All posts by Workers BushTelegraph

Workers BushTelegraph discusses current and past events, books and film with the aim of sharing worker political education and consciousness. WBT poses 3 questions: who owns the land, workers control of production and democratic rights.

Should Meanjin host the Olympics?

Image: Helmets, armor, etc. used by opponents in the Sanrizuka struggle (Narita struggle). Photographed at Narita Airport and Community Historical Museum (Shibayama, Chiba) with permission.

The ABC report reads: “A Qantas charter flight arrived at Narita Airport last night, before they spent hours waiting for saliva tests to confirm nobody is carrying the virus. The vast majority of Australia’s Olympians have touched down in Japan, welcomed by a city that is desperately battling to keep its growing coronavirus outbreak under control.”

At Narita there was a 40 year struggle against the building of the airport. Most of Japan’s progressive forces and a large farming population opposed it. So what has that got to do with the Olympics? Well, it is not solely that airports and air travel are the biggest transmitter of the Covid pandemic. It is what and who the protestors are up against. The Olympics like Narita airport changes the city and opens it up for even greater capitalist development. Like Tokyo, Sydney and now Brisbane the Olympics become a free for all where the Maaates carve up the public purse to acquire big profits through development. It is a land grab.

__oOo__

Kathy Freeman winning the 400 metres race in the 2000 Sydney Olympics was a defining moment for Australia. Friends saw the race in the Olympic stadium tell of how much such support Kathy Freeman got when she draped herself in the Aboriginal flag. I cried. At last some recognition. It was better than Keating’s Redfern speech, although that was pretty good too.

Kathy Freeman after winning 400 metres in the 2000 Sydney Olympics

Now the Queensland government wants to host the 2032 in Meanjin (Brisbane). At face value it is a stupid idea; a con trick to rip off money from ordinary people so that the elite and their maaates can bask in corporate glory and the developers can profiteer off the land grab that goes with .

Andy interviews Megumi Hoshino who has been involved in protesting the Tokyo Olympics. The Japanese Left have a long history of opposing the compulsory acquisition of precious land from the poor in Japan. Such struggles go back to the protests against the Narita airport in the 60s and 70s. That struggle stemmed from the government’s decision to construct the airport in Sanrizuka without the involvement or consent of most area residents. It is a similar situation here in Meanjin, the government has not consulted with the general population nor has it spoken with those most affected by the decision. Here are Andy’s notes:

This week’s show is all about the Olympics! We hear from Megumi Hoshino who has been involved protesting the Tokyo Olympics, and we chat to Greens MP Amy McMahon and aboriginal leader Boe Spearim about the possibility of Brisbane hosting the games in 2032.

Listen at http://4zzz.org.au/program/paradigm-shift

Playlist
Frenzal Rhomb – Bronze for Straya
Sportchestra – Amereicha
Sportchestra – We want beans not goals
Mitch Tambo – Absolutely everybody
Flangipanis – Sportsball
Photo: Peter Norman, Tommie Smith and John Carlos on the podium at the 1968 Olympics. John Carlos and Tommie Smith took the podium with black-gloved fists raised in the air and their shoes in their hands. Their bare feet, a symbol of poverty; their clenched hands and bowed heads were an appeal for equality. Peter Norman who came second in the race supported the two African American athletes’ protest. None of the three would ever run in a major international event again.

Climate Struggles

Welcome to the Paradigm Shift on FM 102.1 4ZZZ Fridays at noon. We challenge the assumptions of our current society, to resist oppression …more

June 25, 2021

This week we get an update on what’s happening in climate struggles around the country – from those trying to stop Adani’s Carmichael mine in central Queensland, to disrupting a fossil fuel industry conference in Perth, to demanding a senate inquiry into government subsidised fracking in the Northern Territory.

Andy speaks with Hannah from Don’t Frack the Territory, with Ben Pennings who is being sued by Adani, and others.

Listen here

Playlist
Mick Daley – No minister
Kev Carmody – Dirty dollar
Bombs Away ft. Greta Thunberg – How dare you
Stretch Fabrigas – Adani stinky farty
Feraliza – Like it or not

What are people doing about resisting occupation?

Paradigm Shift (11 June 2021) today looks back at the week of resistance to the arms trade that was Disrupt Land Forces. Andy speaks to organiser Margie Pestorius , West Papuan activist Poro Bibi , plus Tara Mae who stormed the arms fair and jumped on top of a tank.
12-1pm, 102.1fm or 4zzz.org.au (where you can also stream it later at http://4zzz.org.au/…/paradigm-shift/2021-06-11).

In Myanmar, Palestine, Arkine state, West Papua … The importance of this cannot be underestimated nor judged by people that are not living under violent colonialism.  For example Hamas resists Israel.  The ‘peacemakers’ the Palestinian Authority (PA) collaborates with Israel.

Playlist
Mouldy Lovers – Civilised crossfire
Zelda Da – Kangan bunuh kami lagi
DJ Ali – Asymmetrical warfare
Aireleke – Full freedom



Open Letter of Support for Cr Jonathan Sri

We post this open letter of support for Councillor Jonathan Sri (for the Gabba Ward) who has been charged with official misconduct under Chapter 5A of Queensland’s Local Government Act 2009. The penalty includes a large fine and possible dismissal from office by the relevant Minister. Under section 244 of the Local Government Act 2009, a finding of Official Misconduct is not appealable in a court of law .

Cr. Sri recently won a resounding victory for the Greens in local government elections. His close colleague Amy McMahon won the seat of South Brisbane for the Greens in the 2020 state government elections. His campaign manager, Max Chandler-Mather, is contesting the upcoming federal election, up against sitting Labor member, Terri Butler, in nearby Griffith.

It seems that both the LNP and Labor have been unable to stop the Greens juggernaut at the polls are now trying backroom tactics to unseat Councillor Sri and his team.

To Whom It May Concern,

I live at xx xxxx xxx xxxx and I am a retired Commonwealth Public Servant and radio broadcaster.

I write to express my strong support for Councillor Sri’s involvement in the refugee rights protests at Kangaroo Point in mid-2020.

I know something of the circumstances which required that people, including Councillor Sri, needed to act to prevent an injustice from taking place.

Immigration authorities were attempting to remove, by force, an Iranian engineer, Farhad Rhamati, from Kangaroo Point Central Hotel and Apartments at 721 Main St, Kangaroo Point. The Australian government had detained Farhad Rhamati  for 8 years for lawfully seeking asylum in Australia. In 2020, Farhad was confined to his room in Kangaroo Point under Medevac laws which require that the government provide a duty of care to asylum seekers in Australia; Farhad was then forcibly removed, firstly to Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation and then to Villawood in Sydney.

On 17 February 2014 at Manus Island, Farhad lost his friend and countryman, Reza Berati, who was murdered by G4S guards contracted by the Australian government to enforce offshore immigration detention policy.

Farhad’s detention on Manus Island was deemed unlawful by the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea Court.

During his ‘extraction’ from Kangaroo Point Central apartments, Farhad was assaulted by SERCO guards and handcuffed, dragged downstairs and forced into an unmarked white van to be transferred to Brisbane Immigration Transit Centre (BITA) and then onto a high-security ‘alternative place of detention’ (APOD) at Villawood, in Sydney. Farhad was handcuffed for the entire flight.

Given this history, it was reasonable for people monitoring these apartments to be concerned for Farhad’s safety and welfare. One of the people concerned was Cr Jonathan Sri. While I do not know what actions were taken by him, I believe the actions of which he accused should be considered both ethical and moral:

– blocking traffic as part of a protest outside a Kangaroo Point hotel where refugees were detained;

– temporarily lying down in front of a vehicle that was seeking to enter the Kangaroo Point hotel-prison; and,

– stopping and searching a vehicle that was leaving the hotel-prison.

I believe Councillor Sri showed high quality leadership by participating in these protests, including by blocking vehicle access, and that it was an appropriate use of his power and role as a Councillor.

I do not believe Councillor Sri’s behaviour constitutes misconduct, and in fact I think it would be great if more politicians took similar actions to stand against the unlawful detention of refugees.

I am concerned that attempts to unseat Cr Sri at the ballot box may have triggered back room tactics by his political opponents.

Regards,
Ian Curr 
E:
iancurr@bigpond.com
M: 0407 687 016
8 June 2021

Reference

Fear of blue skies …

A Rohingyan friend recently told me that drones were used against his people in Arkine State in Bangladesh in three ways, to produce:

  1. Fear
  2. Invasion of Privacy
  3. Killing

Here is a show Andy has put together about Drones and the fear of blue skies

Paradigm Shift June 4, 2021 Friday – 12:00 – 1:00 PM

Welcome to the Paradigm Shift on FM 102.1 4ZZZ Fridays at noon. We challenge the assumptions of our current society, to resist oppression …

This week we hear from Alex Edney-Browne about drone warfare. Alex went to Afghanistan to interview people who had lived through drone strikes; and also studied the role of drones in the US wars, and Australia’s involvement through the Pine Gap base. Alex queries the accuracy of drone technology. She discusses the number of civilian casualties in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Estimates by the Obama administration say that total civilian casualties are between 64 and 116.

Independent journalists estimate 1,147 civilian deaths.

Listen also at http://4zzz.org.au/program/paradigm-shift

Pine Gap – Central Australia

Guilt by Association
Drone attacks depend upon signals intelligence of daily routes of their targets. Pine Gap processes this intelligence.

Many taxi drivers get killed by drones simply because they are on the road dealing with different people (militants) and are conspicuous. https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F289639625&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&visual=true&show_comments=true&color=false&show_user=true&show_reposts=false

Alex talked about ‘rogue states’ getting the technology. Andy gives an example of IS (Daesh) using a drone in Iraq recently. She mentions Iran, Russia and Nth Korea (but this depends on your political perspective).

Proxy wars
Alex questions the ethics of USA’s undeclared wars on Somalia, Pakistan and Yemen.

Human fallibility
Drones are an attempt to rule out the humanity of people required to kill others when there are innocent children nearby.

Playlist
Anomie – Predator drones over Yemen
Sole and DJ Pain – National bird
Killing Joke – Seeing red
Anohni – Drone bomb me
Common Enemy – Satellite regime
Franz James – Drone lament

Reference
https://www.thenation.com/article/the-most-important-us-air-force-base-youve-never-heard-of/

Was ‘Disrupt Land Forces’ a Success?

On the evening of 2 June, arms dealers inside the Brisbane Convention Centre clapped and cheered Queensland police as they arrested peace activists trying to stop more arms deals between Australia and Saudi Arabia.

The tactic of entering the convention centre is a bit like Bob Brown going to Central Queensland during the last federal election, like going right into the heart of the beast. Was it a play to the media? How is mainstream media gonna help stop the arms dealers when their papers, magazines and websites are full of adverts touting the military and the the big arms dealers?

To this day, a question mark hangs over Bob Brown’s anti-Adani campaign decision to go to the home of coal in central Queensland.

Now Land Forces mob going into the convention centre repeat the same strategy. Why?

It may have been better to concentrate on a blockade from outside. But given the generally small number of participants and the level of organisation that was always going to be a difficult task.

This was conceded by the organisers in their aim “to disrupt” rather than “to stop” the arms convention.

Outside a gala event for arms dealers at the Brisbane Convention Centre, peace activist and Friend of the Earth, Robin Taubenfeld, made a speech. A sombre march of death accompanied by the Riff Raff band had started at Jagera Hall and marched down past the Convention Centre to SouthBank. This is what Robin had to say outside the Convention Centre:

Aerospace is hosting social drinks inside the Brisbane convention center to network the machines of death and killing. And shortly in the ballroom of this place there will be a gala dinner. … Also a networking event … and we don’t speak of war as a networking event. Some of the world’s largest and most lethal weapons manufacturers and arms contractors are gathered here. This is not about an event. This is about making Australia a top 10 weapons exporter. The federal government support and the Queensland Government hosts this event … like its a khaki state it’s war, a social occasion, and networking events.

However we’re here to say the truth about what these events are. We are many people mourning today, we’ve come on this somber occasion to say, “This is no place for celebration”. This is not the direction that we want to see in our society, our country, our world. And look at this, where are we? We’re at South Bank your family friendly destination. And inside here, what are we hosting? killing machines, because the companies here are not just involved in tanks and small armaments.

The companies here are supporting the nuclear arms race. A nuclear weapons proliferation race and the sort of the militarization, which is an ongoing colonisation. (Shame). The first invasion. The first murderous lethal incursion. And this event and these events that are carrying on here today, tomorrow and yesterday, and especially, I’d say social networking gala event are abhorent … a continuation of the colonization, and the militarization of the place. And we mourn that.

Speech by Robin Taubenfeld (Friends of the Earth) outside Brisbane Convention Centre

Conclusion

However despite its comparatively small size, ramshackle organisation of throwing disparate groups together in protest, and absence of the unions, Disrupt Land Forces still achieved much of their object. Arms Dealers will be reluctant to come to Brisbane again soon.

Congratulations to the organisers who put in all the hard work and to those people who participated.

Ian Curr
3 June 2021

Merchants of Death arrive in Brisbane

Arms dealers inside the Brisbane Convention Centre clapped and cheered Queensland police as they arrested peace activists trying to stop more arms deals between Australia and Saudi Arabia, Elbit Systems and Israel, Rheinmetall and Indonesia. These people should be outlawed from Brisbane and their dirty deals banned. Watch the video below as the Queensland Government throws its police force behind the arms dealers.

Qld Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in front of a Rheinmetall armoured car in Rockhampton

It’s a bit like Bob Brown going with an anti-Adani convoy rolling through Central Queensland demanding voters shun coal. This was during the 2019 federal election, the convoy went straight into the heart of the beast. A play to the media, certainly? How are the mainstream media gonna help stop the merchants of death when mainstream papers, magazines and websites are full of arms dealers adverts?

Tactically, quite a question mark hangs over both Brown’s anti-Adani campaign decision and the Land Forces mob going into the convention centre. May have been better to concentrate on building a large crowd for a blockade from outside.

Nonetheless a game and spirited first try by Disrupt Land Forces at blockading these merchants of death.

Australian government supports arms deals

Documents released under Freedom of Information reveal Australia approved 103 military export permits to UAE and Saudi during the Yemen war – and denied just three permit applications. Michelle Fahy investigates Australia’s escalating export trade in weapons with the Saudi dictatorship, in defiance of its international commitments.

The Defence Department allowed local weapons-making companies to export to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, two countries behind the disastrous Yemen war, even as the UN was pleading for the rest of the world to stop supplying weapons to these countries.

Drones
An Australian breakthrough in drone technology that makes it easier to locate hidden enemy on the battlefield could also be used to target civilian protesters. The US government has already used surveillance drones to monitor Black Lives Matters protests while Israel last week reportedly used small drones to drop tear gas on Palestinian protesters. Michelle Fahy investigates.

A lethal drone featuring breakthrough technology, developed by a Brisbane-based company, is causing a stir … https://www.michaelwest.com.au/breakthrough-aussie-war-drone-facial-recognition-may-target-civilian-protestors/

Ian Curr
4PR Voice of the People
4 June 2021

Justice for Palestine- say their names …

Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

Tuesday 1 June 2021 at 5:30 PM

Justice for Palestine calls for an immediate arms embargo on the Apartheid State of Israel and comprehensive Sanctions until it abides by its obligations under International Humanitarian Law.

In light of the recent massacre in the Occupied Gaza Strip, the systematic ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem and the ongoing lethal police and settler violence against the Palestinian people, we join with Disrupt Land Forces to oppose the global arms industry that profits from the crimes of colonialism in Palestine and in many parts of the world, including so called Australia.

We will be reading the names of the recent victims of Apartheid Israel’s violence and honouring their memories in the struggle for Freedom Justice and Equality.

Join us to say their names.

Disrupting Land Forces

1 June 2021

The weapons corporations have arrived in Meanjin (Brisbane) in late May. Over 200 corporations dealing in tanks, military weapons systems, missiles, munitions are in heart of South Brisbane at the convention centre. Selling arms to Indonesia is high on the agenda while West Papua is being militarised and human rights abuses increase.

Meanwhile two people (pictured) who climbed on top of a truck were in court yesterday for their direct action.

Andy, after receiving a $1000 fine for public nuisance, had this to say;

“I just got out of lockup and court, officially a public nuisance. I (along with Jim dressed as the “spectre of death”) climbed on top of a truck entering the Brisbane Convention Centre and stopped vehicles belonging to some of the world’s biggest arms dealers from entering and setting up for the Land Forces weapons expo.

Plenty more disruption to come this week, keep an eye out or if you’re in Brisbane come along to Disrupt Land Forces

Jim pled not guilty and was imposed with restrictive bail conditions that would have prevented him returning to the convention centre to protest. On principal, the spectre of death, Jim, refused these bail conditions and will be held in custody until at least the end of the Land Forces expo.

Solidarity to Jim, but I hope others can stay out of jail … the arms dealers won’t have much to fear from people in jail.

More about Land Forces @ http://4zzz.org.au/program/paradigm-shift

Resist Land Forces

Paradigm Shift (4ZZZ fm 102.1) May 21, 2021

This week on the show we have more analysis on the weapons industry. With the Land Forces weapons convention coming up very soon in Brisbane, we talk to Elise West from the Medical Association for the Prevention of War about arms industry influence in schools, and with Marianne Hanson from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons about the nuclear arms industry.

We also play an extract from Cynthia Cockburn’s “Breaking the gendered continuum of violence“, about how militarism extends violence against women.

Listen at http://ondemand.4zzzfm.org.au/paradigm-shift

Pictured below are Short Range Iranian missiles in Gaza that prevented a bloody incursion of Israeli land forces into Gaza. Knowing the difficulty of such an assault, Israel used the world media to fool people into thinking they were in Gaza, on the ground, attacking the resistance in Gaza on 20 May on 2021. Instead the Israeli army used missiles and artillery killing over 200 people many of them children. Meanwhile Israel used its total air supremacy dropping bombs on tunnels used to smuggle important goods and medical supplies through the blockade

Short Range Iranian missile in Gaza that prevented Israeli land forces ground attack on Gaza in May 2021.
The Israeli army used missiles and artillery instead killing over 200 people many of them children.

Playlist

AKALA … Murder runs the globe

MOULDY LOVERS … Civilised crossfire

DECLAN KELLY FEAT. TINA HARROD … Put down that weapon

MYSTIKZ … Anti war dub

JUDY SMALL … Bridget