Monthly Archives: July 2011

A Quick Visit to Boeing

In a follow-up to Saturdays FNB kitchen, an other action was called on Wednesday, 20 July. It was more of a spontaneous action. Motivated by peoples drive to build on the energy and focus that was present around the Talisman Sabre war games.

So 7 people got together at Brisbane Square mid-afternoon, with a megaphone, banner and a ton of flyers. The idea was initially to hit a company called Metal Storm. They are a weapons dealer specialising in new weapons technology. For example, the remote controlled, robotic grenade launcher. Specially designed for the ‘urban environment’. Sad to say they are going broke and can’t afford the rents on Queen Street anymore. They had recently moved their office out to Dara.

It was decided to walk to the offices of Boeing instead. We walked off through Queen St Mall, megaphone spruking, handing out flyers and holding out the banner. Very visual, got a lot of attention, handed out a lot of flyers, and surprisingly (but sadly for Gerry) no police or any officials paying it any attention.

It was fun to creating this spectical. A but more of a traditional ‘leftie’ action creating a bit more of the traditional responces (get a job! f*ckin hippies!) balanced by various supportive shout-outs. Finished up with the traditional brews at the pub after-event.

Through the event I heard a few people did say they couldn’t understand what was being said over the megaphone though. But at the same time created interest with positive reactions. A lot of people genuinely wanted to know what was going on. For example, pulling up at the bottle shop, some guy goes “Hey you lot did that protest today. I was working so couldn’t come out. Hey what’s going on fellas?”

At exactly the same time as this action, Sean O’Reilly and Cully were arrested blocking traffic to the Enogera army barracks. Their hearing is on the 10 August.

Here are the happy snaps!


What happened at the FNB Kitchen 16 July

The Food Not Bombs Kitchen yesterday was a great action. Significantly, the heavy rain that had been forecast did not happen! More significantly everyone involved was amazing at doing their bit to make the action work. The whole event was smooth, relaxed and fun.

The day started early with cooks in the kitchen from 8:30. There were some amazing culinary feats achieved that morning. I have never seen anyone get in and out of the West End markets as quickly as Ko. There and back in 20 minutes. On fire! And the food was absolutely delicious.

Pulling up at Brisbane Square, we found Falun Dafa had grabbed the spot we wanted to set-up, and were doing their own protest demonstration. So we set-up beside them in the middle of the Square with the banner up between two trees, and stayed for a bit over 2 hours.

A lot of people passing by showed interest and support for what we were doing, lot of good conversations were had, and plenty of flyers taken. This was one of the strengths of the day, not everyone completely agreed with our statements, but my experience was that the discussions were still rationally, open and on the issue. This is one of the cornerstones of real democracy; open, free and informed public debate. When the issue is militarism, war and the Australian army, open informed discussion is a rare thing.

Often peace or protest actions almost inevitable have a couple of inbred goons yelling abuse, and the oh so cleverly regurgitated line “Why don’t you do go get a job!” Yesterday, no one even gave us dirty looks. People appreciated the free food, smiling faces, easy, approachable atmosphere, and the professional looking banners.

The most common critical responses I heard during the day were “Our government decided this, and we voted for them so it is democratic” and “Australia needs the military and the USA to defend us against invasion from China”.

In short, my reply would generally be “The people are still excluded from making these decisions; these are made against popular opinion. That past polls have shown most people want the military budget cut and the funds spent on social services. Events like the massive anti-war marches in 2001 demonstrate most people want peace and peaceful resolutions to conflict. That China wants business and trade not war with Australia. The USA is using Australian military for their own agendas. War is now bad for business unless you are an arms dealer.”

A discussion circle during the kitchen decided to get together again at 1pm Wednesday at the same spot to do another action.

Check out the photos below.

Press Statement: Food not Bombs Kitchen against Talisman Sabre War Games

Join us at the Food not Bombs kitchen, Brisbane Square, Brisbane CBD, 1pm on Saturday the 16th of July- to voice our opposition to the Talisman-Sabre War Games, 2011.

These military ‘games’ are costing the Australian taxpayer over $100 million.

Who decided that? Not the Australian people.

The games are being held in various locations across Australia including in Shoalwater Bay, part of the Great Barrier Reef region; threatening the areas’ ecology and the existence of more than 25 endangered species.

They represent only a portion of the Australian military’s $6 million a day budget; bleeding resources from essential community services such as health, education and housing.

These games further incorporate the Australian military into the U.S Pacific Command and their system of bases in Australia.

Who decided that?

In a real democracy, citizens have a voice and control over the resources and decisions which affect them. We demand an end to the Talisman Sabre joint exercises.

For more information, our flyer is available at

Sharks Protected in The Bahamas, but not Queensland

It is being increasingly acknowledged that this planet’s fish eco-systems are verging on collapse and major imbalance.

One aspect of this is the overfishing of sharks, mostly for Shark Fin Soup. Some nations around the world are beginning to take steps to protect sharks.

Most recently, The Bahamas banned any form of commercial shark fishing in an area of almost 2.4 million square kilometers.

Honduras and The Maldives have also banned shark fishing in their territorial waters.

The Brantford and Oakville city councils in Canada that have banned the sale of Shark Finn soup, and other cities like Toronto in Canada are now considering doing the same.

The states of Oregon, Hawaii and Washington in the USA have banned the possession and sale of shark fins. California is in the process of banning the sale of shark fins. The USA has banned shark fining in it’s waters since 2003.

The Pacific Island nation of Palau established the world’s first shark sanctuary in 2009, which bans the killing of sharks in an area approximately 54000 km2. That’s about the size of France.

Hammerhead caught in gil nets

But in Queensland, the government has actively EXPANDED the shark fining industry over the past 5 years.

They have done this through expansion of the East Coast Inshore Fin Fishery, located in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. As well as the ‘Gulf of Carpentaria Inshore Fin Fishery’. These fisheries were expanded explicitly to hunt sharks for their fins.

The main regulations the Qld government has put in place are: that the entire shark body is caught and used (so they don’t just slice of the fins and dump the fish); a system of licensing (S code), these licenses include the right to hunt for shark fin in Morton Bay and the Great Sandy Straits; keeping a daily log book; and that total catches are limited to 950 tonnes per year.

However Luke Tippple claims  that fishing ships that are licensed “S code” are exempt from keeping the entire carcass of a catch.

By the way, these fisheries use ‘Gil Nets’ when hunting shark. These nets have a high level of by-catch. Some of this by-catch are endangered and threatened species. One species of threatened shark is the Black-Tip Shark. The Black-Tip Shark has been found to be sold in Coles and Woolworths as Flake. There are claims dugong and turtles as also killed by East Coast Inshore Fishery practises.

In the 2010 Annual Report of East Coast Inshore Fishery (ECIF), it appears the total catch of shark has dropped by about 50% over the last 3 years. Table 2 shows that in in 2008 they took 1114 tonnes, 2009 they took 968 tonne, while in 2010 they took 501 tonne of shark .

E.C.I.F. claim this demonstrates they are fishing sustainably. With the high price and demand for shark fin, the real reason for this substantial drop is most likely the collapse of local shark numbers in the Great Barrier Reef.

Some shark species take 15 years before reach sexual maturity, and have only one or two pups per year. So numbers are not replaced easily or quickly, increasing their vulnerability to over-fishing.

To become more aware of our marine eco0systems, start by visiting Shark Fining, like Shark Savers on facebook, support Sea Sheppard.

Then boycott Flake and all restaurants that serve Shark Fin Soup (even if you aren’t going to buy it yourself). And mostly importantly, start giving hell to Anna Bligh and the Queensland government!

New poster for Food Not Bombs

As previously mentioned, there will be a Food Not Bombs Kitchen at 1pm Brisbane Square, 16th July. It is an action against Operation Talisman Sabre.

A poster is available for download  at fnbts11poster01.

Also download and distribute the flyer.