Category Archives: Politics

NO PRIDE IN GENOCIDE: Melbourne Invasion Day 2017

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January 26, which official marks the day of European colonisation of Australia is a national holiday sanctioned by the Australian government. For the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community of Australia, it is marked as Invasion Day and/or Survival Day.

In 1936, on the 150th anniversary of European colonisation, when official ceremonies were held around the country to celebrate, courageous members of the Aboriginal Community instead marked the anniversary with a Day of Mourning.  This year, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities around the country once again held Invasion Day protests and Survival Day events, with the main slogan being: NO PRIDE IN GENOCIDE. 

There was a huge turns out around the country at the protests, the biggest we have seen in many years:   In Melbourne between 10,000 – 15,000 people joined the protests (the organisers have said up to 20,000).  In Sydney, more than 8000 joined the protests and up to 3000 turned out in Brisbane in Queensland. Sizeable turn outs happened in Adelaide and other cities and town around the country.

Here is a video from the Melbourne Invasion Day protests. I have also include photos from the Melbourne rally.

Progressive not-for-profit organisations, Left media and activists are welcome to reuse the photos but please credit me as the photographer (Kim Bullimore) and link to either this blog or my other blog.

In Solidarity, Kim

 

You will always lose in Melbourne – racists and fascists fail again.

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Dear friends,  between 1500 and 2000 anti-racists in Melbourne turned out to oppose the racist and Islamohoboic rallies organised by the bigots of Reclaim Australia and the fascist grouplet, the United Patriots Front. Approx 50-60 turned up to the 11 am rally of Reclaim Australia.  They were later joined by 70-100 fascists from the United Patriots Front, who were escorted into their rally by the Victoria Police.  The United Patriots Front, which had boasted that this would be the biggest patriot rally ever, arrived a half hour ahead of their scheduled time and left 12 minutes after their scheduled rally time. Outnumbered by approximately 20 to 1, the fascists were forced to skulk off after rallying under police protection for about 45 mins.  Throughout the day, the up to 2000 anti-racism protesters stood in solidarity with the Australian Muslim and Migrant communities, chanting “Muslims are welcome, Racists are not”; “Sexist, racist, anti-Queers; Fascists are not welcome here” and “You will always lose in Melbourne”.

This is the third rally held by racists and fascists in Melbourne and at each rally they have been outnumbered by anti-racist protesters. On May 31,more than 500 anti-racism protesters turned out to oppose the United Patriots Front, who could only muster 60 people to attend their anti-Islam/anti-Left rally.

Please find below, the report on today’s rally from Red Flag and also photos from the rally (click on photo to enlarge)

In solidarity, Kim

Fascists fail in Melbourne – again

              Editor

So this was the Master Race. All 60 of them. And it was a national mobilisation. Another 60 right wing “Reclaim Australia” blockheads bolstered their ranks. So there were little more than 100 far right racists in total.

It was the latest attempt by fascists to build a violent street movement and their own vile combat organisations.

They were outnumbered by up to 2,000 anti-racist demonstrators in central Melbourne today.

As far as right wing failures go, they don’t get much more pathetic than this. They ought to have called the event “the biggest losers”.

The racists’ miserable mobilisation was despite the fact that “respectable” Murdoch press columnists openly have been feeding fascism and bigotry.

It was despite the fact that the federal government has been banging on and on about Islamic terrorism, about imminent threats to our way of life, about traitors in our ranks.

And it was despite the fact that they had the protection of hundreds of police officers, who shut down Spring Street to facilitate this neo-Nazi parade in front of the Victorian Parliament and who attacked the anti-racist demonstration with pepper spray.

With all this help, and with months of building work, still they failed. “I can’t believe how small the crowd is. It’s terrible”, Mike Holt, leader of right wing group Restore Australia, told Fairfax Media this afternoon.

As had happened on 31 May when fascists tried to March on Richmond Town Hall, anarchists, socialists, non-aligned progressives and anti-racists united to stop them.

Again, it was an important victory. The counter-mobilisation prevented the fascists from marching through the streets and targeting minorities – Muslims in particular. Instead they were forced to skulk away under police watch before dispersing. They were prevented from spreading hate speech and instead were forced to talk among themselves.

In Adelaide, a 250-person Reclaim Australia rally also was outnumbered by 350 anti-racists. This was a significant turnaround from the previous Reclaim rally at Easter, at which the left was outnumbered by 500 to only 30.

There will be more anti-racist demonstrations around the country tomorrow:

Sydneyfacebook.com/events/346452865546642/

Perthfacebook.com/events/893952217313262/

Brisbanefacebook.com/events/1576424285971069/

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Amandla Stenberg: Don’t Cash Crop On My Cornrows

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A crash course on cultural exchange vs cultural appropriation:

A video by 16 year old actor, Amandla Stenberg, who played Rue in the 2012 movie version of The Hunger Games has recently gone viral. The video, which was produced for her history class, discusses black culture and the issue of cultural appropriation. In the four and half minuted video, Stenberg not only gives a crash course explanation on Black American culture but also discusses the difference between cultural exchange and cultural appropriation.  In particular, Stenberg discusses the mainstreaming and adoption of Black culture by non-black pop culture icons and artists, while also noting their often silence on the very really social and political issues impacting on Black Americans, including institutionalised racism, police violence and police brutality.   At the end of the video, Stenberg notes the willingness of non-Black pop artists and icons to adopt Black culture while failing to offer solidarity with the Black community struggling against police brutality, pointedly asking: “What would America be like if it loved black people as much as it loves black culture?”

Stop Abbott’s attacks on Muslims: no to Islamophobia; no to the anti-terror laws; no to attacks on civil liberties; no war in Iraq

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19 October 2014

Islamophobia is a form of cultural racism and racial vilification which has been prominent in Western Society since the start of the “War on Terror” in 2001. Attacks on the Muslim and Arab Communities of Australia have escalated in recent weeks in the wake of the so-called “terror raids” which have targeted the Muslim and Arab communities. Ordinary Australians from all backgrounds have been horrified at the greenlight given to racists by the Australian Abbott government and are taking a stand to say no to racism and Islamophobia.  Racism in all it’s forms shouldn’t be tolerated in a Multicultural Society was one of the key sentiments of the ‘No to Islamophobia’ demonstration which took place today in Melbourne.

Today’s rally opposed the Abbott government’s use of the politics of fear to promote a wave of racist attacks on the Muslim and Arab communities. Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his government, aided by the mainstream media, have sought to create a moral panic by scapegoating the Muslim and Arab communities in order to fast track through laws restricting civil liberties and to distract from their unpopular budget.

The widely publicised “terror raids” and Abbott’s march to war, coupled with the government’s dogwhistle racism has given a green light to racists and bigots. In the last month, we have seen knife wielding attackers enter Muslim schools to threaten school children and teachers and Muslim women attack on the streets because of what they wear, including a terrifying attack where a Muslim woman was beaten and pushed from a train.

Speakers at today’s rally included:

  • Adel Salman, Member of the Islamic Council of Victoria
  • Adam Bandt, Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens
  • Aseel Sammak, Muslim Students Association of Victoria
  • Heba Bendak, Federation of Australian Muslim Students and Youth
  • Jeff Sparrow, Author, Journalist and writer for the Guardian

 

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Aboriginal activist, Viv Malo give acknowledgement of country and speaks about racism in Australia, against both the Aboriginal community and the Muslim and Arab communities.

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Adam Bandt, Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens speaks at the rally

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Heba Bendak, Federation of Australian Muslim Students and Youth

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Jeff Sparrow, author and journalist.

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Aboriginal activists in solidarity with the Muslim and Arab communities

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Melbourne Stop the War on Refugees Rally – 11 October 2014

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*Permanent protection not temporary visas
*No Cambodia Deal
*No Boat Tow Backs
*No Offshore or Onshore Detenion
*Stop the scapegoating of refugees and Muslims

Scott Morrison and Tony Abbott’s war on refugees has been going on for almost a year now – after Kevin Rudd’s PNG deal paved the way for them. The war on refugees gets uglier by the day. Reza Barati was murdered, one man was shot, one had his throat cut and two men lost their eyes, in unprovoked attacks on asylum seekers on Manus Island by those who should have been responsible for their safety. Asylum seekers have been directly returned to their persecutors in Sri Lanka. 157 Tamil asylum seekers were kept prisoner in cramped windowless berths on the high seas for a month – Morrison was only forced to acknowledge their existence and bring them to Australia because of the efforts of the refugee movement. Rates of self-harm and mental health problems in detention are skyrocketing, they approach 50% on Manus Island. Children and babies are being kept on the hell-hole of Nauru, without access to decent education. Onshore and offshore detention and deterrence is costing close to $4 billion per year. Let Abbott know he can’t revive his political fortunes in the wake of his unfair budget by kicking refugees. This cruelty must stop. Join us on the first anniversary of Operation Sovereign Borders to demand an end to detention and deterrence, and instead welcome refugees, who should have the right to work in the Australian community while their claims are assessed.

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First Dog on the Moon: Meanwhile in Gaza …

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First Dog on the Moon (Andrew Marlton) is an Australian Walkley Award winning political cartoonist and satirist. His cartoons appear regularly in The Guardian.

First Dog on the Moon also has his own website, which you can check out here.

This cartoon first appeared in The Guardian’s online edition on 21 July, 2014

 

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Solidarity with Gaza and Palestine

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french protest smoke colours   French activists in Paris release smoke in Palestinian colours in solidarity with Gaza

Dear friends,

I have not had a lot of time to post on Red Butterfly Effect this month due to Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza, which has now claimed the lives of more than 1050 people – the majority of whom are civilian, including hundreds of children. As a result, my focus has primarily been on the Gaza/Palestine solidarity campaign, including regularly updating my Palestine blog, Live from Occupied Palestine. with updates about what is happening in Gaza and the rallies in support of Gaza and the Palestinian people have been taking place both in Australia and Internationally. 

If you are interested in being updated on the situation in Gaza and the Australian and international solidarity campaign, you can check out Live from Occupied Palestine by clicking here.

Here are some direct links to photo essays of the Gaza solidarity rallies in Melbourne, around Australia and internationally.

Photo Essay: Melbourne Rally Against Israel’s Brutality in Palestine – 12 July 2014

Video & Photos: From around the world – Protests for Gaza and Palestine against Israel’s aggression.

Melbourne stands with Palestine: No to Israel’s war crimes in Gaza – 19 July 2014

Photo Essay: Australian rallies for Gaza against Israel’s war crimes – 19 & 20th July 2014

Melbourne stands with Gaza: Thousands stand in solidarity with Palestine, call for the Australian govt to break ties with Apartheid Israel

I have included below just some of the tweets from journalists and Palestinians in Gaza on the situation there (click on image to enlarge). 

in solidarity, Kim

B1 saftawi 8 laragaza scape

laz5 reuters2un4un51cnnFireShot Screen Capture #330 - 'Twitter _ MMVickery_ This is #Gaza_ Plumes of smoke ___' - twitter_com_MMVickery_status_492035542264328192shajiyacnn1FireShot Screen Capture #248 - 'Twitter _ JFXM_ #Gaza medics breaking down ___' - twitter_com_JFXM_status_490996797096349696larsim2reuters3childrenp2  FireShot Screen Capture #328 - 'Twitter _ millerC4_ #c4news #Gaza A uni prof who ___' - twitter_com_millerC4_status_491522733864669184FireShot Screen Capture #433 - 'Twitter _ AFP_ Gazans dig dead from rubble ___' - twitter_com_AFP_status_493061854286323713kel1kelFireShot Screen Capture #441 - 'Twitter _ sheikhNB_ One by one, members of the ___' - twitter_com_sheikhNB_status_492961620448919552

 

  

 

Melbourne: Union and Community Protest against the Abbott/Hockey Federal Budget – 6 July 2014

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A selection of photos from the Melbourne July 6 Trade Union and Community Bust the Budget rally and march: An estimated 5,000 to 10,000  turned out to oppose Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey’s classwar budget attacking workers, students, pensioners and the poor.

All photos: Kim Bullimore  (click individual photos to view enlarged version)

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Aamer Rahman: How Racist is Australia? Pretty Damn Racist.

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Dear friends,

I am reblogging my friend and fellow activist, Aamer Rahman’s excellent article which was published recently by Crikey and which appears on his Tumblr.  Aamer is one of Australia’s best young political comedians.  For the last couple of years he has been performing with Nazeen Hussain, as part of Fear of a Brown Planet.  Aamer has also been a political activist since his university days, campaigning against racism and social injustice.

If you haven’t already checked out his Tumblr, you can do so by clicking here.  I have also included below the article, two short videos showcasing his political comedy, as well as Australian Story’s 2011 program on Fear of a Brown Planet.

in solidarity, Kim

How Racist is Australia? Pretty Damn Racist.

This is my response (originally published in Crikey) to Mark Sawyer’s article ‘How Racist Are You’ published in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald last week (http://www.smh.com.au/comment/how-racist-are-you-20140611-zs43h.html)

 

Dear Mark,
As a comedian I very much appreciated your satirical piece ‘How Racist Are You?’ published in The Age last week.  I think you captured the attitude and tone of Overly Defensive And Clueless White Man perfectly.  It’s actually  inspired me to write my own piece called “Hey Ladies, Pipe Down About Sexism.”

Of course, I’m being silly.  You didn’t write it as a parody piece. The truth is much more embarrassing. This is what you, and plenty of others, actually think: apparently racism is totes not a thing any more.

Being told by white people that racism is a figment of our imagination is nothing new.  I know well enough that when looking for some quality racism, the best place to start is with the guy screaming “I’m not racist!” You did not disappoint.

Thank you for the awkward list of times you didn’t challenge people’s casual racist comments.  As the kids say nowadays, cool story bro.  And maybe you’re right – there is nothing that justifies calling Australia uniquely racist. Not the specific genocide of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and languages, an unparalleled migration history that banned non-white immigration here until the early 70s, or our one-of-a-kind anti-asylum regime.  These are things that happened pretty much everywhere, right?  But seriously, why let history and facts get in the way of a white guy’s Feelings About Stuff.

You’re correct, far right parties like One Nation are a thing of the past. But only because their rampant xenophobia was quickly co-opted, re-branded and shared between Labor and Liberal, making Hanson totally redundant.  In an era where our Attorney General openly defends the art of bigotry, Pauline’s services are no longer required.

You ask how many people alive are truly racist.  I don’t know the exact figures, Mark. But ask yourself if the life expectancy statistics that apply to Aboriginal people – well below the national average – would be tolerated if they applied to any other group in this country .  Ask yourself if our system of militarised  border protection and detention – recognised as exceptional the world over – would be acceptable to the Australian public if it was designed to intercept, round up and indefinitely incarcerate white people.

These things cannot exist without a sizeable population of what you refer to as ‘true racists.’ The fact that, as a nation, we accept and allow such things to happen is not an accident or the result of simple misunderstandings. They are the calculated outcomes of generations of programming.  Maybe racism is less about white people making unfortunate comments and more about systemic inequalities that have become the permanent and invisible background noise of Australian culture.  To quote you, it may pay to look at the bigger picture.

It’s 2014, champ. Racism isn’t about segregated lunch counters and people refusing to shake hands any more.  Racism is about this country’s obsession with defining boundaries of inclusion and exclusion, and the pervasive and violent ways in which those boundaries are maintained.  Racism is about two major parties collaborating for years to convince a white majority, through various codes, that they are perpetually at risk of losing out to lazy Aborigines, ghettoised migrants, dishonest asylum seekers and suspicious Muslims.  Racism is a government using free speech rhetoric to facilitate racial vilification.  Racism is, in a climate of perpetual fear and hostility, The Age choosing to publish some childish nonsense about how there’s no such thing as racism.

You’re convinced things have changed. I’m pretty confident they haven’t.

Aamer Rahman is a standup comic and writer in Melbourne.  He is currently touring his solo show The Truth Hurts in the UK and does not miss Australia.

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Aamer Rahman: Refugees

Aamer Rahman: Reverse Racism

Australian Story: Fear of A Brown Planet – 7 November 2011

FIFA World Cup 2014 Protests: Money for housing, schools and health; not for stadiums, state repression and corruption

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The FIFA World Cup starts on Friday in Brazil.  In the lead up to the competition, hundreds of thousands of Brazilians have taken to the street to protest the government’s spending of billions of dollars on stadiums and venues to host the event,  while failing to spend money on health care, schooling and housing for the poor.  Protesters have also been demonstrating against the forced removal of more than 250,00 people from their homes, as well as the “hygienisation” (or forced expulsion) of the homeless and the millions spent on arming the police in order for them to attack ordinary Brazilians who protest the FIFA world cup and government.

The Brazilian government has sought to introduce new “terrorism” laws which criminalise the right to protest. Amnesty International has warned that this is little more than a crack down on free speech and freedom of expression.

Despite severe police and state repression against protests in May, protesters have vowed to continue their protests.  Worker are also planning to launch a series of strikes during the World Cup.

For more information on the protests against the World Cup, you can check out the website of the Popular Committee Against the Cup, which includes a protest manifesto and other information on why the people of Brazil are protesting.  To access the website,  please click here.

 

15 mayInternational Day Against the World Cup, May 15 (text of flyer)

Which is and will be the legacy of the 2014 soccer world cup?

  • 9 deaths during the renovation of / in the soccer arenas of the world cup and 3 deaths in arenas which follow the same standards;
  • 250.000 people forcefully removed from their homes;
  • Street vendors and independent artists who are forbidden to work;
  • Women, children and adolescents who suffer from sexual exploitation;
  • Homeless people who suffer violence and ”hygienisation” (are expelled from the downtown area);
  • Private corporations taking care of public space and streets;
  • Elitisation of the soccer stadiums;
  • Billions invested in armament of the police to use against the people;
  • Laws declaring state of emergency and criminalising demonstrations;
  • And an immense and questionable public debt the people will have to pay.

For this legacy, we hold responsible the corporations sponsoring the FIFA world cup, the construction companies, the mafias FIFA and CBF (Brazilian soccer federation), the municipal, state and federal governments, as well as the legislative and judicial branches!

What do we demand?

  • A decent home for all persons removed from their homes! Key for key!
  • End of the violence of the state and of the “hygienisation” in the downtown area!
  • Immediate revocation of FIFA’s “exclusive areas”, laid down in the “general law for the world cup” and permission for street workers to sell in these areas!
  • Creation of campaigns to fight sexual exploitation and human trafficking!
  • Non – installment of the special courts of FIFA!
  • Revocation of the law that grants general tax exemption to FIFA and its business partners!
  • Immediate stop to all bills and norms that define the crime of terrorism, that serve to criminalise social movements and increase violence against the young and black population!
  • Demilitarisation of the police and end of the repression of social movements!

We demand our “right to the city” and our right to protest!

WORLD CUP WITHOUT THE PEOPLE – WE’RE BACK ON THE STREET!

#15M – #DayAgainstWorldCup

 

May 15 international day of resistance against the World Cup in Brazil. Report by Euronews.

Teachers, civil servants, bus drivers and the homeless demands housing and medical care not stadiums. Report by Euronews.

Indigenous Brazilian protest World Cup.  Report by Euronews.

 

Protest graffiti highlighting money spent on the World Cup at the expense of the poor, homeless and indigenous population of Brazil

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