In an eco-village, there is more to life than managing weeds and water quality in the dams.
What we have learned about social reform and social change in Western countries over many decades is that burning books and silencing dissent are very dangerous practices.
What is my dissenting voice really saying?
I am saying that exclusionary practices in the Jarlanbah Permaculture Hamlet make me and many of my neighbours feel excluded and unhappy.
At a higher level, they are inequitable, unfair and destabilising of community strength, solidarity and, ultimately, sustainability.
It’s not fun being the focus of sustained attacks.
But I am willing to wear that discomfort to have my voice – my small single voice – heard.
I come from a long line of people who spoke out against injustice. As a Canadian-Armenian, I know what happened to my father’s family and his father’s family. The blood of the martyrs runs in my veins.
Social exclusion and bullying in Jarlanbah are hardly genocide. But they are definitely ways of killing community.
I guess I just have to be unpopular. Tearing off the gag.
Speaking the unspeakable.
And I am going to fight for the rights of the disenfranchised and silenced members of communities with my dying breath.
So when I think of silencing dissent charity begins at home!