‘CONSPIRACY THEORIST’ IS A LAZY, PROPAGANDIZING TERM
By Polly Greeks
It’s highly possible mainstream media would’ve described the group as a hotbed of radical conspiracists. It’s a conveniently dismissive label for those too lazy or vested to examine voices opposing the status quo. Were we radical? It depends on your definition.
It was Friday night, with a powerful wind roaring in off the Pacific. Earlier, I’d taken the kids down to the rocky coastline where we’d watched purple rain-bands of cloud emptying over the surging sea. Breaking waves reared like sheets of dark smoky glass before smashing into the land. We gulped in the sea spray and laughed with exhilaration as the churning water sucked and heaved. Indoors, people were gathering in the backpacker’s lounge. Some had driven hours to be there.
The danger of labeling people is that it dehumanises individuals. Of the 20-odd men and women assembling, there were musicians and artists, small-business holders, lawyers, a documentary-maker, farmers, gardeners, mothers, fathers and children. Some were grandparents; one was expecting her first child. I doubt anyone fitted the depiction of an extremist, fanatical, militant revolutionary. People were into growing their on food and using plants as medicine. In a war I’m guessing everyone there would’ve stood as a conscientious objector. They were gentle folk. However, if radical equates to activist, the room was full of them: deeply concerned people questioning the government’s modus operandi and wishing to do something to protect both the natural environment and human rights.
The musicians gave us their voices first. They sang of freedom and being connected: to nature, to higher power and to fellow man. Their music made us feel their words in our hearts.
Were we conspiracists? Did we support a conspiracy theory? I looked it up in the Oxford Dictionary to find out. Conspiracy – a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful. Conspiracy Theory – a belief that some covert but influential organisation is responsible for an unexplained event.
Conversation followed the musicians’ performances. People voiced their dismay about the government’s continued annual dumping of thousands of tonnes of deadly poison 1080 across New Zealand’s wilderness places. They shared their frustration at hypocritical fishing quotas that straitjacket amateur fisher-folk while allowing commercial fisheries to plunder our oceans. They worried about the allocation of freshwater to corporations and industries at the expense of local and future generations. They spoke of their outrage about the government’s rush to establish a 5G network when so many medical doctors and scientists internationally are questioning this technology’s impact on human health. They questioned the legitimacy of lockdowns and covid and discussed the power of people uniting for common causes.
There was nothing secret about the group meeting. An open invitation had been extended to the public via Facebook. Nobody was plotting unlawful or harmful actions. Nor was anybody suggesting a covert organisation was responsible for anything unexplained. The government’s questionable management of environmental issues and human rights is there for all to see. Alternative media sources are full of esteemed doctors, nurses, scientists and policy-makers disputing the official media story about Covid-19 so there’s nothing covert there either. So many officially presented statistics don’t add up or are taken out of context. Face-mask efficacy, the flu-testing process, the wisdom of quarantining, mortality rates, vaccine development, the WHO’s jurisdiction and governmental covid-debt and expenditure are all topics generating wide debate and discussion by citizens taking an active interest in their world.
Why would valid environmental, technological, health and human rights concerns be blanketed under the conspiracy label? Can people no longer question the government? Why isn’t mainstream media reporting properly on the conversations taking place around both the nation and the Earth at this time?
Curious, I looked up the definition of government: the group of people with the authority to govern a country or state… the system by which a state or community is governed: the action or manner of controlling or regulating a state, organisation or people.
Who gives our government its authority to govern?
Co-leader of the Outdoors Party, Sue Grey, spoke at our Friday gathering, reminding people the government is there to do a particular job. When it oversteps its job, reaching tentacles too far into people’s lives and causing harm through its policies, it needs to be put back in its box. She suggested a specific constitution would define the box’s boundaries to ensure a government serves its national population and not the interests of corporations. Where does the power lie otherwise?
We departed en masse the next morning for the very top of New Zealand. At Cape Reinga the wind was blasting so hard it was hard to stand upright. Below the headland the Pacific and Tasman were colliding in cross-lines of surf reverberating back out to sea. This was the start of a hikoi – a communal walk or march typically organised for publicity or as a form of protest. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re up against a system of control and might. But those gathered on the Cape believe in people-power. The plan was to carry the messages of concern back down country to show those questioning the mainstream narrative they’re not alone and that positive change is possible when we unite.