People Power To Transform The City – Urgently

By Tim Hollo July 31, 2023

Violet Coco - Senator Larissa Waters - Green Institute Conference

As extreme heat records tumbled again and sea ice extent crumbled over recent weeks, so many of us had yet another “oh shit” moment about the climate crisis. Even those of us who’ve been working on it for years or decades have been shocked to see this non-linear change happening already.

At the same time, non-linear rent increases are driving more and more people to the brink of – or into – homelessness.

And the profiteering of the supermarket duopoly is driving food prices ever upwards while growers are struggling to make ends meet.

We need transformation. Urgently. And we need to do it ourselves. And we need to do it where we live – over 70% of us Australians in cities.

I absolutely believe – based on evidence that I collated in my book, Living Democracy – that through grassroots-up action, living into being the world we want to see, we can make non-linear social change happen. In fact, as decades of trying (and largely failing) to make change by asking “power-holders” and “decision-makers” to do it for us has shown, it will be far faster to do it ourselves.

That’s why I’m particularly pleased to feature Saturday morning’s plenary session of our conference, The City Transformed, to encourage you to get your tickets today.

The City Transformed - Green Institute Conference 2023 - Ticket Button

While so much of what we’ll be talking about – from rewilding our cities to urban agriculture, managing heat to improving social justice to land back initiatives, making police redundant to making the private car redundant – is about transformative community action, our session on People Power to Transform the City is tackling that question head on.

We’ll start with a keynote presentation from the brilliant Professor David Schlosberg, Director of the Sydney Environment Institute, on how community grassroots action IS political, systems-changing, power-challenging action. David’s world-renowned research looks at how local food initiatives, renewable energy cooperatives, and other community action forms the basis for truly transformative change.

And then we’ll hear from a truly kick-arse panel on Protest in the City.

Our wonderful Senate Leader and democracy spokesperson, Senator Larissa Waters, will set the scene by articulating why protest is, from a Greens perspective, central to democracy and crucial for our transformative aims.

Then we’ll hear from the excellent David Mejia-Canales, senior lawyer at the Human Rights Law Centre, about the efforts by governments to suppress protest, and how and why we can and must fight back.

And finally, the amazing Violet Coco, who describes herself as “a conscientious objector to the murder of our planet” and is most famous for being sentenced to 18 months in prison (since overturned) for blocking one lane of the Sydney Harbour Bridge under the banner of Fireproof Australia, will talk to us about how she believes protest on such a scale can drive the transformation.

I really hope this panel will excite you and get you booking your ticket today!

The City Transformed: urban life at the end of the world as we know it is three weeks away today.

See you there!



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