Author Archives: happyanarki

About happyanarki

This is about me and my perspective of the world. My rants, views, and actions.

Reply to Rebel Worker, Dec 2016 and April 2017

Hello Rebel Worker,

It’s with more than a little surprise that I see my comment from an unrelated internet forum on libcom.org from several years ago being reprinted up within the Rebel Worker, Dec 2016. And to be honest I wouldn’t have known, if not for the heads up from a friend.

I think it is an important for the new generation of anarchist to freely discuss and debate techniques and issues in syndicalist organising. I apologise for my lateness of reply. But I think that it is in fair proportion to the lateness of your publication of my reply I made to a post on libcom.org from several years ago.

So, to your editorial comment – “My Mob” (as you refer to it) was the Brisbane Solidarity Network (BSN). It no longer functions, but in 2012 we were perhaps one of the most active anarchist groups in Australia at the time. Its objective was to spread the idea of grass roots syndicalist organising to people unfamiliar with it.

You are correct to say BSN wasn’t serious about long-term organising to create a Railways Section. But it was never meant to be about building new organisations. Rather the technique of Solidarity Networks is to support and encourage grass roots, direct action among workers within existing Unions, among people without access to Unions, or among tenants with bad landlords and no support. The organising model aimed to offer a flexible network of support for people which can’t be provided by established Unions. There has been a lot of successes with this model, including from Sydney Solidarity Network. There have also been a lot of problems that deserve honest discussion.

The objective of syndicalist organising should be to encourage people into action themselves, take on struggle and make it their own. Every effort must be made to avoid vandgardist actions that just create empty paper empires and Facebook posts. This is what is truly dis-empowering. The world doesn’t need another acronym claiming an ‘anarchist syndicate’, when in practice its just 2 people behind a keyboard.

We are in an age where the very concepts of direct action, direct democracy and grassroots solidarity in the workplace, are often unheard of. So any attempt to raise consciousness, knowledge and skills are important acts, if only to plant the seed in people’s minds

This is why ‘our mob’ didn’t get behind your paper. It wasn’t that it was a refusal, it’s more that the Rebel Worker seemed largely irrelevant and of little use at that time. There is plenty of other good material out there to use. So we went with handing out short guides on direct action tactics and workplace sabotage, as well as guides to democratic organising in the workplace. But just so you know, Rebel Worker did get to the tables of some of the BSN stalls at other locations.

So I am now going to answer the letter in April 2017 about BSN from both yourself and ‘Brisbane Reader’ …  fair call on 7/11 workers, but lets not forget that no one else beside the ABC picked it up either, and so good on the ABC! There are so many sites of struggle going unnoticed. But otherwise, yeah what-ever. I’m not personally involved in any of what you have just thrown out. But you’re both sooooo off the mark, as to reinforce yourselves as coming across as dogmatic haters just throwing mud. And that is part of the reason why the Right is advancing.

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Industrial Workers of the World Brisbane – USA Prison Strike Solidarity

On the 9th September, 2016, Industrial Workers of the World will help organise and advocate for a General Strike of prisoners in the USA. Below are some related materials for download.

1-4-2016-texas-prison-strike-flyer

brisbane-iww-prisoner-solidairty-flyer20126

Don’t Forget Those on the Inside

 

There was a simple solidarity action held by Brisbane Branch in Radcliffe Square, Brisbane, 9th September. A small crew set-up an info table with free zines, held up a banner, and handed out the solidarity flyer. The weather was drizzly and overcast, so there weren’t a lot of people on the street.People in Brisbane generally don’t respond well to this type of weather. Just not used to it.

Regardless we got 100 flyers out, had a lot of good and supportive discussions, and were there for an hour and a bit. Then Brisbane City Council officers told us to move on because we didn’t have a permit under the ‘Freedom of Assemblies Act’ (fun irony right?)

At the same time The Paradigm Shift on 4ZzZ 102.1fm ran a Prisons Show, which included various interviews around the topics of Prison Abolition. These can be heard by Podcast here. And if was great to see a supporter come down and join in as a result of listening to the radio.

Here are a couple of happy snaps. (Don’t mind the greek guy looking grumpy, he was actually having a good time lol)

iwwprisoneraction02iwwwprisonsaction03

iwwprisonsaction01

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To get into touch with Brisbane IWW then email iww-brisbane at riseup.net

Related reading material:

https://iwoc.noblogs.org/

https://itsgoingdown.org/organizing-prisoner-class-interview-iwoc/

https://talkpoverty.org/2016/07/11/next-step-organized-labor-people-prison/

Call for International Anarchist Action in Solidarity with US Prison Strike

 


Brisbane Regional Anarchist Spokescouncil

A PROPOSAL for a BRISBANE REGIONAL ANARCHIST SPOKESCOUNCIL

FIRST  “trial run” of BRISBANE REGIONAL ANARCHIST SPOKESCOUNCIL MEETING

SUNDAY 26th JUNE — 3PM TO 5PM– at 28 Vulture St, West End

beside Sol Breads and Bus Stop 9 West End State School

SOCIAL – DINNER and DJ FROM 5pm


BRIEF
That anarchists in Brisbane begin consciously forming and naming affinity groups (temporary or permanent depending on individuals). That we (individual anarchists, affinity groups, and larger collectives) begin meeting every quarter (3 months) in a structured Regional Spokescouncil. All individual anarchists, without organisations or affinity groups, are actively encouraged to participate equally in that Spokescouncil.

BENEFIT
Brisbane culture (I think) has traditionally worked on various overlapping social circles, which has many benefits. But can make it difficult to communicate outside those circles.

A regular and reliable Spokescouncil allows a publicly visible space for anarchists from different groups and situations to come together, give feedback on what they have been doing, give proposals for what they want to do, and co-ordinate actions and resources. It provides a proto-type to General Assemblies and Federated Assemblies. If we can do this right, we can do something bigger next.

Furthermore it provides the experience and structure for Brisbane anarchists to co-ordinate, and move into, a position of leadership during one-off or spontaneous events. For example, Lady Cintro and Baby Asha earlier this year. As a standing structure, anarchists are then ‘ready to go’ when the time is right. It provides a proto-type for dual powering Reformist or Statist mass organising.

It also means that people need to think in a more focused and strategic way about their (A) politics. This avoids the various ‘liberal poverty tourists’ and random fluff that can, and has derailed good solid actions just because it is ‘popular’. That revolutionary organising isn’t a hobby or ‘cultural experience’.

Details of the POINTS OF UNITY:
# The Spokescouncil is open to participation from people identifying as anarchists, libertarian socialists, libertarian municipalists & social ecologists from the greater Brisbane Region.

# Initially anarchists from Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba and other areas of regional Qld or Northern NSW can participate, with the long term expectation to grow local movements and local Spokescouncils.

# That participants from other regions are allowed by Spokescouncil invitation; or request and consensus in meeting. Otherwise those affinity groups or anarchists are to have the position of ‘Observer Status’. It should be remembered that this is a Brisbane Regional Spokescouncil. Participants who are not going to stay in the region should not be able to ‘fly in and fly out’ of the Spokescouncil, without an active connection and responsibility to the region. There will always be exceptions to be dealt with as they arise.

# People who are members of political parties, or do not publicly identify as anarchists, are to be refused participation; with Observer Status by request and consensus in meeting. This is our (anarchist) organising space. Other groups and politics already have their own spaces.

# We should discourage other people using the Spokescouncil to be able to casually ‘drop in to see what the anarchists are up too.’ Either you participate or you don’t.

# The Spokescouncil’s role is to facilitate broader communication and Mutual Aid style co-operation between dispersed anarchist groups or individuals in the Region. It should be a task focused space that’s for getting work done, and connecting people through actions. Socialisation activities can, and should be tied to the event.

# A small ‘organisational collective’ to be delegated by the Spokescouncil to carry out tasks incidental to organising meeting space and promotion of the Spokescouncil. These people are acting as delegates and are recallable at every Spokes by 2/3 majority vote.

# Admin procedures are to be kept to a minimal. Constitutionalism or codification is to be avoided. Meeting process junkies should be kept in line,  as should the flippant ‘whatever goes’ ramblings. This is a ‘task space’ we should strive to be efficient with our time in it. Direct Democracy is about taking responsibility for your own behaviour, and not expecting others to manage it for you.

# Individuals are to take responsibility for their own behaviour and language. Inappropriate behaviour or language to be dealt with quickly by facilitator and other participants, with mind to protect the flow of discourse. The Spokecouncil is to be a welcoming and co-operative place for all people to stand as free individuals, inclusive of all forms of gender, ethnicity and history.

# The Spokescouncil should cultivate a degree of ‘professional association’ between people with personal conflicts. Criminal or abusive behaviour is best dealt with by the police at this stage, as the local movement does not have the strength or experience to deal with it ourselves yet.

# The meeting date to be kept as something simple to remember, like midday the first or third Saturday of the month for example. That once it is set, the date doesn’t move or get changed as this just generates unneeded confusion and debate about new dates and times. If it lands on some date that is ‘busy’ say Mothers Day etc, well then people just don’t go. So let’s check the calendar to minimise these possibilities.

# The Spokescouncil ought to be mixed into a broader social event for anarchists. Most of the background work and discussions will happen informally. So we should create social events around the Spokescouncil to facilitate this. For example, 3pm Spokescouncil start with 5pm finish; 5:30 pm Food Not Bombs (FNB) dinner with music or film screening after. But let’s be flexible, lets have fun!

 

*******

The Brisbane Regional Anarchist Spokescouncil does not …
a)    make group proclamations or statements. Individuals or affinity groups speak for themselves only;

b)    approve or disapprove an affinity groups actions. Each group is responsible for their own actions, (and therefore the consequences). Critic or feedback may be sort through the Spokescouncil …. and most likely given in social spaces outside the meeting. Everyone has the right to freely co-operate in a spirit of Mutual Aid. No one has the right to demand that others give them energy, resources or time.

c)    allow the space to be used for egotistical grandstanding; to carry out personal character assassinations; group therapy for personal issues; or allow the space to be used as a personal conflict airing platform. Any individual engaging in this behaviour is to be asked to leave immediately …. no exceptions. Let’s talk about the idea, not the individual. Let’s make things happen, let’s not bog down in others crap.

WHAT IS A SPOKESCOUNCIL?

“A spokescouncil is a collection of affinity groups and clusters (a collection of affinity groups), who meet together for a common purpose, often civil disobedience. “Spokes” is short for “spokesperson”, selected by each affinity group or cluster to represent them in the spokescouncil”

It is a structured meeting to facilitate communication between affinity groups, collectives and individuals.  Communication is focused on getting consensus or sharing information. In this instances this does NOT mean the liberal/protest approach of winning 100% support for a particular position, or your right to individually BLOCK as position for personal reasons. Consensus is about understanding the ‘group mind’ and reaching the best overall outcome. The process is about Direct Democracy, that good open debate reaches the best understanding. There are no binding decisions, no laws, just personal agreements and understandings. But breasking personal agreements usually results in a personal refusal to co-operate in the future.

Affinity groups and Spokescouncil is an old anarchist organising model that was popularised during the Spanish Revolution. It also was the successful working model for many Australian direct action campaigns, including Woomera. An affinity group is basically and small group of friends who develop and work on a common task or project. It is dynamic, self-defining and entirely autonomous. During the Spanish Revolution many militias worked on this model, making them incredibly hard to penetrate by Statist spies.

In a Spokescouncil, each participating Affinity group selects a delegate to speak during the meeting. The delegate is to present the ‘group mind’ of the affinity group, and does not have the power to make decisions on behalf of the affinity group. During a Spokescouncil it is normal protocol for the affinity group to sit behind the delegate, so the delegate can make quick references to the group on topics being discussed.

An individual can be a participant of a number of different affinity groups. But can only be the delegate for one affinity group. You can’t swap delegates during a meeting, unless the whole affinity group wishes to remove them for misrepresenting the group (from which you’d assume they no longer wish to work with them).


WAR, PEACE, BORDERS AND THE STATE — an Anarchist view

(written by long-time Brisbane anarchist Barbra)

“Nationalism has never been anything but the political religion of the state” R.Rocker

Over the last 25 years the Australian anti-war /peace movement has followed either an Anti US imperialism line or a moral line that war is immoral, violence is wrong. While acknowledging the truths in these analyses, both approaches fail because they don’t take into account the role of the nation state in Australia and elsewhere and its use of nationalism and militarism in creating the conditions that allow our different governments to go to war to support US imperial adventures in the Middle East and Afghanistan. Consequently, their appeals to various Australian governments to stop particular wars has met with failure.

Modern states are quite artificial entities based on the idea originally of one people inside the borders, or one language or religion or “race”. The Tamil and Rohingya  refugees are fleeing nation states that are ideologically driven by a nationalistic form of Buddhism that sees no place for people who are not part of the dominant ethnic group.Both of these states have been accused of genocide. Meanwhile, in the civil war, Tamil leaders were fighting under their own form of nationalism

In modern Australia we claim to be multicultural so do not promote these ideas but instead claim to share “certain values” but these values are largely defined by key opinion makers and politicians and can be manipulated to fit situations that arise like economic down turns, influx of refugees or the election cycle{remember Howard and Abbot}. In fact one of the ways that the state has historically increased its power has been by creating crisis like the “weapons of mass destruction” and then offering to protect the population while at the same time curtailing civil liberties and increasing militarization of civilian life e.g. the creation of Border Force. Another example was the military intervention in indigenous communities in the Northern Territory

While we live in the age of economic globalization, the nation state has the purpose of keeping the population in an acquiescent state, one in which business and investors have confidence. Its role in providing services for the population has been reduced by neoliberalism so other aspects of its role, like controlling the borders,  have become more prominent. Its role in this regard has been accompanied by a growth of nationalism stirred up by moral panics from time to time and fueled by an increase in militarism over the last 25 years as successive governments have poured money into history research and teaching in schools about the Anzacs. Fighting in overseas wars has been presented as a key element in “who we are”. Other narratives like our record in the 20th century in stopping wars {World War 1 anti- conscription campaigns, Vietnam War} and in struggling for a more just society have been ignored.

Moreover nationalism allows the ruling elites to avoid the question of economic and political exploitation and to instead focus on the “good of the nation”. Class struggle is hopefully replaced with a nationalistic sense of belonging so that we seeracist attitudes among people who have little power themselves but who identify as ‘Aussies”.

The nation state sees “border protection” as a core role of any government. For example it’s not refugees as such that are seen as a threat but refugees who don’t follow the rules of entry as defined by the state. There are Syrians on Nauru while Syrian refugees are welcomed when the government wants to show its “generosity”. Workers are brought into the country to suit business needs under special visas but to be judged an economic refugee will get you deported if you come to Australia by boat.

 

“The greatest bulwark of capitalism is militarism” Emma Goldman

Militaries like multinationals are extractive institutions. In the case of the military they consume enormous resources and produce nothing. However, as explained by Noam Chomsky in many of his books, the state gives public funds to the military for research, development and building of war materials and the corporations can then benefit from this research by installing the new technology with minimal expenditure to themselves. Building submarines in South Australia was presented to the public as important for workers jobs although workers would benefit in the long run by their re employment in jobs that are environmentally friendly and sustainable.Undoubtedly local and overseas corporations were the real beneficiaries.

Moreover, the reliance of capitalism on growth and exploitation of people and the planet has led to imperialistic interventions which have fueled military growth and the growth of state power. No matter which party is elected they have to support the armed forces which are the final force to be brought in if people take part in civil disturbances or widespread strikes in their attempts to change the inequality of power in the economy or society. First action a new state makes is to set up an army and police force to protect the people and institutions that hold economic and political power.

The situation of offshore detention centres and attempts to place refugees in other countries like Cambodia illustrates the coalition of these forces of State policing of national borders, imperialism and capitalism. Multinational companies that run offshore detention and onshore centres have interests in many different industries in Australia and overseas. For example, Serco employs100,000 people worldwide in 30 countries and Transfield operates in 25 countries. Serco also runs private prisons in Australia.

As we all know prisons contain a disproportionate number of indigenous people and people from low socio-economic backgrounds’ people who have suffered from colonialism   and the effects of capitalism.

Australia , as a wealthy first world country can use its power to find poorer countries who will host our offshore detention centres or in the case of Cambodia, take refugees that Australia wants to offload. Locals in Manus and Nauru resent this Australian neo colonialism

 ——

How then to break this cycle? Here are some actions which people are carrying out and ideas for other approaches.

Anarchists believe that greater participation by the people in making decisions in areas that affect their lives–the workplace, the family, school, the community, the allocation of resources etc will lead to a decrease in nationalism as anger and resentment over inequality and lack of power will lessen.  Therefore any action that promotes an egalitarian, non- authoritarian and non- hierarchical practice and organization will promote the growth of a counter power to capitalism, militarism and the state. We promote direct action rather than appealing to governments and political parties. We do this not because we are opposed to “reforms” and small gains but because we want governments to be forced to concede by popular opposition as this increases our confidence and strength and because we recognize that whatever a government grants, it can at some future date take away unless the strength of popular power prevents this happening.We believe that such actions reflect our values and promote our vision of a future society.

Obviously these general idea needs to be brought down to some practical application. Here are some things which have been used by activists.

  • Direct action at nuclear facilities, mines and dumps
  • Direct actions at arms fairs, joint military maneuvers like Talisman Saber, army recruiting centres, protesting warship visits
  • grass roots workplace organizing-start discussion groups or online blogs that look at how unions in the past have used direct action against war e.g.
    • The IWW in WW1,
    • the wharfies refusing to load iron ore that was being sent to Japan before WW2,
    • the wharfies preventing Dutch troops embarking for Indonesia after WW2
  • Making links with workers internationally who are in the same industry or who have similar politics e.g. the anarcho-syndicalist IWA-AIT, Industrial Workers of the World.
  • actions at work against capitalism –go slow campaigns, work to rule, sabotage, sickies, general strike.
  • Workers should demand redeployment from industries producing war materials to industries that benefit people
  • university students during the Vietnam War investigated the military’s connection with research on campus and exposed the influence of the military industrial complex’s links with universities. They demanded the end to such links. Moreover, they questioned the role that universities play in society and the type of knowledge gained there. Student movements in Canada and South Africa have been engaged in grass roots organized struggle recently
  • Counter propaganda. Many of us are teachers, parents or grandparents. We have the right to have a say in schools through parents and citizens meetings. Demand that schools teach other narratives about Australia rather than  just ANZAC triumphalism—the war between indigenous peoples and settlers/police following the invasion of Australia, the long history of anti- war activity and the fight for social justice over the last 150 years by workers, women, LGBTIQ people, environmental activists,students and indigenous people
  • For those of you who believe in non- violent direct action –discuss social defence options which by their nature are participatory, involving all sections of the population not just the young and fit.
  • People who are antiwar but not pacifists can read up about the working class citizen’s militias that fought in Spain in the Civil War while at the same time taking over the industries and farms and running them directly without bosses or landlords. Their militias were organized on non- authoritarian lines without the hierarchy of a national army.
  • promote egalitarian organizations that will work alongside groups like refugees in a spirit of mutual aid to change the present migration policies. Always ensure that such work promotes self organization by the refugees themselves and not the growth of NGO style organizations
  • Think about linking refugee struggles with other struggles e.g. indigenous struggles against colonialism. Another group is the unemployed and under employed who must “work for the dole”. The use of ‘ work for the dole” and the use of the “basics card”is another way by which the state separates people and creates“borders” around these groups by treating them differently to the rest of the population with sanctions for “unacceptable” behaviour. This is all part of creating “borders”/division in the general population. While we are divided, the state and capitalism is secure
  • Beware of supporting struggles that are national liberation struggles that aim to set up a new nation with a new set of “leaders”.

 

Suggested Reading—most of this can be found online.

*Nationalism and Culture by Rudolf Rocker –see Anarchist Archives.org

* Free Women of Spain by Martha Ackelsberg {available online}

*War is the Health of the State by Randolph Bourne

*No War but the Class War –Libertarian Anti War Writings

*Against the Nation by Robert Ogman

*Anarchists Against the Wall    [eds} ObalGreitzer& Uri Gordon

*Against Nationalism—Anarchist Federation http://www.iaf-ifa.org

*Nuclear War and Environmental Catastrophe by Noam Chomsky

*The Anzac Myth by Joseph Toscano

*What’s Wrong with ANZAC? by Henry Reynolds & Marilyn Lake {ed]

*The Continuing Appeal Of Nationalism by Fredy Perlman

*How the World Works by Noam Chomsky or any other of his many books

 


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 https://happyanarki.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/talisman-sabre-colour1.pdf


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.


Death Threats against Climate Change Scientists.

High profile scientists involved in studying climate change have been targeted with numerous death threats, verbal/emailed abuse and harassment.

“It is clear that there is a campaign in terms of either organised or disorganised threats to discourage scientists from presenting the best available climate science on television or radio,” Professor David Koroly from the University of Melbourne.

It has gotten so bad, the Australian National University has moved it’s scientists to ‘secure locations’ and began using security measures.

This parallels the ‘Right-wing Christian Movements’ in the USA, who held a co-ordinated and unco-ordinated campaign of terror and misinformation to undermine the teaching of evolution and to restrict abortion.

The motive in regard to the Climate Change issue, is that a significant number of people feel very, very, threatened by the facts of climate change. Because then they will have to face up to changing their lifestyle, accepting complicity, and possibly affect their income. We are talking about people like Hugh Morgan, who  are willing to do anything to protect their little bubble. And in the process, fuck up the rest of the world for us.

What we are seeing is the greed and selfishness of individuals coming out in the form of a campaign of serious bullying, and deliberately creating confusion. It would not surprise me, if a lot of this is linked through the networks Right Wing Think Tanks and Young Liberal Party members.

I wonder if the Federal Police, ASIS and ASIO have ‘Climate Change Deniers’ listed in their Terrorist Database? I reckon if a ‘Leftie’ or ‘Muslim’ network was doing this, the Feds would be dragging people out of homes by now.