from Black Shuck
translation and notes by Earth First! Journal
[Originally titled “Turnout (funeral): Of the referendum and environmental disasters” in reference to the defeated April 17 referendum to repeal the law which allows existing drilling concessions within 12 miles of the coast to remain valid until the fields are depleted.]
In conjunction with the referendum on drills, inscribed in the “bread and circuses” of those who still deceive themselves thinking democracy has value, black spot is poured into the river bed Polcevera, in Gen-the-salt-of-the-earth-ova, and now reaches the sea, suffocating all life. [On April 14, 2016, a refinery near Genoa leaked hundreds of tons of oil into the river Polcevera, reaching the Mediterranean.] Whether it’s oil, as in the case of drills, or crude oil, as in the case of Cornigliano in Genoa, what might seem a mere coincidence is nothing more that the unequivocal outcome of a “magnificent” progress destined to implode, to self-destruct, and to decree the destruction of the living.
In Liguria, the beaches recite memento mori ecocide: the sea, depending on the currents and tides, vomits blackness on the sand, regurgitating chemical poisons such as factories Stoppani–which closed in 2003, but continues to pollute the underground–or the waste of the catastrophic accident of the tanker Haven, which, back in 1991, exploded, sweeping in a fiery hell seafarers and much of the flora and fauna surrounding it.
Damage caused by the pipe rupture of the Ipolm oil plant
Such incidents are not the exception, but the established and accepted norm, with the threadbare adage of “collateral damage,”–a system that has as its primary objective the indiscriminate and senseless exploitation of the earth and all life that breathes, in the name of profit for a few masters. If you are silent, you are definitely complicit; those who give the illusion of imposing their own choice in a voting booth are not only–more than ever–poor guileless ingenues but are chained to the same system that claims to laughably unseat a “Yes” and “No.”
Passive indifference and pseudo-democracy fills the mouth with propaganda slogans that call on the vote “to save the sea.” These are naive–we shed a sarcastic smile–practices by those who can only remember the delicious served-up prize from the master at the end of a training exercise.
If we want to destroy the system that destroys us, we must necessarily become aware of ourselves and of the actions with which we can really have affect. The sea will not be saved by delegating owners to certain state and, consequently, those who have subjugated all governments. Go ahead and vote, get off the streets to demonstrate together with your green Heart Association, with the blissful belief to revolutionize the world by perpetuating the same practices that condemn it to ruin.
The sea dies every day, not only because of the drills, but especially because of socially accepted forms with which the marine ecosystem is taken advantage of–first of all, through fishing. It shines a glaring contradiction: the slaves think citizens feel qualms if the ecosystem is threatened by the incompatible infrastructure of an economic-energy system, but do not consider it to be the slightest problem if the ecosystem dies to fill up their belly. And if eating oil is the bitter nemesis of who eats suffering, there is no denying the fact that it is always the weakest who lose: the fish first; the less fortunate, afterwards, because they can not afford healthy food, which is destined only to the rich.
The fundamental error is that every political-ecological question, from “No” to the great works in the referendum on the preservation (sic!) Environment, is always framed in an exclusively anthropocentric manner. The devastation of the territory, natural disasters or yet another threat to the survival of an animal species (typically, a domesticated species in the genus; species arbitrarily deemed worthy to live) are always addressed as if the stakes concern only the human game, as if they relied only on the needs, self-interest, and instinct of abusing human animals. Never, or rarely, do we identify ourselves with other animals, and further with the Earth as a whole, that occupies the last rung in the hierarchy of the world; thought to have been “created” and made available to us, such as the most sinister of anthropocentrism: clear Catholic characters who view it as instruments for use and consumption for our species.
If we really want the destruction of this system, we must all look beyond our backyard, understand that the problem is not only jeopardizing our lives, but rather it is a risk for the very life of the planet in which we, and all the other creatures, live, that, like us, have dignity and deserve to live, to feel emotions and feelings, to enjoy the freedom.
The change, real change, can become a reality in the street, in the woods, in the sea and in the life of every one of us: only by destroying anthropocentrism.
When the earth cries out for vengeance, it’s up to us to take up arms.