We were on our way past Federation Square when we saw something happening that involved familiar blue t-shirts. So we went closer, just in time for this. For an explanation, visit the Australian Youth Climate Coalition on Facebook or the AYCC website.
In defiance of threats of thousand-dollar fines for taking part, as many as ten thousand construction workers rallied at Trades Hall this morning before marching to the sites of recent fatal accidents involving construction giant Grocon – the collapse of a wall in Swanston Street where three passers-by were crushed to death, and the Myer site in Lonsdale Street where long-time CFMEU member Bill Ramsay fell to his death on February 18th last. The march was self-disciplined and silent, in addition to the observing of a minute’s silence at each of the locations, with only a short burst of chanting at the end, outside the offices of WorkSafe in Exhibition Street. Victorian Trades Hall Council Secretary Brian Boyd addressed the rally briefly at the start, and at the end introduced the Victorian Secretaries of the CFMEU (John Setka), the ETU (Troy Gray), the PTEU (Earl Setches) and the AMWU (Steve Dargavel).
As well as the construction workers the rally was joined by members of a range of other unions, and banners of, amongst others, the MUA, ANF, TCFUA, NTEU, AMWU, ASU, CEPU, CPSU and United Voice can be seen in the photos below. There were also representatives of the IWW, The Socialist Party, and Socialist Alliance, as well as members of the public and university students – two of those killed by the wall collapse were students at Melbourne University.
Some reports of the rally:
(These shots can also be viewed as a slideshow on YouTube)
This site has hitherto confined itself to reporting events that have taken place; exceptionally, therefore, this is advance notice of an event in preparation:
LAKE EYRE to WEST PAPUA
Land and Sea Convoy for Peace and Justice
Looking at the ancient ways to find the new beginnings…
…Once upon a time the land was joined, Australia the big mother split from her children the islands of Melanesia. Just below the surface of the sea that now divides us are the hidden treasures of forgotten stories and cultural knowledge as we sift through the sands of time, reconnecting ancient culture, finding the story lines that reveal a deep connection with the land and people,
Water is life, follow the dreaming story of the water from the Lake Eyre basin to our brothers’ and sisters’ land in West Papua.
We have a duty of care, the People of West Papua are suffering.
“…We have a responsibility to care for our brothers and sisters from across the water, we must bring the water and the fire, the love and the music to heal the country as we move in solidarity. We were one people, we still are one people, we must hold our cultural connection, the old land is calling us…”
(Uncle Kevin Buzzacott, Arabunna Elder)
Calling on all our friends and families of all nations to join us at the shores of Lake Eyre for a music festival to celebrate the survival of the old country and to stand strong to make an action of creative resistance against the apartheid of colonization and destruction caused by multinational mining companies on this land.
From the shores of the Lake, we will follow the underground water across “Australia” in a freedom-ride convoy of artists, musicians, activist, Original Sovereigns and Indigenous ambassadors from Australia and West Papua that carry the ancient water collected from the sacred mount springs of Arabunna country, the fire from the old Lake Eyre and ashes from Aboriginal tent embassies across Australia. These offerings of peace and justice will be taken on a flotilla as a symbol to support the freedom and justice for West Papuan people.
Looking at the ancient ways to find the new beginnings..
By foot or by car, by bus or canoe, by ship or by song, by dance or by spirit you are invited to join us…
Philosophy: Recognise the rights of indigenous people and their connection to land and water.
Recognise (ab)Original Sovereignty and West Papua Independence
Human rights and Environmental justice is a struggle that belongs to all humanity.
That’s us! With that knowledge we must proceed with strength dedication and fine music xx
How you can get involved:
Donate a BOAT!!
Host an event in your town or port along the way!
Donate time energy and/or money xx
Spread the word
Write a song and sing it loud
Bsb: 633 000
Please label your donation ‘Land and Sea’ Please contact us if you would like a receipt for your donation
This is just the beginning so spread the word, keep your eyes peeled and be ready to strike!
Feel free to join us anywhere along the way
This is a rough itinerary – open to suggestion and subject to change so stay in touch.
Lake Eyre 20th-25th July
20th Set up camp
21st Welcome Ceremony/party Alberrie Creek Station
22nd Mound Spring and Lake Eyre tour
23rd Day of Action against the nuclear cycle (BYO action plans)
24th Farewell Ceremony/concert
25th Pack and Drive- camp near Coober Pedy
26th Camp near Marla or go straight to Alice
Alice Springs 27th-30th July
27th Alice Springs- Concert/movie/info night
30th Alice Springs -get supplies
31st Tennant Creek
Any suggestions for western QLD?
Drive to Cairns and get boats ready
10th August Film info night
12th to 15th August Flotilla launch
There are also more fundraising campaigns planned – benefit gigs in Sydney, Melbourne and possibly Darwin as well as internet crowd funding so keep an eye out.
Other Event Ideas- dates to be announced
1.Canberra Tent Embassy .. ashes
2. Aboriginal passport issuing and West Papua visa stamps – Melbourne Aboriginal Embassy- May
3.Lake Eyre ceremony and concert-associated actions- 20th July
4.Concerts and/or film nights in host towns on land route, collecting ashes and water
5.Launching of the boats raising of WP, Aboriginal and Torres Straight Flags- Cairns, August
4.Concerts and/or film nights in host towns on sea route
5.West Papua concert for peace and culture
The background to this story started many years ago when Uncle Kevin met elders from West Papua at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra; it was there that a connection was formed on both a cultural level and in the common struggle for land rights. Uncle Kev wants to let the Papuan People know that we recognise their sovereign right and that the indigenous struggles of both lands are interconnected. He came up with the idea for a cultural journey from his country to West Papua to draw attention to this struggle.
The campaign is not only addressing indigenous rights, it has a big environmental focus, beginning with Olympic Dams nuke and water issues then to Freeport mine in West Papua with land and water contamination. The mound springs around the lake Eyre region are sacred sites for the Arabunna people, the Artesian Basin that feeds the mound springs. The mound springs have been affected by the mining operations at Olympic Dam. There is a cultural connection via these ancient lands and waters that brought these stories together.
We are hoping to bring the vision into fruition mid this year, there has been a lot of interest in the event so far and a lot still to organise. Please share the idea with your networks.
Much love peace and fine adventures… c u out there
The poster reproduced above is for one of the fundraising events organised in Melbourne. Others are planned for May 16th and June 1st*:
*Details TBA: see http://freedomflotillawestpapua.org/events/melbourne/ See also http://www.pozible.com/project/14169
In the wake of the recent atrocities in Quetta, Pakistan,Melbourne’s Hazara community came together in Federation Square in one of a series of rallies across the country protesting at the ‘silent genocide’ against Hazaras there and elsewhere, and the failure of the international community, the UN especially, to listen to their voices. They called especially on the Australian government to cease its collaboration with agencies in Pakistan that are complicit in the terrorism, and to stop placing obstacles in the path of those trying to escape, not least those seeking to join families already in Australia. The rally began at 11am and there were still speakers waiting their turn at 1pm when the last of these photos were taken.
Apart from the larger placards and banners clearly seen, some held copies of a news photo: in the background is a billboard with the message “Don’t go to Australia by boat. Too dangerous.”
The Occupy Melbourne Legal Support Team have released a report into the actions of police at the eviction of Occupy Melbourne from the City Square on Friday 21 October 2011: it can be downloaded at http://occupypolicing.org/uploads/Occupy_Policing_2012_updateSMALL.pdf (online readable) or http://occupypolicing.org/uploads/Occupy_Policing_2012_updatePRINT.pdf (printable). (There is also an abbreviated version on Occupy Policing.)
The Report has forwards from Councillor Cathy Oke, Melbourne City Council, and Tamar Hopkins, Convenor, National Police Accountability Network, and Principal Solicitor, Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre, and is endorsed by Fitzroy Legal Service Inc., and Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre Inc.
See also Melbourne Indymedia.
Central Melbourne was overrun by zombies on Sunday 28 October – all shapes and sizes. They assembled first in the Carlton Gardens, along with an extraordinary number of onlookers and photographers, before setting off for a parade through the CBD down to the Alexandra Gardens by the Yarra. There was bit of confusion at the start, when large numbers set off at the advertised time of 2.30pm: there were no police on hand to stop the traffic and the situation became chaotic and even dangerous. Organisers attempted to recall those who had already set off, but with only limited success. The result, when the parade re-started about 3.30, was that the numbers were proportionately reduced, but remained very impressive. A few zombies held placards making explicit political protests – mainly referring to the current Victorian government’s cuts to TAFE funding – which may be taken as justification for inclusion here? There were a few community groups identifiable, including on shown in the second video below. (The quality of the video may be better on the YouTube site: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjOC80fhIps and http://youtu.be/f2P_KDNaBs0)