We travelled to Melbourne by train and had time before the afternoon event to look around the CBD; several of us took the opportunity to look at the 2017 Sustainable Living Festival being held on the banks of the Yarra River. Peter Holmes' family and friends also met us at ACMI to see Xiuhtezcatl Martinez.
At the well-attended ACMI event Xiuhtezcatl (“Shu-tez-caht”) was introduced and interviewed by a young local poet and during the interview both gave us some poetry/rap pieces. Xiuhtezcatl has been involved with the Earth Guardians for many years and spoke of several issues he was involved in during his short activist career. The Earth Guardians link has a short video on Xiuhtezcatl titled Kid Warrior.
Xiuhtezcatl spoke of how many people already feeling the impact of climate change are both indigenous and coloured. He gave encouragement to both young and old who might be feeling overwhelmed at the thought of tackling climate change by saying do what you can, even the small things count. This can lead to other actions. As he says in the Kid Warrior video young people are seen to be the future and will one day do something about climate change; however, they aren’t going to wait, they are going to do something now! See Xiuhtezcatl delivering a TedTalk here.
Suing the US Government over climate change is based on a constitutional challenge that through “the governments affirmative actions in causing climate change, it has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources”.
For such a young person Xiuhtezcatl has thought through many of the environmental issues facing us on the planet and is determined to encourage a youth led activist movement to change the direction from the path we are presently on. Although quietly spoken he is assured of his position on the issues and determined to do something about them.
After his presentation Xiuhtezcatl welcomed people to meet him outside the theatre where many asked for an autograph or to have a photo taken with him.
BSFG wish to thank our members and contacts who were able to offer sponsorship to enable the young people from Benalla to attend the event. And thank you to Peter Holmes who saw an article in The Age about Xiuhtezcatl and was inspired to suggest BSFG organise our visit.