Posted by: r.m. | December 4, 2008

paying our share

“The time has come. To say fair’s fair. To pay the rent. To pay our share.

“The time has come. A fact’s a fact. It belongs to them. Let’s give it back”

Peter Garrett, lead singer of Midnight Oil (and now Australia’s Minister of Environment), sang those words back in the ’80s.  I thought he was talking about us. I thought he was talking about Palestinians.  He was talking about the indigenous community of Australia.

Now, I realize those words mean so much more.

Yes – he is talking about all indigenous communities.

And – also about the Earth itself. About the wondrous other millions of communities (species) with whom we share this land.

“The time has come. To say fair’s fair. To pay the rent. To pay our share.”

So – how do we pay our share to the indigenous communities — all the many from whom the land has been stolen, the people and the animals? And how do  – who claim to love them – organize, speak out, resist, and work to liberate?

By the way, when I saw Midnight Oil live in Michigan some, hmm, 7 years ago, I talked my way backstage and sat down with Peter Garrett (who is even taller in person). I told him that Palestinians are indigenous people too.  That his music speaks to me on that level.  He appreciated that and was surprised to learn about the impact of his music beyond Australia and connections with other communities. I asked him to simply speak of Palestine in any of his songs. And, then, before his next album was released, he won a seat in Parliament.


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