Gregory Andrews a former high-ranking Australian diplomat is on day 16 of a Hunger Strike for the climate.

   On November 2nd, a former high-ranking Australian diplomat decided he had had enough of his government’s inaction on the impending climate collapse, and decided to go on a hunger strike to seek a change in policy. The man is Gregory Andrews, a father of two teenagers. 

   During his time as high commissioner (senior diplomat) to West Africa, Gregory was tasked with promoting Australia’s oil and gas projects. He’s since said about his work in West Africa: “I couldn’t live with myself.” He quit as a result. Gregory is now demanding that the Australian government end coal and gas exports, stop fossil fuel subsidies, and end native forest logging. And he’s vowed not to eat anything until the government responds.

   Many people have been driven to the point of engaging in hunger strikes in the past, including Gandhi, Cesar Chavez and the Suffragettes. Given the absolutely dire situation we are now in with the climate crisis, one wonders why more high-profile people in the 21st century haven’t taken up this type of action already? As NASA climate scientist Peter Kalmus recently put it in Newsweek, our current “pathway—fossil fuel expansion—…will end civilization as we know it” and create “billions of human deaths.” Billions of deaths. This is what could be called a genocide project. It is the crime of the millennia. 

   Gregory Andrews has decided he won’t be complicit with it any longer.

   As someone who engaged in a hunger strike before, I know that not eating is a hellish experience. In March of 2022, I engaged in a 7-day hunger strike, asking that President Biden declare a climate emergency. I had taken action in other ways before — engaging in protests and civil disobedience. Although I ultimately decided to call off the strike, it left the clear impression on me that it is a powerful tool of resistance, if used in the right way.

   Gregory Andrews is resolute. He’s lost nearly 20 pounds, but that is not stopping him. He’s determined not to eat, laying in front of Parliament House in Canberra every day, until the government responds. Gregory estimates that about 1,000 people have come to shake his hand or meet with him in these two weeks — including climate scientists and members of the government. He’s had a huge raft of stories in the major media in Australia. He says: “This is an emergency. It’s a climate emergency. And we need our leaders to act like it’s an emergency.” 

One thing seems clear: if the Australian government decides not to respond as if it’s an emergency, there very well may be a dead body on their lawn for the whole world to see.

You can follow Gregory’s strike on X: @LyrebirdDream

Or at LyrebirdDreaming.com

 

In Solidarity, Jon Tijerina

 

 

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Jon Tijerina

About

Jon Tijerina writes for the Daily Rebellion. He 's been arrested 14 times for civil disobedience to get government action on the climate crisis. He loves falafel, reading classics and spending time with good people. He lives in California.