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Round Table Post

Sep 23, 2013
Blunt: Anger is the lever that will tip this top-down system

Zoe Blunt is a founding director of Forest Action Network, and a long-time campaigner for environmental justice in Coast Salish Territory.
Beyond Stop Harper
“How do movements seize the initiative rather than constantly reacting to the latest Conservative attacks?”
 
In reality, we do both. Every movement experiences “trigger events” that shock the conscience of the nation. Every year we witness horrible crimes against nature and humanity. Homeless people freezing to death in winter. Oil spills in salmon streams. As organizers, how we respond and push through the pain in times of crisis can determine whether our movements snowball or fizzle.
 
Earlier in this series, Sam Gindin touched on the value of strategic thinking. Strategic action puts pressure on the state – economically, politically, or otherwise – and gives us the leverage that will start to tip this top-down system.
 
False hope undermines potential, Gindin noted, and I would add that it keeps people bound to a system that abuses them. While we must acknowledge and learn from our failures, we also must name the “winners” for what they are: criminals and mass murderers.
 
The way out of false hope lies in reclaiming agency. Asserting our right to refuse. Acknowledging the deep trauma and anger that is the legacy of this abusive system. We must start the work of transforming that pain into a global force for change.

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