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Blog - Richard Downes

Declaration 12; Its Not A Dire Warning


A tree surrounded by a yellow frame

Article 12. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. This is from a lost conservation campaign. Life goes on. It doesn’t really matter that we lost. It matters that we tried.

Are you an activist within your community?
What do you do?
If you are not an activist what stops you taking part?
Would love to hear from you. Will you use the blog space below?

Declaration 12: It’s Not A Dire Warning
So, who climbed the tree
When young or older
Stamping feet on insect life

Who just sat and watched
From the comfort of a blanket
Raising the next sandwich

Who went home and dreamt
Soundly with the noise of children
Slowly fading into night

Who rose the next day
To the tinkle of letters
Dropping to the mat

And who if anyone
Heard the besmirching
Of names and reputation

Who just sat and witnessed
As the tree came down
A summer square vanished
Jobs were lost
A centre vandalised
Newness impinged
On conservation
Negated villas
Damaged trees
And tore out hearts
Rolled out tears

I did
You did
We all did
This is what we do
Live our lives
Not watching
Not giving witness
Not standing up
Long enough
For our communal protection

It’s nothing bad
And change won’t hurt
Some already thirst for it
It’s just what we do
Regardless of warnings
Now lost to history.

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Richard DownesCal Desmond-PearsonColin HambrookKuli Kohli Recent comment authors
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Kuli Kohli

Richard, what stops me from being an activist? I am trying hardest to act as a voice for disabled people who would find it hard to speak up. I am a full-time council worker, mother of 3, wife, daughter in law, housewife. I think also a writer, poet, blogger, performer… which I do with passion allows my activism to happen, slowly but surely. I wish I had more time on my hands to do more of what I believe in, but it is what it is. I have to accept it and carry on bit by bit.

Colin Hambrook

I think of you as an activist Kuli. It’s been wonderful for me to watch you fulfill this role more and more since your first tentative steps to appear on DAO.

Cal Desmond-Pearson

What stops me from being more of an activist?
— my Mental Health/Physical Health getting in my way (Bipolar/Anxiety/OCD) etc
— the fact that 95% of meetings/events/etc are held in London – making attendance nigh on impossible for many of us! There is a world outside of tbe M25!
— the cult like devotion by many groups to Corbyn and Labour (DPAC I’m looking at you!). I’m an an anarcho-syndicalist, I’ll work with individual members of parties but I’m very reluctant to get involved with a group that associates with a political party.
— the dominance of so many groups by a clique.