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(en) Australia, Sydney, Jura Books and anti-war organising

From dr.woooo@NOMASTERS.ORG
Date Mon, 3 Feb 2003 05:19:37 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

> From "Paul McCartan" <dastband@hotmail.com> 
Hello there,
At the moment slow but steady progress is being made at the bookshop and 
with the production and distribution of Sparks magazine. So far the books 
have been put into rough categories (which need to be refined) and we are 
currently sorting through the thousands of periodicals and pamphlets trying 
to get them into some sort of order.

There is an amazing array of material available at Jura bookshop library 
which could be of use to activists/researchers/troublemakers out there so if 
you want to help out with setting up the library please ring Jura Bookshop 
on 9550 9931.
Without a doubt it would have the biggest collection of radical material in 
Australia if not the Southern Hemisphere. We would greatly appreciate any 
assistance from people with archival skills/librarian skills etc.

The main aim of the current work at Jura is to reinvigorate it as a centre 
where people can work/network and socialise. It is planned that the upstairs 
area will one day be a research centre and meeting place for radicals. For 
many years Jura has stayed out of the lime light to the detriment of the 
bookshop and the radical scene. For many reasons the bookshop has not been 
utilised to its maximum potential. Currently there are steps being made to 
involve more people in the running of the shop to make it more relevant and 
useful to the 'scene'. With the unfortunate demise of the Midnight Star 
Social centre Jura could possibly become a centre for social activities and 
learning (mainly self directed.) The benefits of getting involved with Jura 
are that it is a permanent safe space due to a mortgage being paid off so it 
won't be evicted. There needs to be hard work put into the place to make it 
more ammenable to outsiders getting involved.For instance the place needs 
cleaning up and it is quite stuffy and smells peculiar. As with all social 
spaces you will have to interact with all sorts of different personalities 
but there is no reason why the space couldn't function effectively so long 
as a diverse range of people became involved so it doesn't become to sceney.

If there is any interest please give me a call on 0422 662 237.

There are also some anti war actions coming up in Sydney on the 15th and 
16th. Some ideas have been floated around about presenting an alternative 
platform to the 'official' anti war movement. Likewise it has been mooted 
that a breakaway march be intitiated. Judging by the severity of the 
marshalling at the last demo (ie CFMEU stewards preventing people from 
crossing white lines and working with the cops to make sure nothing got out 
of order) it may be difficult to launch such an action. At Jura there are 40 
large Crass posters of a charred soldiers arm caught in barbed wire with the 
caption "YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU". Perhaps we could make them into signs and 
march as a contingent proposing more radical anti war ideas such as a 
general srike or calling sailors/soldiers to mutiny.

One of the biggest problems with demos is the feeling of isolation and 
powerlessness that they can engender due to the fact that they are designed 
to make sure nothing occurs that is out of line. If like minded people met 
up and forged communication and friendliness then this could be the catalyst 
for diversified action. The IWW has also proposed that a mobile soundsystem 
be brought along to play music to enliven people. This worked well at the 
2001 May Day rally where AWOL had a flatbed truck pumping out MC Hammer and 
AC/DC which was very popular so much so that everybody wanted to get 
involved rather than hang out at official activities, much to the 
Trotskyists chagrin as they accused the funlovers as being anarchist 
deviationists and splitters. Humour also works well at demos. Maybe we could 
take a page out of the Italian Metropolitan Indians scene from the 70's and 
make placards reading 'Capitalism is Utopia' and 'Increase Work'. I can get 
my hands on an amazingly realistic Ayatollah Kolmeinhi mask and I was 
thinking of going as the mad mullah upset from beyond the grave that Saddam 
has stolen the mantle as public enemy number one. Anything to get away from 
the usual banality of the march/chant/rant combo that signifies nearly every 
demo in this land.

If anyone wants to do stuff, get involved have a chat or a cuppa please ring 
me or email. 0422 662 237 or dastband@hotmail.com

All the best, paul

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