Due to the incessant rain and flooding in some areas, including probable flooding between the area on the North coast where the speaker lives and Brisbane, the meeting of the 17 Group that was to have been held tomorrow,Wednesday the 3rd of March, is now postponed until Wednesday the 7th of April. Leon joins other organisers and non-organisers in presenting humble apologies.
On Wednesday the 3rd of March, the talk will be by Merv Partridge, recently back from Copenhagen with his video footage of the doings.
“Trotsky in Hopenhagen”
17 Group Meeting:
3rd of March,
Unit 6 at 20 Drury St,
Inner- city suburb of West End:
Great White Sharks in the City of Hope?
In December 2009 the city of Copenhagen in Denmark tried to cope with a flood of visitors who came to talk about the worlds climate. TV sets around the world windowed on the official COP15 held at the huge Bella Centre on the outskirts of the city. Billboards everywhere renamed the city Hopenhagen or promoted the latest electric car. A short walk from central station was the Klima Forum a well oiled (extra virgin olive) alternative conference of NGOs and civil society. Also close to the city centre in Christiantown was a gathering of ecovillages from around the world. Held in a circus Bigtop and a clutch of yurts in the meadow beside Pusher Street in the legendary FreeTown of Christiania this was the Klimabundmode, the Climate Bottom Meeting (alter ego of the COP15 Climate Top Meeting). Subtitle: Windows of Hope. Subtext: hmmm… Zeitgeists Unite???
People were meeting everywhere pubs, cafes, trains, saunas. A gymnasium filled up with people from all over who came not so much for the meetings as to demonstrate for action. The official COP15 meeting ran for two weeks. On the middle Saturday was the Big Demonstration. Media and police reported 100,000 people in what started as a very colourful and upbeat procession. Some folk were not happy with a monster party on display in the worlds living rooms. On the way to the Bella Centre stones flew. A window was reported broken in the Deutscher Bank. Other demonstrators tried to intervene and shut down the stone throwing. The police would not wait. They moved in and divided the march into three slices. They arrested everyone in the middle slice. No stone thrower was to escape (nor anyone who breathed the same air). One thousand people were arrested. Many were detained overnight in unheated cages. For some this was the first protest of their life (for some the last). Just three were charged. Before the week was out citizens of the city of hope (and their visitors) were to attend a celebratory dance at the Bigtop in Christiania free town and enjoy mayhem, Molotov cocktails, dogs, water cannons and complimentary tear gas.
What was all this about? Thorough police? Overzealous police? Who threw the stones? Who threw the molotovs? Was it spontaneous or premeditated? Were there murky agendas cutting through the winter deeps of Hopenhagen like great white sharks at the smorgasboard of the sinking Titanic? Come along to the 17 Group this week. See a bit of vide and hear some chit chat. No shrink-wrapped answers but you may walk away with some flash new questions. If Leon finally fronts we may even have a couple of questions for him.
If he fronts? Is it likely after all these disappointments? Though you never can tell. The topic could interest him. After all he was in Copenhagen himself, but he got there a bit early for the gig and then got tired of waiting. The press covered it. Here it is. Hell be a lively contributor if he comes, all flashing hands,hard stares and volubility.
Trotsky in Copenhagen
In November 1932, the great Robert Capa was just a beginner photojournalist. That month, he received his first significant assignment as a photojournalist when his superiors at Dephot (a famous photoagency that the time) sent to him Copenhagen, Denmark to cover a speech being given there by the exiled revolutionary Leon Trotsky.
Trotsky was lecturing Danish students on the history of the Russian revolution on November 27, 1932. Capa smuggled his inconspicuous Leica into the stadium and position himself near to where Trotsky was speaking and clandestinely snapped a series of photographs that superbly captured the energy of the impassioned Russian orator and the drama of the moment, so much so that Berlins Der Welt Spiegel devoted a full page to Capas photographs. It was Capas first published story.
Splotches and fissures in the above image (which is the most famous of Capas Trotsky images) was the result of a damage to the photographic negative.
Avoid splotches and fissures in your socio-ecological conscience. Come to the meeting.