Bentley CSG Blockade: You Can’t Just Take My Dreams Away


Nimbin, 28 April 2014



It was bucketing rain at dawn at the Bentley Blockade this morning. The blockade against unconventional gas mining. No guitars or drums because of the rain. There were lots of people there but not a lot were singing.


Then, magically, about 5 am, a woman with a strong, melodic voice began a song that only a few of the older women followed. I was among them.


It’s a song by my hero, Holly Near. One of my favourites: “Mountain Song”.


Mountain Song

I was delighted to hear Holly’s song in our blockade. Hers is a powerful voice for change. After 30 years of work in social change movements, Near’s historical perspective, as well as her contemporary activism, continue to challenge and inspire.  I last heard her perform a year ago in Berkeley. She made me cry.


This morning, the woman’s song resonated deeply within me as I stood on the hill and watched the darkness fade and a new day begin:


I have dreamed on this mountain
Since first I was my mother’s daughter
And you can’t just take my dreams away ­– not with me watching
You may drive a big machine
But I was born a great big woman

you can’t just take my dreams away ­– not with me fighting

This old mountain raised my many daughters

Some died young – some are still living
But if you come here to take our mountain
Well we ain’t come here to give it

I have dreamed on this mountain

Since first I was my mother’s daughter
And you can’t just take my dreams away ­– not with me watching
No you can’t just take my dreams away ­– without me fighting
No you can’t just take my dreams away



My dreams

I have been visiting the Northern Rivers since the early 1980s and have lived in Nimbin since 2001. My husband and I shelter our dreams here and, truly, Metgasco, wherever you are and whoever you are, you may drive a big machine, but “you can’t just take my dreams away – not with me watching.”


With many of my neighbours, I am watching. I am bearing witness. Like many principled and concerned people in this region, I am on high alert.


This mountain is not for taking.


Metgasco, hear me! You have no social license to mine and destroy our land, our water, our health and the health of future generations of all species.


Not only are we watching, we’re also fighting. We’re fighting for our lives here in the Northern Rivers.


Please, neighbours, if you possibly can, join us. Join us now.


We need you now – before it’s too late.




Before the big machines take our dreams away.






  1. Wendy this made me sob, more than a tearful response. It pulled my heart so, thank you.

    1. Oh, Margaret,

      Your comment means a lot, as I know you are a farm girl living on a productive rural property.

      And a mother and a grandmother.

      I can’t imagine what’s happening here happening in the Adelaide Hills! And yet it very well could.

      We need a strong, intergenerational action here.

      I am thrilled that your step-daughter is one of the people working hard to save Bentley.

      Love, Wendy

  2. Wendy, Yes, and we are grateful to you and to Yollana and all who stand strong for our mountains, our streams, our air and our present and future dreaming. love to you xx

  3. I remember hearing Holly singing this 30+ years ago in Boston. Who knew then that we’d still be on the front lines protecting our dreams. Keep up the great work. Future generations will thank you! Much love from across the puddle!

  4. I love this post Wendy!

    It’s extraordinary to see how music and activism can power each other… Music has a power to move hearts, and activism, in the end, is not done for money or fame, but for the love of life, the earth, and future generations.

    Love Yollana

Comments are closed.