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(en) Australia, Melbourne, A Space Outside* #1 - Glossary

Date Sun, 08 Oct 2006 10:08:02 +0200

A Space Outside: A space to meet, act, plot, scheme and organise; a space to inspire
and be inspired; a space to love, talk and play; a space to live and experiment with
new ways of living; a space to breathe; a space to learn, teach and share. A space
from which to launch active interventions within.
Affinity Groups: A small group of activists (usually less than 20) who work together
on direct action. Organised in a non-hierarchical manner, are able to work in
a way that is flexible and decentralised, usually using consensus decision making,
and are made up of trusted friends or other like-minded people. Affinity groups
can be based on a common ideology (eg. anarchism), a shared concern for a given
issue (eg. anti-nuclear) or a common activity, role or skill (eg. street medics).
A noteworthy affinity group from the S11
protest in Melbourne in 2000 was Footy
Fans Against Mass Murder, who kicked
goals for class war against capitalist op-
Africa: Stunningly beautiful and resource-
rich continent. Once home to hundreds
of thriving local economies, it has suf-
fered through centuries of Western
onslaught. Despite being ceaselessly
plundered by Imperial powers for its re-
sources, land and labour, it has an amas-
ing history of liberation struggles and
vibrant resistance movements.
APEC: Stands for Asia Pacific Economic
Cooperation. APEC is one a handful of
neoliberal trade organisations that gets its
kicks forcing unequal terms of trade on
countries in the Global South. It includes
a handful of rich countries (including
Australia and the US), and many poor Pa-
cific Rim countries. APEC will be meet-
ing in Sydney in September 2007. George
Bush will be among the honored guests,
and all interested persons are strongly
urged to get to Sydney to say hi to the
Bono: Woeful Irish popstar and lead singer
of U2. Spends most of his time these
days liberating the imprisoned, feeding
the hungry, saving the damned and turn-
ing water into wine. Oh no, wait, that was
Jesus. On a mission to save the world one
power ballad at a time. Is often seen rub-
bing shoulders with the likes of George
Bush, Tony Blair, Bill Clinton and the
Pope. Oh, and he named one of his sons
"Elijah Bob Patricus Guggi Q", which
has to tell you something about the man.
Capitalism: Private ownership of the means
of production, distribution and exchange.
In real terms, capitalism means that the
majority of us spend huge chunks of our
time working for the profit and benefit of
a minority. In exchange for the privilege
of getting screwed by bosses on a daily
basis, our lives are commodified, our re-
lationships reduced to constant competi-
tion, and our voices silenced by the drone
of Australian Idol blaring through the
mind-numbing television sets which pass
for entertainment. Oh, and we're expect-
ed to be grateful for it. The good news
is that there are cracks running through
system ...
Corporate Engagement Day: Friday 17th No-
vember 2006. A fabulous opportunity to
engage in a fun-filled day of decentralised
direct action against the corporations that
support and profit from the misery of
millions. Bring friends, neighbors, instru-
ments, costumes, good ideas, your nanna.
Organise your own action or jump on
board with someone else's. Think sit-ins,
street theatre, occupations, reclaiming
public space, graffiti, culture jamming,
dancing in the foyers of big business.
Get down and dirty (and creative) in the
streets of Melbourne. Check out www.
aspaceoutside.org for inspiration/ideas/
more information.
Direct Action: : Not a last resort, but the
preferred way of doing things.
Acting directly, individually and collec-
tively rather than with mediation and
representation. Eg. A slowdown at work,
striking, sabotage, shutting down an
economic summit, collectively organising
to grow your own food. Begins with a
belief that we and only we should have
the power to shape our own existence.
Free Trade: Something not nearly as nice
as is sounds. Not so much a cooperative
form of gift economy as a means of eco-
nomic exchange in which an elite minor-
ity of traders freely ­ and without legal or
moral hindrance ­ screw over everyone
G7/G8: The Group of Seven/Eight. A fo-
rum for the leaders of seven of the rich-
est and most powerful states ­ Britain,
Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy
and the United States. First met in 1975,
and hold yearly Summits. Since 1994,
Russia has been invited as a partner to
the summits, making them the `G7 plus
one', a.k.a. the G8. The G7/8 functions
as the effective centre for global gov-
ernance, and the decisions made at the
Summits have widespread implications
for global political and economic affairs.
Big on neoliberalism, not so big on hu-
man rights, justice, equality or any of that
fluffy hippy shit. They are undemocratic,
unaccountable, very nasty and very dan-
Geldof: A tool. In 1985, Geldof guilted the
world's biggest popstars into performing
for the Live Aid concert which sought to
save the children of Africa from Aids and
poverty. If these popstars did not per-
form, Geldof threatened to expose their
evil to the world! Twenty years on, the
man will not be stopped, having organ-
ised the Live8 concerts to coincide with
the G8 meeting in Gleneagles, Geldof
explicitly excluded African performers,
while Madonna clutched the hand of a
token African girl and asked the audience
if they were "ready for the revolution".
Geldof is on record with praise for the
G8: `On aid, ten out of ten. On debt,
eight out of ten. On trade... it is quite
clear that this summit, uniquely, decided
that enforced liberalisation must no lon-
ger take place,' he said before finishing
with a flourish. `That is a serious, excel-
lent result on trade.' In his more interest-
ing and less politically effective incarna-
tion, Geldof had hits with rock band The
Boomtown Rats in the 1970's. "I Don't
Like Mondays" remains a mantra for re-
sistance against your boss after a Sunday
night's heavy drinking. But like Bono's
version of "Children of the Revolution",
we know that Geldof would never actual-
ly organise a mass strike against Mondays.
Make Poverty History: A campaign organised
by a bunch of Western Aid organisations,
with Oxfam being the most dominant
player. Strong involvement by church
groups and networks. Has done a lot of
work to raise awareness about the impact
of debt in Africa, but is largely apoliti-
cal and emphasises charity over systemic
change. Tends to see rich world leaders
like Bush and Blair as ultimately well in-
tentioned, warm hearted individuals who
really want to end poverty but just need
a gentle push in the right direction. Also
provides a useful forum for washed-up
celebrities wanting to resurrect their pub-
lic profile by having their photos taken
with starving African orphans.
Melbourne: Depends who you talk to. Some
denote Melbourne the culture,
style and multi cultural hub of the coun-
try, others the best place in
Victoria to get stolen mag wheels and sic
hydro. Others still tend to
view the town as the Australian birth
place of black hoodies, the
autonomista intelligentsia and radical
booty. See `Wanker', `1980s ACDC
riots' and `www.s11.org' respectively.
Spokescouncil: "In a spokescouncil, affinity
groups and task forces (for media, out-
reach, action planning...) choose spokes-
people as their representatives. The group
sits behind their spoke, feeding her their
input, which she brings to the center like
the spoke of a wheel."
Spokescouncils often aren't a decision-
making body (though they can make
decisions if necessary), but rather are
an opportunity to share information so
that different affinity groups (both action
groups and task-related groups) can make
plans in light of the information that has
been shared.
Squatting: Squatting is the occupation and/
or possession of private or public prop-
erty for the better use of that space. In
law school, students learn that possession
is nine tenths of the law. Despite that
the legal owner or authorised agent of a
space is the only person with the author-
ity to evict squatters, police will often still
attempt to evict people. Until recently,
squatting was still only a civil offence in
Victoria, giving squatters there a greater
degree of security than in states such as
independant media
If your interested in any facet of me-
dia production, whether that be film-
ing, writing, or photographing then
the G20 will be the ultimate space to
do this.
We need to create our own media and
maintain our own voice in response
to the planned events of the weekend
There will be an independent media
centre at RMIT that will facilitate the
production and publishing of media
In preparation for the G20 we are
calling all media enthusiasts to come
together to discuss, plan, and strate-
gise our approach. Different means of
publishing and distributing your work
will be discussed. Networks can be
established prior to the G20 in order
to help and assist you on the day.
check out www.aspaceoutside.org for
details about a meeting to be held in
early october.
websites to check out
www.indymedia .org
*Anti-authoritarian collective.
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