Protest as Martin Ferguson arrives at Growth Conference in Melbourne, 30 June 2011

Poster advertising the conference

The speakers list at a conference entitled ‘Growth Challenge – Riding the Resources Boom to Lasting Prosperity’ had been described as “A Who’s who that’s Screwing You” (callout on Melbourne Indymedia), but in the event it was only Energy and Resources Minister Martin Ferguson who attracted a concerted protest, courtesy of Friends of the Earth ACE collective, who brought Mr Nuke Death with them…

Large skeleton puppet with briefcase of money etc

But even with his ‘Martin Ferguson’ name tag he was refused admission:
Police bar entrance

The turnout for the protest would have to be described as disappointing – for some time there were more police than protesters, although numbers evened up with time. The accompanying video clips show the arrival of Greens Senator Christine Milne, and the hostile reception given to the Minister, as well as part of an address by Dr Jim Green of FoE, and some other snippets …(Jim and friends providing some lively music …)

A face in the crowd:

Protester wearing pig mask

Another face in the crowd:

Face made up with nuclear hazard sign around one eye

And a dog in the crowd:

Dog reaching up to owner

The following media release was issued by Friends of the Earth:

‘Dump Ferguson, not nuclear waste’


30 JUNE 2011


‘Economic and Social Outlook Conference 2011′

Anti-nuclear activists from Friends of the Earth will join this morning’s protest outside the ‘Economic and Social Outlook Conference 2011′ at Melbourne University to voice concern against resources minister Martin Ferguson’s radioactive agenda.

FoE’s national nuclear campaigner Dr Jim Green said: “We hoped that the unfolding crisis at Fukushima would lead resources minister Martin Ferguson to reconsider his ill-informed pro-nuclear ideologies and plans. However his National Radioactive Waste Management Bill is scheduled to be debated in the Senate next week.

“The draft legislation is draconian, overriding all state laws and key Commonwealth laws. It facilitates the imposition of a nuclear waste dump on the land of Muckaty Traditional Owners despite ongoing opposition by many Traditional Owners and the NT Government. It beggars belief that Ferguson considers it appropriate to push ahead with his legislation while a Federal Court challenge against the nomination of the site, initiated by Traditional Owners, remains unresolved.

“Ferguson has consistently refused to meet Traditional Owners opposed to the nuclear dump plan. His behaviour has been disgraceful and he should be sacked.

“Ferguson should also be held to account for continuing to promote Australia’s uranium industry despite its role in the Fukushima disaster. The government and the uranium companies turned a blind eye to TEPCO’s pattern of safety breaches and data falsification and to its failure to properly address seismic and tsunami risks.

“Despite the hype, uranium accounts for a lousy 0.3% of Australia’s export revenue and an even lousier 0.03% of Australian jobs. The economic outlook for the industry has taken a nose-dive since Fukushima with Germany, Italy and Switzerland abandoning nuclear power in favour of renewables and many other countries rethinking plans to introduce or expand nuclear power.”

Friends of the Earth ACE website

F**kwalk Melbourne – Protest at Anti-Swearing Laws – 25 June 2011

Following on from the successful ‘Swear-in’ on June 3rd, opponents of the government’s proposed permanent legislation allowing for on-the-spot fines for indecent, offensive or disorderly language organised a ‘political fuckwalk’ from Flinders Street Station to the Bourke Street Mall on Saturday 25 June. The initial gathering at the station was rather chaotic, but once the walk got underway the message came over fairly loud and clear…

Once arrived at the mall the crowd was addressed by speakers from a convenient cherry-picker, while police and TV crews looked on…

The organisers’ media release:

WHAT: A political fuckwalk

WHEN: June 25th 2pm-3pm

WHERE: Flinders St steps to Bourke St Mall

WHY: In response to the governments proposal of permanent legislation for on-the-spot fines for indecent, offensive or disorderly language

In short;
We refuse to accept that swearing is indecent, offensive or disorderly language and can be punished with a $240 on-the-spot fine. We can not rely on police to hand out these fines fairly and feel their powers will be misused and hypocritical.
We aim to decriminalize swearing, as it does not represent the majority views of Australians. The proposal is undemocratic and will not stop violence or loutish behavior in the streets.

In long;

In 2008 the state government introduced a trial for police powers to issue on-the-spot fines of $238.90 to anyone deemed by an officer to have used indecent or offensive language in a public place. Since giving police these powers the number of offences related to public behavior shot up nearly 29 per cent between 2009/2010 and 2008/2009 year with most of the 8,266 offences committed on footpaths, streets and lanes. This proves that police are taking advantage of this law and issuing fines rather non-frugally and hypocritically.

Under the definition of “public place” in the Act, swearing is illegal on any public highway, road, street or bridge.
It is also illegal in any “race-course, cricket ground, football ground or other such place”
Also out of bounds is any “wharf, pier or jetty”
Swearing is also prohibited in “any public hall, theatre or room while members of the public are in attendance”.
Swearing is not permitted at “any licensed premises”. Frankly, if you swear, you’re fucked.

We aim to prove the difference between swearing and anti-social, offensive or violent fuckheaded behavior. In our view, violence, loutishness and fucking around like a total asshole is completely unacceptable and welcome laws to combat this. However combating swearing itself is not the answer.

RULES!!!: Just because you can swear does not mean you have to. The aim of the fuckwalk is so we can swear casually to express ourselves without punishment – not so we can swear excessively.
In no way are we condoning anti-social, aggressive or fuckhead behavior. Abusing police is absolutely not on. They are simply doing their job – governed by rules from fuckwit politicians.

Enjoy the fuckwalk responsibly and in accordance with the law.

Fuckwalk or fuck off!

Some photos from the different stages of the event:

At the station -

Some of the crowd at Flinder Street Station

At the station - Jakob Grech speaking

At one of the stalls - f**k hat

Dog in crowd at station

On the march –

Setting off up Swanston Street

Turning into the mall

Further along the mall

Placard in the mall - 'DANG, There, I said it'

Speakers and audience in the mall -

Sue Bolton and others on cherry-picker

Another speaker

The same speaker, more passionate

The same, more passionate still

Another speaker

In the crowd  - bare back with 'FUCK SHIT' in texta

Part of the crowd in the mall at the end of the speeches

Nuclear Abolition Day – ‘Re-imagining the Bomb’ – ICAN action 25 June 2011

Peopl gathering around the easels

Melbourne’s contribution to ICAN-coordinated global actions for Nuclear Abolition Day took the form of a call to ‘Re-imagine the Bomb’ – people were invited to convert an image of a bomb into something else using pen, crayon or spray can …

Easel on Princes Bridge with poster explaining the invitation

Take-up was rather slow at first. Many of the passers-by in the first half-hour or so were on their way to the MCG and couldn’t afford to more than take a quick look, but by the end there was quite a collection, several contributed by young artists:

Young girl drawing
Same girl taking a break for thought

This sometimes involved a high degree of concentration:

Young boy drawing, tongue sticking out, watch by brother and mum ...

This also was done by a young lad:

Bomb converted into part of clock tower of church

This ‘nukulele’ was another contribution:

Bomb-shaped ukelele decorated with flowers

Campaign Director Tim Wright was there to set an example, as this sequence shows:

Beginning the transformation
Stage 2 - the bomb has become a car ...

Adding the driver ...

Finished work - two cars with house and trees, clouds ... and cat

More artists at work:

Two adults at the easels

And some more of the finished articles:

Bomb converted to cartoon figureBomb converted to mother holding hands with children on either side
Bomb becomes angelBomb as fish
Bomb as deep-sea diverBomb as end of tunnel