Bloggreen: November 2005

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

International Human Rights Day 2005 Rally

nternational Human Rights Day 2005 Rally STOP THE WAR ON HUMAN RIGHTS! Resist racism * Stop religious vilification * Defend civil liberties * Defend workers rights RALLY Details 1pm, Saturday December 10 State Library (After the rally finishes, come to a concert organised by Multicultural Arts Victoria at the old Melbourne Gaol - see below for more details). Human rights in Australia are under attack. For many years refugees have been locked up without charge and been subjected to the most appalling abuses or released on temporary visas and treated as second class citizens. These abuses continue however now, other groups in our community face similar treatment. Under the new anti-terror laws, critics of the Government could face sedition charges. Terror suspects can be placed under house arrest for twelve months without charge. Moreover, thanks to government and media scare-mongering, Muslim Australians now live in fear of hate crimes and official harassment. New workplace laws mean that building workers can be jailed for exercising their right to silence. And the basic rights of all workers - to collectively bargain and to job security - are also being attacked. Indigenous Australians continue to die in custody and are subjected to Third World living conditions. Meanwhile, the Federal Government has now enshrined discrimination against same-sex couples in law. What all this shows is that if the human rights of one group in our community can be treated as an exception, then very soon those of other groups will be too. We must stop the rot before it goes any further. And together we can; by uniting and standing up to these attacks. At 1pm on 10 December join thousands of Victorians in coming together to demand respect for human rights, in Australia and around the world. WE SAY: * Oppose the “anti-terror laws” * Freedom and full rights for all refugees * End vilification of Muslims. * End racial profiling of people of Middle Eastern descent * Troops out of Iraq * Justice, land rights and sovereignty for Indigenous Australians * End black deaths in custody * Stop the attacks on workers’ rights * Equal rights for same sex couples Rally endorsed by: Refugee Action Collective, Stop the War Coalition, Islamic Council of Victoria, Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation, Indigenous Social Justice Organisation, Radical Women, Freedom Socialist Party, Equal Love Campaign, International Social Organisation, Justice for Jack Campaign (Civil Rights Defence), Australia Asia Worker Links, Socialist Alliance, Socialist Alternative, Moreland Peace Group, Fitzroy Peace Group, Australian Greens (Victoria). For more info or to get posters or flyers, contact 9639 8622 or 0413 756 808. Planning meetings held at 7pm each Tuesday at Trades Hall. To donate money to help pay for rally publicity, deposit money in Commonwealth Bank Acct 063 262 Account 1025 2396

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I feel unloved

You remember a while back I told you about my new guest map? Well, noone has clicked on it, which makes me feel sad. And when I say no-one I'm not counting the Bravenet Team, who had the decency to make an automatic pin on it ;) Please scroll down to the button under the Last FM button and click on it. You will make me happy, and it will make you more attractive to members of the opposite sex (ok I made the last bit up). xox

What's the story?

Yeah I know, I've been slack. But I've been so bloody busy! I'm working hard out with the Black GST campaign. On Sunday night went to this awesome gig at the Spanish Club in Fitzroy. Met heaps of amazing people and had the most outrageous boogie that I've had since I've been here. It was a reggae/hip hop gig so I felt quite at home. I particularly recommend Combat Wombat if you're into conscious as hip hop. They blew my mind! The next Black GST event is the Black Comedy event this Sunday at 2pm at Edinburgh Gardens in Fitzroy. It;s a free gig, so come along! there's an awesome lineup and Lentil as Anything are doing the food, yum! Still haven't managed to sort out a permanent job or somewhere to live but I am making progress on both fronts. I landed a short IT consultancy project which will make me a wee bit of dosh. So another thing to add to the CV. Melburnians listen up! If you need an IT consultant, I can help :) I have been particularly amused by some of the transtasman politics as of late. It has been particularly fun rubbing it in the faces of locals that the NZ PM stands up for Aussie drug traffickers on death row when their own PM won't - he he. But the one that always gets thrown back in my face is the fact that Winston is Foreign Affiars Minister now. People here don't seem to know that much about NZ politics, but they've all heard of him - sigh. Til next time! xox

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Forest action

Today I got to participate in my first action on the steps of Parliament in a country other than Aotearoa! I was dressed as a Powerful Owl along with a whole bunch of other native Australian animals and birds to present a postcard petition to the State Environment Minister on behalf of the Wilderness Society. It was fun! For those of you who aren't up to speed with what's going on in Victoria, there is some pretty major deforestation going on around the tops of the Melbourne water catchment areas. This is completely stupid if you're trying to hydrate a city containing 4 million people. And then of course, there's the issue of all of the native wildlife that call these beautiful forests home. I'm going to be involved in this campaign until the next state election at least, so stay tuned for more news and info.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Invitation to celebrate Rod Donald's life

Celebration of the life of Rod Donald The Melbourne-based Aotearoa Greens would like to invite all Victoria Greens, ex-pat kiwis and other environmentalists to celebrate the life of Rod Donald MP. Rod Donald was Co-Leader of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand and passed away suddenly on the 6th of November. Rod was well-known to many Australians as a result of his many campaigning visits to drum up support amongst ex-pat kiwi voters and to help support the work of the Australian Green Party for their many campaigns. Rod was a key player in bringing about proportional representation at the MMP referendum in 1993. Over the years his work has included community development in the Avon Loop in Christchurch, coordinating recycling for the city and leading Trade Aid nationally. He was a passionate supporter of New Zealand manufacturing and self-reliance and of keeping jobs in New Zealand. In Parliament he has fought for justice, for exploited Asian workers in sweatshops through the Greens' fair trade campaign and for the people of Zimbabwe in his efforts to highlight human right abuses in that country. Rod was supposed to be attending the Melbourne Social Forum this weekend. All are welcome to come remember and celebrate Rod's life over a few beers this Sunday (20th November) night in the Garden Bar at The Standard Hotel, Fitzroy Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne from 6.30pm.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Black GST

Amongst all of the exceptionally cool things I've found out about and am getting involved with since I've arrived in Melbourne is the Black GST crew. As you all know the Stolenwealth Games is on in Melbourne next year and this crew is using this wonderful event to highlight the cost to indigenous people the spread of the Commonwealth has been. Black GST have got heaps of cool stuff planned and I'm really looking forward to getting involved in their work. The attitude of the majority of Australians towards Aborigine people is absolutely appalling and helping deal with that attitude is one thing I've been really wanting to get involved in. Partly because I was sick of hearing racist New Zealanders use Australian racists as an excuse not to address their own behaviour. 'Well, at leats we're better than the Australians, we signed a Treaty' Yeah but you haven't fucking honoured it and most of you want to get rid of it! Sigh... Check out the website

Interesting blog

A friend pointed out Three Way Fight to me. It's pretty good. Got some quite good analysis of the French riots on there. I've been looking around a bit for some good analysis in english, cause you can never trust the media on that sort of thing. And most of what I've found has been in French, which I don't understand a word of. Except of course for the really useful words like menage a trois!

On the media

I wrote this a few days ago but didn't manage to quite finish/proof it. Perceptions have changed a wee bit since coming to Melbourne, but a lot of it's still pretty valid. I really don't know what to make of this place. Actually I do. For the first time in my 'grown-up' life I get to see how great the effect of media is on the construction of understanding of reality. While I knew this and saw this back home, I knew a lot more about the context of any given situation so I would always subconsciously fill in the gaps of any story I saw. And back home I was always able to rely on 'other' news sources for more information. Sources like Scoop and Indymedia have been invaluable for me to find news stories that actually reflect what's going on, and give decent analysis as to what's going on. Not just the reality as decided by corporate advertising executives. But here the media seems just so much more biased and the people that I've met (admittedly, very few) seem very affected by it. I would be very interested to find some journalism students to talk to to find out what they are toaght here. I have seen two press conferences since I've been here and found them to be very interesting learning experiences. The first was an on the spot presser given by Kerry Nettle (Green Senator) at the freedom rally in the weekend. The questions asked reminded me of the interrogation Rod Donald got from the Indonesian journalists after Rod and Nandor held their silent protest on the steps of Parliament during the visit of the Indonesian President to New Zealand a few months ago. The questions the journalists asked Kerry were all very much along Government policy lines and were exceptionally loaded with rhetoric. And what little coverage I saw of that demo and Kerry's comments gave no attempt to communicate what people were demonstrating against and portrayed the participants to be unpatriotic and supporters of terrorism. Even though some of the people that were there were connected in various ways to terrorism, particularly the first Bali bombing. The second presser I saw was a live broadcast of John Howard's comments after the first round of terrorism raids in Sydney and Melbourne. It was a very typical politician press conference but I was heartened to hear Howard reinforce the importance of not allowing the trial of these men to become a trial by media and cautioning both other politicians and members of the media to be careful when discussing the arrests to not pass judgement so they could get a fair trial. Fair enough I thought. So I was astonished to see the news that evening completely ignoring that advice and practically hanging the men charged before they'd even faced a judge. Not surprisingly, the lawyers for all men involved have already begun to say that these men will not be able to face a fair trial. But what I've found interesting about all of the media discussions about terrorism etc is the blatant racism inherent within all of the reports and how much people here seem to pick it up. To slightly change the subject I want to finish this post by sharing a conversation I had the other night. I was talking to a couple of 'good keen ocker blokes' about the media attitude towards people of the Muslim faith and we started talking about immigrants in general. These men were arguing to me that while 'they're not racist' (ahem) they have a problem with the people who come here and refuse to assimilate. They were bemoaning the amount of foreign language signs around and how it's hard to like immigrants if they don't try and be a part of the community. I tried to point out to them that it might be hard for new immigrants if the only people that will talk to them is other immigrants. And perhaps if Australians tried to be more welcoming to new members of their communities they might be more likely to engage with the existing communities. They responded by arguing that the Government gives them heaps in terms of settlement assistance, benefits etc. I chose not to point out to them that they're talking about what the government does, not what actual people do - big difference. Instead I said that to be the devils advocate for a minute, wasn't the behaviour of recent immigrants (wearing traditional clothes, speaking their own languages etc) still a lot nicer than what the colonising people of Australia did to the Aborigine people? (Should've seen the looks on their faces!) They replied that the past was the past and the Government gives heaps to Aborigine people now. They told me the problem wasn't the Aborigine people in the bush, but the ones in the city. I replied by pointing out to them that it's about access to culture. If you get your culture taken away from you, you lose your identity. And if you lose your identity you will lose pride in your behaviour. This world is in some radical need of some recognition of the power and value to all of us of diversity and difference. Politics of difference allow us all to hold an identity and be proud of it. If we get our heads around the idea that the identity of one group of people shouldn't come at the cost of the identity of another group of people, we will make some seriously significant progress towards ending racism. It's not just about telling ourselves that we're not racist (as long as other people would just be more like us), but going out of our way to understand more about the world views of other people. The more we understand each other, the less we have to prove that 'our way is the right way'.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Before today the biggets protest I'd been in had about 8000 people in it. Two hundred and fifty thousand people is amazing. Check Kakariki Films soonish for footage. Wow.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Public Transport in Melbourne

Yay I'm in Melbourne! I've been here for a couple of days now and it's HEAPS different to Sydney (thank goddess!). Except for the public transport. Now before I moved here heaps of people told me that I would love Melbourne because it had trams and other awesome public transport things like that. I thought Sydney was pretty cool cause you walk into a train station and there's a giant machine with a button for every station on the network. You press your station and your ticket type and it tells you how much and what platform to go to. Or if you're on a bus, they're all pretty logically labelled but the drivers are friendly as if you have no idea where you're going. Piece of piss! So I get here and get a bus from the airport into town assuming that it would take me reasonably close to the train station. But no... Unless you count four blocks with sixteen tons of construction site and a few road crossings in between. Now that doesn't sound like too far but when you're carrying 28 kilos worth of crap on your back and then all your hand luggage as well, it feels like 10 miles. Then once you get there you have to dodge all sorts of temporary fences to find your way up this massive escalator to find the ticket booth. They have automatic ticket machines but unless you know exactly where you're going and understand the local ticketing system, they're useless. And the office with a human in it is pretty hard to find and the staff in there are not at all helpful. Then you have to go all the way back down another escalator to get to the platform and there's nothing to tell you what train is what. They all have the same thing written on them and there's no staff around to ask for help. I eventually found a local to ask questions of but while he had good intentions, his advice (if I had've taken it) was not helpful, in fact wrong. So then I finally get on a train and I think 'yeah, this is cool!!!!' spunky new train, pretty, quick and clean. And all the stops are all really clean and spunky. And if you sit at the back it looks really cool up the middle cause the carriages are all open and you can see things bending in front of you. But then as I approach North Melbourne station this voice comes over the intercom to tell us that the train stops at that station and we'll be loaded on to a bus. Bloody hell, do they know how much shit I'm carrying? This is information that would have been useful to know before I got on the train. So I stagger up this great big long ramp, get on a bus and finally make it to where I'm staying and it's taking me 2 and a half hours since I got off the plane. Ridiculous! I could've just got a cab and it would've taken me 20 minutes. My other (not quite as) traumatic public transport experience was this evening when I was getting a tram into town to go to the treedom fighters public meeting. I got on the tram and asked him if it was going to the street I wanted, he grunted yes. I asked how much it was and got no response. So I sat down. I had no idea how to pay, and there was no one around me to ask. So I didn't. Quite odd. I like supporting public transport and am happy to contribute my bit for the cost but couldn't for the life of me figure out how! Oh well, not tomorrow either, since the bus and fare drivers aren't checking fares in solidarity with the national day of community action against Howard's new industrial reform laws. Which are mighty dodgy! Anyway, I think I might have to get involved in some public transport activism while I'm here. I'm certainly getting a bike as it's so easy to bike around Melbourne. I haven't seen any hills yet, a couple of slopes but they weren't hills. And the 10th birthday of Critical Mass is coming up at the end of this month. Neato!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Open letter to TVNZ

Dear TVNZ Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the live feed of Rod's funeral. Watching a funeral from an internet cafe in Bondi is a rather surreal experience, but it meant I could be there and for that I will always be greatful. Arohanui

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Originally uploaded by kakariki.

Rod v Chair of China Parliament

Originally uploaded by kakariki.
Found another couple of photos of Rod. This from one of Rod's most memorable public stunts.

Cheeky bugger!

Cheeky bugger!
Originally uploaded by kakariki.

Oh that cheeky grin!

Oh that cheeky grin!
Originally uploaded by kakariki.

Rod and Jeanette

Rod and Jeanette
Originally uploaded by kakariki.

Rod and his team

Rod and his team
Originally uploaded by kakariki.

Where was I?

I just wrote this big long post and then it got swallowed by the interwebby! It must be ASIO keeping an eye on me, they're pretty paranoid at the moment. Firstly, I want to thank all my friends for their emails and text messages of love, I wouldn't be coping if it wasn't for all that love. I did want to come home but I figured that Rod would call me a wimp, so instead I sat down and collated all of my footage of him to send over with the two Australian Senators attending Rod's funeral. There's quite a lot of stuff and I'm sure the parliamentary team will enjoy some of the candid stuff! I posted some stills I extracted for people to enjoy. As for Sydney, this place is bloody weird. Aside from the inability of tunnelling engineers to dig in the right place, the terrorism hysteria sweeping the city is scarier than the prospect of a terrorist attack! It has been positively bizarre watching the news. There is absolutely no attempt at unbiased journalism here and anyone who tries to question the government is openly mocked on air. It's really quite odd. Oh, and don't even talk about the indigenous people here, no one will know what you're talking about. Also, it's stinking hot! Predicted to get up around 35C today, glad I'm hanging out in an airconditioned office! Finally congratulations to Sue K for getting the chair of the Health Select Committee that's a well-deserved appointment. And I bet some officials will be breathing a sigh of relief now that she has to be the mediator not mediated!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Rod Donald, friend, colleague, leader, great man

I think one of the hardest things about moving to another country is when you're not long gone and you hear the news of a friend or family members death. I was woken this morning by a phone call to inform me that Rod passed away last night. I honestly don't know how I feel about this yet. I have spent a good part of this morning in tears, mourning the loss of a very good friend and an important mentor. Rod has got to be one of the most committed, hard-working, inspirational people I've ever met. He is a major reason why the Greens are where they are today. His ability to see what needs to be done, how it should be done, and who should do it was incredible. But what was most amazing about Rod was the efficiency in which he got stuff done and the inclusive way in which he went about it. I have so many wonderful memories of Rod, far too many to list here. But I will say that on a personal level Rod has been a fantastic support for me. His door was always open and I could always talk to him about anything. I will miss him dearly. I had planned to meet up with Rod in Melbourne in a couple of weeks for a beer and I guess that won't happen now. But I will have a drink in his honour tonight. So thank you Rod, from the bottom of my heart for all of your wonderful work. And all my best wishes go out to the Donald whanau and the Green Party as a whole. Especially that wonderful woman behind the man, Rod's PA. Bron is a complete star and one of the main reasons why Rod has been able to acheive what he has done. I really wish I could be there to give her a hug right now. Toitu he whenua Whatungarongaro he tangata Arohanui

All my bags are packed...

Cause I'm leaving on a jet plane Don't know when I'll be be back again Gidday mates! This is my writing somewhere halfway between Hamilton and Sydney on board a delightfully smooth Freedom Air flight, drinking a cheeky wee Sauvignon Blanc, listening to Noam Chomsky (Post 911 Terrorism and the US, CBC Interview, 2002) and counting my blessings that I managed to be psychic enough to get the passport/leaving the country timing sussed so I didn't have to fork out my money and biometrics for an ePassport. So what have I been up to? I've been cruising around the country over the last couple of weeks saying good bye to friends and family. Got to spend Labour Weekend in the Hawkes Bay so that was pretty wet (/understatement). But the sunny Bay of Plenty made up for it. After being in Winstonland for a few days (bought some SEXY new boots - if you're a tramper, go to new tramping shop Hikoi at the Mount), I headed to the 'Tron to sort out last of the business I needed to do. Hamilton included Halloween parties, gatecrashing Rocky Horror Picture Show closing night parties and drinking far too much. I also popped up to Auckland for a night to say goodbye to friends and family and had the most amazing time at the Dogs Bollix. One of my favourite goddesses in the whole entire world, Kim (Green Auckland OOP Office Drill Sergeant) organised drinks there and invited a whole heap of local Greens and I invited some of my friends too. I walked past earlier in the day and saw that it was open mike night which made me pretty excited. But I was not prepared for the most amazing night ever! Firstly, catching up with Auckland Greens was great. Nice to have an opportunity to see how Greens outside of Wellington saw the election and fun to share my opinions on how things are going. After that the music started. It was obvious once things got going that this was a regular crew of people that came to this regular night at the Bollix. They were mostly older people but it wasn't open mike as in up on a stage, rather everyone sat in a big circle and jammed. It was so cool! Some amazing talents and an incredible atmosphere. They even sang Waltzing Matilda which I figure I should get used to hearing more often. But a big thank you to all of those people for welcoming us into their wonderful community. But had my last night in NZ last night. Had dinner at home with the folks and then went out with a friend to drink beer and play pool. Started at Diggers Bar and got thoroughly thrashed at pool, but enjoyed some great live music. Then we decided to go find somewhere neither of us had been before but the only places that fitted that description were pretty awful looking. So we headed to Sohl Bar for a cocktail. After cocktails it occurred to me that I should get rid of the rest of my NZ currency so what better way of doing that than going to the Casino! I've never been to a Casino before. In fact I don't like them very much at all, but this time thought there could be some mild entertainment value in going to a casino with the explicit purpose of losing money. Now among my things I know about is pokie machines (c/- Bachelor Social Sciences one of my majors was Psychology), in particular the behaviour reinforcement schedules that they use to ensure you a) lose money and b) keep losing money, which is why I stay well clear. But I struck a wee problem in my plan of losing money in that I was not very good at it! My friend next to me was quite good at it, but I seemed to get the machine at the right stage in the cycle. So I'm putting money in the machine and it keeps giving it back! I ended up resorting to giving some of it to my friend to put in for me cause he was much better at it than I was. I came to the conclusion that I just didn't have the right attitude ;) But I did get rid of it all eventually and as we were sick of seeing all these miserable looking people sitting around tables (which did lead to a highly amusing conversation about whether they'd actually kick you out if you acted like they do in the advertisements) we left at about 3am. So I've had one hours sleep and way too much booze and they just announced the next round so I'm going to go and read my book. I'm reading 'The Explorers' by Tim Flannery which is a collection of diaries from the colonisation of Australia. Just getting myself armed and ready to play with any racist locals I may encounter. Love to all my friends and whanau, miss you all dearly. xox P.S. It's fucking hilarious listening Chomsky get interviewed by someone who doesn't agree with him, he just destroys them intellectually. I think this guy must have gone home and cried after doing that interview! He gets points for trying but doesn't know shit compared to Chomsky.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Site maintenance

Damn I'm on a roll! Blogroll that is. I reorganised that lovely list down the side. I came to the conclusion that an abitrary list organisation was getting difficult to maintain and certain friends of mine kept fighting over their placing on my list. So it's now alphabetical. And I got rid of the Us Them thing cause that's a bit difficult to do as well. If you're not there and want to be send me an email and I'll check you out.

New blog

And it's not my own this time! Check out Progressive Essays. Not entirely sure who this is but look forward to reading his/her/it's writing.

New thing

OK I really can't sleep. But I got a Guest Map! If you scroll down the side to the end of my link list you'll see a wee button which takes you to it. Please tell me where y'all from! Cool.

IALYSBSYDD - Coming Soon!

I've discovered something quite evil about not having a job. Apart from the fact you never know what bloody day it is, it quite seriously messes with your body clock. Take right now for example, I have to be up at 6.30 to drive to Auckland and I can't bloody sleep! This may have something to do with the fact that I spent the greater proportion of this last weekend drinking Lindauer, therefore most of Sunday asleep, but I think the problem was there before that. So what am I doing up in the wee hours? Looking at Australian blogs. I figured I should find some new friends. I started with my mate Darp cause he seems to know everyone and he did win some award for his blog. And I found heaps of neat stuff! For a start John Howard's blog. The posting isn't that frequent but exceptionally good quality satire. Then I checked out another buddy Dr Cam Sexenheimer who turns out to be 10 times weirder than I previously thought. I already knew about Weezil's blog but took the time to have a read, and thought I'd mention it here so Darp will see it and might update the link he has cause it's like, so wrong! Then I stumbled across Ms Cynic at Watchdog of the Wankers. As I read the top post I realised this was to be the last, which saddened me and obviously her regular readers. Coincidentally, the next blog I read was Annonymous Lefty commenting on the departure of Ms Satire and the inability of blogland to catch up with reality when things go bad. And it got me thinking, we've had one blogger that I know of in Aotearoa depart to the land of next. And we did find that out. But what would happen to some of our blogs? Has the blogging phenomena developed to the point now where we should be leaving logins with a loved one in case of departure? Will people be leaving a final post as a part of their will? I predict a future phenomena will be blogs dedicated towards linking to blogs of dead people. I know a couple of angsty teenagers that would totally dig that! For the record, I think Asher would probably know first, so if you really care about me, bookmark Asher too and I'll make him tell you all if I die. (he he Asher, did you see that? I got all cunning and told people to link to you, damn I'm a clever pants!). Anyhoo, so I read a few more blogs and came to the realisation that there's some bloody interesting people out there in the world. But it seems some of them only get interesting when they're online and behind a pseudonym. Which I think really sucks! When I go walking down Lambton Quay I see all these boring suits, but what I never realised is that they're all probably being boring outside and then running home to their computers to be fun and interesting. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! I reckon the time has come for a International Act Like Your Blog Says You Do Day. One day a year set aside for people to be flambouyant, revolutionary, smart-ass, or maybe even dull and boring and just reciting news articles all day. But it could be interesting. So, cause I can't wait too long for this to happen or I'll forget, I declare the 10th of November to be International Act Like Your Blog Says You Do Day or IALYBSYDD for Wellingtonian Acronym Fetishists or WAFs. I'll make a wee button and we can all spread the word!