A message from a friend and former colleague in Australia.
Dima reminds me at times of my one year old son. Full of energy, always into something new. He reminds me also of my grandfather, committed and passionate; trying to make a better world for those that come after. A strange combination maybe, but that is how I think of him. Mostly though, when I think of Dima I think of him as being generally annoying. Constantly agitating, never satisfied. For friends and colleagues like myself it gets under our skin. You know, we’ve got other important things on our minds, like who’s going to win X-factor and what color should I paint my house? Not Dima though, ooooh no, not Dima. Dima always wants to talk about making this world a more just and peaceful place.
This annoying attitude in some way drove me to move from Sweden to Australia. Yes, Dima is very annoying. But Dima is far from being a criminal. He (and the rest of those amazing people with him locked up in Murmansk) reminds me that no matter how far I physically move away from him, injustice still prevails. It reminds me that we must continue to agitate, we must never be satisfied. I remember way back when I was a budding environmental activist, one of the principles that attracted me to Greenpeace and their work was the principle of bearing witness. Letting people know that there are bad things going on that the rest of the world must know about.
In this respect and in some strange way I feel also I need to thank the Russian authorities for waking me and others out of our slumber. Sure Dima and his friends may have continued the tireless work they do, but by incarcerating these peaceful protesters, the Russian authorities have helped remind us that injustice is true on many levels. I have noticed people around me all the way down here in Australia, from all walks of life, starting to talk about issues beyond X-factor and what color to paint their houses. I want Dima and his friends to know that (with a little help of Russian authorities) we are awakening from our slumber. We thank you, no matter how annoying you are Dima, no matter how far we move away from you, for reminding us that we must agitate, we must never be satisfied until there is justice and peace upon our planet.
Stay well old friend, stay strong, and if you or any of your friends need a place to relax in the sun after this is over, then know you have friends here in Australia with open doors and open arms.
With love and peace,
Stuart is a friend and former colleague of Dima’s and currently a senior manager at Oxfam
via Greenpeace news http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/dima-litvinov/blog/47156/