Cam Walker spends most of his time running. He is run off his feet running campaigns at Friends of the Earth, running around Victoria helping angry people get organized: People in Anglsea who are sick of smog from the coal fired aluminium smelter at their doorstep, that is now closed, tick that off the ‘things-to-do’ list, well done team, running around Gippsland helping farmers oppose fracking. There is now a moratorium on fracking right across Victoria, tick that off the ‘things-to-do’ list, well done team.
In his peripatetic wanderings, his ceaseless circumnavigation of Gippsland, one fine day Cam found himself in Mafra addressing a hall packed to the rafters with angry farmers and loggers. A scene that whisked him back to his misspent youth some 30 years ago, when, upon arriving in this very same town to stir up trouble and ferment unrest, as is his want, he was chassed down the street and given a kicking by an angry mob, possibly the very same loggers and farmers who were now cheering him on.
Change is in the air. People who have never protested about anything in their whole lives are suddenly defending their land with a passion, threatening to blockade the roads with tractors and build walls of flaming hay bales. Loggers are standing shoulder to shoulder with ferals. Potato farmers are joining the Greens for Crist’s sake. Immovable rocks are getting up and jumping the fence.
Something is afoot. Humble people from all walks of life are taking great strides on the long march to a glorious new world. (sorry, got a bit carried away there) And who, you may ask, has cobbled together this unlikely coalition of disparate segments of society, and set them marching as one on the long walk to freedom? Who is it we see striding forward at the vanguard of this nascent movement? Why, Cam Walker of course, doing what he has done all his life, doing what he does best, leading the way. That’s why we call him Strider.
It just so happens that on his travels he will be passing through Castlemaine this weekend, and he has graciously offered to hang around for a while and tell us all about his various, nefarious shenanigans.
Cam will be talking at the Local Lives – Global Matters conference on Saturday 17th October at 2 o’clock at the Phee Broadway Theatre
He will be free to sign autographs after the performance.
Ben Laycock 2015