August 29, 2012 · 9:45 am
I want to write about the collective action that has been emerging amongst people who identify themselves as protectors of country along the Kimberley coast.
One action happened in response to 250 police being sent up from Perth, to prevent people from blocking Woodside equipment being brought back onto country. The police violence that had previously unfolded in July 2011, on what is referred to as ‘Black Tuesday’, was still fresh in people’s minds; this presence was not welcomed. On mothers’ day Broome families converged on the police station in town, offering police officers at the front desk (mainly men) flowers for the special women in their lives. To me this act of ‘love bombing’ tells a story about the nature of collective action that is emerging amongst these ‘protectors’.
Photo: Glen Klatovsky
A few weeks ago a post came up on Facebook about a solidarity event which happened at Walmadany and in places all over Australia yesterday:
Published on Facebook:
AUSTRALIA. The whales in the Kimberly needs you! The country and the sea are calling!!! Grandmother Whale is in danger, it’s time for us all to Wake up and unite! The Elders all around the world are watching! Now our Elders are calling for us all to take up our rightful place and responsibility! Calling all saltwater tribes to unite in our traditional way. Doing smoking ceremonies all around the sea shore of Australia and at the heart of our sacred country “Uluru” at the same time on the same day! In our own ceremonial ways. We call on all our non-traditional brothers and sisters to unite with us. Let Grandmother Spirit light the ceremonial fire. Unite the ancient Song lines. And call upon the Whale Spirit to regain her strength.
Day: 1.9.2012 the day after the full moon.
Time: the smoking ceremony will start at 2:00pm at Walmadan “James Price Point” WA.
Synchronize your time in your zones so the sacred fires can all be lit at the same time.
Please let us know of your Tribal name and group location in this coastal Whale calling ceremonial unity.
With respect and gratitude to all
Lorna KellyHere is a YouTube clip of Lorna Kelly speaking about protecting Walmadany:
Tens of solidarity events were held yesterday uniting the spirit of people-place-country. Messages and images left from people who are being with each other for these gatherings grow my sense that something profound is happening around people-place connections and not only in the Kimberley (https://www.facebook.com/events/458658757499985/).
Each time I get sucked into the vortex of social media, there are endless statements and declarations of frustration, love, anguish, solidarity and visioning being published about people’s being with country – Kimberley coast. While the focus of my research isn’t necessarily based on this connecting to country through social media, I need to reflect and write about it because it is a huge part of how I am staying connected to this country while I am living in Darwin. I find myself wanting to go online and read the posts that are published by people and community pages on FB so that I can ‘tap into’ what is happening… bridge the physical distance that separates me from place. For me right now Broome, Walmadany and the Dampier Peninsula exist as hybrid places, ones that are accessed through a virtual community… through images of country… through people’s words… the sharing, the ‘likes’ and interaction of people that exist in this ‘community’. What would my experience of separation from place/country be like if none of this existed?