The Kyogle Cyanide Watch action of Friday 11 August went well.
With the support of the good folks of the Nimbin Environment Centre we had set up near the Kyogle Council Chambers and spruiked about the cyanide transports.
After we were thanked for coming to town by both the Deputy Mayor Cr Peter Lewis and the local police officers in attendance. Cr Lewis later went of ABC Radio committed to getting the NSW government to reveal exactly much secret cyanide is approved for transport through Kyogle and the headwaters of the Richmond River.
Tired but happy, Peacebus.com camped that night in Djungbang Gardens, staying near the village so that we might support the Cattle Truck Bust Re-enactment the next day.
From deep sleep I was awakened by the rocking of the van, something heavy on the roof.
"Possums!" was my first thought as the weight went from the back of the van to the front. "Permaculture must be breeding big possums."
Then Jennifer the Maremma barked and, looking out the open door, I saw a black clad figure fleeing in the moonlight. It bore a bum, which I would swear after my many years of study of the subject, was female.
The incident made no sense and Jennifer and I were soon asleep again. The meaning became clear the next morning when I set up Peacebus.com flags and signage in Cullen Street, making it look strong and beautiful for the Cattle Truck Re-enactment.
Then I discovered the cables to the PA speaker horns had been cut. Sabotage! My own personal Ninja attack!
Someone had earnestly wanted to silence Peacebus.com that day, someone, I am supposing, who doesn't like the sound of my voice.
My first response was gratitude for the inverted compliment. Someone somewhere in the Nimbin hills is thinking what I have to say is so important as to warrant dressing up and prowling about the shadows of night with wire cutters. My words must be touching a nerve somewhere.
A more sobering response was to reflect on the arrogance and assumed cultural superiority motivating the action.
Somewhere in the shadow lands of the Nimbin hills, we may assume, is a self appointed Politburo, the real hippies as it were, which has taken upon itself the power to decide who and who may not speak in Nimbin.
What a mountainous delusion! What a horrible crippling of the imagination!
But we may rest assured it is a delusion which will come unravelled in its own time and in its own very Nimbin way, no help needed from me or anyone else.
The root cause of this Ninja phenomenon is malicious gossip: somewhere, some one or few have been bad mouthing me. Since the habits of bad speech are not restrained by subject, we may assume they are bad mouthing others too. And probably that they say awful things about themselves.
Let's notice the stultifying and divisive outcomes of gossip. It is a poison that bedevils marginalized peoples in particular. Notice how it creates distrust amongst us and dis-empowers us. It is both a cause and a symptom of our internalized oppression.
Right speech is what is needed to build community and resistance to the Earth devouring corpocracy. Right Speech is the path to creating visionary and uplifting cultural movement.
Right Speech is what the Buddha called it and so important did he regard it, that he named it as a path of its own in the Eightfold Noble Path to Enlightment, which he described in the first sermon after his enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree.
By Right Speech he meant truthfulness but also no harsh speech or gossip. Rather he advocated speech that creates no suffering; speech that promotes harmony and kindness. "Noble silence" was how he would respond to speech arising from anger, fear, ignorance or delusion.
There is a famous story of a rich and powerful man coming to the Buddha and publicly accusing him of perverting youth and other fabrications born of ignorance and fear.
The Buddha listened to the man in silence, not offering any response. The man raged and verbally abused the Buddha, left and came back again. Three times he did this and the third time as he left he raged at the muteness and unresponsiveness of the Buddha.
Then the Buddha spoke: "You have come and offered me your anger. Thank you but I do not accept your offering."
Let's not accept the offerings of malicious gossip. Be aware that those who bad mouth others to you, will soon enough be bad mouthing you to others.
On that luminous day in Nimbin the Peacebus.com PA was soon fixed thanks to help from friends in the Hemp Bar. I had gone there and cried out my helplessness: "Is there an electrician in the house?" And sure enough ...
The Peacebus.com PA might have been a useful stand in when the set up for Cattle Truck Re-enactment was delayed. While the musicians were getting themselves together it could have served to get some public speaking and remembrance of the Cattle Truck Bust happening.
As it was the only entertainment offering to the sizable crowd standing about waiting was the spectacle of yet another bunch of late arriving hippies struggling with cables, microphones and speaker boxes.
Later Johnny Bales, master broadcaster and DJ formerly of Redfern Radio in its halcyon Land Rights days, realized the amenity offered by the Peacebus.com PA and gave me an excellent CD of koori reggae to play, between the bands and after. The music filled the street and added to the laid back feel. Great choice of music, Johnny.
What ever the politics of fear and envy, it was another of those beautiful, languid Nimbin days. No cops, excellent vibe. Lots of old hippies were in town and me amongst them, humble and happy to be sitting with old friends sharing pot and chat in Cullen Street again.
May all Ninjas sleep at ease.
May all beings be happy.
6 July 2006