‘Time to Rebel’ – Eureka Rebellion Anniversary Rally 23 November

Eureka flag on steps of State Library

On the eve of the Federal election – which in the event saw an emphatic end to the Howard government in Australia – unionists and others rallied at the State Library in protest at the Australian Building and Construction Commission’s banning of the Eureka flag form building sites on the pretext that it implied a pressure on workers to join a union – something denied by the unions. As Dean Mighell of the Electrical Trades Union put it ‘It’s not a union flag, but good unions use it’. To underline their defiance of the ban, the Spirit of Eureka Committee, who organised the event, had spread a gigantic replica of the flag on the steps leading up to the statue of Sir Redmond Barry, the judge who presided over the treason trial of the miners from the Eureka Stockade of 1854, and going further still, someone had wedged a smaller version under his arm …

Speakers at the rally, apart from Dean Mighell, included Robert Richter,QC, Martin Kingham of the CFMEU, another union which is proud to use the flag, Father Bob Maguire, who distributed earth taken from the site of the rebellion, Paul Murphy, a descendant of one of the miners, and Karen Jackson, a Yorta Yorta woman, who delivered the ‘Welcome to Country’. There was also suitably rebellious music, courtesy of Lita Gillies (‘Union Maid’) and Shane Howard. Towards the end of proceedings, Anne Hall, a descendant of one of the women who sewed the original flag, used a very long pole to rub Sir Redmond Barry’s nose in some of the soil taken from the site of the Stockade and from Glenrowan, where Ned Kelly made his last stand – Barry was the judge who hanged him.

There is a report on the rally at:

http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/eureka-dream-lives-despite-flag-ban/

2007/11/23/1195753307295.html

and on the ABCC action which triggered the protest, see:

http://www.unionswa.com.au/index.php?option=

com_content&task=view&id=890&Itemid=585

Finally, there is video of the rally on EngageMedia:

http://www.engagemedia.org/Members/pc/videos/23nov-eureka-engagemedia.avi/view

Ziggy the ‘no nukes’ white elephant …

Ziggy outside the GPO

With a support crew drawn from Friends of the Earth, The Wilderness Society, the International Campaign To Abolish Nuclear Weapons, the Australian Student Environment Network and others, Ziggy the ‘no nukes’ white elephant toured Melbourne in the lead-up to to the 24 November federal election, spreading the message and encouraging voters to visit the website http://www.votenuclearfree.net for a summary of the different parties’ policies on the nuclear issue. On Thursday at the old GPO he was part of the audience at an impromptu performance of ‘Vote the Bastards out!’ by a choir led by Stephen Taberner of the Spooky Men’s Chorale:

Ziggy watches the ‘choir’ assemble

(see full report and links on:

http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/vote-bastards-out)

and on Friday he helped make up the numbers at a rally protesting against attempts to ban the flying of the Eureka flag …

There is video of Ziggy and the choir at the GPO on EngageMedia:

http://www.engagemedia.org/Members/pc/videos/22nov-ziggy-and-friends.avi/view

Big Day Out Against Racism – 17 November

At the State Library

A few photos from the Melbourne rally and march which preceded a community festival in support of African communities in Australia – see http://www.racismno.org. Speakers at the State Library included representatives of the African communities – who also provided the music – as well as Greens candidate Adam Bandt and Western Suburbs Open Family youth worker Les Twentyman …

Here is the text of the callout:

November 17 – Big Day Out Against Racism

The Western suburbs Community Festival in support of African communities in Australia has joined forces with the March for Multiculturalism.

Both events will now happen on Saturday November 17.

The MARCH will start at 1pm at the State Library and participants will then invited to attend the Festival in Footscray, starting 4pm.

Festival performers include: The Conch, Ajak Kwai, Busted Onions, The Brothahood, Lorazi Red, Valanga Khoza, King Marong & more.

The two events will be a combined show of support for the African-Australian community.

Come and celebrate our multiculturalism and support the African-Australian community!

We reject the Federal Government’s attempt to isolate and marginalise the African community in Australia, and its targeting of the Sudanese community in particular.

We welcome African migrants and refugees and celebrate their valuable contributions to our community. Come and celebrate our multiculturalism and support the African-Australian community!

Together we can stand in solidarity and friendship.

Organisers of the March for Multiculturalism
Organisers of the Racism No Community Festival

One of African community speakers

Les Twentyman

On the march

More Greens on the march

Refugee Action Collective

Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group and others

Stop Repression in Pakistan – Rally 15 November

Placards on the steps of the GPO

Activists from Latin America were among eleven speaker at a rally held at the old GPO building in Melbourne on Thursday 15 November in support of the people of Pakistan in their protests against the dictatorial actions of General Pervez Musharraf. Other speakers included Jiselle Hanna from Australia Asia Worker Links, who chaired the rally along with Linda Waldron of Social Alliance, Margarita Windisch, who is a candidate for the Senate in the upcoming Federal elections on behalf of the Socialist Alliance, and Steve Dargavel, State Secretary of the Victorian Branch of the AMWU. Prominent civil rights lawyer Rob Stary also spoke, as well as two Pakistani students.

Steve Dargavel of the AMWU

There is a video including extracts from the speeches on EngageMedia:

http://www.engagemedia.org/Members/pc/videos/pakistan-solidarity-engage.avi/view

and a media release relating to the rally at:

http://socialistalliancemelbourne.blogspot.com/2007/08/margarita-windisch-socialist-alliance.html

Walk Against Warming in Melbourne, 11 November

Banner at head of walk

Melbourne once again put on a spectacular event to mark the annual Walk Against Warming, with numbers quite comparable to last year’s, and the added urgency of the upcoming election much in evidence. This time organisers chose to start at the State Library, which was better suited for the purpose than the Town Hall as last year, and the walk ended in the Alexandra Gardens, which was obviously a popular choice. Tim Costello of World Vision was the main speaker, and the banners, placards and other props spoke for themselves.

Link: http://www.walkagainstwarming.org/
Some reports in the mainstream media:

http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/thousands-march-for-climate-change/

2007/11/11/1194749385057.html

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/11/11/2087608.htm

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22739694-12377,00.html

http://uk.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUKSYD14882320071111

There is some video footage on:
EngageMedia:http://www.engagemedia.org/Members/pc/videos/waw-11nov07-engage.avi/view

and a report with photos on:

http://radicalcrossstitch.com/2007/11/11/walk-against-warming/#more-892

Sydney Indymedia carries reports from Melbourne and elsewhere, with links to photos on other sites:

http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/thousands-march-action-climate-change