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Friday, December 01, 2023

Sun Green Assaulted, Full Recovery Expected


Last month, Sarah White, aka "Sun Green" from Neil Young's multi-media Greendale, was assaulted by an APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) attendee while protesting outside the conference. Sarah was in the streets alongside 1,000s of others from social movements representing climate, labor, human rights, Indigenous rights. 

Sarah White, aka "Sun Green" - Nov 15
Sarah has been discharged from the hospital. For the next 6 weeks Sarah will have her jaw wired shut for healing. She has a skull fracture and the healing process will be a minimum of several months. 
A GoFundMe  page has been setup. Interestingly, one of the top donors is the Greendale Chamber of Commerce.



Earlier this week, Neil Young held a Patron ZOOM during which he spoke about Sarah White's situation. Via a comment by Tony "Hambone" Hammond UK:

What struck me most was the discussion on Sarah White. 

Neil was visibly animated and for a short while seemed to forget the audience when discussing with his team whether donations had been made and how quickly the gofundme link could get on the Contrarian front page, leaning forward at his web cam to make the point.

It was most uplifting to see a personal response to go alongside all we know of his other philanthropic contributions.

Neil Young Patron ZOOM Call - Nov. 29
image via Rusted Moon

Back in 2003, Neil Young's nearly revolutionary multi-media Greendale, told the epic tale of eco-activist Sun Green and her battles and challenges on the front lines.

"Sun Green" in "Greendale" by Neil Young

Here at Thrasher's Wheat, where we're always trying to do a little "Greendale livin' ", we have closely followed the saga of Sun Green and those Greendale memories.

Neil Young & Sun Green
Radio City Music Hall, New York, March 18, 2004

Photo by thrashette

Sun Green (Sarah White, Greendale Film by Neil Young, 2003) 
+ Greta Thunberg (Climate Activist, Born in 2003)
#BeTheRain ... but be careful ...

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At 12/01/2023 01:09:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

Healing wishes to Sarah White! I struggle to understand why people feel the impulse to lash out with blows and weapons. Physical self-defense should be one’s last resort, if it’s impossible to defuse or escape the situation. This shows how much fear and anger exist in the world today.

At 12/01/2023 04:01:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

I urge everyone here to help this young lady heal. We can’t stop this violence, but we can help her to heal. Anything you can do will make a difference.

Peace 🙏

At 12/01/2023 04:19:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

It is so disgusting & disturbing that this violent attack took place. And the attacker was a male attendee at SF’s APEC.

I am grateful that her injuries were not worse. “Bleeding near the brain” can be fatal, so I am seeing this as a brush with death.

And for what? The attacker makes their “side” look much worse. So, the political violence has even come to Greendale, or SF.

Last night I listened to Living With War again. It had been a long time since I listened to that album. It is very powerful and I love it. In Shock & Awe, Neil keeps wailing away in W Bush like a possessed boxer; a fighter armed with the Truth.

Neil went “out on a limb” in this fight and his principles served him well. History is a cruel judge of overconfidence. The US & our faithful allies really stuck our foot in it, kicked the hornets nest again. Flip flop indeed! But does the US even care that “we” were fooled into launching another War without reason? It’s like the Bay of Tonkin for the War Pigs. “Who cares how it starts as long as it starts.”

When I was 14 I wanted to join the US Marines. When I was 15 I was listening to a lot of Punk bands like Discharge. Aside from inventing Thrash Metal, Discharge was very Anti War, Pro Peace, and they were the most political of all the punk bands, except maybe The Clash (my favorite). Listening to this strong anti war music helped me to see the light, to cement my ideology, ending up with similar values my parents hold: Pro Civil Rights, Anti War.

But in the mainstream of American life, it is not popular to be Anti War, partly because the US is ALL ABOUT WAR. Just look at the big military display at a NFL game. Pledge Allegiance and all of that. I find it revolting.

Justice, and sustainable living is more interesting to me. I never gave a damn about sports anyway, just bicycling, until my girls played softball. Then I cared.

Amusing to wonder if Greta Thunberg may have seen Greendale or if that somehow influenced her. I think it is likely coincidence but who knows. We have more pressing issues to discuss these days.

Your Brother Alan in Seattle

At 12/01/2023 07:42:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

Being too critical of the military or the weapons industry as organizations is often seen as unpatriotic or, even worse, an affront to the troops. What's really damaging to people in uniform, in my opinion, is the whole experience of war. I can't fathom the psychological pressure of a "kill or be killed" scenario for the average person. Or a situation where you're watching your friends get mowed down daily.

And after the survivors are maimed and/or traumatized, the same state that asked for this sacrifice often can't be bothered to find resources to care for them. I think our anguish about the horrifying reality of combat veterans has made collective attitudes about war increasingly conflicted and confused. To be truly "anti-war" is to be critical of militarism. How do we critique the military institution without disrespecting people who chose the ultimate sacrifice with the purest intentions?

On a lighter note, hard to believe Greendale is 20 years old. I don't usually think of it as an older album, but time has flown.

At 12/01/2023 08:31:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

I feel moved to add, in the spirit of Alan's reflections, I grew up in the Quaker faith. As folks may know, Quakers are often conscientious objectors and have history with pacifist movements. At the height of the "War on Terror", my dad was essentially a "draft counselor" at our meeting house, guiding Quaker boys who were required to register for the draft.

My father was not a perfect person by any stretch, but one of the things I'm proudest of is the good work he tried to do during that time. The idea of mandatory armed service is at odds with that of a free society, just as attempting to spread democracy by force is intrinsically undemocratic.

At 12/02/2023 02:24:00 AM, Blogger Dionys said...

@ MetaRocker
And yet your last half sentence very much depends on the perspective we are thrown into. While many Germans living their ahistorical lives may never have learnt that democracy did not fall from above, I know better. At least hereabouts spreading democracy by force was necessary ... and miraculously it worked.

At 12/02/2023 04:44:00 AM, Blogger Old Black said...

Well said Dionys, and with the extremely concerning rise of right wing fascist populist administrations in Europe and beyond, (Holland, Italy, Hungary, Argentina to name but a few) and let's not forget the Russia situation, spreading democracy by force, whilst being a contradiction, may be a requirement of the future. World war 2 wasn't that long ago and the lessons of it are evidently being forgotten.

At 12/02/2023 10:12:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

Uncle Sam got lucky a few times but overall, exporting Freedom has not gone well. Iraq, Afganistan. The US has not typically tried to bring freedom so much as Dictatorship, like Pinochet in Chile. We have our CIA to run the show from the background in our “Democracy.” They overthrow democratically elected governments and install Dictators, as with the Shah of Iran and all over central and South America.

And our own country is an Oligarchy. That is the reason why Bernie could never get nominated. And that is why the DNC can nominate whoever they want. Our “fair vote” is not what it seems. The 1% gets protected, untaxed, and the middle class pay all of the taxes so we can buy more war toys.

@ Metamorphic Rocker : Your Dad did some good. I recall registering for the draft. I wasn’t as Free as I thought.

I don’t blame the soldiers for what the generals order them to do. I blame the Government for starting wars. But parroting “I support the Troops” no matter what they are doing in whatever foreign land, like torturing Islamic men in Abu Ghraib, that is not something I can stomach. I support the whistleblowers, as they serve time in prison. Snowden, Manning, Assange.

But I get it, the poor troops are not the cause, but they are the “weapon.” And like the Nazi said when asked why, “I was just following orders.” That can only hold up for so long. And of course, the troops are mostly folks who are short on cash, who face the difficult decision to join the military, of course.

But all the flag waving at the NFL games, the jets flying overhead… people loosing their minds when a player takes the knee during the National Anthem, that is the part that troubles me. “We support the troops, no matter what.” Really? Even if War Criimes are committed? The US is supporting Israel in committing War Crimes right now.

Mindless support of the military is what ‘will Young was dealing with during the Living With War tour with CSN. All these old Boomers who were offended because they had all been brainwashed into blind support. As long as their 501k wasn’t affected, “Yes, I support the War, and I make money when the War toys sell.” How American is that? Dropping bombs on brown people. Those yuppies were pissed at Neil Young. I am proud that Neil didn’t flinch and rolled the cameras! Let’s get it on tape!

I voted for Obama and later learned he was “George Bish Lite.” But in fact, Obama dropped more bombs that Bush had. His last year in office the US was bombing 7 different countries without even declaring War! And Obama deported more people than Bish too. Obama became a real cheerleader for War.

The grand USA reshuffle is about to take place, as with the last recession. Many people will lose their homes and literally end up homeless on the streets. The 1% has been withdrawing its vast sums of money -in the Trillions- from US banks. The economy will crash, the banks will fail, and the taxpayers will once again bail out the banks so they can start over again.

The shortage in military recruits will be solved due to hard times for the many.

There you have it, my assessments and prognostications for 2024.

But then after, maybe a Big Shift in the western mind. Perhaps it could be. Let us pray for peace. Let us feed and house the hungry. Let us give medical care to all the people. All the kids should be in school, safe. This is my Hippie Dream.

Your Brother Alan in Seattle

At 12/02/2023 10:22:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 12/02/2023 11:21:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

Correction: 401k (pre tax earnings used to buy stocks in a mutual fund with Oil companies in it, etc.). This is what the American worker got when the pensions were erased. It’s just like gambling. We are about to see 401k accounts lose half their worth, again.

Have a nice day!

Your Brother Alan in Seattle

At 12/02/2023 08:19:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

Dionys: I can’t speak from a German perspective, so let me know if I’m misconstruing. For Americans (young ones especially), it’s easy to forget the Berlin wall came down less than 35 years ago. In a European context, the climb toward peace and freedom has been long and steep and the journey is not over yet, as we can see from the periodic resurgence of right wing “populists” that always seems to be happening in one country or another. Not that we Americans can afford to wag our fingers—quite the contrary!

History is much messier than most of us would like because we, the humans, are good at making a mess. Sometimes ideals need to tempered in relation to uncomfortable realities. Simultaneously, I suspect it takes more than brute force, something other than the threat of violence, for people to thrive in any sociopolitical structure.

At 12/02/2023 08:52:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

Another key point: when we say “democracy”, what exactly do we mean? Are you and I thinking of the same thing? At bottom, it’s an abstraction, an idea. One with a very long, complicated genealogy. Humans have tried to put it into practice in several ways, with differing degrees of success and challenges. Much like the idea of peace, it’s easy to stand under a banner proclaiming “freedom”, harder to work out what that ideal should look like in practice.

As I’ve said before, I think the answer needs to embrace a healthy level of pluralism, living equitably with and learning from our differences. Force may sometimes become necessary, but let’s not kid ourselves that it’s a healthy reflection of liberalism or progressive values.

At 12/02/2023 11:06:00 PM, Blogger wsanjose01 said...

This saddens me greatly. Continue to mend ASAP Sarah White. Unconscionable. Shoreline Greendale was fun. Bravo.

At 12/03/2023 03:27:00 AM, Blogger Dionys said...

As I said before it all depends on the historical and also personal perspective. When I was a teenager and young adult I took a pacifist position (and was a conscientious objector in times of the draft in Germany). Canada threw me in jail for a day because I pecaefully stood with indigenous people alongside with courageous Quakers in defense of their land against the Albertan oil industry. First hand I saw the Canadian army rolling against the Mohawks around Montreal, a democratic country using their own armed forces against what they claimed to be their own citizens. I am old enough to remember the Irish troubles. Since then times have changed. I saw equally courageous East Germans peacefully topple their regime (no, it was not Ronald Reagan, who brought the wall down, although I concede that American and Russian policies helped to open that historical window). I taught children from all sides of the Yugoslavian civil wars in one class without them smashing their heads in because their stupid relatives were doing so.

All of this happenend almost a generation ago (Like many other readers and commentors on this blog I could add a whole Neil Young soundtrack to it). But it shaped and altered my position with regards to pacifism. Still I believe that pacifism is an honourable and worthy individual decision, but so is the right to defend yourself against unjustified aggression.
So I wonder whether the German experience after 1945 is an exception. But then I see other exceptions, democracies evolving sometimes with considerable use of force: Italy, Greece, Spain... We might agree, that the use of force to establish democratic systems at least temporarily and under certain conditions seems to work. Attempts to forcibly establish democracies in parts of the world other than Europe seemingly failed in most circumstances, but so did pacifist struggles. Force per se is not a guarantee that democratic systems are established and eventually reach stability. Pluralism of course is a necessary condition for any democracy once it is established.
Basically I believe that we are talking about the same thing when we use the term democracy, although countries have their different traditions and experiences. So the idea of pluralism being a prerogative also seems to cover the French, British, American or German, Iroquois or Cree concepts.

Both sides will agree that force (and war) are likely to ruin your whole day.

At 12/04/2023 09:22:00 AM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

does democracy come with some axioms? Perhaps we can agree that a necessary condition for democracy includes various rights? But then we have to instantiate those rights in a meaningful way and we cannot let them be consistently eroded. Procedural justice, the right to determine our own well-being, the right to equal opportunity: these are candidates for axioms.

There is no right to equal opportunity in the United States
Procedural Justice is consistently eroded


At 12/04/2023 02:17:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

Dionys, thanks for this perspective. These experiences are meaningful, and it goes to show you can’t always be sure to whom you are speaking (especially online). I suspect most would concede use of force may become necessary under certain conditions, but it does not reflect a heathy society.

Technically speaking, if war reflected “the will of the people”, then I suppose it would be democratic, at least within that culture. Of course, it would not look the same to the people being invaded or conquered. Even if it was possible for “the people” to have a completely unanimous will and the capacity to act upon it, democracy is not necessarily to be confused with national sovereignty. In fact, it brings up the question: is the purest ideal of democracy (whatever *that* entails) viable under a nationalist model?

On balance, I would refine my position thus: I am skeptical of violence, and especially subjugation, as a means for the spread of ideas or for substantive cultural exchange. It may also be that democracy, as a notion, is too capacious and potentially nebulous to be a sufficient basis, on its own, for a workable social philosophy. Again, this is not a bathwater=baby equation. It just means we need supplementary, more specific principles on which to build.

At 12/04/2023 02:32:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

Abner, I think we’re on the same track here! You say axiom, I say principle. If anything, axiom has the advantage of a more precise philosophical (or should that be rhetorical?) definition.

At 12/04/2023 04:44:00 PM, Blogger Dionys said...

Meta Rocker, your reply brings back an older discussion about what happened to my country after 1945. The debate went around the question whether the Germans experienced total defeat in May of 45 or whether we were liberated. It is more or less consensus today and with todays perspective that both was / is true but could not be foreseen in 1945. Also as I said before democracy did not fall from above. In order to become a democratic society as we understand it today Germany had to live through several decades of democratic struggle ... and will have to work on this task anew with each generation to come.

Axioms, principles, yes, in theory that's all right with me. But then there is the common notion that a democracy that is not prepared to defend its principles might run a high risk of being undone by its oppoents on the inside and outside. The Weimar Republic (Germany 1918 - 1933) did not only fail because of her anti-democratic adversaries, but also because there were not enough defenders and a whole lot of idle by-standers.
Sun Green is not one of them.

At 12/04/2023 08:52:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Good point

At 12/05/2023 06:04:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

All very much reminds me of a Greendale line, I believe from Devil’s Sidewalk: “I believe in love…. and I believe in action when push comes to shove.” I can respect that. Of course, action doesn’t have to mean raining down explosives or even popping someone in the jaw. The more strongly one feels about the immorality of war or violence, the tougher it can be to draw that line.


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