Daily Archives: November 14, 2014

They say justice, we say murder!

G20 Week Stop Aboriginal Deaths in Custody March
Scenes from the G20 Week Stop Aboriginal Deaths in Custody March, today in Brisbane’s CBD. The massive group walked from Roma Street Forum to Musgrave Park, demanding justice for the hundreds of Aboriginal people who have died in police custody since the Royal Commission investigated the shameful problem back in 1987. #G20 #Genocidal20

What happened to the Lizard Liberation Front?

[Publisher’s Note:  G20 needs people like Ciaron O’Reilly to draw focus to their decisions … to their sideshow. G20 relies on the rallies and marches as well to show that the ladder of the law has a top and a bottom.

The question yet to be answered: where is the organisation that is going to resist these free market swindlers? What form should it take? As a marxist I say it should be democratic and it should be at the centre not a network on the fringe.

Capitalism
It should engage workers because what do we bring to the table of capitalism? Our labour! How do we pay for our housing? Our labour! How do we raise our kids and give them a start? Our labour! How do we provide child care when we have to go to work? Through our labour! How do we organise to protect our wages and conditions? Through workers organisations, unions.

On the Fringe
Organisations like Catholic Worker (from which Ciaron O’Reilly comes) have focused on unjust war, and so they should. But what connection do such organisations have with workers? I suppose the same could be asked of former president of the ACTU, Sharan Burrows, who spoke at the People’s Summit  about an alternative economic agenda. About bringing workers in developing countries up on the economic ladder.

Institutions
How do we build solidarity? The Aboriginal people do this through the sacred fire, it may surprise some whitefellas but the fire is an institution of decision making. How do workers have a say? We see plenty of organisations of the Left come and go, but have they addressed this problem directly. I think not. Left organisations do not participate, they abstain from organising with workers when it is not directly in their own interest (recruitment). This prevents democratic decision making and that is what we need to build a better world without exploitation of our labour..

Organisation
Just as our labour is central to our struggle against capitalism that exploits us, our organisation must be central to resistance against capitalism.

I post this article (below) from the Brisbane Times below to highlight the legal fiction of G20 exclusions. Ciaron O’Reilly said he was going to ‘shirt-front’ Obama about the war. As a result he is excluded from G20 and First Nations events in Musgrave Park and BrisCan meetings and the rally and march today beginning at 9am and going till noon at Roma Street Forum today Saturday 15 Nov 2014.

Ian Curr
15 Nov 2014

Workers of all countries unite!]

Activist Ciaron O’Reilly has been barred from restricted G20 security areas. Photo: J.A. Nelson

Well-known political activist Ciaron O’Reilly was surrounded by police while sitting on Boundary Street in West End about 3pm.

Mr O’Reilly, who was previously jailed in the United States for breaking into a military base, was issued with an exclusion notice barring him from G20 restricted areas including South Brisbane.

He was holding a posters that read “Free Julian Assange” and “Obama, O-Bomber, O-Bummer” when police approached him.

“In less than two minutes, an unmarked car pulled up and two plain clothes detectives came out and had this standing order,” Mr O’Reilly told ABC News.

“They said I’m the third person banned and they decided this morning and they haven’t given me an explanation.

“I think it is an outrageous infringement of my civil rights.”

One witness, who requested not to be named, said a number of police officers surrounded Mr O’Reily while two plain-clothes officials handed him the exclusion notice.

It is understood Mr O’Reilly, who describes himself as a non-violent anti-war protester, was the third person to be barred from the G20 restricted zones.

Mr O’Reilly was sentenced to 13 months’ jail after he was involved in disarming a B52 Bomber at a New York military base during the 1991 Gulf War.

A passerby who photographed Mr Riley speaking with police was taken for questioning and asked to provide identification.

Police Commissioner Ian Stewart has the authority to prohibit people from the G20 security zones under the G20 (Safety and Security) Act.

Deputy Commissioner Ross Barnett said, in total, four people have been declared prohibited persons, two of whom were notified today.

“One of them has already been served and the other will be shortly,” he said.

Eleven people have been barred from re-entering the declared zones, including Brisbane’s CBD, after run-ins with police.

Assistant Commissioner Katarina Carroll said there was “extensive reasoning” behind the decision to declare the four people as prohibited, such as evidence of past violence or disruption of events.

“In some cases there may have been (evidence they planned disrupting the G20) but, as the Deputy Commissioner indicated, we won’t be divulging further operational security information,” she said.

– with additional reporting by Cameron Atfield

Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/brisbane-g20/activist-ciaron-o8217reilly-prohibited-from-g20-banned-man-arrested-20141113-11mabg.html#ixzz3J4P5fSqY
– with additional reporting by Cameron Atfield

Pride review – power in an unlikely union

Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton and George MacKay sparkle in this tale of lesbian and gay activists’ support for the miners’ strike

Left to right: Freddie Fox, Ben Schnetzer, Faye Marsay, Joseph Gilgun, Paddy Considine and George MacKay forge unity between lesbian and gay activists and striking miners in Pride.

Cards on the table: having been actively involved in the banner-carrying, badge-wearing, internecine bickering of student politics in the early 80s, I am predisposed to embrace any movie that celebrates the rag-tag allegiances that sprang up across class and gender boundaries during the miners’ strike. A fondness for cute quiffs, turn-ups, and Dexys hats helps too, along with nostalgia for the time when playing Bronski Beat records really loudly could be interpreted as a political act. Add to this an enduring love of British films such as Brassed Off and Made in Dagenham, which blend hard fact with sentimental fiction, and frankly Pride had me at “Hello.” Yet even taking all the above into account, I can still say with my hand on my heart that this boisterous tale of the unlikely union between striking Welsh miners and out-and-proud gay Londoners is one of the most irresistibly uplifting films of the year – for any audience.

George MacKay is Joe, a just-turned-20 mummy’s boy on the brink of coming out who finds himself shaking a bucket for the miners in 1984 at the insistence of gobby Mark Ashton (Ben Schnetzer) and his friends at London’s Gay’s the Word bookshop. Insisting that anyone demonised by Thatcher is a comrade-in-arms, Mark launches the inelegantly named Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (“it’s a support group, not a skiffle band”) and heads off to Onllwyn, a mining village in the Dulais valley, which seems to view “gays” and vowels with equal suspicion. Cue much La Cage aux Folles-style culture-clashing between the macho miners and metrosexual activists, mediated by theatrical luvvie Jonathan (Dominic West), who busts some outre disco moves with oddly unifying results.

While politics today may be 50 shades of grey, actor-turned-playwright Stephen Beresford’s feelgood screenplay reminds us of a time when things were more black-and-white – when the venality of Thatcher’s government asked everyone Which Side Are You On? Yet Pride not merely acknowledges but embraces the fact that the opposition were riven with divide-and-rule disagreement. When Mark demands allegiance to the miners, his Gay Pride comrades angrily recall being “beaten up every day” by the very people they are now asked to support. Despite hefty donations, many of the miners and their wives remain frostily hostile to the incomers amid growing anxieties about Aids (these were the days of Greater Manchester police chief constable James Anderton’s “human cesspool of their own making” tirades, and apocalyptic “public health” campaigns more concerned with stonemasonry than safe sex). Yet for all the factionalism, the tone here is conciliatory and celebratory; when a breakaway lesbian separatist group (all three of them) emerges within the ranks of LGSM, we laugh with them rather than at them: Beresford and director Matthew Warchus (who helmed Matilda on stage, and will succeed Kevin Spacey at the Old Vic) opt to respect and empower anyone willing to fight the good fight.

In dramatic terms, the strokes could hardly be broader. Playing to the widest possible audience, Pride employs a reassuring cast and familiar Ealing comedy tropes in fine, broad-church fashion. The soundtrack too wears its heart on its LP sleeve, blending songs of solidarity (Billy Bragg’s mighty rendition of There Is Power in a Union) with Greek chorus pop (from Shirley & Company to Frankie) culminating in a Pits and Perverts benefit at the Electric Ballroom. Meanwhile, down in the valleys, the miners’ wives stand and sing Bread and Roses, leaving nary a dry eye in the house.

Paddy Considine in Pride Left to right: Freddie Fox, Ben Schnetzer, Faye Marsay, Joseph Gilgun, Paddy Considine and George MacKay forge unity between lesbian and gay activists and striking miners in Pride.

Cards on the table: having been actively involved in the banner-carrying, badge-wearing, internecine bickering of student politics in the early 80s, I am predisposed to embrace any movie that celebrates the rag-tag allegiances that sprang up across class and gender boundaries during the miners’ strike. A fondness for cute quiffs, turn-ups, and Dexys hats helps too, along with nostalgia for the time when playing Bronski Beat records really loudly could be interpreted as a political act. Add to this an enduring love of British films such as Brassed Off and Made in Dagenham, which blend hard fact with sentimental fiction, and frankly Pride had me at “Hello.” Yet even taking all the above into account, I can still say with my hand on my heart that this boisterous tale of the unlikely union between striking Welsh miners and out-and-proud gay Londoners is one of the most irresistibly uplifting films of the year – for any audience.

George MacKay is Joe, a just-turned-20 mummy’s boy on the brink of coming out who finds himself shaking a bucket for the miners in 1984 at the insistence of gobby Mark Ashton (Ben Schnetzer) and his friends at London’s Gay’s the Word bookshop. Insisting that anyone demonised by Thatcher is a comrade-in-arms, Mark launches the inelegantly named Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (“it’s a support group, not a skiffle band”) and heads off to Onllwyn, a mining village in the Dulais valley, which seems to view “gays” and vowels with equal suspicion. Cue much La Cage aux Folles-style culture-clashing between the macho miners and metrosexual activists, mediated by theatrical luvvie Jonathan (Dominic West), who busts some outre disco moves with oddly unifying results.

While politics today may be 50 shades of grey, actor-turned-playwright Stephen Beresford’s feelgood screenplay reminds us of a time when things were more black-and-white – when the venality of Thatcher’s government asked everyone Which Side Are You On? Yet Pride not merely acknowledges but embraces the fact that the opposition were riven with divide-and-rule disagreement. When Mark demands allegiance to the miners, his Gay Pride comrades angrily recall being “beaten up every day” by the very people they are now asked to support. Despite hefty donations, many of the miners and their wives remain frostily hostile to the incomers amid growing anxieties about Aids (these were the days of Greater Manchester police chief constable James Anderton’s “human cesspool of their own making” tirades, and apocalyptic “public health” campaigns more concerned with stonemasonry than safe sex). Yet for all the factionalism, the tone here is conciliatory and celebratory; when a breakaway lesbian separatist group (all three of them) emerges within the ranks of LGSM, we laugh with them rather than at them: Beresford and director Matthew Warchus (who helmed Matilda on stage, and will succeed Kevin Spacey at the Old Vic) opt to respect and empower anyone willing to fight the good fight.

In dramatic terms, the strokes could hardly be broader. Playing to the widest possible audience, Pride employs a reassuring cast and familiar Ealing comedy tropes in fine, broad-church fashion. The soundtrack too wears its heart on its LP sleeve, blending songs of solidarity (Billy Bragg’s mighty rendition of There Is Power in a Union) with Greek chorus pop (from Shirley & Company to Frankie) culminating in a Pits and Perverts benefit at the Electric Ballroom. Meanwhile, down in the valleys, the miners’ wives stand and sing Bread and Roses, leaving nary a dry eye in the house.

Holding it all together is a strong thread of Full Monty humour, Beresford taking a leaf out of Simon Beaufoy’s book and giving all the best lines to the working-class women whose indomitable spirit equals and outdoes that of their embattled menfolk. Imelda Staunton is magnificent as Hefina, making the most of her heavily trailed declaration that “We’re just off to Swansea now for a massive les-off!” and leading her drunken cohort through the gay bars of London with game aplomb. Nor does Warchus shy away from the sex which so often dare not speak its name in mainstream movies – what snogging there is knows no gender boundaries, and a sprinkling of dildos and unzipped centrefolds (“God, that takes me back!”) ensures that this pays more than coy lip-service to its equal-ops mantra. It’s significant, too, that Joe’s first kiss coincides with the climax of a rousing speech about solidarity, ensuring that the personal and political go hand-in-hand throughout.

And there’s so much more to love: Paddy Considine as enlightened striker Dai, arguing the case for unity; Bill Nighy, beautifully understated as old-school stalwart Cliff with his not-so-hidden history; Liz White reminding us why we all fell for her in Life on Mars. OK, so it may not have the toughness of Brassed Off or the fleet-footedness of Billy Elliot, but what it does have is spine-tingling charm by the bucket-load. I laughed, I cried, and frankly I would have raised a clenched fist were both hands not already occupied wiping away the bittersweet tears of joy.

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/sep/14/pride-film-review-mark-kermode-power-in-unlikely-union

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