Silence can sometimes say more than a thousand words. When colleagues from our partner organisations tell us their stories,* our reaction is often silence; a dejected silence.
We are shocked and alarmed by the news of a planned raid into the headquarters of an environmental organisation in the Philippines. Although the raid has not materialised until now, we are deeply concerned for their wellbeing.
The counterpower does not accept 'business as usual' because it is not fair. The race after the big money is not leading to happiness for everyone, and is usually not good for, for example, the environment or women.
September 22nd websites of civil society organisations and NGO's all over the world will go black, in protest and solidarity. Protest against the shrinking space for civilians and organisations to speak out, unite and protest peacefully.
This is the text of the speech given by Danielle Hirsch on the 'Nacht van de Tegenmacht' (Night of Countervailing Power)
To me, our partner organisations are a significant counterpower. Both ENDS supports them to raise their voices in policy discussions. This way I also see myself as a 'counterpower' against the current economic system.
Whenever I see pictures of the people in the Dutch province of Groningen whose houses are collapsing because of gas extraction and who, even if they wanted to move somewhere else, would never be able to sell them, I can't help but think of all the people worldwide who have been experiencing the same problems, sometimes for decades. Every time I see the anger and powerlessness of the people of Groningen, the comparison to the many people we have been working with for many years in many parts of the world comes to my mind.