Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Steadfast Like Dr. King- 2011

Steadfast Like Dr. King


THERE'S always something going on with Fenton Lutunatabua. When he's not locked onto the top of a coal loader or co-hosting a television or radio show, he's surfing the waters with Pacific Greenpeace fighting the good fight to save our marine resources from illegal anglers.
Fenton made the headlines again a few days ago when he was chosen to represent the Pacific on Greenpeace's newest ship, the Rainbow Warrior III which was christened in Germany in October and powered by the sun and wind.
I got to know him through various social and community events Hibiscus Festival when he was a participant, Vodafone MIC show and journalism school at the University of the South Pacific.
He's always struck me as an intelligent young man and a good role model for his peers because of the way he focused his energy on making a positive difference in society.
So what pushed this 25-year-old Kadavu lad vasu Taveuni towards a cleaner, sustainable marine environment?
"My granddad, who lives on one of the smaller islands, used to take me fishing a lot when I was a child.
"He showed me all his favourites spots and my dream is that I can one day take my children and grandchildren to see those favourite fishing spots," he said.
"Right now, climate change is really threatening the life of our islands, but if we all get together and force companies and governments to make the right decisions, we can still avoid some of the most catastrophic consequences of climate change. Putting a hold to climate change is my hope for the world.
"Growing up, one of many values my mum instilled in me was understanding my purpose. She always told me that I would be where I'm needed and when I'm needed.
"Looking back on my life, I feel that everything I have come through, every experience that I had, has catered to my needs in terms of personal capacity development as well as served a higher purpose, in one way or the other, to others around me."
At one stage, he was a radio presenter with Communications Fiji.
It was an experience that taught him how to organise his thoughts succinctly and be wise with the way he delivered his words and thoughts.
This, he said, was applied to his stint with television.
"Activism for me has played an important role.
"With activism, you have to have an understanding of who you want to talk to, what you want to tell them, how you want to tell them and the perfect time to tell them when things are," he said.
"Your audience is very important and they are the reason you mould your message a certain way.
"The new Hands on Deck crew aims to protect the earth from nuclear testing and will also work on protecting the oceans, the climate and nature.
"I want a world that lives in peace and uses the earth's resources sustainably with sun, wind and water powering homes and factories, with the boreal factories protected from destruction, with the climate saved and with the oceans, home to two-thirds of animal species saved."
Fenton says the Hands on Deck crew comprises nine young Rainbow Warriors from all parts of the world standing tall and ready to continue the proud heritage passed on by the original founders of Greenpeace.
Many activists the world over are sometimes met with force or find themselves entangled in a very hostile situation.
Fenton maintains his belief that non-violent direct action is the way to go.
"Like one of my heroes Dr Martin Luther King felt, I feel the same that non-violent direct action's goal was to 'create such a crisis and foster such a tension' as to demand a response," he said.
"Activism can take a wide range of forms from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning or economic activism. I respect actions that activists take.
"While I am deeply committed to peace, science is telling us that time is running out for us Pacific islanders. Our islands are drowning and our tuna is diminishing. Because this fragile earth deserves a voice, it needs solutions, it needs change and it needs action.
"Being part of the New Hands on Deck team is such a blessing and an honour. As a representative of Fiji and the Pacific, I have something to say about my land, my home, my culture and my future."
Fenton is expected to graduate from USP soon with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and psychology.

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