We were disappointed to see the lack of allies supporting the brave Aboriginal resistance at the Stolenwealth (Commonwealth) games earlier this year.
Beth Muldoon writes about being there, and ideas on being an effective ally. You can also check our overview for allies, and resources page if you interested in learning more.
As my tired body crumpled into a hard, plastic seat at the Coolangatta airport, my friend Nish said, “You know, I think that’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
“Yeah, by a long shot,” I replied. “I’ve been thinking that all week.”
After a lingering pause, we speculated on why only a small number of non-Indigenous people, ourselves included, joined the protest camp set up by a broad coalition of Indigenous activists opposing the Commonwealth Games.
An open invitation had been sent out months earlier via the Warriors of the … Read More »
Eloise joined our team this year, and writes about her experience as an invited artist, to Tarkine in Motion
This year I attended Tarkine in Motion, ran by the Bob Brown Foundation, who are campaigning for 450 000 hectares of forest and coast to be declared a National Park and World Heritage Area. The event, now in it’s fourth year, sees artists venture into the north west corner of Tasmania, to document, experience, and be inspired by the beautiful wilderness that is the Takayna/Tarkine.
At the Arthur River camp the first thing I can hear is the distant roar of the ocean. It’s the end of the day and sunset isn’t far off, but I really want to go down to the waves. Slipping away before anyone can follow me, I crawl through the knotted scrub near the camp, climb over … Read More »
Building a bigger, better movement – Barriers to participation
The climate movement has a problem. If you were to put a stereotype on it, its white, middle class, university educated, and inner city. That was an easy fit a decade ago. Now, less so, but we still have a long way to go. The other issue is that it is hard to define what the climate movement is. If you included everyone who cared about the climate it would be much bigger, but the language used has often been exclusive also. Whilst there have been big leaps in recent years, and leadership shown by young aboriginal people, and pacific islanders, the collective “We” still needs to improve on both how we work, and how we communicate.
We ran a series of trainings for grassroots climate activists in the last six months, and … Read More »
The news from Cambridge Analytica has many people up in arms #DeleteFacebook has been a source of debate and discussion. But here is the thing – the horse has bolted. Although people impacted by Cambridge Analytica are slowly being informed (there are only 50 or so in Australia apparently, more info here and specifics about how to find out here), there is heaps of other information you have likely shared.
Your information is already out there, and pressure on facebook to change its practices is critical. So we don’t get another 14 years of Zuckerberg saying Sorry Not Sorry.
We believe, as many others do, that it is a vital organising and networking tool, and is particularly helpful for people in remote locations, those living with a disability or anxiety, chronic pain, or anything that keeps folks housebound… and for people to … Read More »
NOTE: This was written in 2018 so the event links are out of date and some excellent recent commentary hasn’t been added. Though much of the information remains relevant, the debate has moved on, and continues to evolve with more discussion about what paying the rent might look like, and more understanding from white allies, so much so, that various councils who have undertaken not to celebrate Invasion Day are being chastised by the Prime Minister. Hope you are all heading to a rally on the 26th of January this year too!
First off. Listen.
That is what we are doing. And we aren’t writing this to centre our own experiences – we are writing it because we take the time to try and follow and listen to a range of Aboriginal voices, and we might have access to information that you … Read More »
Melbourne Activist Legal Support (MALS) launched our lawyers network with Amnesty International on the 30th May 2017. CounterAct supports and works with MALS and has found our work increasingly overlapping in recent years – as community legal centres get de-funded it is more often up to activists to self educate about the law.
We heard from several lawyers with combined decades of experience in supporting activists and progressive causes – Matt Wilson (MALS) Rob Stary, Meghan Fitzgerald and Danya Black.
Rob Stary is well known in Melbourne for providing pro bono representation for activists, but also for working with people who have little resource and need support – his work for the people who other lawyers won’t touch is written about more in this article.
He shared a strong perspective on the trends of policing that we have seen in the last decade – describing … Read More »
We just did a workshop with our friends at Action skills, and gathered up some great case studies and examples for creative activism – from stunts, hoaxes, and political satire to graffiti, guerrilla projections and fooling Nazi’s – we are on a mission to get more grassroots activists thinking outside the box.
First off – follow us on facebook as we regularly post great examples, and also check out our youtube playlist – quite a great collection of our favourite videos are there.
This is one of our all time favourite stunts – a small town played a great trick on Nazi’s that come to town every year to preach hate.
Learn from the best… the Yes Men, and Reverend Billy
Know your history – with Buga Up
Did you know that civil disobedience has a patron saint/animal – it is Brenda the civil disobedience penguin… … Read More »
It was just a short question on the Beeliar Community noticeboard … “how do you feel about police” … and it unravelled a huge discussion, and led us to prepare a survey that ended up being filled in by more than 200 people. It captured some of the community attitudes towards police that came out of the protests to stop clearing work in the lead up to the WA state election.
We have been working with the Beeliar Legal Support team and Wetland Defenders on a comprehensive report documenting more than twenty incidences of breaches of police protocol and arguably unlawful use of force, as well as patterns of human rights abuses and a culture of aggressive policing. The report will be launched shortly, however we want to share the survey results with the community first.
There are numerous interesting insights about the diversity … Read More »
There are many conversations happening in the climate movement at the moment – with increasingly dire news – and likely breaching 2 degrees of warming or more by 2050, and the Paris agreement supposedly coming into effect – we are seeing no signals from government they are taking this seriously – instead we have the Labor Party in Queensland invoking special powers, and favours to hasten the Adani coal mega mines. Ongoing conversations have been given new momentum by the thinking outlined in “This is an Uprising“ which has generated lively debate and meetings around the country.
One of the challenges we have is a lack of imagination of what the future might look like. It is hard to think through what a healthy future and a powerful resistance movement might look like to get us there when we are constrained … Read More »
It’s a bit of a concern when one of the earliest vocal advocates for privacy around the Census is “Australia’s most beloved cartoonist” First Dog on the Moon.
Whilst we have a lot of love for Brenda the civil disobedience penguin, it has been eerily quiet over the last couple of months regarding the Census with just a few people raising concerns and describing it as “without doubt, the most significant invasion of privacy ever perpetrated on Australians by the ABS,” says ex ABS statistician Bill McLennan. EDIT 5/8: and another quality effort by First Dog about the “Census Cage fight” here.
Thankfully, in the last week or two there has been some belated activity online, with the #CensusFail hashtag generating a lot of discussion and debate, but still not much in the way of an organised campaign of resistance or high profile … Read More »