Read part one here
I’ve been quite thoroughly into activism in a number of forms over the past 6 years or so now; marching on behalf of cleaning up the environment, better support for our public educators, ending the reign of terror the US seems to bring across the world. I’ve given lectures, been interviewed, have interviewed; I’ve canvassed neighbourhoods, collected donations (with Greenpeace), I spoke at Occupy Chicago, I’ve lead ‘teach-ins’, and sat with hundreds as the rich elite threw dollar bills from atop their glass framed building tops.
One of the topics often brought up has to do with Oil; peek oil, fracking, political pay-offs, ground water pollution, theft of nations, the raping of the land, the list goes on. The topic is huge and has sparked protest across the globe and I’ve had the honour of being a part of several of these events over the past few years. One of the things you notice, however, when surrounding yourself with protest circles the education on the subject tends to fall short at times. As an example, you could ask a rather large handful of a protest group what fracking is and you’ll get varying answers that typically tend to stay around the same talking points but, when you take the conversation further it quickly gets lost. I’ve been on the receiving end of this and it’s utterly embarrassing!
I’ve had these conversations with my brother in the past and, for him, it always comes down to the fact that he has a family that he needs to take care of (at this point is should be noted that my brother, Andrew, has worked in the oil industry for several years now, including a stint at Halliburton). Who can argue with that? We all have loved ones that need support and if your world view goes even slightly beyond the tip of your own nose, like mine does, you notice that ‘loved ones’ goes much farther than your own ‘flesh and blood’.
I, on the other hand, don’t have family to take care of (outside of brothers, parents, a sister) so, the monetary focus for me has been towards that world view directly. I’ve spent every bit of what I’ve earned over the past few years on living frugally with a focus on marketing for the activist campaigns I’ve been a part of. Banners, posters, fliers, digital media, lecture spaces, tabling events, every bit of my funds have been funnelled into my standing up for this cause or that and, let me tell you, it’s been a struggle. Pushing your activism beyond relying on others for the literature you’re handing out takes a decent chunk of change and, this next chapter here will easily help with that.
I bring all this up because this transition stems from both my quest for knowledge and my fight for everything that’s good in this world. I’m getting first hand experience with the oil industry from the ground up and improving my mechanical skills (of which I had very little) in spades. I’m also, for a change, making a more expendable income that will help my future endeavours in activism. I won’t have to be so reserved when it comes to the design materials I use in my posters and banners and I’ll be able to schedule events without being concerned with whether or not I’ll have the funds needed.
Every bit of this chapter has been completely positive and, I’m not so sure I could say I’ve ever been happier. The future is bright and I’m nearing light speed.