Peter Linebaugh’s address to the House of Commons on the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest on the Verso blog
This text, delivered in the State Rooms at the House of Commons on 7 November 2017, was first published in Counterpunch.
Two winds have propelled me here to you, to this House of Commons.
One wind, a hurricane and diabalo, brought flood and fire threatening the destruction of petrochemial civilization, call it capitalism. Homelessness or prison accompany the wind from, Detroit, Michigan, to Houston, Texas, from Puerto Rico in the Caribbean to northern California at the Pacific edge.
A second gentler, softer wind, a zephyr, has renewed my spirit from the Lacandón jungle in Chiapas where the Zapatistas have vowed to protect the forest and reclaim the land, or from the Great Plains of the American continent where pipe lines of oil and gas endanger the pollution of land and the rivers. Encampments of indigenous people and their allies by prayer and by protest have become, in their words, “water protectors.”
Then, day before yesterday on Guy Fawkes Day, with some merry companions of the indigenous people of these islands, I visited Sherwood Forest and Laxton parish in Nottinghamshire. [continues here]