Sources: Jeff Nugent’s audio DVD of the Stanley, Tasmania, Bill Mollison 1983 PDC, In Grave Danger of Falling Food and the permies of occupy-wallstreet.com
Permaculture at Occupy Wall Street
Confrontation of the criminal class responsible for the corporate coup of the US, is vital and long overdue. But there is also a need to take responsibility and design intelligent, local strategies, to prevent the same problems of scale from repeating themselves. The notion of self sufficiency is key. We can only properly protest something, when we have reduced our dependancy on it. Permaculture offers a vast resource of practical solutions for sustainable, self sufficient living. Permies were sure not to miss the exciting opportunity to share their knowledge with those who can use it most.
I can’t express how happy it makes me to learn that the implementation of sustainability and permaculture principles is spreading to many Occupy encampments –and spreading with the same momentum as the Occupy Movement itself.
Many of the Occupy encampments have set up committees to analyze their own environmental impact, and conceive of practical solutions. Since Mobile Design Lab first installed a grey water system (more below), sustainability committees in different parts of the country have introduced peddle powered generators, solar panels, bike sharing programs and permaculture workshops. There are also pottery classes, as part of an effort to reduce waste in the form of discarded Styrofoam. There are even long term projects, such as composting and gardening.
What is happening is bigger than Permaculture, even bigger than Sustainability: it is real Democracy. OWS is proving that we, the 99%, are perfectly capable of creating our own, truly democratic systems. We are very efficient when it comes to getting things done, when we decide to take care of business ourselves. We are proving that horizontal organization works great. Change doesn’t need to be squeezed through a hierarchical bottleneck; nor does it need to trickle down to us, we can do it together. Via Permaculture Occupy Wall St & Campus Progress
Bill Mollison Permaculture Design Course 1983
“Hunger is rising, absolute hunger is rising, food’s badly distributed, not distributed at all often. The waste of food, the whole deal of it….its eh, a shocking situation, it’s just inhuman. It’s what nobody would intend, and somehow what we’ve arrived at, and we arrived at it by the erection of financial structures, totally divorced from resources. So that the fiscal economy has been a runaway system. We’ve gotta tackle that head on. That is, what I’m trying to tell you, it’s no good any longer just being an organic gardener or farmer, we have to be effective financial and political units. And we’re gonna have to face that. Just as it was very hard for us to learn to garden, then hard for us to learn to collect seeds, once the multinationals took over the open-pollinated seed market; we had to become seed growers. Now its very difficult, we have to become bankers.There’s no good trying to pretend we don’t have to. We can run away to the bush, build a mud hut and grow ducks in the garden, it’s not gonna do it. The coals will still be burnt, the land will still be eroded, and the forests will still be cleared for newsprint if we run away to the bush. So, there’s no escape, we’ve just gotta stop running away, stay where we are and start to face up and fight.” 1983 pdc bill mollison