indigenous people and communities, as a consciousness raising exercise, as an act of empowerment, so that more young Indigenous people will become active educators and protectors within their own communities. Recently I was fortunate enough to be able to give financial support to Seed. I would urge people to become aware of Seed Mob and the remarkable work they are doing on our behalf. And I would ask that people consider supporting their work. Please visit their website and have a look!