Campaigning: Most of the time it’s an unpaid and thankless job.

I tell you what. I’ve been working on campaigns since 2003 and while it’s led me to being a much better person, given me a lot of skills and some AMAZING friends and contacts; it’s mostly a fucking thankless job.

Most of the time you are not winning.

Most of the time you are fighting like hell just to hold on to what we’ve got. Sometimes you are losing. Losing lives to suicide. Losing lives to deaths in custody. Losing land to clearing. Losing biodiversity. Losing community. Losing culture. Losing a chance at a safe future free of human-induced climate chaos.

Most of the time you are not getting the thanks you should get.

Most of the time you are getting called names. Most of the time you are getting harassed. Most of the time people just want to argue with you, so they take positions they don’t really hold just to test you. Most of the time you are left seething with rage. Most of the time you are upset. Most of the time others have no idea what is going on in your head.

I’ve been character assassinated.

I’ve had people say I’m a stooge for big business, that I’m only in it for ‘personal glory’, that I only do this work because they think I “want to be Prime Minister”. I’ve lost jobs over it. I’ve quit jobs over it. I’ve lost friends over it. I’ve dumped friends over it. I’ve fought with family. I’ve been ridiculed by friends and family.

I’ve been told I’ll never make a difference.

I’ve been repeatedly told my actions have no impact.

But then we’ve won. We’ve suddenly, out of nowhere had a win. A tactic has worked. A government has caved in. A government has been defeated. A company has given up. People have changed their minds.

After over a full solid year of committing THOUSANDS of hours to lead a solid team of volunteers organising an awesome campaign, I’m fucking exhausted.

I’m not financially better off. In fact I’m out of pocket – from supporting the team financially during emergencies, from working less to commit more volunteering time without losing my own sanity.

But I’ve also never been more proud of myself.

I’ve never done anything in my life that was more important than this.

And the only thanks I really care about, I get all the time – from Clinton himself.

It’s always worth it. But it ain’t ever easy.

It’s time – Shift the Rock (like Gough).

That classic Gough Whitlam campaign slogan “It’s Time”, is as relevant today in 2015 as it was the day his campaign launched in 1972.

The space for progressive political and economic change is once again widening, after having come under repeated attack by conservatives ever since Gough was dismissed via Double Dissolution in 1975.

At Progress, I attended a workshop called “Moving the Rock – Shifting Power for Sustained Change”, hosted by Sam La Rocca and Holly Hammond. Points raised in that workshop provided some of the key takeaways for me. Particularly, a strong reminder about the value and role of radicals. 

It’s about the intersection of what is ideal and what is ‘politically achievable’. Continue reading It’s time – Shift the Rock (like Gough).

We need each other… (The best words from Progress 2015)

If there’s one thing I took away from #Progress2015, it’s that we need each other.

We need to be actively build deep cross-campaign and inter-community relationships. Our causes are all STRONGLY connected and so are our audiences – but we as individual people are not yet, and we need to be.

So hi, I’m Luke. I run online comms for a union, consult in online comms for several popular hip hop artists and a heap of causes, and have been managing/admin in online communities since IRC in 1996.

I am very interested in the space where online communities and communication meets (positive) real world actions.

I’ve got experience in turning people out to gigs/protests/actions, crowd-sourcing for causes (or to get me to Progress!), obsessively following hashtags with up-to-the-moment live coverage of amazing events overseas when I should be sleeping, developing new friendships//meeting new people online.

Actually, I met many/most of the closest people in my life online before real life: Continue reading We need each other… (The best words from Progress 2015)

2015: Day 1 of the New Climate Era

People Climate Mobilisation 2014 - photo by Zeb Parkes
From the People’s Climate Mobilisation, Sept 2014

Today is Day 1 of the New Climate Era – a whole new reality for humankind.

Welcome to the new climate era, where the earth is never again like it was for the rest of human existence; where our very existence depends on changing our economies and lifestyles to become compatible with the sensitive and finite nature of life on earth.

We’ve now reached the point of no return in regards to preventing catastrophic climate change.

We must act urgently and with a social determination not seen since the immediate period post World War II, when social progress came in leaps and bounds around the globe and nations received self determination.

That was a time where the all consuming power of kings, queens, empires and oligarchs was repeatedly challenged and defeated in the name of a necessary progress.

Now it’s our turn.

We must challenge and defeat the seemingly endless power of corporations and their ill-conceived economic doctrine of ‘endless growth’, if there is to be anything like our modern civilization left for future generations to inherit. Continue reading 2015: Day 1 of the New Climate Era

Missed the deadline. #100daysofblogging #Day76

Technically it’s Day 77 of the blogging challenge already; but I haven’t slept so I’m still counting this as a #Day76 post.

Today has been a busy day!

Working in the garden, sorting out stuff around the house that I’d been putting off for way too long, and having an interesting meeting with an important bunch of local activists.

I also put my (amateur) photoshop skills to work today, piecing together the banner below for the People’s Climate Mobilisation here in Perth on September 21.

All in all a very productive day.

Click here to join the “People’s Climate Mobilisation – Perth” on Facebook.

People's Climate Mobilisation - Perth, September 21, 2014