Saturday, 28 September 2013

Unfinished Business in #Taiji

Martin Luther King said, "In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends." 

It's been a while since I last blogged, more than 8 months in fact despite closing my last musing with this paragraph:

"I thought that I was fully prepared for the experience of actually being a Cove Guardian but I now know that nothing prepares you for Taiji, there is always going to be a surprise around the corner. One pleasant surprise has been the warmth and pleasantness of the Japanese people we have encountered and I have no doubt that as more and more Japanese nationals become aware of what is going on in this village of hell that we are approaching the start of a credible solution for this solvable problem. I will explore that much more fully in a day or two when I am in a calm place and able to focus on the positive. For now, please accept that there is a lot of positive and it does give great hope for the future."

Let me tell you that I thought I was fully prepared to continue blogging in "a day or two" but I just couldn't bring myself to push the "publish" button. Too many of my friends were still silent and it upset me too much to realise that.  I also found myself increasingly unable to calm down as I realised more and more that the only people who really understood the true horrors of Taiji were either still in Taiji or were other returned Cove Guardians and Cove Monitors all of whom were resident outside Scotland.  To date only two of us have traveled to Taiji from Scotland and we don't need to talk to each other about what is still happening there, we just need to look at each other to know. It is a dreadful place. It leaves permanent mental scars.

But it doesn't need to be a dreadful place. It could be a beautiful place sharing moderate wealth from eco-tourism amongst all three and a half thousand residents rather than its present status as a capture/kill machine concentrating extreme wealth in the hands of a greedy, murderous few. Meanwhile the remainder live on in that village in relative poverty and their children leave for University in Tokyo and elsewhere in Japan, never to return. Why would they?

But I am returning. Very soon.

I do still have far too many friends who choose to be ignorant about what is going on. Far too many friends who can discuss the best way to play Candy Crush or buy stuff from each other for an imaginary farm in cyberspace but haven't got a clue what is really going on in the physical world. Far too many friends who are so consumed with their own importance that they think it worth sharing their latest achievements in [insert latest facebook game name here]. Far too few who are prepared to make any sacrifices at all to change the entrenched mindset in Taiji.

I do still know far too few who are willing to give up even the cost of a pint of lager to support those who might be willing to make personal sacrifice of their own.  To support those who are willing to accept divorce or redundancy or bankruptcy or to do whatever else it takes to stop the killings, stop the live thefts, stop the blatant barbarism and to drive and support whatever effort it takes to replace the captures and killings with something better.

To those who are and always have been supportive, I thank you. You are making a difference. the mindset is changing. Slowly for sure but it is changing and that change is gathering momentum.

There are now Japanese nationals campaigning in Taiji - a fabulous reward for years of investigation, education and intervention from some of the most courageous individuals I have ever had the privilege to meet.

Now is the time to add your own weight to that building momentum. Now is the time to make a difference.

Please support the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian Campaign.

For Japan.  For the dolphins.  For us all.

Thank you for reading.