More on Walmadan – September 24 and 27, Melbourne

Campaign supporters line up with candles on steps of Victorian Parliament
Melbourne supporters of the campaign against the Woodside gas hub project at Walmadan/James Price Point in WA have continued their activities: last Saturday saw the second Community Gathering at Northcote Uniting Church, organised by Walmadan is Calling, and last night there was a candlelight vigil at the Victorian Parliament House, organised by United Peoples of Australia.

Immediately before the vigil there was also an info night at Kindness House in Fitzroy, and many attended both events. It was a moonless night and the weather was kind:
.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

.

The Community Gathering was less fortunate, at least as regards the weather: it was cold and blustery outside for the first part of proceedings, an acknowledgment of traditional owners and smoking ceremony, followed by speakers and music. Later in the evening the bands took over inside the church.
Video of the gathering can be seen on EngageMedia here, or on YouTube:
.

In addition to her message to the protesters at Walmadan, Alex Bhathal also announced an initiative to hold Federal Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson accountable to the people of his electorate of Batman, in which the gathering took place and where she and many of those involved live. For details of a petition to Federal Parliament which voters in the electorate were and are invited to sign, follow this link.
.
MC for the occasion was Kim Murata, who also joined Marie Casanova and Dandelion Jackson on stage. As well, Elijah Augustine and other members of his family plus Tim Parry of what is now the Melbourne branch of Save the Kimberley got people dancing with a rendering of Stompin Ground; Greg Thorpe sang a song for the Kimberley written in collaboration with Rodney Augustine; Tim Parry shared a song he wrote while up at the blockade. Inside the church there were performances by Jessie Lloyd and the Sunshine Sisters, The Promises, and
Captain Groove followed by Lamarama to wrap things up. Snippets of all this on the accompanying video.

Advertisements

Walmadan Country is Calling – Community Awareness Gathering, Northcote, 27 August 2011

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Following on from the very successful ‘Keep the Kimberley’ rally on August 14th, campaigners in Melbourne organised on Saturday what is planned to be the first of a series of awareness raising gatherings. Not a protest in the strict sense, perhaps, but part of the campaign and so included here. See the Walmadan Country is Calling Facebook page for details and other reports, including photos.

Footnote: campaigners in Ireland opposing a Shell refinery at Bellinaboy blockaded a road on Friday 26 August and dedicated this action as an act of solidarity with the community of Broome. See http://www.indymedia.ie/article/100410.

“Keep the Kimberley” – rally at State Library, Melbourne, 14 August 2011

View over rally, stage to left, sacred fire right

There was a marked difference in mainstream media attention towards the two Melbourne rallies on Sunday reported here: a veritable scrum at the one, seemingly total absence at this. Fortunately, organisers had put together apparently put together a team to collect photos and video, and a preview has already been posted via the event’s Facebook page. So this report is really only a supplement.

Perhaps as many as a thousand people attended in all, many having answered the call to

*COME DRESSED IN RED TO REPRESENT THE PINDAN (RED DIRT) OF THE REGION’S REMARKABLE TERRAIN, THE BLOOD OF THIS COUNTRY*

(From the callout.)

The red Save the Kimberley t-shirts sold out.

What the mainstream missed was a succession of inspiring speakers, singers – including veteran Shane Howard – and a finale from Dan Sultan and his band that had young and old dancing. And what is shaping up to be ‘bigger than the Franklin’.

Follow ‘Keep the Kimberley’ on Facebook

The video – see below – hopefully will give an idea of what was said, sung and done.
………………

“Welcome to Country” came from Wurundjeri Elder Ringo Terrick:
.
Wurundjeri elder Ringo Terrick
.
Broome musician Tanya Ransom and Liz Stringer from Melbourne sang:
.
Tanya Ransom
Liz Stringer
.
Munya Andrews, an Aboriginal barrister from the Kimberley was one of the speakers:
.
Munya Andrews
.
Kimberley Traditional Owner Neil McKenzie:
.
Neil McKenzie

Shane Howard:
.
Shane Howard
Shane Howard silent
.
Two more speakers, Kevin Blatchford from Save The Kimberley and Felicity Wishart from the Wilderness Society:
.
Kevin Blatchford speaking
Felicity Wishart speaking

MC was Nikki Ashby:

Nikki Ashby at the microphone
………………….

Round and about:
.
Banners on back of information tents
.
Message to Martin Ferguson to leave the Kimberley alone

.
Sacred fire as centre of ring of people
.
Closer view of people gathered aroung fire
.
Closeup of fire
.

Neil McKenzie stooping over fire

Neil McKenzie bathes himself in smoke from the fire before speaking


.
Two young girls with Save the Kimberley placard
.
Some - slightly older - campaigner sitting on the steps with placards
.
Boy with skeleton design on jacket
.
Aboriginal flag knitted patch on back of jacket
.
Little girl dancing
.
Another shot of little girl dancing
.
Grown-ups dancing

………………….

Finally, photos of Dan Sultan and the band:
.
Dan Sultan and band on stage
.
Another shot of the band playing
.
Guitarist closeup
.
another of the same
.
Yet another
.
Drummer in foreground
.
Another band member, seems amused?
.
Dan Sultan introducing band members
.
The band in full swing
.
Closeup of Dan Sultan
.
Another closeup
.
Another
.
Another

.