Thursday, August 19, 2010


I recently had the pleasure of attending two rallies in the city last Saturday.

On the eve of an election in which Australia faces the very real possibility of an ultra conservative government being elected, it was heartening to see so many people on the streets to show their resentment to the despicable, racist and homophobic agenda of disinformation which both major parties have engaged in over the previous weeks.

The first was organised by the ACT Refugee Action Committee and the second by Equal Love Canberra.

I cannot express the despair I feel when I see a political party, openly proclaiming to 'stop the boats' as one of their major election promises. Usually, the racism that is so deeply rooted in our society has at least some pretense of concealment.

I could write at length about the absurdity of such a claim, how out of the 170 000 migrant visa granted in 2008-09, only 1.5% were for onshore asylum applicants, of whom a third were 'irregular maritime arrivals', how the mechanisms of disinformation and ubiquity of corporate owned media has led to our society being controlled in a way to which it is completely oblivious, but really, John Pilger says it much better in his 2009 Sydney Peace Prize acceptance speech.

If you have time to do anything before making up your mind who to vote for on Saturday, I plead that you make time to watch this. For an Australian who is an internationally renowned author and documentary maker, and someone who has been named International Reporter of the Year, and won the United Nations Association Peace Prize and Gold Medal, I had never heard of him until a few short months ago. Funny, isn't it?

On July the 19th, 1936, Dolores Ibárruri implored her country to fight against the military might of a fascist bourgeoisie, who resented a progressive democratic movement of people that sought to remove their privilege and distribute their wealth more equitably.

While we don't face the horror of war in the coming days, I feel we do face the real prospect of reversing years of progress that has been willed by the hard work, sacrifice and determination of courageous, progressive Australians. We face an enemy that is much more subtle and subversive.
The only way societies progress year by year, decade by decade is,
because people will them to. Hemingway and Orwell understood this when they risked their lives in a civil war that was not their own, they understood that the borders of our nation states should not be the borders of our conscience. I hope you do as well when you go to the polling booth tomorrow. Maybe i'll even see you there if you vote at Turner school, ill be the guy in orange, handing out these.

At the start of the Equal love rally, my DSLR gave up the ghost, so i shot the rest on my film SLR. Thank the lord for good ol' 35mm. Enjoy!

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