Jurich: Get up, stand upWritten by Stacy Jurich | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Good morning! “Radioactive water leaked at the Fermi 2 nuclear power plant Wednesday afternoon.” How are you? “Israeli government documents show deliberate policy to keep Gazans at near-starvation levels.” I’m well, thanks. “Senate Bill 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act, has been called ‘the most dangerous bill in the history of the United States of America.’ It would grant the U.S. government new authority over the public’s right to grow, trade and transport any foods. This would give Big Brother the power to regulate the tomato plants in your backyard. It would grant them the power to arrest and imprison people selling cucumbers at farmers markets. It would criminalize the transporting of organic produce if you don’t comply with the authoritarian rules of the federal government.” How are you? “The Lake Erie ecosystem faces wide and varied threats to its health and integrity … jeopardizing the ability of Lake Erie to provide valued ecosystem services.” I’m OK.
I’m OK, except a friend was harassed by local police, arrested on charges of riding a bicycle with no headlight or taillight, then jailed in a holding cell where they confiscated his blanket, shoes and cot for the night. Another friend has the FBI knocking at his door because he speaks out about Israeli apartheid. Our basic human rights are being infringed upon. And I mean basic — access to safe and healthy food, clean water, clean air, freedom of speech, freedom of choice.
There’s a lot of crazy shit happening and our future is unclear. It is very easy to feel angry, sad, frustrated, overwhelmed, helpless and hopeless, and to have fear. Although often deemed as “negative,” these are normal human emotions just as are joy, calmness and happiness, etc. Recognize them, say hello to them, address their source, but do not wallow in those emotions for too long. Do not let these emotions become crippling or steal your energy.
We need you.
We need each other.
There is no more time to wonder if your actions, thoughts and words make a difference in this enormity of a world we live in. The answer is yes, they do. Think “ripple effect.” We are fortunate enough to live in a close-knit community with brilliant, energetic people who have each other’s back. Toledoans are also located on Lake Erie and the Maumee River, two enormous banks of natural resources loaded with potential (they just need more love and less, much less, nuclear). Northwest Ohio is also biologically diverse and produces a lot of food. We have human resources and natural resources — let’s get it on.
That means when we see unfair treatment of humans because they are “gay” or “Palestinian,” we speak up. What about when after the global tragedy of the BP oil spill, Toledo’s BP-Husky refinery was given a $2.5 billion upgrade so it can process tens of thousands of barrels of heavy oil each day extracted from the rugged tundra of Alberta? I can tell you why I think it is f’d up, but what are we going to do about it? Hope for no more oil spills, hope the local refineries don’t have any leaks or explosions, hope the drilling in Alberta and the shipment of oil across the world doesn’t have any detrimental impact on our health, wildlife and our ecosystem? It is challenging to know what to do and how to put our words into actions.
Behold! An upcoming workshop series, “Yoga in Action” is intended to motivate activists to “be the change”. A part of the wider effort of www.offthematintotheworld.org,“Yoga in Action” will include the transformational work of yoga, meditation and visualization and explore the practical tools of communicating, organizing and collaborating for more effective community action. Register by Dec. 22 by visiting the website www.integrationyogastudio.com.
Media Decompression Collective, bringing independent and provocative films to inquisitive Toledo minds (www.mdctoledo.org) and Toledo Green Drinks, a monthly environmental networking event (www.greendrinks.org), will show the film “What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire” at 8:30 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Ottawa Tavern. “What a Way to Go” features interviews from radical environmentalists including Daniel Quinn, Derrick Jensen and Thomas Berry.
I invite everyone who is “coming to grips with Peak Oil, Climate Change, Mass Extinction, Population Overshoot and the demise of the American Lifestyle,” or is just pissed off, to come watch the movie and afterward discuss immediate steps to improve our safety and health in this community, and our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
E-mail Stacy Jurich at email@example.com.