On 28th of September The Orkney News livestreamed to its Facebook page. The film was a short piece about the UK Islands Forum which was taking place in Stromness on that day. The livestream was from this location.
In this short film, I explained what the UK Islands Forum is and who would be attending. I also explained how it was different from the Islands Act.
Here’s the jist of what I said:
The Islands Forum is an initiative by the UK Government which brings together governments and islands across the UK. This is quite different from the Islands Act, which we already have in Scotland.
The Islands Act came out of an initiative led by Orkney Islands Councillor, Steven Heddle, to bring together Scotland’s three Islands Authorities so that they could work together more cohesively on things of importance to their communities – Our Islands, Our Future. From that came many, many months of consultations with islanders and other groups leading to the publication of the Islands Bill, which was then passed in the Scottish Parliament and we now have the Islands Act.
So 1. The Islands Forum is a top down initiative by the UK Government and 2. The Islands Act came out of the islands themselves.
I then went on to address the fact that all these people were jetting into Orkney even though we are in the midst of a Climate Emergency. I compared this approach to the Virtual Islands Summit taking place online just now via Zoom. That is an initiative which has been developed to the great success it is today by James Elsmore who studied at UHI in Orkney.
The Virtual Islands Summit is an amazing forum where islanders from all over the world discuss and exchange ideas about what is affecting their communities today. For instance I used as an example in the livestream the great work being done in the Pacific island of Niue and how it is a leader in green projects. In Orkney we have the same issues of rising sea levels and plastic pollution.
That was basically what was in the livestream. The Orkney News is community based media run entirely by volunteers. In this time when a peaceful protestor can be arrested for holding up a wee cardboard sign saying ‘Not My King’ and a young girl can be followed through the streets of Edinburgh by two police officers because she was in possession of a blank piece of paper, it is very easy to become paranoid about the extremes those in power will go to in order to limit our right to free speech and peaceful protest.
I don’t know what someone found so offensive about a very short livestream which merely explained the difference between the Islands Forum and the Islands Act. If the livestream reappears at any time on Facebook I will link it into this editorial.
Later on in the morning there was a peaceful protest which The Orkney News was not at but which we are very please to publish. Not In The News