Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Anzac Day, a day of reflection: on civil religion, national identity, patriotism, war, sacrifice, living in the light

Photograph from here

Over at TheConscience Vote, there is a post here
which allows you to memorialise your relatives who served

It is sometimes suggested that there are two very public markers which demonstrate the civil religion of Australia: the first is Anzac Day, the second is Carols by Candlelight.

Paul Barratt has to-day raised a very important issue surrounding Anzac Day.

@abcreligion to-day has drawn attention to the article by Stanley Hauerwas - Sacrifices of War.  This article is a good reflection for to-day to draw attention to the addiction of war; the penetration of religious sacrifice into the sacrifice of war. As usual, Hauerwas is provocative; he makes us use our grey matter; he causes us to pause, to reflect, to think, to turn our heads around into looking anew at the old and to bring about a new outlook and a new way of being our true selves.

War is a mighty practice, a power that destroys those ennobled by the force of war. We are fated to kill and be killed because we know no other way to live. But through the forgiveness made possible by the cross of Jesus we are no longer condemned to kill. A people have been created who refuse to resort to the sword that they and those they love might survive. They seek not to survive, but to live in the light of Christ's resurrection.
The sacrifices of war are no longer necessary. We are now free to live free of the necessity of violence and killing. War and the sacrifices of war have come to an end. War has been abolished.abolished.

Further reading:

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Lest We Forget --- Anzac Day 2012

Thanks to Sam Watson for directing me to the above visuals.

Green Left Weekly Activist Calendar 2012-04-25

Wednesday, April 25
Rally: Ceremony for the fallen and forgotten Koorie freedom fighters. 10am. Domain, St Kilda Road, City.
Thursday, April 26
Friends of the Earth: The Big Ask gig. Friends of the Earth Melbourne is calling our community to support our vital work. We need your support and financial help to continue campaigning on the big issues in 2012 and beyond. FoE Melbourne does not receive corporate funding and this means we rely on the support of our members, donors and volunteers to fund our campaigns and keep our organisation running. Bands:Tehachapi; Strangers From Now On; Mouth Tooth; Emily Shobbrook; & Slam Poet, Kirsti Whalen. Speakers:Cam Walker, Friends of the Earth Campaign Coordinator; Tully McIntyre, ACE Anti Nuclear Clean Energy Campaigner; Shaun Murray, Quit Coal Collective; Jonathan La Nauze, Murray Darling Campaigner; Louise Sales, Nanotechnology Campaigner. 7:30pm. Phoenix Public House, 133 Sydney Rd, City. Tickets: $15/$12; $10 presale. For more info & bookings visit FoE.
Public meeting: Indigenous footballers & the AFL. Tony Birch, writer and university lecturer on Indigenous footballers & the AFL will look at the issues surrounding the participation of Indigenous Australians in football, and the way that Indigenous footballers are portrayed in the day-to-day reporting of the AFL. This discussion will analyse the various incidents of the last few weeks. 6pm. Jika Jika Community Centre, cnr Union & Plant Sts, Northcote (near Westgarth Station). A Footy Almanac Seminar. To confirm your interest please email Tony Birch.
Friday, April 27
Rally: International workers memorial day: Remember the dead, fight for the living. Support the global union campaign for safer, healthier, better work. In addition to the international theme, Australian unions are focussing on industrial deaths caused by exposure to toxic substances, most notably asbestos. 10:30am. 'Remembrance Rock’, cnr Victoria & Lygon Sts, Carlton South. For more info ph 9659 3511. Ross House tenant Industrial Deaths Support and Advocacy will be hosting morning tea following the event in the Trades Hall Meeting Room 1.
Rally: Phoney2012. Defend a citizen journalist assaulted and arrested for filming activism at Federation square. Ring their numbers, complain and ask for a public apology, restitution and a change of policy when dealing with citizen media. 12 noon. Federation Square, cnr Swanston & Flinders Sts, City. There will also be a petition to send to the minister responsible for Fed Square you can sign on site. Video of the 'arrest' atPhoney2012.
Rally: Occupy Friday. Every Friday Occupy Melbourne is reclaiming City Square for the people so we can rebuild our spirit of community, show people we're still here, still keen and that we can change the world. Join us for peaceful public assembly and political discussion. 12 noonm-10pm. City Square, cnr Collins & Swanston Sts, City. For more info visit Occupy Melbourne.
Friday, April 27-Sunday, April 29
Sydney Conference: 2012 Climate Action Summit. A great way to meet people, build skills and get involved in campaigns to bring about a shift in the climate debate. Hundreds of activists from all over the country will come together in what will prove to be a not to be missed event. We are still confirming speakers and workshops. We invite climate groups and activists to submit workshops for the conference. University of Western Sydney. Program and details at Climate Summit.
Saturday, April 28
Rally: Mantle Mining's going away party. Mantle Mining has been in Bacchus Marsh for some time now, with the aim of opening up a huge open cut coal mine and coal drying plant there. Mantle's exploratory drilling program is coming to an end and we want to make sure they get a nice big send off to say 'Goodbye and hope you don't come back!' 10am. Eddie O'Toole Reserve, Main St, Bacchus Marsh. Speakers: Don Nardella (MP); Kate Tubbs (Moorabool Environment Group); Katheryne Smyrk (Quit Coal). For more info visit Quit Coal.
Rally: Malaysia's BERSIH 3.0 Melbourne solidarity gathering. Join us as we gather in solidarity with Malaysians worldwide in sending a strong message to the Malaysian government, because the authority of the government can only come from the will of the people as expressed in genuine, free and fair elections. The three demands of Bersih 3.0 are: (1) The Election Commission (EC) must resign; (2) The electoral process must be cleaned up before the next general election; and (3) International observers should be allowed to monitor the polls. 2pm. Federation Square.
Fundraiser: Lizard rising. The Lizard is rising up through our industrial wasteland to warn us about the potential apocalyptic endeavours of BHP in the sacred sands of northern SA. BHP plans to expand Olympic Dam mine to be the biggest uranium mine in the world. To raise some funds to mobilise the Desert Liberation Front into action at the gates of the mine on July 14. Come enjoy an evening of performance and music including: Rapskallion; Combat Wombat; Porcelain Punch; Of Prey; Racless; Monkeymarc; Flying Rats; Dj Soph fiya; Dj Helmy; Sam Star; Dame Dusky; Last Measure; Damage Deluxe; Awsk; Mini the Mutant; special guest Uncle Kevin Buzzacott aka Buzwapa. 4pm until 11:30pm. Irene's Warehouse, 5 Pitt St, Brunswick. Entry $15/10. Food Not Bombs serving 7:30pm.
Concert: The Exploited Australian tour. Formed in 1979, The Exploited is one of the UK's most politically outspoken thrash bands, which has built a strong and loyal following both at home and abroad for its anti-authoritarian stance and criticism of the government, particularly in the Reagan/Thatcher era. 8pm. The Corner Hotel, 57 Swan St, Richmond. Tickets from Corner Hotel.
Monday, April 30
Rally: Make It Real: National Disability Insurance Scheme 2012. We want to see the biggest rally of people with disabilities this country has ever seen so that the National Disability Insurance Scheme becomes a reality. 12 noon. Federation Square, cnr Flinders & Swanston Sts, City. For more info visit Make It Real.
Public meeting: Environmental justice in your community. 'Environmental justice' was coined in the 1980s in the United States by activists and academics to describe the unequal racial distribution of environmentally harmful activities. Since then the concept has been developed further by communities, activists, lawyers and academics to encompass not only the distribution of environmental harms and benefits but also rights to recognition and participation by citizens and communities in decisions affecting their health, amenity and well being. Presenter: Elizabeth McKinnon (lawyer, EDO). 7pm. Kellaway Avenue Neighbourhood Centre, 5 Kellaway Ave, Moonee Ponds. For more info ph 9379 1185 or visit Friends of Steele Creek. Presented by The Environment Defenders Office & Friends of Steele Creek.
Tuesday, May 1
Rally: Defend the right to protest. Defend the Max Brenner 19. 19 pro-Palestine activists on trial for civil disobedience. Stop Bailleau's criminalisation of dissent. 9am. Outside Magistrates Court, 233 William St, City. Organised by Students for Palestine.
Rally: May Day day of action. This MayDay, individuals and groups will be assembling at the Eight-Hour Monument, cnr Russell & Victoria Sts opposite Trades Hall to kick off the days celebrations and protests. If your group is planning a May Day activity, feel free to drop us an email and we will put in on the events page on May Day. Bring your signs, flags, appropriate clothing & accessesories for the weather, water and food for the day. Note: Be prepared to party.
Rally: May Day rally on May Day. March in solidarity with workers in struggle everywhere. 5:30pm. State Library, cnr La Trobe & Swanston Sts, City. Organised by Australia Asia Worker Links.
Public meeting: Launch of postcard campaign against insecure work. Come to the launch of a postcard campaign to tell the ACTU that insecure work is an important factor contributing to unequal pay. Get behind the call for the ACTU Congress to kick off a campaign for secure jobs that mobilises rank-and-file workers and builds a mass movement in workplaces and puts feet on the street. Ever been a casual worker, paid peanuts and treated like crap? The ACTU is currently heading a campaign against the epidemic of insecure work and we're hosting our own campaign in support. 6pm. The Elms Family Hotel, 269 Spring St, City. Presented by Pay Justice Action.
Campaign Website launch: Launch of This website has been an important resource for activists in Victoria for the past six years. Thanks to funding from the Victoria Law Foundation, Fitzroy Legal Service, the contribution of legal workers, activists, and writers, and the support of the RMIT Human Right Education Unit we are proud to be launching a new, up-to-date and more comprehensive site. Please join us to celebrate. Speakers: Rob Stary, Tasneem Chopra, Gary Foley, and Occupy Melbourne. Debate: 'Activism Doesn’t Pay' facilitated by Sebastian Prowse, featuring Cam Walker (Friends of the Earth), Lizzie O’Shea (Maurice Blackburn) & Julia Dehm. Entertainment: Izzy (Combat Wombat), Oud performance by Fadil, and spoken word artist Sista Zai. 5:30pm. RMIT University, Building 56, Level 4, Room 81 (enter via Queensberry Street), City.
Film screening: Home. The first film that has been made using aerial-only footage. The film marks artist-activist Yann Arthus-Bertrand's feature film directorial debut and is a call to environmental action. 6pm. Ross House, 247 Flinders Lane, City. Entry by donation. Ross House's The Big Picture series screens on the first Tuesday of each month.
Film screening: May Day film night. 7pm. Democritus Workers League, 538 High St, Northcote. Organised by Melbourne May Day Committee. For more info ph 9349 4411.
Wednesday, May 2
Public meeting: Keep Melbourne liveable! No new tollway! Emergency community meeting. Join community leaders, transport experts and Adam Bandt MP to find out what we can do to protect our community from the Baillieu government's plan to drive an East-West tollway through our community. 7pm. Dan O'Connell Hotel, 225 Canning St, Carlton.
Public meeting: Western Sahara: Africa's last colony. Speaker: Malak Amidan will tell the story of the Western Sahara conflict and the situation of human rights in her homeland. She will share her experiences of life in the occupied areas of Western Sahara where her people have been living in unbearable conditions for 37 years trapped in the territories occupied by Morocco where they suffer human rights abuses. Malak Amidan is a Saharawi human rights activist and trade unionist. She lives in the occupied zones of Western Sahara. 2pm. Room E405, Level 4, Building E, Footscray Park Campus, Victoria University. Presented by Victoria University School of Social Sciences & Psychology. Please RSVP by Friday, April 27 to Amanda Rea or ph 9919 2685.
Public meeting: Dispute mapping workshop. Discussion with local and international activists involved in current airline disputes. Who flies the planes? Who loads the food onto aircraft? Who does the maintenance? Where are we weakest? Where are we strongest? What's the best strategy? Where should we apply pressure? 6pm. Evatt Room, Trades Hall, cnr Lygon & Victoria Sts, Carlton South. Presented by Australia Asia Worker Links.
Thursday, May 3
Rally: May Day wreath laying at 8-hour monument. 5pm. Opposite Trades Hall, cnr Lygon & Victoria Sts, Carlton South. Organised by Melbourne May Day Committee. For more info ph 9349 4411.
Rally: May Day multicultural event. 6pm. New Ballroom, Trades Hall, cnr Lygon & Victoria Sts, Carlton South. Organised by Melbourne May Day Committee. For more info ph 9349 4411.
Book launch: The Activists’ Handbook & CSG Northern Rivers campaign presentation. 6pm. Experienced social and environmental activist, prominent activism educator and writer Aidan Ricketts will be the Wilderness Society Victoria's special. He will be launching his new book: The Activists' Handbook. He will also speak about his work on the cutting edge 'CSG-free Northern Rivers' campaign. For more information about Aiden's work or to get yourself a copy of The Activists' Handbook in advance visit Activists' Handbook. Please RSVP to Pia by April 30. The Loft, Level 2, Kindness House, 288 Brunswick St Fitzroy. For disability access ph Pia for entry on 0412 739 201. All welcome.
Friday, May 4
Rally: Occupy Friday. Every Friday Occupy Melbourne is reclaiming City Square for the people so we can rebuild our spirit of community, show people we're still here, still keen and that we can change the world. Join us for peaceful public assembly and political discussion. 12 noon-10pm. City Square, cnr Collins & Swanston Sts, City. For more info visit Occupy Melbourne.
Saturday, May 5
Rally: Save weekend penalty rates. 'You can't haz our weekend.' Some of Australia's biggest in the banking sector are scheming against our weekend. They're lobbying to get rid of penalty pay rates on Saturdays and Sundays by proposing we define weekend hours as ordinary business hours. This will allow them to get away with paying weekend workers no compensation for giving up time that everyone else is enjoying to relax and unwind. Join Workers Solidarity Network in telling the fat cat bankers 'You Can't Haz Our Weekend', by joining a protest at 11am outside the Commonwealth Bank on the corner of Bourke & Elizabeth Sts, City. For more info visit Workers Solidarity Network.
Rally: Belgrave climate impacts rally. The rally will focus on link between climate change and more extreme fire weather days. This will be one of many events across the globe focusing public attentionon the many impacts that climate change is already having on people, animals and ecosystems as part of the 350.0rg Climate Impacts global day of action. BYO climate change=bushfires placards. 10am. Ranges Community Health Centre, 1624 Burwood Highway, Belgrave. For more info email Belgrave climate rally or ph 5968 2824.
Launch: LIP magazine. LIP is an independent magazine for young women that aims to provide intelligent, thoughtful content for our equally intelligent and thoughtful readers. You may not find crass sex advice and body-shaming fashion pages here, but you will discover wonderful new female artists and musicians, a fresh outlook on feminism, and enough sass to shock the fainthearted. 8:30pm. John Curtin Hotel, near cnr Lygon & Victoria Sts, Carlton South. Entry plus mag $15, entry alone $10. All proceeds go to keeping LIP in print. For more info, visit LIP Mag.
Sunday, May 6
Socialist Alliance May Day toast: Day of workers’ and international solidarity. Celebrate May Day with Socialist Alliance. Join us for a May Day warm-up: brunch, music, speakers & toast. Brunch from 10:15am, speakers & toast 10.45am. Resistance Centre, Level 5, 407 Swanston St, City (opposite RMIT). Speakers:Malak Amidane (trade unionist from El Aaiun, Western Sahara) will talk about the unfair treatment of Saharawi workers at the Bou Craa phosphate mine as well as the harsh punishment for Saharawi protesting for the right to self-determination; Paul Gilbert (assistant secretary, Australian Nursing Federation); Mohammed Zaher (Afghan community). Following the toast, we will join the official May Day march which starts at 1pm from Trades Hall. For more info ph 9639 8622 or 0413 377 978.
Rally: May Day march 2012. 1pm. Assemble Trades Hall, cnr Lygon & Victoria Sts, Carlton South. March followed by speakers & concert. Organised by Melbourne May Day Committee. For more info ph 9349 4411.
Tuesday, May 8
Public meeting: MAPW Victorian branch dinner: Reporting on war. Author and historian Richard Trembath is co-author of Witnesses to War, a book on the history of Australian war journalism. The dinner will be as usual at La Notte, 140 Lygon St, Carlton (near Queensberry St). $30 fixed price for a tasty and substantial meal, student members subsidised $15. RSVP to Carole or ph 9023 1948.
Rally: Vigil against the Afghanistan War. Is Australia withdrawing from the Afghanistan war? It seems clear that our military involvement is looking at continuing for quite some time yet. So let's keep the message strong: Stop the war. When we mean withdraw, we really mean withdraw. 4:30pm. Parliament Station, Spring Street, City.
Thursday, May 10
Pub night: What's the state of the climate? Zero Carbon Moreland's May pub night will look at the key messages from the recent State of the Climate report produced by CSIRO and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Leading the discussion will be Shoni Maguire from the Centre for Australian Weather & Climate Research (a partnership between the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO). Come along to learn about observations of Australia's climate and analysis of the factors that influence it. Zero Carbon Moreland pub nights occur regularly on the second Thursday of each month. 6pm. Little dining room, Edinburgh Castle, cnr Sydney Rd & Albion St, Brunswick.
Concert: Psycho-punk/ska/anarcho-folk-billy conflagration. With Admiral Ackbar's Dishonourable Discharge bringing their punk/ska rhythms back to the Bendigo, supported by streetpunk old-schoolers Spew'n'Guts, revolutionary anarcho-folks A Commoner's Revolt and psycho-billy psycho-punks Where's Grover. $5 solidarity price, $5 for those that are unemployed, and $5 for all the rest. 8pm. Bendigo Hotel, Collingwood.
Friday, May 11
Green Left Weekly Comedy Debate 2012: Australia needs an Abbott-proof fence. A sparkling night of progressive comedy. Hosted by Rod Quantock. With Matthew Grantham, Courteney Hocking, Toby Halligan, Minister for UnAustralian Affairs (aka Greg Fryer), Xavier Toby & Nellie Thomas. 7pm (for 8pm start). Coburg Town Hall, 90 Bell St, Coburg. Dinner & bar available. Tickets: $40 solidarity, $25 regular, $12 concession. Bookings strongly recommended: visit GLW comedy or ph 9639 8622. A fundraiser for Green Left Weekly.
Saturday, May 12
Rally: Stop Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. Third anniversary of the death of Aboriginal transgender woman, Veronica Baxter (March 16). 11am. Old GPO, cnr Bourke & Elizabeth Sts, City. Organised by Indigenous Social Justice Association.
Rally: National rally for marriage equality. Thousands are expected to march alongside one another in solidarity to demand that the Australian dederal government amend the current disciminative law prohibiting marriage equality. Let's keep up the pressure! Please invite every supporter of equality that you know! Let's make it big and loud so we won't be ignored! 1pm. State Library of Victoria, Swanston St, City.
Public meeting: Occupy & Beyond: Part 1 Share your thoughts on the strengths, weaknesses, successes and failures of the Occupy movement in Australia. Whether you were involved or not, everyone has a unique experience of Occupy and everyone has valuable insights to share. The forum will run in at least two parts. Part 1: Reflection and Evaluation. What was Occupy in Australia? Part 2: Future, Ideas, Solutions, Direction. Where might Occupy in Australia go to from here? (Date/ & venue TBA.) Part 1 at 12 noon-5pm. Melbourne University. This event is not endorsed by any Occupy movement, or any political organisation, but the idea has risen from people who have been contributing to or observing Occupy Melbourne. For more info visit Occupy Melbourne.
Tuesday, May 15
Book launch: The Road to Rainbow Liberation. Marriage, sex and gender rights today. Around the world, LGBTI people are under constant attack. The economic and social attacks are endless and conservative governments are constantly attempting to curb their rights. The radical queer movement has a long history dating back to the Stonewall Riots, a protest movement against brutal police and state repression. But the dream of queer and gender diverse liberation is an unfinished one, and requires mass action to rebuild it from the ground up. Join Socialist Alliance for the launch of the newly published pamphlet Road to Rainbow LiberationSpeakers Rachel Evans (co-author, Socialist Alliance member, queer rights activist & a founding member of Equal Love campaign); Graham Willet (queer historian, author & editor of Secret Histories of Queer Melbourne); Simba Kennedy (Youth gender diverse group (YGender) convenor). 6:30pm (meal from 6:30pm). Resistance Centre, Level 5, 407 Swanston St, City (opposite RMIT). Refreshments available. Organised by Socialist Alliance. For more info ph 9639 8622.
Public meeting: Victoria's flora &amp fauna: Where's the guarantee? For threatened species such as the Leadbeater's Possum, Victoria is a dangerous place to live. As developments like native forest logging and native vegetation clearance drive many species closer to extinction, Victoria's biodiversity laws do little to protect them. The Environment Defenders Office has will release a report in late April on Victoria’s biodiversity laws in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to allow logging in Toolangi and the Victorian government's decision to wind ba (Law Reform Director, Environment Defenders Office); Luke Chamberlain (Campaigns Director, The Wilderness Society (Victoria)); Kylie White (Executive Director, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment). 5:45pm. 60L Green Building, 60 Leicester St, Carlton. Register at Forests. No charge but registrations are essential.
Public forum & radio play allegory: Turning the Titanic. Concerned about complacency, denial, government inactivity and reversals on global warming issues? Make your presence felt by coming to this public forum and help 'turn the Titanic'. The newly updated radio play allegory Turning the Titanic will be performed. Presented by A GRAND Stand for the Environment Inc. Guest Facilitator: David Spratt (co- author of Climate Code Red). 7:30 pm. Civic Centre, 699 Doncaster Rd, Manningham. For more info ph Catherine Tinel 0412 746 022 or visit Turning the Titanic.
Concert: Public Enemy 25th anniversary Australian tour. 'My place in hip-hop is not to be a tycoon, making trillions with a yacht . . . My place is maybe bringing people together and me being able to identify and illuminate a cause, and we'll make it comfortable for them to be themselves but say what they've really been wanting to say all along . . . with my protection.' (Chuck D) 7:30pm. The Palace, 20-30 Bourke Street, City. To book visit Public Enemy.
Thursday, May 17
Public meeting: Altona loop: one year since timetables were changed. An opportunity for community conversation with leaders on the impacts of timetable change on train services one year on, solutions, and how long before we get real improvement? 6:30pm. Altona RSL, Sargood Street, Altona. Organised by Altona Loop Group.
Friday, May 18
Rally: Protest Israeli apartheid: Boycott companies that profit from occupation. Demonstration targeting companies in Melbourne that profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestine. 6pm. Old GPO, cnr Bourke & Elizabeth Sts, City. Organised by Students for Palestine. After a march and speeches we will be returning to Trades Hall where we will have a forum on Al Nakba (the catastrophe).
Public meeting: Al Nakba forum. Ilan Pappe joins us via video link to demonstrate that Israel was born through the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948. Organised by Students for Palestine. 7pm. Trades Hall, cnr Lygon & Victoria Sts, Carlton South.
Saturday, May 19
Public meeting: Get angry, get active, if not now, when? Resistance and Socialist Alliance present a day of radical ideas and discussion to give young people a political voice, and talk about how we can go about campaigning around different issues and get organised. This will be a day of radical ideas for radical youth who want to help make a change in the world around them. We will have 5 workshops for the day, discussing various issues which effect young people, and a range of campaigns we are involved in. Workshops include: 11:30am-12:45 Womens/queer/transgender rights & Refugee rights; 12:45-1:30pm Lunch break; 1:30-2:45pm Environmental campaigning & Arts, culture & activism; 3-4:30pm Youth exploitation & how we fight it. Radical musician and activist Mitch Cherry will also play us out with some songs of protest to finish the day. 11:30am-4:30pm. Resistance Centre, Level 5, 407 Swanston St, City (opposite RMIT).
Sunday May 27
Concert: Anti-Flag / Strike Anywhere Australian tour. 'Get up! Your voices are needed!' Justin Sane shouts on Anti Flag's new studio album, The General Strike. Recorded and produced by Anti-Flag at their home studio The General Strike is poised to be the sound track for the masses of dissatisfied private citizens that are currently protesting corporate injustice and governmental power around the world. Doors 7:30pm. Hifi Bar, 125 Swanston St, City. To book visit Anti-Flag.
Sunday June 17
Rally: World Refugee Day rally & march. 20 years too long, end mandatory detention. Speakers, then march to the Emerge Festival in Fitzroy. Bring your banners, signs & messages. 12pm. State Parliament House, cnr Spring & Bourke Sts, City. Organised by Refugee Action Collective. For more info visit Refugee Advocacy Network or ph 0413 377 978.
Tuesday June 19
Public meeting: US forces in Australia: Security or threat? Speakers: Richard Tanter who is writing extensively on this topic; Nic Maclellan who will discuss the effect on our neighbours of this even closer relationship with the US military; Okinawan Australian Maki Yohana; and aspeaker from the Philippines. MAPW has joined with several other organisations to inform and discuss a campaign around the expanding US military presence in Australia and implications for our region. 6:30pm. Trades Hall, cnr Lygon & Victoria Sts, Carlton South. For more info visit MAPW.
Saturday, July 14
Roxby Downs, South Australia Rally: The Lizards Revenge. Music & art festival. Response to the governments decision to expand Olympic Dam mine. Sleeping underneath the ground there is an old sleepy lizard, Kalta. The lizard ain't so sleepy anymore. BHP is mining right into that lizards body. The government has just approved an expansion of the Olympic Dam uranium mine, making it the biggest uranium mine in the world. Kalta is angry and wants revenge. Arabana elder Kevin Buzzacott is calling the people of the world to help the lizard shut down the mine. He is calling for people to come and heal the land in the name of peace and justice for the next 10,000 generations to come. For more info email Izzy.
Friday, July 20-Sunday July 22
Adelaide Conference: Resistance National Conference 2012: Time for Revolution! University of Adelaide, Union House. For more info ph 0437 714 786 or visit Resistance.

Geelong & regional Victoria

Friday, May 4
Concert: The Salon presents: The Dead Peasants & friends. 'Because after the revolution every intersection will be a dance floor' (Pat (the Bunny) Schneeweis). Through our music and artistic expression we are able to reach out to people and connect with them on a level which has been switched off by the mainstream. One which exists beyond the bounds of profits, beyond the realms of language. We create societies the likes of which we wish to see. Come join the Salon for its opening gig; a celebration of art culture and politics. 7-10pm. 229 Malop St, Geelong. Entry by donation.
Saturday, May 5
2012 Green Left Weekly May Day dinner: Demand & celebrate the right to strike! With special guest Len Cooper, secretary, Communication Workers Union (Vic) & a founding member of the current Right to Strike campaign. 7pm. Downstairs, Trades Hall, 127 Myers St, Geelong. $40 solidarity, $30 regular, $20 concession (prices include dinner). Entertainent, drinks available. Organised by Socialist Alliance in support of Green Left Weekly. For more info or bookings ph 5222 6900 or 0458 747 726.
Tuesday, May 15
Geelong One Fire reconcillation film screening: Mad Bastards. 'A beautifully measured take on violence and redemption . . . irresistible . . . a sublime soundtrack . . . a triumph in every sense.' (94 mins) Screening followed by discussion. 7:30pm. Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-op, Lot 62 Morgan Street, North Geelong (please park outside the entrance and follow the signs). Donations appreciated. Please let us know if you need help to get there: Geelong One Fire. For more info visit Geelong One Fire.
Friday, May 18
Red Cinema presents: Made in Dagenham. Made in Dagenham (released as We Want Sex in Germany and Italy and We Want Sex Equality in France) is a 2010 British film directed by Nigel Cole.Starring Sally Hawkins, Miranda Richardson, Rosamund Pike and Jaime Winstone. It dramatises the Ford sewing machinists strike of 1968 that aimed for equal pay for women. The film's theme song, with lyrics by Billy Bragg, is performed by Sandie Shaw, herself a former Dagenham Ford clerk.7pm (meal available from 6:30pm). $15/$10. Downstairs, Trades Hall, 127 Myers St, Geelong. Organised by Socialist Alliance in support of Green Left Weekly. For more info or bookings ph 5222 6900 or 0458 747 726.
Wednesday, May 23
Wonthaggi Public meeting: Climate change: the solutions. Can we solve the problem and do it responsibly? Matthew Wright, award-winning energy expert, working with Melbourne Universities Energy Research Institute, will show how an Australian transition to 100% renewable energy is possible within 10 years. 7:30pm. Town Hall, McBride Ave, Wonthaggi. For more info ph Aileen Vening 5672 2677 or Chris Heislers 0419 556 381.
Wednesday, July 4-Sunday July 8
Bendigo Conference: Students of Sustainability 2012. Students of Sustainability (SoS) is a five-day camping conference full of inspiring workshops, forums, tours, discussions with students, activists, Indigenous groups, academics, environmentalists, and communities from around Australia. It's an awesome opportunity to meet like-minded people, to share knowledge and skills related to current environmental and social justice issues and have lots of fun. Bendigo Campus, La Trobe Uni, Bendigo. Subsidised tickets are available for those who need them. For more info visit SOS.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Sign here please .... for viable baseload solar power stations - URGENTLY



It would mean a lot to us if you took a moment to add your name because:

           Unless CO2 emissions drop dramatically in the next few years, the planet is likely to heat up by 4°C by the end of the century, making parts of it  uninhabitable for most species, including ourselves.  

           Australia is on track to becoming the world’s fourth largest greenhouse gas emitter, and one of the planet’s biggest contributors to climate change.
           This is because of the massive amount of coal we export for coal-fired power stations, as well as our own domestic use.  And our coal exports are rising rapidly.

           Australia therefore needs to take urgent action to switch to renewable energy and break our dependence on fossil fuels.  

           A plan for Australia to make a complete change to renewable energy by 2020 has been designed and costed by Beyond Zero Emissions, using technology which is now available.  This plan includes Baseload Solar Power Stations, which can store energy.  The designers of the BZE plan suggest NSWSA and Queensland as the most suitable locations for the initial three power stations. All Members of Parliament have been presented with the BZE plan.

           The switch to renewable energy is possible but needs full government support to get started and encourage investment.  The cost of three Baseload Solar Power Stations is estimated at approx. 1 billion dollars.

           The Carbon Tax introduced in 2011 was a good start but will not have an effect on investment in renewables for around 15 years, which is too late. 

           We believe the government needs to take the hard decisions to fund large baseload solar power stations and make them viable as a matter of urgency.  

After you've signed the petition please also take a moment to share it with others.  Together we can reach heaps of people and help create change around this important issue.

Thank you!
Naomi and the BBCCA group
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The Victorian Climate Action Calendar 23 April -

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Wombat Park Daylesford in all its autumn glory is open to-day.

Marvellous Open Garden to-day
Wombat Park Daylesford
Autumn is a wonderful season in which to visit Wombat Park
See you there to-day.

Animals, Art, Philosophy and Raimond Gaita - all for free

Symposium | Animals in Art and Philosophy Part 2 – Raimond Gaita keynote

April 20, 2012

In Flesh and Blood: Animals in Art and Philosophy

Still from Robert Bresson’s 'Au hasard Balthazar'
The second symposium in the series In Flesh and Blood: Animals in Art and Philosophy run by the Centre for Ideas at the Faculty of the Victorian College of the Arts (University of Melbourne) will take place on Tuesday, 24 April.
The draft program is as follows:
10.30 – 1.30: Animals, the law and politics
Justin Clemens ‘Man is a swarm animal’
What is it about ‘man’ that makes him a candidate for politics and the political? What makes human being-together a properly political question and not just a question of species-activity or genetic determinism? In this presentation, I examine a pun of Jacques Lacan. This is S1, l’essaim; S-one, the swarm. To date, this pun has, at best, been taken as a suggestive metaphor; at worst, as just another meaningless word-game, entirely typical of Lacan. My argument is that — if sometimes a pun is indeed just a pun — this pun is more than that. In fact, it provides a concept that bears centrally upon the relationship between technology, politics, language and psychoanalytic formalisation. At the end we find, indeed, that, for the later Lacan, man is indeed a swarm animal.
Cressida Limon ‘Animal Inventions: Haraway’s dog, Derrida’s cat and Spidergoats-in-law lives’
In this presentation I consider the links between the invention of animals in the creation stories of Genesis and the contemporary practices of patenting animal life forms as intellectual property. The question of law’s invention of animals will be addressed via a consideration of other animal inventions: Haraway’s dog and Derrida’s cat have something to teach us about intellectual property.
Connal Parsley ‘Border: law’s traditions, cinema’s possibilities, and the representation of the animal (and the human)’
This paper considers aspects of the role that the representation of the animal has had in the formation of the human person in the juridical tradition, aspects which I suggest are reflected in the representation of animals in contemporary film and literature. Through a discussion of the recent film Border (Armenia, 2009), and drawing on the work of Giorgio Agamben and Roberto Esposito, this paper asks about cinema’s possibilities for a different use of the representative apparatus and a different approach to the human’s knowledge of both itself and animals
Marc Trabsky ‘Law in the Slaughterhouse’
My aim in this paper is to explore how sacrifice becomes in the specificity of a spatial history an activity of place-making and a practice of lawfulness. I maintain that the relationship between law and the animal is inextricable from the human activity of place-making and moreover critical animal law needs to account for the different traditions of ordering space. I therefore gesture towards a jurisprudential reading of the situation of the animal by tracing the sacrificial rituals that guarantee the lawfulness of the place of the slaughterhouse.
 2.00 – 4.30 pm: Keynote Lecture by Professor Raymond Gaita (University of London and Australian Catholic University) discussing themes raised by his book The Philosopher’s Dog.
The first of the themes I would like to discuss develops a claim that Cora Diamond makes in her seminal paper ‘Eating Meat and Eating People’. She argues that discussion of the significance of the fact that human beings are animals, and more generally part of nature, often betrays a misunderstanding of the nature and importance of the ethically inflected ways we speak of human beings in, as Diamond puts it, ‘our life with language’. In most discussions of these matters, philosophers prefer to speak of persons or of rational agents.
Looking especially at the later sections of Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, I develop in The Philosopher’s Dog what I dubbed a ‘naturalism of surfaces’ — an account of the importance of the living human body, its many inflexions and demeanours in response to other human beings and animals, to the development of concepts as basic as sensation and thought. This kind of naturalism — one that accords great importance, for example, to the fact that we are creatures of flesh and blood, with faces and eyes — enables us to give the right account of why we cannot doubt that dogs have sensations and that they do not think about the problems of philosophy. It also yields a better account than is usually offered in philosophy and science of what should count as anthropomorphic projection onto animals of qualities that are distinctively human (at least on this planet).
But the importance of the concept ‘human being’ to understanding ourselves, what we have on common with other animals and what sets us apart from them, is complex and many layered. We understand this fully, I suggest, only in a cognitive realm that I have called ‘the realm of meaning’. It is a realm in which we strive to see things as they are rather than as they appear, for example, from a sentimental, anthropocentric or anthropomorphic perspective of ourselves on our relation to nature; it is a form of ‘seeing things as they are’ in which form and content, thought and feeling cannot be separated. That being so, I argue that philosophers and scientists should be more appreciative of the importance of art to our understanding of human beings, other animals and the many forms of their relations to one another.
Discussion will follow.
 4.40: David Shea ‘Biomimicry in Design and Architecture’
Date: Tuesday 24th April, 10:30am start
Venue: Federation Hall, VCA, 234 St Kilda Road, Southbank
All Welcome. Free to attend. No Registration Required.
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Thursday, 19 April 2012

Joe Hockey and Filial Piety: working up the LibNats shopping list

Click to enlarge

I recall a time back in the 1970s when a friend invited me to a Liberal Party barbecue in a Queensland regional city.  My friend explained the sort of economic thinking that was around in the Liberal Party at the time and has come to fruition across the world; is part of the gospel (oops! wrong word - gospel means good news) of libertarian think tanks such as the CIS and the IPA.  The propaganda was, is simple.  If a country, say India, makes better sandshoes at a better price than we can match, we should let them do it and we will do something else that we are good at.  A simple dollar and cents equation with a bit of a hat tip to expertise.

This thinking has spread across the world - recently I have eaten rice bubbles which turned out to be Made in Egypt (didn't like them - preferred the Kellogg's variety to which I have become habituated); pizzas sold dirt cheap through NQR that come from Germany; and of course there are the omni-present labels saying Made in China .... although I did come across Made in Bangladesh the other day.  I buy basmati rice from Pakistan.  Now there are some overseas countries I don't mind buying from - Bangladesh and Pakistan need the trade and the jobs.  And so does Australia.

In the simplistic factoids of the conservative political parties and the libertarian think tanks, everything is reduced to price.  In cavalier fashion they dismiss arguments such as social impact; skills building and retention; and self-sufficiency.  Certainly, the human dignity which fairly paid work provides doesn't rate a mention.  Barriers must come down and we must allow ourselves to be invaded by price cutting built on the back of slave labour or, at least, conditions akin to slave labour in places like China and India.

And what has been the result of all that wishful thinking?

Check the links below for the glowing (NOT) report on working life in Asian countries.  Even in these bad stories, some people feel that life has improved for them - but that is because they have come off a low, harsh and extremely cruel base.

Meantime, in Australia work is being abolished and off-shored to cheap labour markets in Asia.  Australia is prostrating itself before China and India to cut up our country.  But then if we have no respect for ourselves and our country, I suppose this is only to be expected.

Now we have Joe Hockey pontificating about Asian "filial piety".    Filial piety is a Confucianism concept. It also explains why so much of Chinese thoughtfulness begins and ends with the family and does not extend to the nation as a whole, to systemic means of consideration for each other.  Australia has two distinct types of spiritual heritage. The First Nations constructed for themselves a reciprocal society - a society of rights and obligations. In Joe Hockey's pontificating parlance, this construct could be regarded as one of entitlement ... because people relied on the operation of reciprocity. The reciprocal societies of the First Nations have sustained them for sixty milennia.  

Then 200+ years ago, white settlers brought their western European Christianity to Australia.  They key commandment of this culture is to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Christianity gives the broadest of definitions to helping your neighbour.  Neighbours are not close relatives or friends, they are not those you choose to like or associate with.  Neighbours include the other, the outcast, the different.  A sense of entitlement is not encouraged.  It is simply that duty to God includes a duty to other human beings.  Now Hockey had a good Jesuitical education - as have Abbott and Joyce.  It is amazing the statements that issue forth from them which are demeaning of others; are vindictive and vengeful  and defaming; and don't exhibit an iota of Christian love, respect and fellow-feeling.  I reckon the Jesuits had better get back to the drawing-board!

Of course, there is a reason Joe has spoken out - and he was so brave wasn't he doing it in far away London!  There is a political shopping list being compiled by the conservative parties of Australia prior to the 2013 Federal Election which, they believe, is theirs for the taking.  Here are some front runners on the shopping list:
  • Abolish Federal mining taxes - and treat Gina Rinehart, Twiggy Forest & Clive Palmer nicely
  • Cut taxes for high income earners and corporates
  • Cut Carbon Pricing
  • Abolish Fair Work
  • Take on the unions - Patricks -v- MUA revisited across a number of fronts
  • Wind back environmental  priorities
  • Give irrigators the Water Act they really, truly want and lust after
  • Please provide suggestions for adding to the list
Things we can't expect the LibNats to do:
  • Provide an improved childcare system
  • Introduce a means test for the aged pension so that the wealthy can't get it
  • Introduce a means test for child care assistance so that wealthy can't get it
  • Please provide suggestions for adding to the list

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Tuesday, 17 April 2012

One thing matters regarding the Murray-Darling Basin: returning it & its environment to health

The Murray River at Cummeragunja, NSW

Basin Plan must return Murray-Darling to health

The Australian Conservation Foundation’s submission on the Murray-Darling Basin Plan calls on the Basin Authority to strengthen the plan by putting more water back into the Basin’s rivers and setting the system on the road to long-term health.
ACF’s submission, released today, is one of thousands that have gone to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority calling for a stronger Basin Plan.
“In addition to the Australian Conservation Foundation’s submission, more than 1000 of ACF’s members and supporters have made submissions to the Authority,” said Australian Conservation Foundation CEO Don Henry.
When you add up all the submissions that have been made by members of the Lifeblood alliance and through the Adelaide Advertiser, it seems that at least 7,000 of the 12,000 submissions received by the Authority call for a stronger Basin Plan that will return the river to health
“There is a rising chorus of voices across Australia, especially from South Australia and Victoria, insisting on a stronger plan,” he said.
“A stronger plan that safeguards the health of rivers in the long term would improve the sustainability of industries and communities that rely on the Basin environment.
“Water Minister Tony Burke should instruct the Authority to assess the benefits of providing higher volumes of water – such as 4000 gigalitres – to the river system.”
ACF’s submission calls for a stronger plan that returns more water to the river system and keeps the Murray mouth open, questions the planned increase in groundwater extraction, urges the Authority to take account of the impacts of climate change and seeks adequate cultural flows for the Basin’s Aboriginal people.
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