If you’ve watched the news today or picked up your newspaper, you’ve probably already heard about Australian government’s massive mistake this week and the public outcry that followed in ways that were both hilarious and poignant.This anti-environment protest case study, published by the Australian government has caused many to shake their heads and many to take to social media using the hashtag #FreeKaren to criticize their government’s stance on freedom of speech when it comes to the environment. You can take a look at the hilarious tweets posted by many disgruntled in this BBC news article.
In response to radicalization and its surge over the last few months, Michael Keenan (Australian anti-terror minister) released an anti-radicalization kit. The Radicalization Awareness Kit was as good as you’d expect, with an invented case study on a woman named Karen. The case study begins with Karen’s loving childhood and her introduction to “the alternative music scene, student politics and left-wing activism”. After participating in a”fun” and”exhilarating” environmental protest Karen proceeds to live in a forest camp which disappoints her family who cut her off financially. After a few years of protests and getting arrested on trespass charges, Karen goes on to work for an eco org that causes a “painful transition out of radical activism, where Karen struggle[s] to recover, define her identity and her role in society”. You can read the full case study below:
This case study, though hilarious, sends the message that Karen, by going to university, listening to alt music, and participating in protests has somehow overstepped her bounds and became an eco terrorist. It teaches kids (re: girls) to tone down their views, not be that passionate about music and the environment and cause change by quietly influencing the government through its faulty legal system. If the word ‘ridiculous’ comes to mind right now, you’re not alone! I can identify with half the things on that lists by simply being female, listening to alt-music, and writing for a blog that if not afraid to voice its opinion.
I have many friends who are passionate about the environment (especially here in Canada) and while I am not as opinionated/knowledgable as they are, I recognize that the world needs passionate people who influence change. Violence and radicalization are obviously wrong but the Australian government needs to find a better way to voice that message to kids just starting to learn about the world.
What are your views on the above case study? Read any other ridiculous things this week? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Until next time,
You can read the case study and the rest of the Radicalization Awareness Kit at https://www.livingsafetogether.gov.au/informationadvice/Documents/preventing-violent-extremism-and-radicalisation-in-australia.pdf