4 June 2018 – On the 9th of April 2018, Astro Labe, an anarchist from Tasmania was given a six month prison sentence for headbutting Tony Abbott, the former Prime Minister of Australia back in September 2017.
In response, some anarchists in Sydney launched a solidarity campaign demanding his release.
Throughout April and May, dozens of solidarity slogans were painted over walls and hung from highway bridges and hundreds of #FreeAstro posters and stickers were spread throughout various suburbs of Sydney.
Fuck Tony Abbott, Astro Labe is a hero.
Free every Prisoner, Headbutt every Pollie!
19 Feb – Victoria Police says it will not press trespassing charges against two women who scaled Melbourne’s Arts Centre spire to protest against offshore detention.
The women, aged in their 20s, ended their 12-hour protest about 3:00pm on Friday.
“The Art Centre has informed Victoria Police that it will not be pressing trespassing charges at this stage against the two women,” police said in a statement.
They pair, who climbed the 162-metre structure about 3:30am, left a “LetThemStay banner on the spire.
Continue reading “Melbourne: Two protesters scale 162m-high Arts Centre spire”
11 Feb – Two protesters who suspended themselves from a Melbourne bridge with a banner imploring the federal government to let asylum seekers facing deportation stay in Australia are back on the ground.
Katherine Woskett, 25, and Hannah Patchett, 22, began their protest on the Yarra Bend Road overpass on the Eastern Freeway alongside a “let them stay” banner at 7.30am on Thursday.
They want to stop the imminent deportation of 267 asylum seekers, including 37 babies, from Australia to Nauru.
A High Court decision on February 3 cleared the way for their return following a failed challenge against Australia’s offshore processing arrangements.
Ms Woskett and Ms Patchett’s protest ended after about three hours when they came down on their own accord and spoke to waiting police officers, who confiscated their banner.
“The pair left pending further inquiries,” a Victoria Police spokeswoman told journalists.
It’s unclear if the women will be charged but police have told them to expect a summons in the mail.
The pair had widespread support on social media, as well as from asylum seekers in detention.
“All day we have been receiving messages from refugees who are actually in detention centres,” said protest spokeswoman Helen War.
10 Nov – In response to a call for a week of actions against the North Wales mega prison, some anarchists in Sydney made some small actions.
The primary contractor involved in the Wrexham Prison Project is Lendlease, an Australian based construction company. In Sydney Lendlease is currently involved in a huge casino project called Barangaroo. The project has major state government backing and is responsible for the social cleansing of Millers Point, the last working working class district in inner Sydney.
Over the past two years there has been consistent resistance to the project and to the eviction and sell-off of the remaining social housing in the area. Numerous buildings in the area have been squatted, and the struggle continues.
Over the first week of November dozens of slogans against Lendlease and its projects were painted on walls across Sydney. Lendlease banners were torn down from their construction sites, repainted and hung from highway bridges.
We wish solidarity to our comrades in Wales and all those fighting for a world without prison.
Neither prisons no casinos.
21 Oct – Police in Tasmania have arrested a fossil fuel protester perched on the roof of the University of Tasmania’s Sandy Bay campus.
Campaign group Fossil Free UTAS said the university had been refusing to meet to discuss its demands that it stop investing in coal.
The group unfurled three banners and protester Brodie Jeavons refused police requests to come down.
Police search and rescue personnel were sent up to arrest him and charged him with trespass.
In a statement the university said the protest was dangerous and it referred the matter to police.
13 Oct – Activists from Rojava Solidarity Australia disrupted the opening of a cultural event sponsored by the Turkish government. The event ‘Sufi Music Ensemble & Whirling Dervishes Melbourne Show’ was held at the Melbourne Town Hall and was sponsored by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Turkish Embassy in Canberra. Mid-way through a speech by a representative of the Turkish government, two activists made their way to the front of the stage and unfurled a banner that read: “STOP TURKISH STATE TERROR” and shouted slogans that included “Turkey supports ISIS”, “Turkey is at war with it’s own people”, “Long live the Kurdish people” and “Who bombed Ankara” before being roughly ejected by security. Unfortunately video footage of the action was accidentally deleted during the scuffle with security. While the majority of the audience were hostile towards the action there was a smattering of applause from people who obviously approved of the action. Here is a statement from Rojava Solidarity Australia explaining the reasons behind their action:
STOP TURKISH STATE TERROR!
We have interrupted this event due to it being sponsored by the Turkish government. The Turkish government is currently waging a campaign of terror against the Kurdish and progressive left movements in Turkey.
This campaign has involved covert support for extremist Islamic organizations such as the so-called Islamic State; mass arrests and imprisonment of Kurdish and left-wing activists, community leaders and politicians; mass censorship and restrictions against social and news media; maintaining a military blockade that prevents humanitarian aid from reaching the Kurdish autonomous region of Rojava in Syria that is under constant attack by IS; the murder of prominent Kurdish and left-wing activists; launching airstrikes against Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq who have been one of the most effective fighting forces worldwide against IS; and most disturbing of all – facilitating terrorist attacks against peaceful and democratic protests.
The most recent of these attacks took place on the 10th of October in Ankara, Turkey’s capital. At least 128 people were killed and hundreds more were injured when twin explosions hit a peace rally organized by the trade union movement. The Turkish state’s immediate reaction following this horrific attack was to order it’s security forces to deploy tear gas and water cannon against people rendering aid to the survivors and to implement a media blackout on reporting about the attack as well as blocking it’s citizens from accessing Twitter and Facebook. The government then went on to make the outrageous claim that Kurdish or left-wing groups could have been behind the attack and to impose further restrictions on reporting or releasing information related to the attack.
The Australian government regularly makes grandiose announcements and engages in much media posturing regarding it’s supposed involvement and commitment to the so-called ‘War On Terror’ – in particular the war against the Islamic State. However, the Australian government maintains normal relations with the Turkish state – a state that routinely terrorizes it’s own population and covertly funds and arms the Islamic State, Al-Nusra Front and other violent Islamic fundamentalist groups that are currently terrorizing the people of Syria and Iraq. The Australian government also lists the PKK (Kurdistan Worker’s Party) as a ‘terrorist’ organization at the behest of the Turkish government. It is widely recognized throughout the world that the PKK is currently one of the most effective fighting forces worldwide against the Islamic State. The PKK are also recognized worldwide for their heroic role in the rescue of thousands of Yazidi people from the Islamic State on Mt Sinjar in Iraqi Kurdistan.
The Australian government is demonstrating via it’s actions that it’s only real commitment to combating IS is to use them as a convenient specter on the domestic front in order to stifle dissent, increase surveillance of it’s citizens and further restrict freedom of speech. By maintaining normal relations with the Turkish state, Australia is in fact aiding the Islamic State and other extremist fundamentalist terror groups – making a complete mockery of it’s supposed commitment to the ‘War On Terror.’
STOP THE TURKISH STATE’S WAR AGAINST IT’S OWN POPULATION!
END AUSTRALIAN COOPERATION WITH THE CRIMINAL ERDOGAN REGIME!
SOLIDARITY WITH THE KURDISH STRUGGLE AND THE PROGRESSIVE LEFT MOVEMENT IN TURKEY!
Rojava Solidarity Australia
(via Rojava Solidarity Australia)
20 Sept – A small act of solidarity from London for Rumah Api (KL): Banner drop outside the Malaysian Embassy on the same day as a massive ‘Malaysia Night’ event takes place in nearby Trafalgar Square. Rumah Api is a Kuala Lumpur based anarcho-punk social centre and gig space, and was raided by armed police on August 28th. This resulted in 160 people being arrested.
SOLIDARITY IS OUR WEAPON
In the early hours of Sunday, August 30th we attached a banner to a fence outside the Richmond railway station in inner-city Melbourne as a minimum expression of our participation in this year’s International Week of Solidarity with Anarchist Prisoners.
INSURGENT SOLIDARITY WITH ANARCHIST PRISONERS!
FIRE TO THE PRISONS AND THE SOCIETY THAT KEEPS BUILDING THEM!
– some anarchists