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Permaculture and Activism

Diane, our media spokeswoman, Allyson, and Daniel prepare to speak on a panel at St Stephen's Church last Friday

Last week Allyson, Daniel, and Diane talked to an audience in Minneapolis about how permaculture principles rooted their activism as Four Necessity Valve Turners.

One of the highlights of the evening was hearing from an audience member, a member of the Minnesota 8, a group of Vietnam War civil disobedience activists,. He stood up and said, "The act itself is a gift, and that you are able to speak on it, that's also a gift." We couldn't agree more! If you would like the Valve Turners to speak, or if you have questions for them, please don't hesitate to reach out. We are currently very interested in podcasts and other opportunities to share their story as human-interest pieces.

There was so much good content shared in this talk, we will need to revisit it, but for the moment the following quotes and snippets are among the best soundbites:

How does faith practice intersect with permaculture practice and radical hospitality?`

  • Daniel: The three ethics of permaculture work together: earth care, people care, fair share, and permaculture further works with new forms of community. These can be understood through the Gandhian principles of structural program, inner work, and satyagraha or confronting systems of destruction with love. We need all three for societal transformation.

  • Allyson: my favorite part of Catholic Social Teaching is the intrinsic value of all life. The use of something to me is not important, but the intrinsic value of all things - from people to dogs to the microbes in the soil. Activists are really paying attention to what is going on and responding. Society takes our attention away from what matters. In permaculture we first sit and pay attention for a long time without doing anything. I will sit and notice and write it all down. I believe all life has dignity so I pay attention and notice what is happening in order to take action. Both Direct Action and Permaculture require the same practices.

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