Stories from 2020

Major stories from Paradigm Shift in 2020 – Refugees, Aboriginal farming practices, Assange, & cuts at Qld College of Art.

Intro by Ian, Andy on Refugees and Aboriginal land use, Ian on the extradition of Julian Assange, Bec Mac on cuts to Qld College of Art.

Dorothy & friends – Down Under (satire)
Mo’Ju – Native Tongue
Sarah Calderwood and Paul Brandon – Exploring the Blue
Jumping Fences – Satellites

This year past, 2020, saw a shift in priorities for people around the world. At the beginning of the year, climate change was in people’s minds; but, at the end, it has been all Covid pandemic. Both emergencies appear in tractable. It makes me wonder whether humans are capable of advancing much further in thinking and doing to solve our problems. A sustainable future with social justice at it’s core is a long way off. However people are questioning whether capitalism is capable of delivering the world that we need.

Like a turning river, direction is hard to find. Here in Australia we enter 2021 with a major trade war with the most productive country on earth, China. Morrison will have to back down on that one as Australia is but a flea on the elephant’s back.

There will be a conference of arms dealers in Brisbane in 2021 sanctioned by state and federal governments. Now that’s a pathway to peace. 

2020 was a turning point in the Middle East with the apartheid state of Israel launching attacks on Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem itself supported by a deranged American president.

Cuba marks 60 years of resistance against capitalism with its Institute of Friendship celebrating its 60th birthday. During Covid, Cuban doctors have shown true solidarity with the people of the world.

4ZZZ (fm 102.1) celebrated it’s 45th birthday as one of Queensland’s nay Australia’s most independent radio stations, born from the anti-war movement in the 1970s and supporting progressive movements in the 2020s.

We saw a unique form of resistance to the Australian government’s inhuman treatment of refugees at a local Hotel come prison at Kangaroo Point in Brisbane. Paradigm shift was there on the ground when it all started with one of the longest picket lines in recent history. Here is Andy’s interview with Farhad whom the Australian government had locked up for 8 years for lawfully seeking asylum in Australia. Farhad was confined to his room in Kangaroo Point under the medevac laws which require that the government provide a duty of care to asylum seekers in Australia; he was then forcibly removed, firstly to Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation and then to Villawood in Sydney.

Aboriginal Land Use
Next up was Bruce Pascoe talking with Andy about his theory that Aboriginal people were not hunters and gatherers but a society of sustainable horticulturalists growing grains, yams and tubers … his theory is corroborated by the early colonialists James Kirby, George Augustus Robinson, explorers: Mitchell and Sturt and my own ancestor Edward M. Curr. Curr wrote in his nostalgic memoir of squatting in Victoria that ‘his cartwheels turned up tubers‘. He recognised that it was his sheep that destroyed native aboriginal crops cultivated by tribes living along the Murray River. Some of these words awaken The Whispering in our hearts for first Nations people.

Assange and collateral murder
This year saw the United States and the British governments combining to silence the independent press. It’s genesis was a video released by WikiLeaks about murders by American helicopter gunships of a writers journalists some Iraqi civilian and small children.

This is the infamous collateral murder tape released by Chelsea Manning who has served over 6 years in prison for her trouble. The video was published in 2010 by Julian Assange, an Australian citizen, and the authorities are still hunting him down in 2020! He told the truth about the dirty war prosecuted by the US, Britain, Australia and other suspects in Iraq.

One of the American soldiers on the ground, Ethan McCord, describes what happened during the attack by the helicopter gunship. Assange is due to be extradited to the US by the British courts soon. The judgement will be handed down on Monday the 4th of January and there has been a call for people to go to the Anzac memorial in Brisbane to protest the likely extradition order by the British judge. Assange has been deserted by the Australian government.

Griffith University to defund Queensland College of art.
Both state and federal governments continue to attack public tertiary education. Here is a story that nearly slipped under the radar. A grassroots group at Griffith University have drawn to attention impact that the cuts will have on arts and culture both here in Brisbane and elsewhere in Australia the federal government has already up the fees to be paid by humanity students to double that what it was previously. Here is an interview by 4ZZZ’s Bec Mac who is talking with one of the lecturers at the QCA, Matthew Newkirk.

These are only some of the stories that made up 2020.

Paradigm shift will continue bringing independent coverage of important events in the coming year.

Ian Curr
30 Dec 2020

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