As a quick extra for those who read my lovely little blog, I wanted to add some thoughts onto my podcast about the British Petroleum oil catastrophe in the Gulf.
You see, it strikes me as unbelievable the sheer lack of direct action by environmental protestors against BP. I mean, yes - there have been all sorts of things from an attempted citizen's arrest of BP executives at their lobbying HQ in DC, to protesters pouring oil on themselves (even inside the Senate), to coordinated nation-wide efforts like Hands Across the Sand.
But to be blunt - this all seems pretty weak to me.
Once upon a time, organizations like Greenpeace were willing to risk death to protect the planet. Who doesn't remember when the French military sank the Rainbow Warrior in New Zealand's territorial waters? (Here's the link for those who like their wiki look-ups spoon-fed to them). And to be fair, groups like the Sea Shepherds are certainly willing to put themselves in harm's way (South Park parodies aside), it feels like environmental groups simply aren't willing to take risks the way they used to. Where's the massed flotilla invading the Gulf to protest BP? The takeover of other oil rigs? People chaining themselves to BP gas stations?
It seems to me like the era of direct action is over. Either people in the environmental movement decided that direct action was more grandstanding than transformative... or the current generation carrying the planet's torch is a little too well-heeled and a little too law-abiding to want to stir up too much commotion.
I'd say that if we can put together a dozen ship flotilla to try to lift the blockade of Gaza, then maybe we can scrape together a couple of boats to harass some deepwater oil rigs that should be out of commission until they undergo a safety review?
Oh - but that might get someone in TROUBLE. *Gasp!*