Eureka Anarchist Age Weekly Review - Current & Past Issues Links Contact Anarchist Age
Number 984
16th July – 22nd July 2012
“We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other & fight to defend our rights & liberties”- Eureka rebellion oath 1854
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Nothing highlights the moral bankruptcy of significant sections of the ABC more than Melbourne's 774 local radio’s decision to host a special Melbourne by-election program at the Queen Victoria Markets in Melbourne on Friday morning in which only the more “popular” candidates will be interviewed. Over the past two decades significant sections of ABC television and radio have been little more than commercial clones.

Afraid of its own shadow significant slabs of the government gelded ABC have been transformed into sheltered workshops for the Institute of Public Affairs. Week after week, month after month, year after year debate within the ABC is contained within strictly defined boundaries. While radical right wing opinions dominate ABC television and ABC radio, radical left wing opinions are shunned.

Just two weeks ago I was approached by an ABC television producer to appear on ABC News Breakfast on ABC1 and ABC News 24 to discuss the launch of three hours later the same producer, alerted to the fact I had a left wing radical pedigree, withdrew the invitation. Ironically, I had been involved in a debate that lasted over 20 minutes on Sky News Business Breakfast two days previously.

The stacking of the ABC Board with neo-conservative Board members, the appointment of neo-conservative senior bureaucrats to the ABC, the introduction of short term contracts and the outsourcing of production has created a climate of fear within the ABC. The ABC is publicly owned. We all pay our eight cents a day to watch and listen to Aunty. It’s time a thousand flowers were allowed to bloom among the stunted old perennials growing in much of the ABC wastelands.


It’s ironic at the very moment Ken Williams, the CEO of News Limited, publicly indicated he would use News Limited’s considerable resources to derail the Gillard government’s legislative attempts to hold the corporate owned media to account, one arm of his far flung corporate empire is involved in crass, crude political censorship. I, like the other 15 candidates standing in the Victorian Melbourne By-election was approached by the Melbourne Leader (which claims it has a readership of 51,000) to provide a “profile” for the Melbourne Leader. A picture and a fifty word opinion piece on “my plans” for Melbourne. I emailed back indicating I believed a “sullen, angry, disillusioned, disgruntled electorate wants ideas, not profiles”. I was surprised to receive an email that stated the Melbourne Leader would be publishing that I “did not submit the profile as requested”. Any normal reader looking at the article in the Melbourne Leader would think I didn’t respond to their request.

It is both disingenuous and dishonest for the Melbourne Leader to imply I didn’t respond to their request. I sent the newspaper three emails outlining my position regarding their “profile”. At the very least they should have stated they declined to publish my comments.

What's happening highlights why we need laws to make the corporate owned media accountable. I could take my complaint to the Australian Press Council, a self-regulatory toothless tiger. Even if they found in my favour, it would be months before the matter would be resolved. Everyday hundreds of people across this country are misrepresented in the corporate owned media. They have no effective redress. Making the corporate owned media accountable would bring them into line with current community standards.


The 38 billion dollars lost on poker machines over the past two decades in Victoria, mainly by low income earners, the vulnerable and the addicted (The Age 14/7) highlights an issue very few in government at both the State and Federal level refuse to tackle. The key to the problem is the large amounts of cash gamblers can lose, the decreased pay out to players and the favoured son status venues enjoy in government circles. People gamble for the thrill of winning. There are very few ways people on low incomes can obtain a financial windfall in a capitalist society. People also gamble for company. There are very few places the elderly, the young and the disadvantaged can socialise in a non judgemental environment in our society.

One way both problems can be tackled is by transforming poker machine venues into gaming rooms where gamblers can still socialise, get the adrenaline rush associated with winning and have the opportunity to mix with other people in a non judgemental environment. In Japan the public has access to gambling venues where tokens are used to play machines. The machines pay out in tokens and these tokens can then be exchanged for consumer goods.

These parlours provide a social outlet, allow punters to enjoy the adrenaline rush associated with winning and also provide them with a range of useful consumer goods. People gamble because of the thrill associated with gambling and the chance of a financial windfall. To ignore the reasons why poker machine venues have been able to cream off 38 billion dollars in the last 2 years in Victoria and billions more in the rest of the country, is the best way to ensure they will continue to make billions from people’s suffering. Transforming poker machine venues into social centres where people can enjoy the thrill of gambling, socialise in a non judgemental environment and be paid their winnings in consumer goods is another way to tackle the major issues related to gambling.


The current community debate that Australian history is so boring and pedestrian it shouldn’t be taught in Australian high schools as a separate subject highlights the legacy of denial attached to Australian history in the public imagination. Australian history is boring because the history academics promote and the public are familiar with is the boring, bland, sanitised, white washed version we’re dished up at school and in the community.

Australian history has its share of the macabre and blood thirsty as well as stories about personal and community struggles that put Australia at the cutting edge of social, political and community innovation at the beginning of the 20th century. It’s a history written in blood, about gains made through the blood, sweat and tears of ordinary people breaking free of the chains of the old world. It’s a story that has not been told because it highlights our radical origins as a nation in an era when radicalism is treated as a virulent virus.

It’s a history that’s waiting to be rediscovered, written, shared and used as a template for a future free of corporate excess, government ineptitude and public indifference. The problem isn’t how Australian history is taught, the problem is our understanding about what has happened and continues to happen on this continent. Those events that suit the prevailing political mood are celebrated (Anzac Day) while those that don’t fit our perception of ourselves as a decent, fair society are denied (bloody colonisation). Australian history is about us, it’s about how people from around the world who established communities on the blood, bones and lands of those who had lived here for nearly 60,000 years created a new society that became the envy of the world. To deny our children and the people of this land the true stories associated with this land is unforgiveable.


A little bird told me Murdoch’s neo-liberal sheltered workshop, The Australian, was frothing at the mouth because the Greens in the Melbourne by-election preferenced an anarchist before the ALP. I gave up reading The Australian over a decade ago (although I still love sending them unsolicited advice and opinions) as a result of decent men and women on The Australian’s editorial team being replaced by neo-liberal intellectual eunuchs when Murdoch noticed the political winds they were a changing overnight he threw his support behind the neo-liberal deregulation, privatisation, corporatisation and globalisation revolution which we are all paying the price for today.

I know neo-liberals are very good at dishing it out but tend to turn tail when confronted and I know my epistle to the editorial team at The Australian will most likely be ignored and will diligently be filed away for a future date when I commit some minor transgression, but I still harbour the mistaken belief journalists at The Australian may want to set the record straight.

It’s true, the Greens preferenced an anarchist before the Australian Labor Party but I'd like to point out to The Australian’s rapidly shrinking band of readers the ALP preferenced an anarchist before the Greens. They preferenced yours truly No.11 and the Greens No.15, while the Greens preferenced yours truly No.6 and the ALP No.9. Not that How-to-vote cards make much difference in the seat of Melbourne. Faced with a Melbourne Cup field some voters will, as I suggested to them on my how-to-vote card, vote for yours truly first and then allocate their preferences as they see fit. If they can't make up their minds I suggested they preference the Greens No.3 and the ALP No.5.


A. Freedom, like democracy, must be the most misunderstood word in the English language. As one of 16 candidates for the Melbourne By-election I was surprised to hear the Christian fundamentalist candidate use freedom as her catchcry. Freedom is a slippery character. One person’s freedom can be another person’s nightmare. Freedom to and freedom from are diametrically opposed concepts. The same word used by different people can mean totally different things. The freedom to impose your will on others by force, own slaves, loot, plunder, rape, use the state to impose your will on others, exploit other people’s labour for your benefit is dependent on trespassing on the freedom of others.

Anarchists see freedom as a mutually beneficial arrangement. Individual freedoms are tempered by the freedom of your will over others by others. Although the individual is at the heart of anarchism, the individual’s freedom is only guaranteed when those around him enjoy the same freedoms. The master can easily become the slave in any society where there are no mutually beneficial arrangements in place to ensure everybody in that society is free. Anarchist’s “holy war” against hierarchy is related to their desire to ensure that no one can use institutional structures to deny the freedoms we all crave and deserve to anyone else in society because of the power they exercise .


The year is slipping away, it’s nearly August, before you know it you'll be welcoming 2013. What have you done so far this year? What's happened to all those resolutions you made at the beginning of the year to become more involved? Life has an ugly habit of getting in the way of our resolutions. Midyear is a good time to take stock (that’s when they have stocktake sales). Even if you haven’t taken one step to achieve your resolution to become involved in political and community action so far this year, you can take stock of your situation.

Taking stock means sitting down, getting out a pen or laptop and looking at your normal day. So many hours for work, so many hours for travel to and from work, so many hours for family and friends, so many hours for watching television and surfing the net, so many hours for sleep. You can't do much about work, sleep, family and friends and all those things you need to do to survive but you can have a closer look at the time you “waste” watching television and surfing the net. You'd be amazed at how many hours of your life you waste watching television and surfing the net. Four, five, six, seven, eight hours a day, especially if you're not working, can be wasted watching the idiot box and surfing in the virtual world. You’ve done your sums, you’ve got no time you can continue your consumer, defecate and die agenda. You may have an hour or two to spare, who needs your help to get ideas across? Have a look around, see who you can support.

You don’t think you can work with any of the people or projects you’ve looked at, why don’t you start your own initiative? It could be as simple as holding up a placard in a public space saying “I’m not happy with the way things are”, “Talk to me”, before you know it you may have attracted like minded people who are willing to embark on a journey that will bring about much needed change. If you don’t try you'll never, never know .


On the 14th December, 11 days after the Eureka massacre, the Hotham government, besieged on all sides, concerned it didn’t have the soldiers and police to contain a wider rebellion instigated the Goldfields Commission. Unlike other government commissions which are normally established to delay a decision, the Eureka Gold Commission worked feverishly over Christmas. It delivered its first report in record time 25 days later on the 8th January. The Gold Commission recommended the abolition of the Gold License (the trigger for the rebellion) and a general amnesty for all those associated with the revolt. The Hotham led government, clinging onto the belief that no Melbourne jury would dismiss charges against miners for their involvement in an armed uprising against the Queen, decided to fast track the Treason trials against the 13 miners that had been arrested at Eureka.

The first trial opened on the 22nd February 1855. Within five weeks all charges against the 13 miners were dismissed by sympathetic Melbourne jurors.

Hotham’s authority in tatters, the Gold Commission recommended, on the same day the last rebels were acquitted (27th March), that the Gold License be replaced with an export duty on gold, the introduction of the miners right, giving franchise to the holder and the abolition of the Gold Commission. The Hotham Administration, under intense pressure as a result of continuing agitation across Victoria, concerned their authority was in tatters and the next revolt would be successful, accepted all the Gold Commission’s recommendations.

Within 12 months of the rebellion the leader of the Direct Action faction of the Eureka rebels and the leader of the non-violent faction of the rebellion, Peter Lalor and John Humffray were elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly by diggers who had achieved “manhood” suffrage as a direct result of the Eureka rebellion .

Sven Lindqvist
Granta Books 2001
CIP 135791086420

If you want your book in an easily digestible format don’t read this review. This is a difficult but well researched 399 paragraph book about the history of aerial bombing. It begins in the Middle Ages. Each of the book’s 399 paragraphs is a self-contained entity. Each paragraph can be read separately, as a book or you can follow the arrows the author has kindly placed on certain paragraphs so the reader can jump from page to page following a particular argument.

A History of Bombing is a Trivial Pursuit masterpiece. Each paragraph is full of facts and figures that shock, amaze and glaze the reader’s eyes. It’s not often you learn so much useless and useful information in the same book. Total War, Roman War – two millennium apart, the result the same indiscriminate slaughter. The author brings some clarity to our reading by placing each paragraph in a chronological order. I found paragraph 123 particularly relevant. In 1925 the French in Syria used extensive aerial bombardments to quell a rebellion. “Massive attacks were directed at Hama and Suwayda”. On Sunday the 18th October 1925 over 1,000 civilians were killed when the Muslim neighbourhoods in Damascus were bombed. Syria protested referring to “the prohibition of bombardment of undefended cities in the laws of war”. In 2012 it seems little has changed. Dresden, the Tokyo bombings and Hiroshima are investigated, condemned, put to bed, forgotten.

Thanks to Klaus, a three year old survivor of the blanket bombings of Berlin’s residential suburbs in 1944 and 1945 for lending me his copy of this book to review .


One, two, three, black, brown, black, white flesh, downcast eyes, hijab. An unlikely trio, wandering Indian file through the streets of Reservoir. Black lipstick, black eye shadow, black top, black boots, black skirt, black stockings. Between the top of her boots and the bottom of her skirt strategically placed tears expose acres of bulging pink, white flesh. Modified Melbourne Gothic garb in rapid locomotion. Pacing discretely behind her a middle aged male, non descript brown pants, brown loose fitting shirt, stubble on his chin, receding hairline, brown shoes, downcast eyes kept pace with the young woman.

Black hijab, black dress, no exposed flesh, not even a flash of an ankle, empty shopping bags in hand, head bowed, eyes wide open, trudges behind the other two. Single file, purposeful gait, left, right, left, right, the little procession makes its way up the footpath. Two worlds colliding on the streets of Melbourne. Indian file left, right, left, right. Gothic garb turns left, black hijab catches up with stubble man, they turn right. Left, right, left, right, shanks pony their common bond


Anson Cameron, Sunday Age (15/7), is right I'm sick of people hitching their star to “charities” to give their cause meaning. I'm even more sick of seeing celebrities climb onto the charity bandwagon to lift their profile. What makes me even sicker is seeing privately owned corporations and business executives using this country’s generous taxation laws to set up philanthropic trusts to improve their corporate image and reserve their place in the country’s honours list. If we had governments in power that were willing to tighten taxation laws so everybody, not just pay as you earn taxpayers and small businesses, paid their fair share of tax we wouldn’t have a need for philanthropic trusts, have so many self-serving celebrities to deal with and adventurers could get on with the job of finding a purpose outside the 9 to 5 grind without having to justify taking time off to do something they find challenging.

I'd hate to see Australia follow the American example and divide people into the deserving and undeserving poor and deserving and undeserving causes. The great thing about living in a country where the state, not the individual or the corporate philanthropist is expected to take up the slack is that everybody in need, irrespective of where they live, who they are, their racial origins, sexual orientation, type of work they do, gender or religious belief are treated equally. To jettison this principle on the altar of tax payer funded philanthropy is madness .

POEM – Stephen Roberts

Wind is fickle
Weaves through the branches
Blows down the ears of corn
Carries the messages along the wires
Scoops the water until it rains
Capsizes yachts with no ill will
Hangs onto skydivers doing their loops
Runs after hoops flying down gutters

Suddenly out of spite
Spikes kites splashes balloons mauls catamarans
What malign sprite has taken flight?
Got a hurry on
The sprite is sprouting a black funnel
Fast not play games


AVENUE No.2 2012, (Always Free) Unnamed Collective, PO Box 8187, Hilton WA 6163 AUST

TIERRA Y LIBERTAD No.287 June 2012, Periodico Anarquista, Apartado de Correos 7.056 de Madrid, 28080 SPAIN, Web:

UMANITA NOVA Vol 92 No.23 1st July 2012, Settimanale Anarchico Founded 1920, Federico Denitto, CP 812 Trieste Centro, 34132 Triese TS, ITALY. Mobile : 338 4802773


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Has been awarded to the Murdoch owned suburban newspaper, The Melbourne Leader, for their pathetic attempts at crass, crude, political censorship


Asking the corporate owned media to regulate itself is as effective as asking a vampire to stop drinking blood.

– Joseph TOSCANO – JULY 2012


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