What to do when we “lose”

March 2, 2017/ Article

We do our best to win campaigns, but what do we do when we lose? How do we recover, find footing and carry on? Some important lessons can be drawn from a recent generation-defining struggle in New Zealand: the Save Happy Valley Campaign.

The campaign has been protecting Happy Valley from invasive coal mining since 2005, including the country’s longest running environmental occupation. Just a few weeks ago their campaign was dealt a major hit when Solid Energy bulldozed much of the targeted land to open up mining, despite the low price of coal and low return on investment. Destroyed in the untouched landscape were the homes of 30 threatened great spotted kiwi and land where a rare carnivorous snail and eleven other endangered species lived.

Recently I had the chance to work with some of the activists in that campaign while leading a three-day training of trainers for climate change organizers in New Zealand. While its too early to say if the entire campaign has lost, my time with them gave me a chance to think about lessons on when we do experience loss.

>> Read the complete article at Waging Nonviolence.

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