Anti-nuclear protest at Rio Tinto AGM – Melbourne, 26 May 2010

Protesters line up with placard behind Ziggy, the anti-nuclear white elephant

[Originally posted to Melbourne Indymedia]

Energy Resources Australia (ERA), the company responsible for the Ranger uranium mine recently revealed to have leaked millions of litres of radioactive water into the World Heritage-listed wetlands of Kakadu National Park (http://www.theage.com.au/environment/conservation/mine-fears-grow-as-pol…), is a subsidiary of Rio Tinto, which held its AGM in Melbourne today. In spite of extremely short notice, protesters joined Ziggy the anti-nuclear white elephant outside the Melbourne Convention Centre to voice their outrage at this latest case of contamination and to send a message of support for the Mirrar traditional custodians, who oppose the expansion of the Ranger Uranium mine.

The protest was organised by Friends of the Earth ACE (Anti-nuclear and Clean Energy) Collective, and some of those attending were just back from the annual Radioactive Exposure Tour – see http://www.melbourne.foe.org.au/?q=an/home and http://www.foe.org.au/anti-nuclear/issues/oz/radtour/2010

Another view of protest

Solidarity action with Hazelwood arrestees – Melbourne Magistrates’ Court 21 May

Protesters with placards outside court

[Originally posted to Melbourne Indymedia]

Some of the people arrested at last September’s civil disobedience at Hazelwood Power Station (see http://www.switchoffhazelwood.org/2009 and more recently http://indymedia.org.au/2010/05/06/time-to-replace-hazelwood-coal-power-station-for-climate-change) were due to face court this morning and supporters met outside the court to show solidarity and hand out leaflets to passers-by explaining the urgency of the need to close this, the ‘most polluting power station in the world’, and setting out the role of civil disobedience in the campaign. An update on court proceedings will be posted here as soon as available. (33 people in all were arrested, so further actions may be expected; there is also to be a mass protest at the station itself on 3 October, details to be posted on the Switch off Hazlewood site …)

Protesters with placards outside court

Another view of the protest

Handing put flyers outside the court

Solidarity with workers and people of Greece – 16 May

Protesters hold placards on Library steps

(Originally posted to Melbourne Indymedia – this version incorporates a correction made in a comment posted there.)

The Melbourne branch of Bash Back (http://bashbackmelbourne.wordpress.com/) issued a callout for a show of solidarity with ‘the workers and people of Greece’, adding ‘Considering that this country [Australia] has the largest Greek population outside of Greece there should be no question about the need to show solidarity.’ Only a dedicated few answered the call – admittedly at short notice – meeting at the State Library in front of the statue of Victoria’s ‘hanging judge’ Redmond Barry (still sporting a placard from the previous day’s anti-homophobia rally). The protest was informal, with various people taking turns with the megaphone; one read  the communiqué ‘Reality is an illusion; Normality is behind us’ by the Fellow Precarious Workers from the Occupied ASOEE (Athens University of Economics and Business) reprinted in  “Everyone to the Streets”, pp. 98-100 (see http://zinelibrary.info/files/everyone_to_the_streets.pdf). There was agreement a further action should be arranged, potentially at the Greek Consulate, and a stronger effort should be made to involve the Greek community.

Reading a statement

Closeup of protesters with solidarity placards

Latin-American solidarity

Redmond Barry statue - with placard and pigeons

Placard detail - But all I need is a lover

Detail of placard from previous day's rally

May 15 International day against homophobia – rally for same sex marriage!

From the march - couple dressed for marriage

As explained in a previous post, several events clashed on the day, and we arrived at the State Library only in time to catch the last minutes of the rally. There were, however, reports – not very extensive  – on some mainstream media (e.g. the ABC) and we were able to get some shots both at the Library and from the early stages of the march:

Crowd at the State Library

The turnout was impressive ...

Banners at the head of the march

Getting ready to set off ...

'Born gay' and other placards, with red flags in background

CFMEU flags

The CFMEU was one of several unions represented ...

CPSU flags

Socialist Party banner - 'Workers Unite against Homophobia'

Socialist Party of Australia ...

Radical Women placards

... and Radical Women

Marcher gives 'v-sign' to camera

More placards, including 'Jesus had 2 Daddies'

And, finally, these two amazing heroes of the struggle:

Banner of Lesbian and Gay Solidarity, held by Mannie and Kendall

(See Mannie & Kendall’s Home Page and Lesbian and Gay Solidarity)


“Melbourne Anonymous” protest against Scientology – 15 May 2010

Protester with placard - 'Anonymous against Scientology'

[Originally posted to Melbourne Indymedia]

The “Free Lolita” protesters happened to mention that another event was taking place at the same time across the road at Flinders Street station, as well as the Buddhist festival in the Square itself (http://www.buddhaday.org.au/). So we took a look and found members of Melbourne Anonymous (Melbanon) holding  an anti-Scientology protest, or ‘raid’. Mostly wearing masks of various kinds, some grotesque, they handed out leaflets setting out the charges against Scientology and referring readers to the anti-Scientology website – http://www.xenu.net.

In the accompanying photos, some faces have been blurred to preserve the anonymity – and possibly safety – of individuals (for references to attacks on protesters by Scientologists see the links on http://melbanon.com/).

See also http://www.whyweprotest.net/en/

The protest underway outside the Station entrance

Another masked protester with placard

“Free Lolita!” – Melbourne’s contribution to worldwide protest – 15 May 2010

Protesters with placards - 'Free Lolita!'

[Originally posted to Melbourne Indymedia]

While thousands rallied at the State Library against homophobia – of which more elsewhere – smaller protests took place further south, at Federation Square and outside Flinders Street station. At Federation Square, against a backdrop of the Buddha festival, a group of mostly young people joined a worldwide protest against the continued captivity of “Lolita”, an orca captured in 1970 and kept in a tank not much larger than herself. They handed out fliers and displayed placards showing photos of the Miami Seaquarium where the unfortunate creature is imprisoned.

Explaining to member of public

Passers-by stopped to enquire about the protest

Handing out fliers

Handing out fliers

See more on http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/event.php?eid=122891544387917&ref=ts and http://www.savelolita.com

Rebranding a Politician Ctd – 12 May 2010

As already reported on this site, Yarra Climate Action Now! have set themselves the target of picketting the office of Richmond MP Richard Wynne every Wednesday until the November State election in an exercise of ‘rebranding’ – see http://melbourneprotests.wordpress.com/2010/02/04/rebranding-a-politician-climate-action-3-february/ and the YCAN website – http://yarraclimateactionnow.blogspot.com/

Numbers were low on this occasion, and winter coming on fast, but the determination remains. More helpers would be welcome… (The rebranding happens from 5.30-6.30 at Richard Wynne’s office, 112 Smith Street, Fitzroy.) Soon will be the 21st session, occasion for a small celebration, perhaps?