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(en) Australia, The Students of Sustainability annual gathering

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Tue, 6 Jul 2004 09:55:11 +0200 (CEST)

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Some background and over-view of the scene.
The Students of Sustainability event is an annual gathering which brings
together folks from across Oceania particularly Australia including indigenous
students and from "overseas' Indonesia and the Phillipines. It has been running
for 12 years and gathered several hundred and sometimes a thousand plus folks.
AWOL (Autonomous Web of Liberation) was the anti-authoritarian tendency in
the local anti-Corporate globalisation mobilisations for the September
11th/12th/13th 2000 World Economic Forum (with Microsoft CEO Bill Gates and
crew) meeting at Crown Casino. There followed a ritualised series of
reactions to/carnivals against events eg direct action which liberated some
incarcerated asylum seekers at the Detention Centre in the desert at Woomera
in South Australia.
With the War on Terror, Australian military support for Iraq Invasion, Bali
nightclub bombing, "terrorist plots" within Australia etc. the State has
increased Police surveillance & detention powers. Amidst all this the AWOL
initiative went dormant. However a State of Emergency squatted space with
cascading workshops and diverse happenings occured earlier this year here in
melbourne attracting some new faces as well as the usual suspects.

The regional Oceania Indymedia is hosting a gathering this month so for
those curious on local developments please check the web site and hosts of
the event, Melbourne Indymedia, for news and views from the queues.

DIGRESSION On Geography & Land Rights
The focus on "indigenous" situation is of course at the heart of
"sustainability" as aboriginal society is recognised by Science as at least
40,000 years of continuous tribal societies and to more radical researchers
at 100,000 years.
Probably Australia's land mass in the North went across, what is now sea, to
Papua New Guinea.
Current islands between are probably mountain tops of the former land mass.
Another school of researchers claim Australia was linked to Antartica and
has been drifting North and into the tektonic plate forcing what is Papua
New Guinea up into its high mountain ranges which made it the most diverse
language group island region on the planet.

Moluccan traders from "indonesia" made contact and traded with aboriginal
societies in the North at least 1,000 years ago, Dutch "explorers" landed in
western australia during the late 1600's and the British began colonising
from 1788. The legal lie was that there was "terra nullius" ie unoccupied
land and this allowed the Empire to bring convict labour and cut up the
country into competing colonies and remake the land along Western European
agricultural systems and thus introduce European beef and dairy cattle,
sheep, goats, rabbits, dogs, cats, bees, camels, water buffalo etc.

The legacy of capitalist exploitation of the resources of Australia is
genocide of indigenous people; mass extermination of native flora and fauna
& extinction of indigenous species at the fastest rate on the planet.
Extensive pollution from toxic & human waste dumping in land and into water
systems, radioactivity from nuclear bomb testing and uranium mining, and
salting of land and fresh water too.
Basically 200 years of so-called "civilization" of the "savages and savage
land" has made some parasites rich but dispossessed the rest.

There is a rich legacy of multicultural industrial and community direct
action to win improvements for the lower class.
They include Aboriginal and convict rebellions to Eureka and miltant
unionism eg IWW, wharfies, 'green bans' by Builders labourers, battles like
that for land rights against Jabiluka Uranium mine in Kakadu wilderness
(which stopped the mine!).
The local anti-corporate globalisation mobilisation is in flux.
Solidarity with asylum seekers/refugees is also networking.
The future is gonna be "interesting"....

Such an environment is unlikely to be liveable for much longer as "peak
oil'' escalation of fossil fuels brings the end of suburbia along the
East Timor's oil fields off-shore have begun to be exploited by Australia
for the US.
The US military is establishing bases in the north near Darwin and
Townsville for the expected next front in the "war on terror"
Listening posts like Pine Gap near Alice Springs which monitor military
communications have been reinforced and a train line (owned by Halliburton
of Dick Cheney and Iraq "reconstruction" contracts infamy) built to link the
upcoming logistics needs.

Local illegal businesses (eg, drugs, gambling, sex industries) have been
amalgamated and redundant executive officers murdered by corrupt police
proably at the behest of the restructuring economy.
The Free Trade pact between Australia and the USA has removed any final
local "tariff" barriers to the US interests here and the consolidation of
the domineering US military industrial complex here.

The expected national elections seem likely to deliver more of the same as
recent test case saw the Australian labour Party "opposition" voting with
the reigning Liberal Party regime's increase in pharmaceutical drug prices
to boost profits for yet again US interests.

The Greens and fragmented Socialist Alliance compete for focus amidst
marginalised independents and single issue candidates ignored by the Rupert
Murdoch and Kerry Packer owned and dominated Corporate media who make the
"contest" a two player ritual not unlike the Republicans and Democrats in
the USA.

In other words bu$ine$$ as usual.

The extra-Parliamentary movements are expected to resurge once the election
spectacle has revealed that there is just us.


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