demilitarised

Cinereous vultures on a rice paddy field in Cheorwon-gun county near the demilitarised zone in Gangwon province, South Korea. The DMZ between North and South Korea has become a nearly untouched nature refuge.

Picture: EPA/JEON HEON-KYUN

just staring at this gorgeous work makes me think oh god, i need a sci fi au so much.

bilbo as an ordinary denizen of the shire, a very fertile planet with a demilitarised civilisation whose only commerce with the neighbouring planets in the galaxy are those of trade, scientific research, diplomacy. they’re protected (though many of the hobbits don’t realise it) by a paramilitary group called the dunedain. the dunedain are extremely good at their job, as the shire has not seen war in a very long time.

erebor as a mining planet, maybe even a diamond planet? its golden towers and spires of its metropolises are the stuff of legend; it was dripping in wealth. and then smaug, a great machine of destruction, a giant AI dragon of nuclear might, destroyed the people of erebor, and thorin and his family, the royal family of erebor, had been evacuated at almost the last minute. 

they live a life of wandering from job to job, mostly mechanics, sometimes thieves, and thorin’s ship is a ragtag thing he named after his lost planet, cobbled together from parts he gets for cheap at scrapyards. they’re constantly on the run from patrols from gondor and the elves, as they are really the only law enforcement folks in this galaxy.

gandalf as a mercenary of sorts with a wide variety of connections, concerned about the return of the necromancer in the old space station of dul guldur orbiting mirkwood, as well as the destructive force of smaug, decides to encourage thorin to retake erebor, but stealthily. no need to retake erebor wth an army when you can instead get a saboteur to enter the dragon and shut it down, right? 

and of course, gandalf chooses bilbo for the job.

seriously though, talk to me about a space au.

channelnewsasia.com
Mindanao’s Indigenous Peoples gather in Manila for week-long protest
Known as the Lumad peoples, they are demanding the demilitarisation of their ancestral homelands.

[IMAGE: Students and supporters welcome hundreds of Indigenous peoples from southern Philippines known as Lumads as the latter march around the streets on Oct 26, 2015 in Manila, Philippines.]

Hundreds of Indigenous people from the southern Philippine island of Mindanao gathered in Manila on Monday (Oct 26) for the beginning of a week-long protest and awareness campaign. Known as the Lumad peoples, they are demanding the demilitarisation of their ancestral homelands.

Datu Kaylo Bontolan, a member of the Manobo Nation from Mindanao has been living in an evacuation centre for five months with his family and hundreds of other Indigenous members. The centre is hot, cramped and far away from his workplace. But he felt that he had to leave his ancestral land, following a spate of killings of fellow tribesmen and a continued militarisation of the area.

He said: “I feel sad and discontented and angry because in my own land, the Philippine army is supposed to help but instead they support the big corporations. They take away our (land and our) livelihood.”

Mr. Bontolan is a Lumad, the collective name for the 18 Nations of Indigenous peoples living in Mindanao. He is part of a convoy of about 800 protesters, dubbed Manilakbayan, who have travelled to Manila to protest against their situation.

Over the next week, they will hold a series of marches, talks and activities to raise awareness on their plight.

The Lumads, located in the resource-rich areas of Mindanao, have been fighting a constant battle over the resources of their ancestral lands. The area is heavily militarised because of threats from rebel groups and extremist organisations, and often, it is the Lumad who are caught in the middle.

There have also been a number of reported killings of Indigenous members, including one advocate who was active in protesting against alleged rights violations, mining and land conversions in ancestral lands.

From March to October this year, the United Nations documented the murders of 14 Lumad leaders, activists and villagers, including children. Attacks on Indigenous schools and teachers have also been reported.

Kerlan Fanagel, a spokesperson of Kalumaran Mindanao, Davao, said: “We want the government to pull out all the armed forces of the Philippines who have encamped in our community, in our schools and houses, and who want to systematically grab our ancestral domains.”

The protests of the Lumad have slowly gained national and international attention, with various members of the Philippine government speaking out against the killings. The United Nations has also demanded an investigation.

For people like Mr. Bontolan, he is fighting for a way of life and land that has belonged to his ancestors for hundreds of years. It is a long journey to make, but he hopes it will be worth it.