Monthly Archives: March 2012


Sale of Queensland Rail finished Labor in Queensland

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There is a prevailing belief in the ALP that they can spin their way out of any situation. This sometimes works with people without ideology or class consciousness. The economic crisis has shaken people’s faith in capitalism mainly because poverty … Continue reading


Witness for Palestine at Mosh Ben Ari concert

Last night at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall about 8 of us bore witness before a large crowd attending Israeli singer Mosh Ben Ari’s concert. We highlighted the suffering of the Palestinian people on banners and flew Palestinian flags. Mosh is … Continue reading


Update for Julian Assange Brisbane Rally

Hi everyone, We are all still waiting for a verdict on Julian’s extradition case from the UK Supreme Court. For those that don’t know, we were recently contacted by the UK Supreme Court and have been advised, that we will … Continue reading


April 4th Meeting of the 17 Group

The next meeting of the 17 group will be held on Wednesday the 4th of April at 7 pm in unit 6 at 20 Drury St, West End. The speaker will be Adrian Skerritt, who will initiate discussion of the … Continue reading


Palm Sunday Rally- Keep Australia Nuclear-Free & Independent

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BRISBANE! Unite! Now is the time to get back out on the streets together!!! Palm Sunday Rally for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament – this Sunday! With the new LNP gov’t there is no better time to organise and say NO … Continue reading


Queensland State Election 2012 — build extra-parliamentary opposition

In the 1970s, workers were denied democratic rights in the workplace and on the streets. Back then, electoral gerrymander prevented parliamentary opposition. So we built extra-parliamentary opposition. The Labor Party came to power in the 1980s on the back of … Continue reading


Supprt Aboriginal Embassy at Musgrave Park

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“People enjoy their food, take pleasure in being with their families, spend weekends working in their gardens, delight in the doings of the neighborhood. And even though the next country is so close that people can hear its roosters crowing … Continue reading

An apostrophe a semicolon and a hyphen walk into a bar

STAND-UP comedian Lenny Bruce would read transcripts of his obscenity trials towards the end of his career. It was embarrassing rather than funny. Literary jokes are thin in the air.
“J. K. Rowling is writing a contemporary adult novel; what’s that all about?” is not in the comedic handbook as the intro to a gig. Yet, with so many funny books out there, the world of literature should be a fertile field of frivolity.
Let us see if we can create a few immortal literary jokes – even a few timely ones will do.
This one is supposedly true though I have embellished it to a joke format. American artist James Whistler is holding a dinner party in London in honour of his mother Anna. Among the guests are French writer Guy du Maupassant and Irishman Oscar Wilde. Du Maupassant delivers a bon mot before dessert. “I wish I said that,’’ Oscar Wilde says. Whistler replies, “You will Oscar. You will.”
A very old man knocks on heaven’s doors. From the other side St Peter growls, “We’re closed; come back tomorrow.’’ The old man wearily protests he has been looking everywhere for his son. St Peter asks what is his son’s name. The old man replies, “I don’t know what name he goes by now but he has nails in his hands and his feet. The gates open wide as St Peter says, “Jesus, get out here, someone to see you.” Jesus rushes out to embrace the old man. “Father,” he says.  The old man warmly returns the embrace. “Pinocchio,” he says.
An apostrophe, a semicolon and a hyphen walk into a bar. That is all I have.
How does this joke end? You tell me. Send me the ending or a literary joke you know. Respond here or email bentbananabooks@gmail.comYour joke will be available for publication, so please supply a name of some sort.
Buy 7 Shouts HERE.

Anti Uranium Rally

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Irish woman interned by British – protest in Brisbane – please spread the word

British Consulate, 1 Eagle St, Brisbane Brisbane Speakout: Free Marian Price Thursday March 22, 12:30pm Outside British Consulate 1 Eagle St, Brisbane Since May 15, 2011, Marian Price has been illegally incarcerated by the British in the north of Ireland. … Continue reading

Upcoming Event: Brisbane Detention Centre Rally. Help spread the word

Protest in solidarity with detainees at Brisbane’s detention centre
Come to Brisbane’s very own detention centre and demand freedom and justice for refugees.
When: 1pm, Saturday 17th March.
Where: The “BITA” (Brisbane Immigration Transit Accomodation), 100 Sugarmill Rd, Pinkenba.
Getting there: Meet at 11.30am at Central Station to catch the train to Doomben. Car pool from Doomben to BITA. Look for the refugee rights placards at Central.
Further info: Paul, paul , ph.3392 3843.
The first version of our flier for this event stated that the BITA houses over 200 asylum seekers, mainly women and children. The BITA currently houses 51 entirely male asylum seekers. Apologies for any confusion caused by this mistake.

©2012 Refugee Action Collective, QLD | Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

7 Aussie sayings in 7 Shouts

I THOUGHT everyone loved rhyming slang but I was wrong.
During a bout of immersion in Aussie slang through my weekly column 7 Shouts, a reader wrote in to protest.
She said Aussie rhyming slang and slang in general were provincial and uncouth.
I took mild offence to the observation and was about to offer to write a short but spirited defence of slang at the bottom of the reader’s published letter. Thinking about it some more, I decided I had my weekly column and I should leave the letter’s page to readers.
Rhyming slang originated in Cockney London but Australians long ago imported it and contributed to the lexicon with relish.
In the 1943 Hollywood rom-com Mr Lucky, Cary Grant used it to effect as something of plot mover. I am not sure whether Grant’s character says he picked it up in Australia or whether his butler picked it up in Oz. But it definitely came from Orstraytlya, as Grant pronounces our country.
Some of the expressions were “briny marlin” (darlin’) “bottles and stoppers” (coppers, police), “tit for tat” (hat) and “lady from Bristol” (pistol). A particularly amusing one to today’s ears, especially as it came from Hollywood is “heap of coke” (bloke, man).
In the film, Gary Grant plays a professional gambler and uses the slang in a coded interchange with leading lady Laraine Day to thwart the corrupt bottles and stoppers. This is in keeping with the popular academic theory rhyming slang was used by the criminal classes to exclude authorities from an understanding of the true meaning of the conversation.
There may be some truth in this but I prefer the simpler explanation rhyming slang was used because it was fun. Even the notion of slang excluding outsiders has overtones of an in-joke. Some very perceptive person, and I do not know who it was, coined the phrase “poetry of the streets’’ to describe slang.
I borrowed the term for my book of newspaper columns and potted observations on Australian and world culture, 7 Shouts.
I will now put the case for the defence which I eschewed on that letters’ page.
First, rhyming slang is somewhat sophisticated.  A working class purist would never use the full expression as the Grant character was forced to do to make it explicable to the viewer. Briny is a darlin’; bottles are coppers and a lady is a pistol. You can see the pattern which gets even better; titfa is a hat.
So here we go with the seven – some rhyming slang, some relatives – from 7 Shouts:
1.       Frog’nis a road as in frog ‘n’ toad. Let’s hit the frog’n on our trip down Slang Street.
2.      Khyber is arse or ass, in America. A ban on further spoon feeding precludes my saying what the second word is. But I will note that you can receive a kick up the Khyber or you can get the khyber (be fired from your job). When I say rhyming slang is sophisticated, I believe it can trigger imagery and associations. Frog’n reminds me of a dead toad on the road and I associate losing your job with having the “arse out of your pants”, an expressive metaphor.
Billies are kids and I will give a clue because not everyone will be familiar with boiling water in a tin on an open fire to make tea, or these days, coffee.  The billy, about the height of an electric jug, usually has a wire handle and a lid. I see that as an effective metaphor for a child.
3.      Rubbity is a pub, itself a contraction of public bar, the traditionally working-class section of a hotel. Rubbity comes from the English nursery rhyme rub-a-dub-dub. At their best, pubs can be places of child-like fun.
4.      Rissole is an RSL club, a gathering place for returned soldiers and their family. While not strictly following the template for rhyming slang, you can see the connection with a play on words or rather the sound of an acronym. A rissole is a round meat patty. As I have said one of the imaginative products of slang is the triggering of other loosely related expressions. When I hear rissole for RSL, it conjures up another expression, “see you round like a rissole’’. The picture of someone peering into an RSL club, reminds me of, “if I don’t see you the through the week, I’ll see you through the window.” It’s fun and it’s all good.
5.      Crab, on another tangent, is a nickname for a sponger. Like rhyming slang, it omits the second word, claw, in its reference to someone who puts the bite on you. I always think of the fearsome yet delicious Australian mudcrab which has been known to crack the bones in a finger of a careless handler.
6.      Chooks scratching around in the top paddock is an expression far removed from the basic rhyming slang but you can see it is clearly just an advanced metaphor in the poetry of the streets. Chooks are chickens perhaps changed to be an approximation of one of the sounds poultry make. Chickens constantly scratch the ground and the top paddock is the brain. In total, the picture is of someone lacking clear thought.
What is a clear thought is that slang is fun.
You can buy 7 Shouts HERE.

Reigniting the Struggle- For a Brisbane Workers Assembly(Draft)

a meeting has been organised to discuss this proposal on 15th March at 5.30pm at Freedom House 69 Thomas St West End 4101 The accumulation of capital is Australia remains much stronger than that in much of the world – … Continue reading


Campbell Newman and Bligh – a ‘quinella’ of losers

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“In the courtroom of honor, the judge pounded his gavel To show that all’s equal and that the courts are on the level And that the strings in the books ain’t pulled and persuaded And that even the nobles get … Continue reading


Aboriginal Sovereignty Agenda

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Magda and St Patti get together, Mervyn & Clan invite you …..

Magda’s Community Artz
80 Boundary Road Bardon
Saturday 17th March
Bar.B.Qu starts 5.00 pm
Bring the Kids,food + cutlery. Alcohol available.
Pepperazzi Big Band
( will play from 6.00 – 9.00 pm )
Contact Mervyn 0400 497 422

Magda’s St Pats BBQ(1).pdf


Enoggera Five go to Court

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On 5 March five Christian activists-Cully, Jim, Christel, Andy and Sean, appeared in Brisbane Magistrate Court to face charges of “causing a public nuisance” and “disobeying a police direction without a reasonable excuse.” These charges arose from a civil disobedience … Continue reading


Bread and Roses — International Women’s Day 2012

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One hundred years ago women organised a textile strike in the American city of Lawrence, Massachusetts. On this day, International Women’s Day 2012. Workers BushTelegraph pays respect to those workers who stood up. The slogan “Bread and Roses” originated in … Continue reading

A coalition of deaths

will a coalition of deaths in custody equate to a coalition of activists to fight for them?

that question has been much on my mind since last monday. about noon on that day i attended a rally outside of the nsw parliament house to commemorate and protest a death in custody event. the rally only involved about a dozen people, including myself, and it raised little interest from lunch time crowds and even less from the nsw government or opposition.

now whilst this level of non-interest is not unusual, except for one or two motorists and a classroom size of muslim students, it clearly shows the mind-set of mainstream australians. you see, ali rahimi had come to this country seeking asylum from his birth place of iran. ali had been a political activist, as are many of us, and he lost family to the harsh fundamentalist regime of the ayatollahs who currently rule iran with an iron fist. ali made the dangerous trip to australia to not only save his own life but to save the lives of his wife and two children who remained in iran. ultimately he hoped to bring them here also.

for the last 23 months of his life he was detained at the infamous villawood detention camp awaiting the decision of an uncaring immigration department whose only interest was not in proper and rightful resettlement here but only having him returned to iran where there was every chance that he would be killed as was his cousin . apparently what would happen to him and the his family there was no longer the business of the australian governments and the people whom they allegedly represent.

they most certainly do not represent or speak for me. i say welcome to the asylum seekers. they are not coming here to recreate the invasion history of the original boat people from 224 years ago.

ali, we were told, had died of a heart attack and whilst this indeed may be the case, we must be alert to the very real possibility as to what level of care he had been given by the medical representatives and the private-for-profit guards that work at villawood on behalf of serco. ali’s psychiatrists had recommended his release 12 months earlier but of course the bureaucrats at the dept. of immigration knew better so he remained locked up.

why did ali and so many others take the hard and perilous trip to come to australia? in ali’s case he believed that australia was the fair dinkum country of the fair go and australia had a good international reputation on human rights and asylum seeker protection. and once upon a time we did but that ethic was obliterated by xenophobia and a fear of ‘the other’ and we did not live happily ever after. for some we now live in shame, unable to accept the current racist system.

but it is also a system that allows people to die and to be driven mad at the hands of those placed in charge by the authorities. the greedy and the seedy. a handful of gold vs.. the washing of the hands.

i was upset and amazed at the level of suffering our asylum seekers must go through for making the same mistake that ali did. i use the term ‘our asylum seekers’ purposely because that is how i, and too few others, view them. they have managed to reach australian waters and they have committed no crime, neither australian nor international, in coming here. instead of being welcomed and protected from being sent back to a mostly uncertain but probably homicidal future our outstretched hand became a fist and we denied them the humanity we had given to the vietnamese boat people back in the 70’s. perhaps ali had based his understanding on this event.

in the previous 12 months it is recorded that 6 asylum seekers have died in the detention camps run by multinationals that incorporate the prison-for-profit bottom line. it is stated that in the previous 12 months some 312 asylum seekers have self-harmed. that is a phenomenal figure of frustration and angst towards an uncaring government system that only wants them to be gone. anywhere but australia! the horror that allows for the two previous numbers is the great numbers of asylum seekers who, over the previous 12 months, have suffered and been diagnosed with a mental illness or psychosis. 451 human beings tortured by a system that is blind to their needs. their detention camps are responsible for so many lives and human rights abuses since the hawke government began the process back in the 80’s. all australians must carry the responsibility and blame for what the governments have done in your name. as far as i am concerned every federal immigration minister from gerry hand to chris bowen is guilty of human rights breaches and ignoring the definitive un declarations. the worst minister, in my opinion, is phillip ruddock whose own daughter left home because of his draconian and murderous handling of the immigration portfolio under the howard government.

like the iranian asylum seeker activists who were present at the rally i also strongly condemn the australian government for its anti-immigration policies and join them in demanding a complete and fully open investigation into the circumstances of ali rahimi’s death, including all other asylum seeker deaths, whilst being held in the government-approved detention camps.

we offer our sincerest sympathies to his family, his community and his friends as we respectfully honour his life.

for those who live in sydney and can get to nth sydney at 4.30 on friday 9/3 there is to be a rally outside the offices of serco against their treatment, with government blessings. of our asylum seekers. 90 arthur street, north sydney.

on the monday evening i had the opportunity of watching 4 corners on the nsw police shooting of adam salter and the subsequent attempt at a cover-up by the police involved and their peers. this police death in custody happened on 18th november, 2009 when adam’s father rang triple 0 ambulance to report that his son was having a psychotic episode and was stabbing himself with a kitchen knife. as is customary at these times the police were also notified to attend. within minutes adam had been shot in the back by one of the attendant police officers. adam was dead. why?

the police instantly went into whitewash mode instructing the police present on what to do and say during the subsequent police investigation. this was clearly shown in the 4 corners report. they did not however stop the ambulance officers who were there to abrogate the police version when they gave their statements. adam was accused of attacking a police officer but the evidence showed that this officer was not holding adam as the police suggested. adam instead was concentrating on using the knife on his own body by thrusting it into his neck.

adam’s father had been ordered to isolate himself from his son and this of course raises the important question of why loved ones who are in no physical danger are sent away from the person of medical and police interest. to exacerbate the level of trauma and fear of a person in the grip of a psychotic event by isolating him to the screamed orders of the police shows a clear lack of training and concern for the safety of the victim.

if the police have any training whatsoever in how to handle these sorts of situations then it must be minimal or is of no concern to the recruits in the police academy. the number of victims of police shootings around australia is high and back in the early 90’s the watch committee recommended to the nsw police minister and nsw commissioner that dedicated units must be formed to deal with these matters rather than untrained cops. they would need to be of a high calibre and have a full understanding of how to defuse such situations to the benefit of all. there are special negotiators used in siege events, why not when dealing with traumatised people. yes, it would cost dollars but the government must put lives before money.

as usual the police controlled every aspect of their so-called investigation and cover-up. they informed the coroner how the person died, the p24. they flooded the mainstream press and radio verbal vomit (jones, hadley,etc.) with their version of the events and that clearly placed the police action as one of self defence and for most of the hoi poloi that remained the case until the coroner blew their fabrication apart. even commissioner scipione came out in support of his officers as they tend to do. whether he knew the truth of the matter is unknown. the police involved were relieved from duty so they could be counselled but no counselling was offered or given to the family. the verbal vomit called for greater police powers as did some of the mainstream press.

when the case finally reached the coroner the whole plethora of lies was brought crashing down but not before blatant lies were told by the police on oath and the police assisting the coroner.

what was finally shown was that the police case was a complete fabrication and stressed, absolutely, the important need to stop police investigating police as it is just not compatible with justice. we are told by ms. tamar hopkins, national police accountability network, that in northern ireland the police ombudsman, a civilian post, is quite capable of doing dic inquiries. other examples also exist. this demolishes the police argument that only they can do such investigations. some years ago an inspector-general of gaols was appointed by the carr government with great powers to clean up the gaol systems, that position was rescinded by the nsw government and with the full blessing of the current commissioner. what we need is what northern ireland has to stop the ongoing crimes of the nsw police being perpetrated against their victims and their families.

the corruption of the police is now to be investigated by the police integrity commission. their findings will decide for me whether or not to approach them with another seriously compromised investigation into another police death in custody. police investigations of police killings are always to be questioned. even with the police death of terrance daniel briscoe in a alice springs, nt, police cell must be forensically analysed by the legal team representing the family.

perhaps the most poignant part of the 4 corners report was the wish of adrian salter, adam’s father. the family do not want charges laid against sgt bissett for the shooting of their son. all they want is an apology from the police. as adrian says, what is wrong with the police saying, “we are sorry. we killed your son. what is hard about that.”

some 3 years on adrian is still waiting. if i could i would tell him that the police never apologise, ever. it is not within their collective morals to do so. even when they are ordered to apologise they refuse to do so. this arrogance, this mutated power ethic must be changed and that brings me to the final matter.

when the 40th anniversary of the tent embassy was on there was a gathering of activists who discussed the need for a federal body, what i call the national deaths in custody coalition, to monitor and protest deaths in custody for all deaths, both aboriginal and torres strait islander and other australians, in gaols, police or juvenile justice. to this group i believe that the deaths of asylum seekers must also be included.

any death in custody relates at least to a questionable death regardless of the ethnic roots of the victims. we must not, in my opinion, follow the racist steps of the governments in their choosing of a particular class of people to either support or to leave to the whims of fate.

we have a coalition of deaths in custody. to at least attempt to answer that crime we need a coalition to work towards redressing the problems that few others want to get involved in. we too must have our coalition.

it is my very firm view that change is in the air. the showing of the tall man and now the 4 corners report, closing the ranks, shows clearly and correctly how the police corrupt their own investigations and the call for independent investigations is becoming far wider. it is in that atmosphere that we must make sure that we become a strong player, a dominant voice and presence as to where these changes will head. the power finally must be taken from the police forces of this country to allow them to be more responsible to the public that pays their wages. we must also argue for civilian police boards that monitor their daily practices and non-dic investigations. police practice corruption because we allow them to.

time for change. time for a coalition.


ray jackson
indigenous social justice association

(m) 0450 651 063
(p) 02 9318 0947
address 1303/200 pitt street waterloo 2017

we live and work on the stolen lands of the gadigal people.

sovereignty treaty social justice


Union Action to Save the Reef now Illegal

In light of the current alarm about dredging and dumping in the Reef, it is worth recalling how it was saved by union action which is now illegal under Fair Work Australia.   Coral battleground 1970 After tenders to drill … Continue reading


Film Night to remember Palestinian Land Day

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30 March is Palestinian Land Day. Over 300 people attended the remembrance and commemoration at a film night organised by the Palestinian Arts Culture & Sport Inc (“PACSI”). Kathyn Zahran outlined PACSI‘s  primary objectives of encouraging the appreciation, and promotion, … Continue reading


Israeli Propaganda Machine Nets Australian Companies

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In January 2010 a Mossad assassination squad murdered Hamas’ Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai. The killers carried identities and passports belonging to innocent others, five of whom were Australian. Israel sanctioned these identity thefts and the criminal use of forged passports … Continue reading

Foco Nuevo in March: Reminder


Our Fourth Birthday!

Friday, 2 March 2012, 8.00 p.m.

Kurilpa Hall
174 Boundary Street West End

Innes Campbell / Pirate Brides /
Jumping Fences

As always Maggie’s delicious cakes,
tea and coffee will be on sale.

$10 / $7 BYO

More info: