SUE JACKSON Therapist/Writer/Photographer/Activist

Last year, as the unofficial blogger/photographer to the anti-East-West Link campaign, our battles were my blog's entire focus. But by Christmas, with the electoral win for people power and the dumping of the dud Tunnel, I was suddenly at a loss. What to write about now? Not sure yet. But there will be ongoing musings and images from this Australian life. So please leave a message. (No need to sign into an account. Simply comment as ‘anonymous’; then leave your name within the comment itself.)

Thursday, February 22, 2018

'A Mighty Force' Nation-wide Premiere

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Yesterday, from Alice Springs to Adelaide, from Yarragon to the Whitsundays, in small country halls, people's homes and grand city centres there was a film premiere. 'A Mighty Force' is a celebration of people power. It features a range of activists determined to stop Adani's grab of our precious countryside and decimation of the Great Barrier Reef.  I was lucky enough to attend a premiere, hosted by Stop Adani Melbourne, at the glorious Fitzroy Town Hall, which was packed to the rafters for the occasion.

Settling in
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Setting up
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The film was great. Coincidentally several of the activists featured had also spoken at the Fitzroy Town Hall as part of the 'Stop Adani Summit' last October. Here are some pictures I took of them at that event:

Aunty Carol Prior, Juru traditional owner from Queensland, with Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black, interfaith Adani opponent (right)

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Bruce and Annette Currie, Central Queensland farmers and reluctant activists, who live mere metres from the mine.

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Jageer Singh, high school student with first-hand experience of Adani's rapacity in India, who has catalyzed protests within his Hopper's Crossing school. 

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The Q & A after the film proved enlightening and inspiring:

I learned that last year 160 new community groups were formed across Australia to oppose Adani, and there are high hopes that the number will be even greater this year. One of the groups that I really enjoyed hearing about was Crochet for Coral Not Coal. This Eltham-based group crochet a range of pieces of 'coral'. They distribute them free of charge to opponents of the mine along with a list of addresses of Federal MPs to whom the recipients can appeal. I'll be sorry to part with mine!:

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Queensland sometimes feels so far away. And the tyranny of distance makes it hard to believe that Victorians can have any impact on the crucial fight being waged up north. But I was most encouraged last night to realize there is lots that we can do:

Start planning to join the blockade.  People from all over Australia are taking time off work and out of busy lives to travel to the Galilea Basin for longer or shorter stays to support local protestors. One audience member announced last night that he was heading off next week with five other senior Victorians - Grey Power in the Galilea - to join Front Line Action on Coal (FLAC). And another older person, Audrey, shown in the film blithely locked on via her neck to a mining vehicle, was also at last night's film. Her assertion that she was no hero, just an 'ordinary grandma', was very moving.

Join local StopAdani group. 

Attend with friends and family, or even host, a showing of 'A Mighty Force'.  Although we had a chandelier at our screening, be reassured, it is not de rigueur!

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Join other local residents who have made a pact to knock on 8,000 doors in Batman.  With Bill Shorten saying this week that Adani is 'just another project', that there is 'a role for coal' in Australia, it is apparent that Federal Labor is no ally.  A win for Alex Bhathal in Batman would send a strong message to Labor and ensure that there is another champion for the environment in a position of power. It is crucial that we elect more MPs who are prepared to work to tighten up our weak environmental protection laws. And to Stop Adani.


 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Great Local Lunch Sustainable Living Festival


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The Great Local Lunch today at the Sustainable Living Festival was fantastic. It was my first time. And I had to enter a ballot to be selected to attend this unique 4-course crowd-farmed free banquet on the banks of the Yarra. Obviously my contribution of lemon verbena, lemon myrtle, rosemary, rose geranium and spearmint had appealed to the selectors. So I joined 249 other lucky gardeners and gleaners to taste the magic the Kinfolk Cafe chefs managed to contrive from the gardens and public byways of Melbourne.

Costa Georgiadis was terrific as MC, although the faltering sound system was frustrating for other speakers at times. Costa's enthusiasm is legendary and we all basked in it.

 The hord'oevres as we entered were gorgeous, all served by members of the team of enthusiastic volunteers who made the event possible.


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Today I have learned to love Kombucha.  I had never heard of it before, but now know it is a drink of delicious ingredients whose fermentation is enabled by pedal power. Grab it when you can.


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The queue of lucky participants waiting to be seated.

Before:

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After:

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Starter: Frittata with parmesan rind and kale stems with gorgeous Zero olive oil:

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 Lentils and a variety of yummy heirloom tomatoes: (All the dressings were unusual and I'm sure I caught a whiff of lemon myrtle or lemon verbena along the way.)

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 Pumpkin with onion and greens garnish: (& I learned today from my fellow diners how to waste not a scrap of pumpkin, to eat the skin and roast the pips!)


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 The finale: cake with wild berries, johnny jump ups (or maybe that should be johnnys jump up?), honey and rosemary (mine I'm sure).

The Great Local Lunch was a winner. Fabulous food and great conversation with like-minded people - what more could you want?  I'm certainly going in the draw next year. Why don't you?


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Saturday, February 03, 2018

Rally: No Racism, Stop Criminalising African communities

Recently many Melbournians have been shocked at the comments of our Prime Minister and the Federal Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton, about the African community. Claims that locals are 'scared to go to restaurants' because of 'African gang violence' are examples of the scare-mongering tactics used. As so often happens scapegoating is aimed at distracting attention from the very real inequities in our society and the ineptitude of our governments.
But today concerned locals challenged those tactics at a protest outside the State Library followed by a march through the city to the Victorian Parliament. Here are some pictures of those locals (Sadly, as I am still struggling with my computer,  to see the images clearly you will need to click on them):


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If you are getting sick to the stomach with all the misinformation and scare-mongering can I suggest as an antidote a great book called 'What is the What' by the Dave Eggers. It is a story about the multiple traumas faced by young people escaping the wars in South Sudan, and the new traumas that many encounter when they are finally resettled in the United States. Closer to home: in case you missed it, you can still catch it via SBS On Demand - 'Sunshine' starring Anthony LaPaglia, Melanie Lynskey and Wally Elnor is a story of young Africans attempting to make a new life for themselves in our very own western suburb of Sunshine. Highly recommended