It’s been ten days since the text arrived announcing the suspension of Metgasco’s license to drill for oil at Bentley.
Only ten days — and life has changed dramatically for many of us.
I search for a word for this new feeling and find an old one:
Embolden: “To give someone the courage or confidence to do something.”
What really happened at Bentley?
I did not camp there and visited on only a few occasions, so I can’t say for sure.
What I do sense is the aftermath–the spin-offs, the unintended effects.
At the final Bentley dawn service on Tuesday 20th May, Ruth Rosenhek begged several hundred cheering Protectors and supporters to go gently after the close of the Bentley Blockade, to keep up the warm hugs and looking into people’s eyes when she’d meet them in the street in Lismore.
Everyone was nodding agreement. We must not let this fade; we must keep this connection.
Most local people I speak with confess to having had a good long cry after the victory. I certainly did.
Some are in a shocked and fragile state.
Most are simply astonished.
And even those known as being “the voice of reason” admit the need to celebrate such a magnificent triumph.
Whatever happens next — here and elsewhere – the Bentley Blockade was a massive victory that Australia will never forget.
The ham-fisted tactics of a cowboy mining operation have brought forth the most sophisticated social action this country has seen in decades.
Metgasco has done us all a great favour.
We are emboldened. Our courage and confidence have been strengthened.
The Bentley Blockade is a powerful symbol for those who believe in freedom. Everything about the operation communicated care, love and concern.
What could be more heart-warming than the Camp’s beautifully tended vegetable garden?
“We who believe in freedom cannot rest”
When I was younger, I listened to Holly Near and Sweet Honey in the Rock sing Ella’s Song:
“We who believe in freedom cannot rest.
We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes.”
So many people – and so many older people – putting their lives on hold to camp in harsh conditions powerfully affected the rest of us. We cannot rest now.
All of my communications with local people begin and end with Bentley. “Go, Bentley” is a salute to all who showed they cared.
I remember — in 1992 — when I discovered that I was consecrated in the service of the Earth.
My heart softened and opened. I ached with love. I’d wake to the shock that I loved the Earth. My heart vibrated with the power of that knowledge.
It’s that way now with Bentley. Waking with a yearning heart, soft and open.
I yearn to return and place bouquets at the Bentley gates.
In gratitude to the Protectors who gave us so much more than social action.
I bless them – all of them, that motley crew – for renewing my courage and confidence.
Emboldened, I turn my face to the morning sun.
I believe in freedom.
I cannot rest.
I am ready for more.
Emboldened by the Bentley Blockade