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Originally published 29May2014

BENTLEY: Final Historic Moments

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Feel the joy in these speeches and songs at the final Greet the Dawn ceremony last week at Bentley.  This was such a beautiful contrast to the expected confrontation with 800 police, riot squad, horses, helicipters and watercannons costing $8million over 20 days.  Praises be that the State Gov finally saw sense!

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http://www.gasfieldfreebyronshire.org/news/bentley/spoken-words/

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and http://www.gasfieldfreebyronshire.org/video/songs/songs/

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These recordings by Param were at Gate A, the main entrance to the targeted paddock where innovative rig-stopping contraptions were concreted into the ground onto which “simmos” could lock on.  These brave volunteers, their buddies, vigil-keepers, traffic conductors and supporters were rostered on and the gates were covered 24/7 for 3 months or so.  With every day potentially the last, this was harrowing to the nerves.  An angel dressed in white sporting a fine pair of wings overlooked the proceedings from the top of a tripod and the ceremonial sacred fire was surrounded by hundreds of protectors every starlit morning. 

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If you missed these ceremonies, do have a listen to the speeches; they really give a great feeling of being there.  They also wrap up and round off this unique period of massive community gathering, engagement and shared determination.

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ALCHEMY:    The Metgasco fiasco has been a transformative period for the Northern Rivers.  As Clarissa Pinkola Estes writes

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“In alchemy there are three stages: the negredo, the black or the dark dissolving state, the rubedo, the red or the sacrificial stage, and the albedo, the white or the resurgent stage”.      

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The bargain with the Devil was the negredo, the darkening;  the red or sacrificial stage was the protectors' time, energy and bodies on the line; the albedo the white or the resurgent stage we currently enjoy.

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DEEP ECOLOGY:   For me, Ruth Rosenhek’s Deep Ecology work is alchemical.  One morning, after a night sleepless with expectation of the riot squad, I attended the Greet the Dawn followed by one of Ruth’s workshops.  Part of me felt shattered and resistant.  Then this drizzled, damp and bedraggled motley mob began to connect with each other, mingling and participating in processes that raised our consciousness about ourselves, our place in the here-and-now, the meta, the environmental and ancestral perspectives.  I came away transformed with light, love and joyous motivation to do whatever it took to protect our precious earth and I think this feeling permeated the camp like the smell of woodsmoke and the donated hot food filling hungry bellies.

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Ruth and her ex-partner John Seed have graced the region with Deep Ecology workshops for maybe quarter of a century, and I acknowledge them for what they did to prepare the ground for this social movement to catch on like wildfire.  (Listen to Ruth’s speech on above link).

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A FEW MORE ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

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GFFNR Annie Kia’s vision and grassroots connecting with local groups getting our Lock the Gate surveys and strategy happening also deserves special acknowledgement.  She encouraged, supported and inspired us.  Now most of the Northern Rivers is declared, she’s gone national and she’s a treasure.

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Boudicca Cerese of Lock the Gate also came to visit our groups, helping us become acquainted with the minefield of information and facts (great pun, eh).

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REVOKE!  AND EXPLORE NO MORE

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Cr Duncan Dey is tabling a Notice of Motion at Byron Shire Council meeting in June as follows:

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Notice of Motion No. "Gasfield-Free Northern Rivers"

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I move that Council write to NSW Premier Mike Baird; to NSW Minster for Planning, Pru Goward; to NSW Minister for Regional Infrastructure & Services, Andrew Stoner; to NSW Minister for Resources & Energy, Anthony Roberts; and to Ballina MP, Don Page with copies to all NSW government MPs and Councillors of the NOROC Councils, calling for all Petroleum Exploration Licenses (PELs) in the Northern Rivers region to be revoked and the region declared Gasfield Free.  

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Ballina and Tweed Councils have already passed this Motion and hopefully soon all licences in the Northern Rivers will be revoked.

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FINALLY ...

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FACEBOOK: #BentleyBlockade has photos of machinery moving the rig-stopping installations

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Great article overview of the blockade by Mick Daley on http://aidanricketts.com/b-day-bentley-political-solution-democratic-hand-grenade/

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QUOTE:  Out of Non Violent Direct Action you get beloved community (Martin Luther King Jr, quoted in Ruth’s speech). 

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Cheers

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Deb

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GFFBS website: http://www.gasfieldfreebyronshire.org

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FB: Gasfield Free Byron Shire (put in the spaces)
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FB: #BentleyBlockade
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Local HQ:  http://www.gasfieldfreenorthernrivers.org/
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Coal Seam Gas News, Australia (wolfweb@gmail.com)
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GAG Kyogle (gagkyogle@gmail.com) very informative newsletter
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LOCK THE GATE ALLIANCE:  www.lockthegate.org.au - PLEASE JOIN!!

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