"...What a great time to be born, what a great time to be alive, because this generation gets to essentially completely change the world."-Paul Hawken "Blessed Unrest"

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Wake Up Call - Enviro Laws Trampled at U.S.-Mexico Border

I'm personally getting tired of community activists, particularly environmental activists, declaring they can't  say or do anything about issues affecting the lives of forced migrants, that it's someone else's problem, we just have to allow blatant miscarriages of justice to occur a few blocks from the office where we lick our donation envelopes.

OK, fair enough. I have something that may be of concern to you. Let's look at the U.S.-Mexico border wall. Think of an environmental law, and it's been violated putting up that fence. 32 laws trampled without a hearing, without even a peep. And oh yes, 6,000 people have died there. If Homeland Security can do that at the border, using immigration as an excuse, they can do it anywhere, using anything as the excuse. Want to protect and preserve our hard-fought environmental laws? Start at the border.

So, Mr. & Ms. Environmentalist, I'm curious: After the Homeland Security End Game has accomplished its job, after all the "removable" migrants have been cast out from our midst, how long do think it will be before End Game Management and Prisons, Incorporated turn their binoculars on you?

Do you seriously believe that a government entity that can pre-empt all constitutional and environmental law under the excuse of immigration, will stop with immigration? Are you really that dumb? I think not, just a little short-sighted, and lacking a good wake-up call. If you've made it to the end of this rant, consider yourself awakened.

No Place for "Secure Community" Raids inOur New Neighborhoods

Since ShiftShapers is a blog about building resilient communities in transition, what do issues involving arrests and raids on forced migrants, have to do with community building? I'm figuring you don't actually have to ask that, but if you just want our take on it, here it is:

All forms of community building and environmental protection are doomed from the start if you allow government shock troops to roam the streets, raiding homes and removing parents from their children, all the time selling us the story that they're protecting us from terrorism and drugs. When really, they've made open deals with private prisons and are out to supply them with fresh clientele. 

Do we want to build so-called "secure communities", where Homeland Security recruits local law enforcement to pull people over on trumped-up vehicle code violations, so they can throw the driver & passengers into an immigration holding tank? Or worse, a criminal jail cell, with no probable cause and no charges?

It is certain that we can never, ever build the kind of community where we want to live, a community of the future, on top of such a rancid, rotten structure of fear and denial. Seriously, is that the community where you want to live? Well I've got news for you, it is the community where you do live. Welcome to the world of Homeland Security's End Game, "Secure Communities".

Monday, April 11, 2011

OK, So What's This "Shift" Got To Do With Me?

It has come to our attention that "being green" isn't going to stop what's unfolding right under our noses right now. Lots of us have been recycling our cans, putting in the twisty light bulbs and maybe even joining conservation activist groups. Many of us who are unemployed (about 30% in the US these days) would still prefer to have a green job, getting paid to help save water and energy. All to the good.

Meanwhile global warming marches on, half of all the world's wealth has gone into the pockets of the richest 1%, and forced migrants flee from Mexico (where the world's richest man lives) across the fortified US southern border wall. Our Congressional reps endorse a full-speed headlong gallop off the cliff of peak oil, and Homeland Security steps up its 10-year "End Game" surveillance and deportation of any forced migrant without a driver's license. And of course, what little national wealth is left is drained by two trillion-dollar wars in the Middle East.

If you've been strangely uneasy about the state of the world these days, seeing the big picture become a bit unstable (or a lot unstable), you are not alone. The premise of this blog, our podcast and our Facebook page is that we have entered a global period of dramatic shift, where we leave the dimension of reasonable predictability about our communities and resources, and move into the dimension of limited predictability. (Even the phrase "pole reversal" might not just be a metaphor. The North Magnetic Pole has been moving generally southward, a little more each day.) We've entered a period when our environmental protection, our jobs, our information needs and much more, are no longer being supplied by the global economy, global corporations, or our governments, which are gridlocked and dysfunctional at every level. If we want it, we must create it locally.

Ultimately, our very survival may depend on it. Having any quality or dignity to our survival will depend on it. 

That's the premise. Our mission is to bring our listeners and our readers first a sense of urgency, then bring you activists and visionaries whose work is to move you -- to take responsibility for bringing together your community, and take action in preparing a transition into sustainable neighborhoods and transformed local economies. Or, if you like, you can just get entertained and educated.

We interrupt this empire... with a little 'Shift' shaping. The shift is not only coming, we are already in it. And some of us are actively shaping it.