Monday, March 06, 2017

Advocacy

In the weekend, I decided to clean up my old files from my era of studying.
I read through some of the projects and I did some real self-reflection and realised how naïve I was as a student.
And hey,...still am. haha

I came across a project we did as a group project - where we had to take on an advocacy role in the Emissions Trading Scheme process.
We (4 of us) chose to be Greenpeace - but we decided to go a step further and actually meet with Greenpeace, infiltrate them (lol) and truly get in their brains to that we could position ourselves are advocates for Greenpeace on the issue.
Then I read through my emails I had sent to people and OMG I had no shame hahaha!
In any case, my naivety meant that actual Greenpeace people took time out to help me and then my team, explain the process, their stance, their past work, and ways to traction/change in actual campaigns. omg, it was amazing.
Anyhooo, when it came to the negotiation rounds, our group were relentless and super aggressive with the dairy industry - aka the fukkers who have hijacked the process (lol).
The funny part in this whole process was that - while it was a uni project, we had to conduct ourselves as if it was the actual negotiations. We, being the anti-angry panties in the process were definitely the odd ones in the room, and the group represent Government were actually irritated with our position (now isn't that a representation of reality? haha).
Anyhow, the negotiations went right into the evening and during one of the breaks, I went into the toilet and one of the dairy people came into the toilet asking if we could do a deal; ie, they'll make some compromises and consider regulation, but only after 2020 but still excluding the methane-farting cows from all this. in other words, it's hardly a compromise.
I stood there in that university toilet and asked her:
"Can I pee first before we continue this argument? and tell your farmers to go f%^& themselves".
She burst into tears and dashed out.
Yes, this was a uni project that was turning into real life fall outs and tension.
Then my team came into the toilet and told me off for being a bully - while I was still peeing.
I gathered my thoughts, walked out of the bathroom - and asked them:
"Can't you wait until I've washed my hands?"
I washed my hands and I told my poor group (of 4) off....basically, you're a bunch of %&*^^ for bending over backwards to the fukkers and to Government. Then, they, my own negotiating team stopped me and said, I needed to get over myself and meet the fukkers halfway, they're tired and they want to go home.
I folded under the pressure - and because my team were cowards - I can't stand cowards - I thought.
For the rest of the term, I didn't have many friends in that room.
I still got an A but it was a lonely A. choohooo.

Now, many years on, I'm wistfully re-read the tense exchange of emails and threats and side - deals that went on, and its made me realise,

I've lost that un-cultivated angry pantiness and the le kea dontfuggtome part of me.

And it absolutely frightens me.

It frightens me that I have become someone that complies, follow the rules, and choose silence instead of speaking up and advocating for others in need.

In a way, I've gained knowledge and some experience but have lost that  passionate conviction that knows no boundaries.

I've become -  Institutionalised.

Fuck that shit, I'm going to correct that right now.




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