Solidarity with Aotearoa/NZ arrestees – International Day of Action

Banner at Federation Square

Under the slogan “Activism is not Terrorism” about 70 Melburnians joined a protest rally at Federation Square at noon on Saturday 27 October – one of a series of such rallies scheduled across the world to express opposition to the recent and ongoing attacks on activists and dissent in Aotearoa/NZ. MC was long-time Indigenous Rights activist Robbie Thorpe of the Krautungalung people of the Gunnai Nation, the traditional owners of Lake Tyers. Other speakers included Sina Brown, Sina Brown, Polynesian Anti Globalisation Activist;Marisol Salinas Mapuche, Environmental Activist, Lasnet; Rayna Fahey, Treaty, Green Activist; Will Anderson from Civil Rights Defence; Liz Thompson, Ongoing G20 Arrestees Solidarity Network, FairWear; and Anthony Main, Alliance for Civil Disobedience Coordination, Socialist Party. Waiata/song was provided by Ivan Davis (Tainui). Statements were also read out by representatives of the Anarchist Black Cross ( see http://indymedia.org.nz/newswire/display/74026/index.php) and Socialist Alliance ( see http://www.greenleft.org.au/2007/729/37796) – and there was an open mic session at the end. As reported elsewhere (http://indymedia.org.nz/newswire/display/74008/index.php) there was also fundraising involving cupcakes …
See also:
http://www.indymedia.org.nz/
and:
http://www.civilrightsdefence.org.nz

There is video of the rally on EngageMedia:

http://www.engagemedia.org/Members/pc/videos/27oct07-nz-small.avi/view

Protest at NZ Consulate – Solidarity with 15 Oct arrestees

Placard outside the Consulate

The street theatre may have looked light-hearted, but there was anger as well as mockery in the air outside the building housing the NZ Consulate in Melbourne. Speakers condemned the arrests and intimidation of activists in Aotearoa, while the ‘air attack’ on the building highlighted the absurdity of the terrorism charges. There is a report with pictures at

http://indymedia.org.nz/newswire/display/73864/index.php.

For up-to-date coverage of the events see
http://indymedia.org.nz/feature/display/71723/index.php
and other postings on the Aotearoa Indymedia site.
See also http://uriohau.blogspot.com/

There is video of this protest on EngageMedia -

http://www.engagemedia.org/Members/pc/videos/16oct-nz-small.avi/view

Protest against Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews, 11 October

Outside the Sofitel

The Immigration Minister was speaking this morning at a conference in Melbourne’s Hotel Sofitel, which seemed a good occasion for public spirited citizens to lend a hand with the drive to enrol new citizens … They came with a specially prepared test – given in full below – and those who passed were rewarded with a genuine vegemite sandwich, nicely warmed in the Spring sunshine. There was also plenty of zinc cream on hand in case a change of colour was needed.

‘Passed the test’

The test itself was not too hard – as one person remarked ‘you don’t need to be right, you only need to be white’. Even so, at least one person failed, admitting she ‘[didn't] actually like vegemite’.

‘Doesn’t like vegemite’
The event was organised at very short notice by Melbourne-based activist group ACDC – or Alliance for Civil Disobedience Co-ordination – and attracted plenty of attention. The Minister himself apparently got in through a side entrance, so it remains uncertain how he would have performed in the test.
As well as the test, passers-by were also handed copies of a recent rebuttal of Kevin Andrews claims issued by the African Think Tank, see http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/immigration-minister-s-allegations-african-refugees-are-unfounded-and-unsubstantiated.
More photos, from Transfer Press on http://www.flickr.com/photos/transferpress/sets/72157602359082962/

Media links:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/10/11/2056606.htm

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/10/11/2056475.htm?section=justin

The test:
THE AUTHENTIC AUSTRAYAN CITIZENSHIP EXAMINATION

The Australian citizenship test is:
A) played on boxing day
B) a cynical attempt by the Australian government to show they can
filter out international terrorists and not workers with low level
English
C) free with every pot and parma
D) a good idea

Australia’s first Prime Minister Edmund Barton famously said:
A) “The doctrine of the equality of man was never intended to apply to
the equality of the Englishman and the Chinaman”
B) “Why must they insist on calling me Toby Tosspot!”
C) “I just don*t know about letting Queensland join”
D) “You know what I think Australia needs? Big things. Heaps and
heaps of big things. I mean I’m talking giant prawns and sheep and
bananas and rocking horses. Ah ha gentlemen.”

The past two hundred years of Australia’s history are:
A) a specialised narrative that if told right gets you on the ABC
board
B) an unfinished war
C) super chillaxed, like one big bar-b-que
D) not something we really need to think about

Immigration minister Kevin Andrews comments about cutting African
refugee numbers was:
A) A sensitive well measured response to the death of a young man
B) Based on the UN refugee agency advice
C) An unusual example of the Liberals using race politics in the lead
up to the election
D) Strange because we don’t let Africans into Oztralia – do we?

Apartheid was first introduced in:
A) Australia with the Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the
Sale of Opium Act 1897 (Qld)
B) South Africa in 1913 with the Land Act
C) 2005 Cronulla
D) 2007 Northern Territory

The 72 Tamil and 7 Burmese Refugees currently incarcerated on Nauru
show that:
A) We have come a long way since Edmund Barton
B) We are a compassionate and flexible county,
C) It helps to be a white Zimbabwean farmer if you’re seeking asylum
in Australia
D) Anybody want some zinc cream?

An Alliance for Civil Disobedience Coordination (AC/DC) initiative:
call 0421 979 694 or 0434 088 766 for more information