Melb: Report on the Melbourne Cup Disruptions for Manus Refugees

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8 Nov – RISE: Refugee Survivors and ex-Detainees called for a Day of Action on November 7 in solidarity with over 600 refugee men who are currently blockaded inside the former Australian-government run detention centre on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. The Australian government imprisoned the men on Manus as part of their despicable policy of mandatory detention for all refugees who tried to enter Australian territories by boat.

The detention centre has been officially closed by the Australian government and all essential services have been cut including water and electricity. Papua New Guinea police and military have been preventing food and other essential items from entering the detention centre. The Australian government are refusing to take any responsibility or duty of care for the refugees and have been actively blocking other countries from accepting them, insisting that the men must move to a new centre that have been built on Manus. This centre is not safe nor is it equipped to meet the needs of the refugees who are justifiably fearful of being attacked by angry locals who do not want the refugees in their communities. As a result of this situation the 600 men are refusing to leave the Australian detention centre and have been calling on the international community to intervene and help them. Conditions inside the detention centre are grim – no food, no water, no sewage, no electricity and no medical facilities.

The Day of Action was called for November 7th to coincide with the annual Melbourne Cup, a high profile international horse racing event in order to generate maximum publicity. In Narrm / Melbourne, activists responded to the call with a diverse series of actions…

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#SanctionAustralia banner drops by the RISE Team and volunteers in front of Flemington Racecourse (where the Melbourne Cup is held) as well as East Link and City Link toll roads. (source)

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On the outskirts of Narrm / Melbourne, a banner reading ‘SAFETY 4 MANUS MEN’ was dropped from a bridge along the highway to provincial city Geelong. (source)

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In the north-eastern suburbs of Narrm / Melbourne, a banner reading ‘MANUS = CRIME’ was displayed alongside a busy highway. (sent anonymously)

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At Flemington Racecourse where the Melbourne Cup was being held, two women activists from the group WACA (Whistleblowers, Activists & Citizens Alliance) entered a construction site on the racecourse grounds and scaled a crane that overlooked the middle of the stadium where they unfurled a banner that read ‘SOS: EVACUATE MANUS NOW!’ The women were able to successfully negotiate with the police and agreed to climb down from the crane under the condition that they would not be arrested and that the banner would stay on the crane. WACA later released a statement regarding the action, here is an excerpt from it:

“We are joining with others across Australia to demand that the government evacuate the men on Manus immediately and bring them to safety for processing.

This is an emergency. This is an humanitarian crisis. We refuse to sit by whilst the Government, with the complicity of the Labor Party, puts over 600 men’s lives at risk.”

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Also at the Flemington Racecourse, members of WACA ran out onto the racecourse itself and unfurled a large banner that read ‘FREE THE REFUGEES!” before being evicted by security.

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In Ascot Vale, a group of anarchists caused major disruption to trains transporting people to the Melbourne Cup by blocking the railway tracks with a car. The car was covered in slogans in solidarity with the men on Manus and against the Australian government’s barbaric policies towards refugees. A woman padlocked herself inside the car and the car’s tires were punctured to make its removal from the train tracks more difficult. Signs and a banner were displayed prominently highlighting both Australia’s cruel treatment of refugees and also Australia’s celebration of the Melbourne Cup, an event that glorifies cruelty to animals. Police attended the scene and began the time-consuming task of unlocking the woman from the car and removing the car from the train tracks, resulting in lengthy delays in trains services to and from the Melbourne Cup. Unfortunately 4 comrades were arrested, it is not known yet what charges they are facing however all 4 were released later that day.

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Melbourne: Statement on the Queer Anarchist Disruption of the Coalition For Marriage Campaign Launch

On Saturday 23 September 2017, a group of 15 queer anarchists (including sex workers, drug users, disabled people, people living with blood borne viruses and survivors of child abuse & spiritual abuse perpetrated by fundamentalist christians & churches) disrupted and intervened in the launch of the national Coalition For Marriage campaign. The Coalition For Marriage is a front group for the fundamentalist religious organisation, the Australian Christian Lobby.

Our action was undertaken by 8 undercover anarchist/ activists in our most conservative clothes, who infiltrated the event. In an attempt to deprive the religious fundamentalists of a platform, and to make their event as uncomfortable as possible, we engaged in a series of constant disruptions, beginning with two people unfurling a banner reading “Burn Churches, Not Queers” as the 1000 strong supporters of Christian fundamentalist ideology entered the venue.

The second disruption involved an activist running on stage during the opening speech by the repulsive maggot Lyle Sheldon (the CEO of the Australian Christian Lobby) and attempting to unfurl a banner reading “Love not Hate”. The activist was set upon by overenthusiastic security who violently detained her and removed her from the venue.
15 minutes later, 3 activists in the audience disrupted the homophobic whining of Cella White, a “concerned mother”, who claims her son was encouraged to “wear a dress to school” in lieu of “traditional boys’ school uniform”. One activist began yelling “Death to Christian fascists”, and “God raped Mary, she didn’t consent and should have aborted”, whilst 2 women enthusiastically tongue kissed.

As security removed the 3 people, who were yelling “Crucify Christian fundamentalists”, “Christian fascists” and “Death to homophobes”, 2 more activists took the opportunity to occupy the stage. One of the activists took over the podium and yelled into the microphones, “This isn’t about free speech, would you have given the Nazis a platform?”, before the 2 women activists began kissing. The 2 women were also removed by security guards. The Christian audience booed us, we heard people yelling, “Satan is behind thee”, and “Rot in Hell”.

As we were escorted from the venue, a woman attempted to destroy the Marriage Coalition’s merchandise table. As several people were evicted from the venue, they warned members of the Coalition For Marriage, “This is War!”, and “We know who your leaders are and where they live!”. In addition to the disruptions, 6 of us also stood at the entrance/ exit to the venue with queer Antifa flags.

We undertook this action, not because we necessarily believe in marriage, or the power of voting for constitutional reforms to improve our lives, rather, we believe the Australian Christian Lobby to be a fascist group, whose vile and hateful rhetoric and polices have the ability to influence public discourse and policy and to further persecute and criminalise the already highly marginalised and stigmatised communities we belong to.

Similarly, members of the Australian Christian Lobby have worked with racist and fascist right-wing groups who are active in the persecution and vilification of the Muslim community.

The anarchists who engaged in this action believe that anti-fascist action should not be solely about attending counter-rallies, or promoting social media posts. We believe that we need to counteract manifestations of fascism using a diversity of tactics, and that we should deprive religious fundamentalists and fascists of a platform by restricting their ability to propagate their ideas and to mobilise the community. We also believe that it is essential to send a message to fascists of all ilks that we are monitoring them, and will use whatever means are at our disposal to make their spaces as uncomfortable as possible.

Since undertaking this action we have predictably been condemned in the mainstream media by conservative commentators as “bullies” and “domestic terrorists”. However, other anarchists have also condemned us. In response we say: These people would prefer that we didn’t exist. This is having a very real impact on our community, and we’re fucking angry. We don’t play the respectability game, we don’t all think alike, and we don’t require or seek consensus or approval from liberals, outraged LGBTIQA+ people, the media, or assimilationist “anarchists”. As queer anarchists, we’re not some kind of conglomerate mass or hive mind- we’re individuals, and this is our own autonomous freely chosen expression.

We wanted to upset Christian fundamentalists and to create as big of a scene as possible to push the fuck back. We did, and it was fucking great. We found joy, laughter, comradery and strengthened friendships and connections. We took back a little bit of what they take from us when they do what they do. There is no “what works” when it comes to these people- they have their minds made up, they’re not fence sitters, they’re killing us. This is war. Playing “nice”? Friendly debate, hugs and petitions or invoking Ghandi? Keep it. Fucking keep it. Play your own chosen way, but you don’t get to tell us how to think. This is our rage, this is our expression. We’re pushing the fuck back and we’re going to continue to do so.

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Sydney: Anti-electoral campaign

Over the past two months some anarchists around Sydney mounted a campaign against politics and the democratic process.

This election takes place in a period of historic disillusionment with the political spectacle and the politicians who represent it, and never before have so many parties been on offer, to direct that mistrust back into the electoral process.

We reject this process in its entirety. Elections are a charade to confuse us about where power lies, and how things can be changed. With the following petty acts of anti-political sabotage, we draw a line.

Thousands of anti-electoral posters were pasted up throughout Sydney.

Hundreds of anti-political slogans were painted across the city.

A dozen banners were tied to highway overpasses.

Political advertising of every party was vandalised, or taken down and later burnt.

Party activists caught spreading political propaganda were confronted, harassed and sometimes relieved of their material.

Unlike every political party we do not measure success based on opinion polls or ballots.

We do not seek to promote ourselves as a solution to capitalism, we do not seek to recruit, we do not want power. We offer no promises. We represent no one.

We intend to encourage the spread of class hatred and collective resistance to the bosses, their politicians and the way of life they’ve sold to us.

We desire the total annihilation of capital and the state.

Fighting for ourselves.

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Continue reading “Sydney: Anti-electoral campaign”

Bangkok: Sentenced for Act of Rebellion, Anarchist Vandal Says Justice Unserved

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11 Though his own case reached its end Wednesday inside the same building he was charged with defacing, a punk musician said the injustice which motivated him is unchanged.

A year after his arrest, 23-year-old Nattaphol Khemngern was fined 4,500 baht and received a two year suspended sentence for painting an anarchy symbol on a sign in front of the Criminal Court. But the musician’s bid for justice for a former bandmate shot dead by a military officer in February, 2015, remains out of reach.

Two anarchy symbols were found painted May 24, 2015, in front of the Criminal Court on Ratchadapisek Road.
Two anarchy symbols were found painted May 24, 2015, in front of the Criminal Court on Ratchadapisek Road.

Continue reading “Bangkok: Sentenced for Act of Rebellion, Anarchist Vandal Says Justice Unserved”

‘Free Transport, Full Communism’: vandals encourage attacks on rail staff

CCTV footage of an assault against a ticket inspector  

NOTE FROM DISACCORDS: Funnily enough, we actually don’t know have anything to do with these posters in Sydney, but we are glad to have fans in the city promoting the website.

18 March – Police are hunting a ‘deranged group of thugs’ who are inciting members of the public to physically attack transport officers, ticket inspectors and council rangers.

The cowardly vandals are also urging people to destroy train and bus ticket machines, Opal card readers and parking meters.

Going by the name Free Transport, Full Communism, the anarchist group also encourages public transport passengers to refuse to pay fares.

The group, which police have yet to track down or identify, has been plastering anti-establishment posters near train stations throughout the inner city.

Under the heading “Transport Officers Are Scum” and an image depicting two ticket inspectors with telescopic rifle sights on their faces, the poster refers to an anarchist website called “disaccords” which uploads articles about people rebelling against government.

“Spit venom and throw bricks at Transport Officers, Police, Rangers and every other stooge physically enforcing capitalist law,” it says.

The posters, which have been shared by thousands of Facebook users, have caused alarm among police, state and local government and transport and police unions, who fear people’s lives are at risk.

Rail staff have already been suffering a high rate of violent attacks. About 80 per cent of train guards on Sydney stations have experienced confrontations with violent or aggressive customers, according to a rail union survey.

Head of the Police Transport Command Max Mitchell confirmed rail officials and police in the Joint Transport Intelligence Group were searching for the anarchists.

Transport Minister Andrew Constance was appalled by the posters: “It’s disgusting to see material like this distributed in our community.”

Rail Tram & Bus Union state secretary Alex Claassens described those ­behind the poster campaign as “grubs”.

Police Association president Scott Weber described the use of violence as cowardly. Police have asked the public for help in finding the group.

One of the group’s posters at Newtown Station.

Melbourne: Paint and sledgehammer attack against BAE Systems office

31 Dec – In the final hours of December 2015 we attacked the offices of the defense contractor BAE Systems on River Boulevard in Richmond with paint and sledge hammers.

BAE Systems make billions from war and their technology is responsible for countless civilian deaths worldwide.

This action was carried out as part of Black December, a month of anarchist direct action that was initiated by the anarchist prisoners Nikos Romanos and Panagiotis Argirou in Greece.

We also carried out this action in solidarity with anarchist prisoners held hostage by states worldwide and in solidarity with Indigenous prisoners held hostage by the colonist ‘authorities’ here in so-called ‘Australia’ – all of whom are political prisoners.

Black December is everywhere!

Anarchist Office Refurbishment Cell

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