Ron coverIn the late 1980’s the campaign to save the majestic forests of the South East New South Wales hinged on a Base Camp set up at Reedy Creek to provide a jumping off point for Direct Action.

The forest protests were having limited effect and getting very little media. Late one night, around the campfire, a small group of greenies discussed their ’perfect’ action. It turned out that each of us dreamed the same dream; getting away from the mass arrest protests of the day where people simply presented themselves en-mass for arrest and moving up into the trees where the Police couldn’t reach us and staying there – that is how the first long-term tree action on mainland Australia was born.

The first actions were not in the better known Coolangubra Forest, they were in the forgotten forest around our home in Coupe 702 Gree Rd, Nullica.

These platforms soon attracted the interest of the mainstream media and from humble beginnings of three people dreaming they became the revitalising focus of the South East Campaign.

While much of those forests has since been sacrificed to the wood chippers greed, the spirit and skills developed through Nullica and subsequent SE forest protests continued and grew to be followed by many powerful platform protests and protestors.

I had the honour of being the platform rigger and sitter trainer for the first two sets of platforms. With no experience with climbing equipment I had a steep learning curve and one of the most fantastic times in my life.

The team who held it all together were the most anarchistic set of individuals you would ever want to meet and a part of this was their ability to fall into a well-oiled machine at need. Without the power of that group the tree actions would never have succeeded.

This collection is a poetic memoir, written years after the event, it is coloured and smoothed by time. It is not a chronological description of the action, it is a collection of memories of events and emotions. Because it is what it is, sometimes the poetry is cumbersome, because the story is more important than the rhyme. If you can forgive that, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

Ron Fletcher

The book is available from the author for $12 plus postage:

leavesfromaustralia@gmail.com

 

By Creek And By Track

You be the judge of what’s right and what’s wrong

But these are the words of my Nullica song

That flows from my memory to paper and pen,

From a place far away and way back when.

Like a tap that is open the memories flood back

And I’m treading old paths by creek and by track

And into a coupe from the forested side

Where the laughter of Bilbo acts as a guide

To a new group of sitters bound for the sky,

To challenge the loggers: “Come on, just try!”

Then back into Basecamp to train even more

Recruits for the trees in this ongoing war

To stop this forest being carted away,

For there’s one more battle to fight every day

By the warriors trained back in Nullica’s times,

Putting end to the forest destructors crimes.