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Councils and Actions
NEWS FROM POLAND
October the 5th was a quite good demonstration in Cieszyn (Polish closest town to Stonawa) where I have a public speech —about rainforest. 3000 people took part! Atman played a free concert. Even a communist newspaper gave photographs from this event on the front page! A day before we had a night long Council of All Beings with our friends foresters-musicians "Atman" and special concert in Bielsko for the world forests and against Stonawa cokeplant. A friend of ours prepared some radio programs on deep ecology with your music and with Atman. Jecek Majewski (from Zen Centre) had 1 hour time in radio during which people were able to telephone asking him questions etc. Polish TV made 20 min. film with Atman and me (film made at night, in the forest, during the preparation for the music version of the Bestiary.) In this film there are words from Chief Seattle's Message and a brief explanation of Deep Ecology I gave, quoting your book Thinking like a Mountain.
In December we'll conduct 2 or 3 Councils in different parts of Poland. During quite big art festival EKO-ART in Warsaw I was presenting the movie Earth First!
Tomorrow we'll go to the Czech Consulate to protest against imprisonment of Jarls Popelka from Brno (Czechoslovakia) who on Oct. 5th spread leaflets against Stonawa cokeplant. He is liable to a five year sentence!
Some more news for you. We have managed to stop the felling of trees in a forest and valley, Wapienica, with an area of 2500 hectares and the Council of All Beings has the official order to provide expertise to examine what has happened there and what to do in the future, (nothing of course)!
ANIMAL LOBBYING DAY, SACRAMENTO CALIFORNIA FEBRUARY 5TH 1990
Animal lobbying day started as a pipe dream as we drove the long dark road from Sacramento home to the pacific northwest. The Redwood Action Team had gone to participate in a public hearing with the state board of forestry in April 1989. The board was going to discuss the fate of the ancient redwoods that we have been defending for three and a half years .We wore our animal masks and brought a cake which said "no deforestation without representation." We sat patiently waiting (as patiently as animals can wait while man is deciding the fate of the forests), for our moment to testify.
The board took a break so we took the opportunity to occupy the huge deck that the board members had just emptied. We sang songs and read our list of demands and stretched a banner across the front of the desk. We were quite entertaining and brought some wild living energy to the otherwise stuffy board room. We then returned to our seats so the board could resume their meeting.
Soon the state police entered the meeting and tried to remove us for disturbing the meeting. In reality, the police were the ones who were doing the disturbing. We had no choice but to be escorted out. As soon as the board was done with discussing the issue we were released and sent on our way. We are not ones to give up easy and as we drove home that night the dream began. Nine months later, Animal Lobbying Day became a reality.
We put together an action packet and sent it out to everyone in California that might be interested. Our vision was a demo and an educational day of lobbying involving any environmental group or person to come dressed as an animal that represents their issue.
We prepared for the day by doing a Council of All Beings in the Redwoods. It was a powerful council as they all seem to be. We spent a lot of energy to make our masks as the plan was to take those very masks to the state capitol. Usually at councils the masks are burned in ritual. It seemed very appropriate to carry those masks to the place where our lawmakers make the decisions that effect all of our lives.
The day arrived as well as Bear, Water, Wolf, Mountain lion, tiger, spotted owl, and myself, the Metallic Wood Boring Beetle, and many other critters. It was cold and the circle was not very big at 8am. Soon the spirit was alive and we were ready.
We were given a copy of an inner office memo calling us eco-terrorists and including two articles about bodybombs. I doubt we could have gotten an inner office memo out to all those people so effectively. We built a large cardboardtype display explaining the processes and mysteries of the state capitol. We worked our way through the hallways connecting with a lot of two leggeds with neckties and paychecks.
The exterpated species, Bear, Wolf, and Prong Horned Antelope, went to the natural resources building and talked to the people at Fish and Wildlife about reintroducing their kind, they received a positive response.
The highlight of the day was when 20 of us met with Barry Keene, our State Senator, for a council that Water and I had set up the previous week. It was a sight to behold, 20 of us critters sitting around a huge table, with Keene being the only human. There were a few other two leggeds out by the door, they watched with much concern for the life of the planet. Greg King was our spokesperson and then we took turns speaking our hearts. Mr Keene responded to us from a very real place of compassion and understanding. Being in the room was the vision come true that we shared at the council the weekend before. It was a magic moment indeed.
We adjourned to the West lawn where we served up a great meal of tofu and veggie sandwiches, and celebrated the raising of the power of the beings and recited Gary Snyder's pledge... I pledge allegiance to the soil of turtle island... with joyful interpenetration for all.
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