(en) A.A. Weely Review

Philip McCrory (philmcc@melbpc.org.au)
Thu, 24 Jul 1997 14:51:09 +1030


A AA AAAA The A-Infos News Service AA AA AA AA INFOSINFOSINFOS http://www.tao.ca/ainfos/ AAAA AAAA AAAAA AAAAA

Number 259 21st - 27th July, 1997 AUSTRALIA'S WATERWAYS DYING

It's official, Australia's rivers and lakes are dying. A Federal government funded 2 year study of Australia's waterways has shown that the problem is far worse than we ever imagined. Development around catchment areas, fertiliser runoffs, sewerage disposal, clearing land for agricultural use and over irrigation have all contributed to the parlous State of the country's waterways.

Increasing levels of salinity, blue green algae, algae blooms, loss of bio-diversity and bacteria laden fresh water are all legacies of the current misuse of Australia's inland waterways. For the first time in over 200 years of white colonisation, we now have some idea about the amount of damage that has been inflicted on rivers, lakes and streams in this country. Although we now have a handle on the problem, we are faced with local governments, State governments and a Federal government that want to close their eyes to the problem.

Nobody wants to talk about let alone do something to alter the problem. This country is so tied up with non-renewable forms of inefficient agricultural production that governments refuse to act. They have no interest in regulating fertiliser runoffs, they have no interest in limiting discharge of sewerage in our waterways. They have no interest in limiting irrigation. They have no interest in stopping development around catchment areas.

We are soiling our own nests, but we don't seem to have the political will to do anything about it. Too many resources and too many profits are tied up in inefficient and downright dangerous agricultural practices. Unless people start to complain and put pressure on local councils, State governments and the Federal government to take an interest in this area, nothing will happen. Direct action, not ballot box politics is the only language governments seem to understand. It doesn't matter how many petitions you sign, or how many parliamentarians you lobby, unless you are wiling to become involved in protests, occupations and strikes nothing will change.

Fresh clean water is a commodity that we should all have access to. Catchment areas should be kept free of development. Other methods of agricultural production should be explored. Unless pressure is applied now we will reach the situation where we may not have access to enough water for drinking, let alone for agricultural production. IS THIS MAN FIT TO BE VICTORIAN PREMIER?

"The family had received a good service and they should know ambulances don't come free".

If there's one thing you can say about Jeffrey (Glib) Kennett, it's he's consistent. This man heads an arrogant selfish government. His latest outburst that there's nothing wrong that the grandparents of a 7 year old girl who died while waiting for an ambulance have to fork out $1,100 in ambulance fees, is just another example of the insensitivity of this man. Instead of conveying his condolences to the girls family and saying he will look into the matter, he has come out with the outrageous statement that the ambulance is not a free service and people should insure themselves for it.

When you look at this man's record it's obvious he has no understanding or sympathy for those people who are finding it difficult in his brave new world of confidential agreements and ever-diminishing support for the public sector. His insensitive statement coupled with his arrogance and disdain for the public make him totally unsuitable for a public office, let alone Victorian Premier.

Those people, especially those people in his electorate who cast their ballot for him are equally to blame for Victoria's current malaise. After six years of slash and burn political decisions, nothing has changed. If you analyse the situation dispassionately all the economic indicators and social indicators are pointing in the wrong direction. Victoria is "ON THE MOVE" back to the 19th Century. Unemployment figures are rising, the public hospital sector is falling apart, local councils have had their power stripped from them. Public education has become a joke and expenditure on social welfare has all but dried up.

Jeffrey (Glib) Kennett is not fit to be Premier. He's not fit to even return to his old job as an advertising executive. As far as I'm concerned this little man should be placed on the next rocket to Mars. Let's hope there's no life on Mars, if there is he may destroy that also. BIG MAC BACKS DOWN TO SMALL FRIES

McDonald's has decided it doesn't want to pursue Dave Steel and Helen Morris, the two London anarchists who brought McDonald's to its knees for the $116,000 damages that were awarded to McDonald's. It also has decided not to apply for an injunction to stop them distributing the McLibel leaflet. As far as McDonald's is concerned the twenty three million dollars they spent on the case is all they're willing to waste.

McDonald's victory was a pyrrhic victory, not only did they lose twenty three million dollars, but the court found that McDonald's paid British workers relatively poor wages, they exploited children with their advertising and many of their practices were cruel to animals. David Steel and Helen Morris have shown people that individual guts and determination can be more than a match for any corporation.

If McDonald's thinks their pain and suffering has come to an end, they better think again. Helen and Dave are thinking of taking their case to the European Court and they may even appeal the English High Courts decision. The next case should take ten years, not three. CROWN'S MOORABBIN CONCENTRATION CAMP

Lloyd Williams, Liberal Party Treasurer, 15% stakeholder in Crown Casino, Jeffrey (Glib) Kennett's bosom buddy, has just built a concentration camp outside Moorabbin Airport. In a bid to provide a home away from home for Crown Casino's high rollers and whales (blood sucking leeches) Lloyd Williams has sunk millions of dollars in a state of the art golf course for the rich and famous just outside Moorabbin airport. Good old Lloyd, the gentleman he is, normally flies his mates by helicopter to Moorabbin airport and then ferries them across to his state of the art golf course for a few holes of golf before lunch.

In order to keep the plebs down on the farm, you wouldn't want prying eyes to spoil their game, the master has had sand walls over 12 feet high pushed up round his golfing paradise. He has also had the artificial sand dunes ringed by a 12 foot fence and surprise surprise the top foot of the fence is electrified. Just what Melbourne needs, a private golf course topped by an electrified fence in a residential area. Good on you Lloyd, you've done it again! "WE DO THE BEST WE CAN WITH THE AMBULANCES WE HAVE"

This phrase has been ringing in my head since I heard an executive from the Melbourne Metropolitan Ambulance Service utter it, when he was talking about the tragic death of a seven year old girl. Renee Clark chocked on a marshmallow and died while waiting for an ambulance in Hoppers Crossing, one of Melbourne's outer suburbs. No matter how hard I try I can't forget the phrase "we do the best we can with the ambulances we have".

It's obvious the Metropolitan Ambulance Service is not able to deliver the services it needs to deliver. Response time for an emergency has increased from 12 to 16 minutes in the last few years. The Intergraph emergency dispatch system is little more than a cruel joke. Many experienced hard working ambulance officers have taken redundancy packages and have turned their backs on a system that they believe is under-resourced and run down.

Coroner after coroner has delivered scathing reports on the current Ambulance service. Looking at this whole tragic situation, it's counterproductive blaming individual ambulance officers or even Intergraph workers. The problem lies fairly and squarely with the Kennett regime. "We do the best we can with the ambulances we have" sums up this whole sorry saga. It doesn't matter how hard ambulance officers try, lives will still be unnecessarily lost if the ambulance service is understaffed, underfunded and under-resourced. Each member of the Kennett regime who voted to privatise the emergency dispatch system is personally culpable for the trail of suffering and death their decisions have caused.

How can you expect anybody to do a job without the necessary tools. You wouldn't expect a concreter to finish a pour without concrete. You wouldn't expect a carpenter to finish a job without a saw and you wouldn't expect a surgeon to complete an operation without a scapel. So why do we expect ambulance officers to do their job without the appropriate equipment. "We do the best we can with the ambulances we have" is a philosophy that's not acceptable in this day and age. The Kennett regime is responsible for the pathetic state of the current ambulance service. It's time we stopped blaming the workers and pointed the finger at those who are responsible for this deplorable state of affairs - the Kennett regime. TREACHERY (Big men rise from the dead)

Any Papua New Guinea elector who believed that the big men were dead and gone, needs to think again. After electing a group of independent politicians as a protest against the corruption and poverty that is endemic in Papua New Guinea, the Papua New Guinea people have been saddled with the government that resembles the government that has just been kicked out of office.

In an extraordinary betrayal a significant proportion of the independents who were elected to the P.N.G. parliament have been swayed by the promise of cabinet positions to throw in their lot with the old Chan government. Both Bill Skate, the New Prime Minister and his deputy were both cabinet ministers and "big men" in the previous Chan government. Since independence in 1976 round after round of elections have been followed by governments who are more interested in feathering their own nests than looking after the interests of the people.

This round of parliamentary elections is the last straw for may P.N.G. people. Once too often they have put their faith in the parliamentry process. Once again they've been sold down a river of corruption and self interest. Nothing highlights the bankruptcy of the government more than the spectacle of seeing parliamentarians who have been elected on tickets to clean the Agean stables in Papua New Guinea's parliament house sitting down and dealing with the very same people they were supposed to keep honest.

If any good is to, come out of the current situation, its that the already almost non-existent reputation of the P.N.G. government is now dead and buried. Not only is the government on the nose, but the people are beginning to question the suitability of parliamentary rule for Papua New Guinea. The grassroots movement that puts so many independents into parliament could become the nucleus of an extra parliamentary movement that's more interested in creating an egalitarian community than propping up parliamentary rule and the cult of the big men. ANARCHIST QUESTION AND ANSWER

Q. What core principles form the framework of an anarchist health care delivery system?

A. Prevention, safety access and resources are the four core principles that determine the structure of an anarchist health care system. Prevention is an important component of an anarchist health care delivery system. Identification of the causes of illness and the application of an appropriate prevention strategy is a central component of any health care delivery system in an anarchist community. The basic infrastructure of an anarchist society, socially, psychologically and physically would be geared towards prevention not profit.

Safety would be an important aspect of an anarchist health care delivery system. The maxim "Physician do no harm" would be extended to all workers, goods and products that are used in an anarchist health care network. Irrespective of whether one prefers traditional or alternative therapies, there is no place in an anarchist health care network for people who don't have the necessary training or for goods that may harm a patient. Committees would be set up to scrutinise the competence of workers in the health care field and to look at the safety of products and medications that are used.

Access to health services is a fundamental right for anybody and everybody in an anarchist society. A two tier health system, one for people who could "afford the best" and one for the rest wouldn't exist in an anarchist community. Everybody irrespective of who they are or what they do, would be entitled to the same quality of care as anybody else in that community. Health care would be viewed as an essential component of any anarchist community. In times of crisis resources could and would be diverted to the health sector in an anarchist society.

Any society that bases its health care system on the four care principles, prevention, safety, access and resources is bound to go a long way, a very long way in its quest to provide health care services for everybody. ACTION BOX - FLAGS

Flying a regional anarchist flag at the One Notion rally outside the South Barwon Civic Centre on Friday night reinforced my belief in the importance of a flag. Other anarchists and people with anarchist sympathies gravitated over for a chat. Within fifteen minutes we were able to create a specific anarchist presence within the demonstration. If you're involved in a rally or a protest or even a picket line, think about taking a flag with you.

Traditionally anarchists in this country have flown a black flag or a red and black flag and in some situations a black flag with a red A in a circle. All have acted as rallying points for anarchist activists. All have indicated an anarchist presence in the dispute. In September last year the Anarchist Media Institute launched a regional anarchist flag. Since then we have encouraged other Australian anarchists groups to adopt this flag as their own.

The black flag negates all flags and all borders. We have added a red stripe, a green stripe, a yellow stripe and a blue stripe on the black flag.

Red and yellow are the primary colours of the Aboriginal flag and green and blue are the primary colours of the Torres Strait Islander Flag. By incorporating these stripes on the black flag we acknowledge the prior occupation of this continent by the indigenous inhabitants of this country.

A standard flag is relatively easy to make. You obtain a piece a black cloth, trim it down to a piece that is 155cm long and 90cm wide. Obtain thin strips of red, green, yellow and blue cloth trim them down to pieces 4cm x 90cm. Fold over the end of the cloth 5cm on itself, sew the top and sew down the side. This creates a 5cm flag pole pocket, you can slip appropriate wooden dowling into it to act as a flag pole. Measure 50cm from the edge of the flag pocket and cut the black cloth at this point (55cm from the edge of the flag without a flag pole pocket or 50cm from the top edge of a flag with a flag pole pocket) then stitch red, green, yellow and blue strips side by side (you have added an extra 1cm on each strip so you sew the strips together) then add another piece of black cloth 88cm long and 90cm wide. You now have a regional anarchist flag. If you want to fold over the edge of the flag and give it that professional touch, add an extra 2cm to all the dimensions you have been given to allow the edge to be folded over and sewn and given that professional finish.

If you haven't the skills, time or machinery to make a regional anarchist flag, you can always order one from the Anarchist Media Institute. Look at the add on the back page to see how much it costs and what you need to order one. BOOK REVIEW- LETTERS OF INSURGENTS by Sophia Nachalo and Yarostan Vochek

Letters of Insurgents is an extraordinary book. In eight hundred and thirty tightly typed pages, the relationship between Sophia and Yarostan, two participants in tumultuous events that almost turned human history on hits head, are examined and re-examined. Yarostan and Sophia were both involved in uprising in 1956. In the space of a few weeks they and thousand of others overthrow the yoke of State Capitalism (Communism) and attempted to create an egalitarian community that was based on workers and community councils.

When the insurgency collapsed, Sophia fled overseas and Yarostan was imprisoned for his part in the uprising. Twenty years after the events that shaped both their lives, Yarostan is finally able to get a letter to Sophia. Over the next few months they eagerly pour their souls into each others bodies, examining the past, their lives, the present and their experiences. Each letter is a brilliantly crafted epistle, weaving personal experiences with their experiences within their worlds.

The book consists of ten letters from Yarostan to Sophia and ten letters from Sophia to Yarostan. Sophia's fifth letter is over ninety pages long. The events of twenty years ago still smoulder within their bodies. Each letter is a self-contained study into the hopes, aspirations, failures and successes of two people whose lives are intertwined with the fate of the twentieth century society. After eight hundred and thirty pages, the book abruptly ends with a one page postscript for the reader penned by Sophia. Her last letter to Yarostan has been returned to her, the tanks have once again rolled into the country she fled twenty years ago. Yarostan has either been killed or is under arrest.

This is a book that interlinks the personal with the political. Letters of Insurgents attempts to bridge the gulf between State capitalism (Communism) and private capitalism by examining the lives of two human beings who throughout their lives have attempted to subvert capitalism. I don't know if Sophia and Yarostan ever existed. I don't know if they ever penned these letters to each other. This collection of letters may be the work of someone who has invented Sophia and Yarostan, maybe the letters are real, maybe they're not. Whether they're real or not doesn't matter. What matters is the sentiments expressed in these poignant epistles. Letters of Insurgents fills in the blank spaces in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who were involved in these events.

Letters of Insurgents by Sophia Nachalo and Yarostan Vochek was published by Black and Red in 1976. If you'd like a copy of this book, either write to your local anarchist bookshop or write directly to Black and Red, P.O. Box 9546 Detroit Michigan U.S.A. 48202. THE CONTINUING ADVENTURES OF STEVE THE ANARCHIST

You'd think attending the One Notion meeting at Werribee would be enough excitement for our Steve. No!! Not for our Steve, there seems to be an adventure lurking around the corner, even in the most mundane circumstances.

Steve's a creature of habit. He jumped onto the 97 tram to the city, as he'd done hundreds of times before. As he pulled a five dollar note out of his pocket the driver waved him to a gleaming machine at the back of the tram. after five years of farting about, the Public Transport Corporation was trialing it's automatic ticket vending machine. Steve only had five dollars on him and he wanted a day ticket. After spending five minutes grappling with this technological marvel, he realised it didn't give out day tickets and it didn't accept notes. Steve accepted the inevitable and slouched into a seat. As luck would have it (Steve's very lucky) two revenue inspectors jumped onto the tram at the next stop and made a beeline for him. No he didn't have a ticket, yes he had money to buy a ticket, yes he tried to buy a ticket but the technological marvel didn't take notes or sell day tickets. Drawing himself to his full height, one of the revenue inspectors told him he had the power to arrest him if he didn't have a ticket. Yes, Steve said I know. Did he know that he could buy a ticket at a newsagent?

That was the straw that broke Steve's back, he got up and shouted I'm not buying a ticket from scabs, I'm happy to pay the driver, ever use the machine, if it's got the ticket I want, but I'm not buying tickets from scabs. By this time his fellow passengers were examining the advertising hoardings, or looking at their shoes. One brave middle aged women cried out, "DO WHAT YOU'RE TOLD AND BUY A TICKET YOU REBEL", Steve spins around and shouts back "YOU'RE THE TYPE THAT'S SO COMPLIANT YOU'D UNDERMINE THE REST OF US BY EATING YOUR OWN SHIT IF THE GOVERNMENT TOLD YOU TO". The revenue inspector told Steve to cool it or he'd arrest him. That was it, Steve looked up at him and said he'd jam his bag down his throat if he tried. The inspector looked down at Steve's bag and decided it wasn't worth the risk and got off the tram. That revenue inspector didn't realise how close to the edge he was, anybody who's had the misfortune of looking inside Steve's bag would realise there's enough fungus growing on the moulded food in his bag to cure a flu epidemic! PERSONAL OBSERVATION

White chequered gleaming horse floats jostling for space in the Barwon Country Fire Authority Fire Station was our baptism into the One Notion, one ring circus. Shit!! I was so busy savouring this quasi religious experience, I missed the right hand, turn into the Barwon Civic Centre. Hurtling down the highway to Colac I finally made a U turn and headed back towards cherry picker city. As Steve (no not lucky Steve, another Steve) and I made our way towards the bright lights we stumbled on a sight that would do justice to a Fellini film set.

Two tall cherry pickers brooded over a thousand souls who were standing behind a row of water filled barriers. Eight mounted police stood side by side on the groups left flank. About two hundred police in blue parkas or leather jackets with glistening black truncheons at their sides eyeballed the crowd.

The South Barwon Civic Centre was ringed in bright lights, television crews raced around filming everything. A few black ninjas waving a black anarchist flag were ringed by newshounds trying to provoke a fight. We offered them a hand and talked to them about the significance of the regional anarchist flag we were flying. The assembled media throngs lost interest when we turned on them and questioned their motives. The midwives of State capitalism, putrefying Leninists and Marxists were out in force, trying to sell their mummified ideas to people who had come to voice their concerns about the nineteenth century political movement that was meeting in the Civic Centre.

Things brightened up when the youth wing of the League of Rights, the ten dollar bigots (it cost $120.00 to have cocktails with the Queen Bee, $60.00 for dinner and $10.00 to hear Joan of Arc speak) filed into the Civic Centre. As the crowd shouted bigots and racists, One Notion's security goons in their 1930's long coats raced up and escorted these brave souls to the front door. Geelong will go down in history as One Notion's waterloo. Only about 150 people turned up to hear the new Messiah. One Notion has been fatally wounded by the thousands of protesters who have flocked to its meetings. Direct Action, not the Liberal/National Party Coalition, the Labor Party, the Democrats or the media have chloroformed this movement that is sinking under its own intellectual dead weight. STOP PRESS - LORENZO HOUNDED OUT OF COUNTRY

By the time subscribers read this weeks edition of the Anarchist Age Weekly Review, Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin will be on his way back to the United States. Since his arrival in Australia, Lorenzo has been arrested, imprisoned and harassed by the Howard government. No political party in this country has come out in his defence. Neither the Greens or Democrats have expressed support for Lorenzo's plight.

Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin is the victim of government policies that consciously exclude people from this country who's views do not coincide with their 1950's view of the world. Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin's crime is he is an anarchist. He wants to create an egalitarian community where all races are treated equally. Considering he has spoken in 22 countries since his release from prison in 1983, it's difficult to understand why this government has pursued these vindictive policies.

John Howard is so concerned about the situation he has recalled the immigration Minister Philip Ruddock, from an official visit to Belgrade to toughen existing visa rules so activists like Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin will not be able to enter this country. The government plans to reverse visa approval rules to remove the government onus to prove applicants are not of good character. Under the new rules applicants would have the show they are of good character. At the same time the government is planning to bring in new legislation severely curtailing appeal rights. The new legislation will go to Parliament within days of Parliament sitting on the 25th August. It will be very interesting to see if the government's plans are supported by the Labor Party, the Democrats and the Green's. Going by their current silence, I expect the legislation won't have much difficulty passing through the Senate.

Joseph Toscano/Libertarian Workers for a Self-Managed Society. P U B L I C A T I O N S

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