Invasion Day 2019: Ethical Martini’s image catalogue

January 28, 2019

This is a watermarked catalogue of all the photos I took at the Melbourne #InvasionDay rally on 26 January 2019.

I had a particular interest in documenting all of the homemade signs and placards. A lot of people went to quite a bit of trouble to get their points across with humour and sharp politics.

If you’d like a non-watermarked copy please get in touch. I am happy to give a free copy to individuals for private use. If you’d like to reproduce any of the images for publication or for commercial purposes, please get in touch as I have to charge a nominal fee to cover my own costs.

If you like my photographic work and / or my writing please consider becoming a patron and supporting me with a small regular contribution. You can find out more at my Patreon page.

The images are in seven different galleries. Scroll down, click an image to enlarge it.

Gallery 1: Stop pretending your racism is patriotism

Gallery 2: Respect Existence or Expect Resistance

Gallery 3: Abolish Australia Day

Gallery 4: I am the future / I am not the problem

Gallery 5: Stop black deaths in custody

Gallery 6: No pride in genocide / Cook was a crook

Gallery 7: Burn Australia / Abolish Australia Day

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People making a point at Invasion Day 2019

January 28, 2019

Tens of thousands of Melbournians came out to mark Invasion Day 2019. As part of my art practice for the year I am going to document as many homemade protest placards as I can.

There was a strong emphasis on black deaths in custody this year, which is hardly surprising as they continue to occur at an alarming rate. As of August 2018, 147 Aboriginal people have died in police custody or in jail. The number today 28 January 2019 is over 150.

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Many of the deceased were honoured on Invasion Day 2019

There is no pride in genocide

A lot of people took up the genocide theme in 2019

 

 


Invasion Day 2019 – Images from the Melbourne march

January 28, 2019

Invasion Day 2019 was commemorated around Australia on January 26. The day’s marches and rallies took place against a background of the ongoing “culture wars” being perpetrated and encouraged by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and propagandised by the Murdoch media.

Outside Liberal Party circles, it is widely regarded that Scott Morrison is a fool. He made this abundantly clear in the lead in to Invasion Day by announcing almost $7 million in funding for some kind of whitwashing re-enactment of something that didn’t even take place — a circumnavigation of Australia by a replica of Cook’s ship the Endeavour.

The idea was widely mocked and again showed Morrison has a tin ear and an inept group of people advising him.

junkee slams morrison's cook announcement

Many people were appalled by the insensitivity of this decision given that local Indigenous communities in remote parts of the country were suffering in 40+ degree heat without access to clean drinking water. $6.7 million would go a long way towards alleviating this problem in towns like Walgett and Menindee.

Morrison’s blundering comments about Cook’s voyages — historically wrong and politically aligned to white ethno-nationalist sentiment — provided inspiration for several homemade placards at the Melbourne Invasion Day march, including these beauties.

Homemade protest signs as art practice

I am going to make 2019 my year of documenting protests with a focus on capturing as many homemade signs as I can. The creativity and commitment of people — most of them not really “activists” — is reflected in the efforts they go to to turn a piece of recycled cardboard into a meaningful slogan. I also admire the effort that goes into carrying your selfmade placard on a long, slow march around the CBD on an afternoon when the temperature is hovering around 30 degrees.

I’m particularly taken with the placards made and carried by children and here’s some good examples.

There were lots of Koorie kids marching too and they also carried some very poignant placards.

It is hard to disagree.

You can find more images and stories from Invasion Day 2019 on my Patreon site. Please consider becoming a patron so I can continue to document resistance movements in Melbourne. I will also be covering the federal election, I could really use your financial support to make it happen. You can become a sponsor from as little as $1 per month and I am offering great incentives for generous patrons, including books and original artworks.


March against the fascists in Melbourne 12 January 2019

January 13, 2019
Why we have to mobilise against the far-right

On Saturday 12 January 2019 over 1000 anti-racists marched through the streets of Melbourne to show that we are stronger and larger than the Neo-Nazis who held a rally the previous weekend on St Kilda beach.

The counter rally was organised by the Campaign Against Racism and Fascism at very short notice, but it was significant and a powerful response to the fascists.

It was also important to counter-act the dangerously conservative and passive idea that we should just ignore the Nazis and they will go away because their views are abhorrent to mainstream Australia.

The latter might be true, but the way that fascists become normalised and their vews become mainstream is by having the streets to themselves. We will not allow that to happen and here’s why.

You can read the reasons why on my Patreon site. Sign up to support my fiercely independent reporting from only one dollar a word.


Ethical Martini has joined Patreon

January 10, 2019

Hello to all my faithful subscribers and welcome if you’ve just dropped in here randomly or out of curiosity. This is the last post I’ll be doing on this platform, at least for a while. Eventually I will continue to archive my writing here, but if you want to see it when it’s fresh and relevant, you will have to make the move with me.

I have now taken up residence at Patreon and I’ve moved all my online real estate and social media action to that site. I have done this because I’m now working in the “gig economy” and I need to make a living.

I’m hoping you’ll follow me to Patreon and consider subscribing to my feed from there. I have a very cheap option of $1.0) per month, which I’m calling “A dollar a word”, but of course feel free to consider a higher level of membership.

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If you’re not sure what Patreon is, or what it’s for, you can read about it on the FAQ site”: What is Patreon?

Here is a sample of what I’ll be doing via Patreon, as you can imagine, it revolves around journalism and art.

Syndicated journalism
I have written for several progressive online outlets over the past few years, but the honest truth is they cannot pay me a living wage. I am planning to syndicate my work to several of the better outlets so that it can reach a wider audience. If you’d like to support progressive journalism and help me increase the reach of my work please consider becoming a Patreon.

Political Reporting
I am a member of the Canberra Press Gallery and also the Victorian gallery in Melbourne. I would like to spend more time on political reporting and, in particular, I’d like to cover the 2019 federal election in some detail. I would like to build up a salon of Patreons to fund some travel and other expenses so that I can go on the road this year.

Freedom of Investigation
A lot of public interest stories never get told because the smoking gun documents are hidden behind a veil of secrecy. There is only one way to peek behind this curtain and that is Freedom of Information requests. However, Freedom of Information is never free. In fact, there are huge financial costs involved in successfully releasing information from its hiding place. There is a lodgement fee of between $30 and $50 for each request and then there’s the cost of actually having the request processed which can reach into the hundreds of dollars. I am currently funding my own FOI requests, but I sure could use some help. If you’d like to support my Freedom to Investigate, consider becoming a Patreon.

Good, commentary, entertaining analysis
I am an established writer when it comes to political commentary. I can write 100s of 1000s of words that are insightful and entertaining. I write with wit, intelligence and humour and I can do it all day. The problem is, I have to pay my bills.

Art is its own reward
OK, so I’m no Van Gogh, but I do have a garret studio and I think I’d make a good Impressionist. My patreons will be rewarded with a selection from my extensive catalogue and for the right price you can even commission a work.

My Paper.li feed
I already curate a lot of content via social media, including my Twitter account Ethical Martini, a WordPress blog, also called Ethical Martini, and six paper.li publications.
The paper.li publications are currently operating without much input from me except for being populated by the various Twitter lists I manage. My first goal on Patreon is to unlock the full potential of these paper.li feeds by taking a paid account.

 

 


Victorian election candidates: anti-muslim rants, date rape rapping but hey — who cares?

November 20, 2018

Having a plan to make a difference

I live in the safe Labor seat of Ivanhoe and, unlike the socialist foot soldiers who’ve descended on neighbouring Preston, nobody’s tried to doorknock my place, even though I am home most days and evenings. I did see the Liberal candidate, Monica Clark, in my street on a supervised walk-around, but maybe, after my side-eye glare as I pulled up to the kerb, she figured talking to me would be a waste of time.

What I have noticed though, is that many candidates, particularly from the major parties, are reluctant to put their party affiliation on the ubiquitous core flute posters. Instead, they rely on anodyne, ultimately meaningless slogans. Everybody is “Making a Difference”, or “Has a plan,” what they don’t tell us is what kind of difference will they make, or what their plan is supposed to achieve.

There was one exception I saw in the bayside suburb of St Kilda in the Albert Park electorate. There, the local Liberal candidate, Andrew Bond, has a plan to make the streets safer. He even managed to get a few lines of specific policy onto his roadside banner. He will install more street lighting and “engage with the community”. I only hope this guy gets a licensed electrician to install the new street lights at busy intersections because he doesn’t look fit enough to climb a light pole. No doubt it will make the street girls and the cruise-by punters on Carlisle street feel much safer knowing there’s enough light to record their movements and car number plates. Maybe he’ll wait and engage with local residents first; they might just tell him his plan sucks and he can save himself the bother of having to traipse around Elsternwick in a hi-viz vest carrying a ladder and a box of LED light fittings.

I’ve seen very few core flutes on my travels around the suburbs of Melbourne, but if the sheer number of posters and door-knocking volunteers is a guide to winners and losers then the Victorian Socialists’ candidate Stephen Jolly should easily win an upper house seat in the Northern Metropolitan division of the Legislative Council.

Unusually, the Victorian upper house has multimember electorates (divisions) and so there are five seats up for grabs in each electorate. The race in Metro North division – like most upper house contests – is likely to result in status quo in terms of the first four seats decided and the fifth seat is predicted to be a contest between Stephen Jolly and the incumbent, Fiona Patten of Reason (formerly the Sex Party). It is impossible to know how this will go because ten other minor party candidates are also running, and so preference swap deals could be crucial to the final outcome.

As it stands, Jolly and his team of enthusiastic young volunteers have been campaigning across a huge area of Melbourne that starts in the trendy inner northern suburb of Northcote, extends through the extensive migrant belt around Coburg and then out to the recently-settled northwest where farmland has been replaced with vast dormitory suburbs, many of which didn’t exist at the last election in 2014. The Victorian Socialists have had hundreds of volunteers out canvassing votes every weekend for at least the last six weeks and they’re confident of having about a thousand people on polling day to cover the 106 voting places across the electorate. On the other hand, Fiona Patten has a high profile, she is the incumbent and she is more palatable to the liberal media than a real socialist.

Every promise kept and a free set of steak knives

Now that the campaign is nearly over, the party promises have also become more niche, even approaching the level of ludicrous. The Liberal-National coalition has promised to give low-income households free televisions and cheap fridges if they upgrade to more energy-efficient models; but at the same time, Matthew Guy has promised to build a big new shiny (and presumably “clean”) coal or gas-fired power station to guarantee the generation of electricity to hospitals and schools. I wrote about energy policy a couple of weeks ago and most experts agree the COALition plan is backward-looking.

For its part, Labor has made the sensible promise to supply free sanitary products in the state’s schools.

Of course, there are some bigger issues in play too and some other candidates with plans that haven’t been going exactly according to plan.

Read the rest of this piece at Michael West’s news website.

Someone get Skid a mirror; he no longer recognises Australia

October 17, 2018

Somebody needs to get interim Prime Minister Scott Morrison a mirror. I didn’t get a chance to watch Question Time this week, I was usefully engaged at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, but I noticed that at one point on Wednesday afternoon Skid Toryscum cleverly called across the chamber to the Opposition leader that he was “just another politician in a suit”.

politician in a suit

Really, Skid; is that the best you can do?

Of course Bill Shorten’s a politician in a suit. You are all politicians in suits; you are cookie-cutter copies of each other. You are one of them despite your apparent blindness.

skid-in-a-suit.jpeg

Mate, just take a look around you; or even better, use the mirror in the bathroom.

Mirror in the bathroom recompense

For all my crimes of self defense

Cures you whisper make no sense

Drift gently into mental illness.

And yes, it seems the Morrison government is gently drifting into mental illness.

At least we might expect something like “We were suffering a nervous breakdown,” to be the next idiotic defence they slide into when the inevitable steaming pile of their own excrement leaks out of their sagging arses and flies into the rotating blades of the aero-oscilator that’s just around the corner.

Why? Because this week their fallback position was that they are in fact incompetent and make silly “administrative errors” that lead a majority of coalition senators to vote for Pauline Hanson’s white supremacist call sign.

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On days like this it is seriously embarrassing to be a white Australian. Of course, none of us can be held responsible for the colour of our skin; that is a simple accident of genetics and parental hook-ups; but we can be held responsible for our attitudes.

We need to hold these useless seat-warmers to account; preferably by holding their feet to a very hot fire.

The senators who voted for Hanson’s racist rubbish had plenty of time to work out what it was about. The motion was on the Senate notice paper since 19 September.

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Nobody who voted “Yes” to the neo-Nazi meme can hide behind the lame excuse that they didn’t know.

As for those Senators who said  — on the floor of the chamber — that they didn’t care, or that they were just “following orders”; well how can they  sit there without remorse and not resign in shame?

Their excuses are pathetic, like this one from Senator Nigel Scullion, Minister for Indigenous Affairs.

“As acknowledged by Matthias there was an error in the Senate vote yesterday.

“In fact, my own understanding was that the Government would be voting against this motion.

“I was unaware that when we entered the Senate to vote that it was on this particular motion.

“I am sorry for any suggestion that either I, my colleagues or the Government supports any form of racism and I categorically reject any implication contained in yesterday’s motion that downplays racism and historic injustices against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.”

He has once again proven himself unfit for the job. His apology is meaningless; this is a time when “Sorry” doesn’t cut it.

Nah, piss off Nigel. You should resign your ministry.

As for Senator Lucy Gichuhi. Well, she’s there because of a countback and she was a candidate for some horrible right-wing ginger group [Bob Day’s Family First party, which is now defunct]; but FFS what was she thinking?

We should not be surprised if Senator Fraser Anning of the Mad Katter Party gets up next week and moves a motion along the lines of “The Senate approves of the fourteen words, that 88 is Australia’s national number and, henceforth 20 April is declared National Australian Zeppelin Inspector’s Day.”

I have no doubt that, given the propensity for creating their own perpetual omnishambles, we could easily see 25 coalition senators voting for the motion and then blame it on a “slight mix-up in scheduling” when someone points out the horror of what they’ve just done.

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However, one thing did make me a proud Australian this week. I was doubly delighted because I’m also a soccer fan.

On his debut for the Socceroos, Awer Mabil scored a great goal against Kuwait.

Mabil and his good friend Thomas Deng shared the excitement of playing their first game together for Australia’s national team. They are refugees from Sudan and they have more Australian spirit in their hearts, their souls and soles of their tricky feet than the entire Morrison Senate team.

The problem is that Skid Toryscum can’t see these great young Australians. He’s too busy gazing at his own lilywhite projection of racist fear to notice that the country has changed around him.

Morrison is looking to the past, Thomas and Awer are the future, I can’t wait to get there.


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Finally, I’d  just like to dedicate this classic ska hit to our Prime Minister.

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