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Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Degrees of Thirst - Occupy Monsanto

Occupy / Boycott / Protest Bienalle of Sydney




To EVERYBODY and the more than 100 artists involved in the Biennale hailing from Australia, New Zealand, Asia Pacific, the Americas, Europe, South Africa and the Middle East,
See this link for a list of the artists: http://bos18.com/artists

The title of this year's Biennale is: "All Our Relations". It may fast lose its positive connotation of connectivity and creativity between people of the world when these two major partners are deciding the brutal fate of thousands of refugees. The 18th Biennale of Sydney's website says that one of the benefits of corporate sponsorship of the event is to showcase "community and corporate responsibility". It is clear that Transfield and the Australian Government see refugees who arrive by boat as not part of this "community". 

from safecom.org.au

It has come to our attention that two major partners of the 18TH BIENNALE OF SYDNEY, 2012 is logistics company Transfield (since 1973) and the Australian Government. As you may already know, the Australian government has awarded Transfield a $24.5 million contract to provide cleaning, catering and security for an inhumane refugee detention facility on the island of Nauru. This south pacific island is once again the Australian government's offshore detention centre for refugees who attempt to enter Australia by boat. Over 2000 refugees have arrived since the Labor government announced it would re-introduce detention on Nauru in mid-August, 2012. So who knows how many refugees are destined to be imprisoned on this island, and for how long? The previous Howard government's racist policies had already shown us the terrible physical and psychological effects this unnecessary detainment had upon fellow humans. We must try stop it immediately.
With your help, by OCCUPYING OR BOYCOTTING the 18th Biennale of Sydney, we hope to send a message to the Australian Government and Transfield, that we won't tolerate the re-opening of Nauru as an offshore detention facility for refugees. We also won't tolerate the way in which arts and culture is abused by government and corporations to deceive the public and achieve ends that are not at all in the interests of the well-being of humanity.

We hope you consider the OCCUPY / BOYCOTT action. We only have until Sunday the 16th of September to make an impact! 

From concerned fellow artists and refugee activists.

For further information call Occupy Sydney - ph Lanz 0410722000  email occupysydney@gmail.com 
Or call Van Thanh Rudd on mob. 0430 397 074

Monday, 10 September 2012

Aboriginal Passport Ceremony 15th of September 2012

Dear All

We warmly invite you to:

Aboriginal Passport Ceremony 15th of September 2012

Aboriginal Passport Ceremony, a ceremony granting Refugees and Australian citizens Aboriginal passports will take place at:
17 Edward St. Darlington, from 11am on Saturday 15th of September.

Refugees will receive the passports for free. Others who want a passport will need to bring a passport photo and pay a $10 fee.

It is to be an amazing event highlighting the strength and sovereignty of the Indigenous Peoples of Australia!!
Free Food, Entertainment and Live Music!
Come and celebrate with us this ''Historical Day'' and please invite all your friends and family.

For more information call: Ray Jackson 0450 651 063 or Raul Bassi 0403 037 376

Other issues:
September 11:

US democracy:


Go back to sleep:

Please watch:

And enjoy watching this one:

In Solidarity

Risks to Children from Common Chemicals by Gail Malone

Are you willing to risk the health or even lives of your children just because the manufacturer of a chemical says it's safe? Take RoundUp, it’s sold at supermarkets and hardware stores, so it must be safe, well is it?  Did you know that when you spray that dandelion in the crack on your path, you are exposing yourself, your pets and your children to the chemicals for at least a few months?  Now researchers have found that one of RoundUp’s inert ingredients can kill human cells, particularly embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells. The new findings intensify a debate about so-called “inerts” - the solvents, preservatives, surfactants and other substances that manufacturers add to pesticides.  Glyphosate, Roundup’s active ingredient, is the most widely used herbicide in the United States, but I think Australia could give them a run for their money.  Until now, most health studies have focused on the safety of glyphosate, rather than the mixture of ingredients found in Roundup, not that glyphosate is a big enough problem. This year Monsanto, manufacturer of RoundUp, agreed with the New York Attorney General's office to discontinue their use of the terms "biodegradable" and "environmentally friendly" in ads promoting glyphosate-based products, including Roundup (1).  Biactive 'new and improved' RoundUp is based on glyphosate, Monsanto does not disclose what the 'improved' surfactant is.  One specific inert ingredient, polyethoxylated tallowamine, or POEA, was more deadly to human embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells than the herbicide itself.  “Moreover, the proprietary mixtures available on the market could cause cell damage and even death [at the] residual levels” found on Roundup-treated crops, such as soybeans, alfalfa and corn, or lawns and gardens.  A research team suspects that Roundup might cause pregnancy problems by interfering with hormone production, possibly leading to abnormal fetal development, low birth weights or miscarriages (2). The term “inert ingredient” is often misleading, U.S. Federal law classifies all pesticide ingredients that don’t harm pests as inert.  Inert compounds, therefore, aren’t necessarily biologically or toxicologically harmless - they simply don’t kill insects or weeds.  However, some inert ingredients have been found to potentially affect human health.  Many amplify the effects of active ingredients by helping them penetrate clothing, protective equipment and cell membranes, or by increasing their toxicity (3). RoundUp is in the hands of untrained people across the country-side spraying for all they are worth to save us from weeds.  There are many safe methods for dealing with weeds, that are cheap and some are not even labour intensive. Solarisation for instance, we live in a very hot country – use it, steaming or slashing annuals so they don’t seed, you don’t even need to disturb the ground to dig them out.  It has been found that many weeds have become resistant to RoundUp, Fleabane quite common in the area, is just one (4).  So, we are in fact making super weeds, like we have made super cockroaches and super bacteria by ill informed and out of control use of insecticides and antibiotics?  I don’t know what it takes for humans to learn the error of their ways, we always want a quick fix, but to what end?  I, for one would like a say in what is sprayed around my environment, as I live on a waterway, but alas I don’t!  Take the Periwinkle in Wendoree Park for instance, not ten metres from Mangrove Creek, it does not respond well to herbicides as many plants with glaucous (waxy) leaves don’t, yet it has been sprayed and it is my understanding it will be again.  This needs to be done again for an obvious reason, glaucous leaves.  It is also a waste of money to be spraying in strong heat, as it is contra indicated.  It would be far better to water it, cover it with thin clear plastic, plant around the circumference of the infestation to control erosion and to help keep future weed invaders and their seeds out.  Then leave it for as long as possible, over summer would be ideal and wha-la dead Periwinkle, cheap, painless and safe, just plant up, mulch, follow up spot weed, job done without a drop of poison!  Plants grown in solarised soil soon after treatment have often benefited from improved seed germination, better stand establishment, improved plant height.  Such increased growth responses are thought to be due primarily to the increase in soil nutrient availability, as a result of the breakdown of soil organic material.  By spraying, the mycorrhiza, fungi that colonise the plant roots and aid in the uptake of soil mineral nutrients, that supports the riparian system dies.  Do we want to help our environment or make ‘statements’, or do we just want to be seen to be doing something?  If you must use Roundup use full P.P.E. (Personal Protection Equipment).  Don’t wear leather shoes or gloves, wear rubber and don’t spray it, paint or inject it.  DON’T EVER use it near waterways or when there is a breeze, dew, mist or even high humidity, it WILL translocate.  Still, it is far better to be sure than sorry, so why not dispose of the RoundUp you have appropriately, Monsanto will survive. In this area we are concerned about our aquifer, silicosis and other environmental problems, and rightly so.  RoundUp is also big a problem and yet we are very caviler about its use and it is one environmental problem, unlike the above, that we as individuals, can control.  “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world” - John Muir.1. (Caroline Cox / Journal of Pesticide Reform v.108, n.3 Fall98 rev.Oct00)2. Op. cit. 13. Op. cit. 14. First case of glyphosate resistance? Agrow, No. 260, 12 July 1996Gail Malone (Conservation and Land Management Cert. IV, Control Weeds)

republished with kind permission from
 Gail Malone

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Occupy Monsanto Sydney September 17

The People's Food Plan - have your say For the Global Occupy Monsanto Day on 17th September, Occupy Sydney will be challenging corporate power in our food supply by doing a workshop on The People's Food Plan with the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance. Come down to Occupy Sydney / Martin Place and join us for a workshop about the People's Food Plan. We'll be talking about the kinds of transformative change our food system needs and making plans for how to make those changes happen. You'll have the opportunity to talk about your experiences with the food and agriculture system and why you think we need to change. The focus at this workshop will be on GM crops, sustainable agriculture and concentrated economic power in the food system, in honour of Occupy Monsanto Day, but if folks are interested, there will also be scope to discuss other issues related to the agrifood system, such as land-use conflicts, healthy eating and urban agriculture. See here for more about why we need a People's Food Plan: http://tinyurl.com/TheFoodPlan


 Join the Occupy Sydney Anniversary 13-14-15 October 2012 Martin Pl Sydney. http://preview.tinyurl.com/OccupySydneyAnniversary

Friday, 7 September 2012

Occupy Monsanto Sept 17 @ Occupy Sydney

The People's Food Plan
- have your say!   


For the Global Occupy Monsanto Day on 17th September, 

Sydney will be

challenging corporate power in our food supply by doing a

workshop on The People's Food

Plan with the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance. 

Come down to Occupy Sydney / Martin Place and join us for a

workshop about the

People's Food Plan. 

We'll be talking about the kinds of transformative change our

food system needs and

making plans for how to make those changes happen.

You'll have the opportunity to talk about your experiences with

the food and agriculture

system and why you think we need to change. The focus at this

workshop will be on GM

crops, sustainable agriculture and concentrated economic

power in the food system, in

honour of Occupy Monsanto Day, but if folks are interested,

there will also be scope to

discuss other issues related to the agrifood system, such as

land-use conflicts, healthy

eating and urban agriculture.

See here for more about why we need a People's Food Plan:

Globally, Monsanto and their chain supply 

partners should take note. You should 

have known it is wrong to try to 

monopolise food supply for profit. You 

should expect us... Occupy & Anonymous


Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Happy Birthday: Share the Inter Occupy Love

Occupy Sydney are working with other Occupy Globally to exchange Solidarity videos. So far we have commitments from Occupy Oakland , Occupy Boston , Occupy Auckland , Occupy London , Occupy Dataran , Occupy Hong Kong Occupy Toronto Occupy Montreal and Occupy Portland.

 A callout is on Inter Occupy which should increase resonance in the next week.

 We will produce one intitally for Occupy Wall St as their anniversary is September 17th ... a suggestion is a Mic Check. We will probably produce it on Sunday 9th September at the Occupation. Subject to availability energy and a video person being available.

Public leap to the defence of Occupy Sydney & occupation news

 A very large loud and angry individual caused minor heart palpitations among our peaceful occupiers as he suddenly confronted them with a barrage of vitriol sign breaking and threats of imminent personal violence.

  Ad hoc and unknown members of the public (who must have read our literature) quickly formed a protective barrier between the hostile individual and the occupation calling on him to "leave these people alone." A passing courier stopped to film the incident on his cell phone while other individuals took photos. (video will be uploaded here shortly.) The public reaction was copybook Occupy advice to activists and very pleasing. may good people act the same way when they see authorities exceeding their powers. 

 Several left their details at the occupation. 

 Occupiers present and Occupy Sydney at large are indebted for this spontaneous public support which may well have averted a rather ugly situation. This incident reinforces Occupy Sydneys commitment to peaceful assertive non-violence and the Occupy Sydney occupers again reaffirm our commitment to this principle.

 Many of those who defended the occupation then took time to sign a petition onsite and take pamphlets before continuing on their way.

 In other news from the Occupation occupier numbers are increasing as warm days leave the impression that the cold nights are a thing of the past for another year. That impression is a misconception. 

 Last night many of the local and international Indian delegates at a writers conference happening at the State Library of NSW dropped by to express their solidarity including an eloquently spoken gentleman who works with the Warlpiri communities in the Central Desert. Also dropping by another Alice Springs based gentleman who is the curator of the Olive Pink Botanic Gardens .

Stand Up for the Burrup September 23rd GLOBALLY

unprotected Burrup rock art c 30000yrs old
Stand up for the Burrup is the campaign for UNESCO World Heritage Listing for the world's oldest and largest rock art precinct - Murujuga/the Dampier Archipelago - a Ngarda Ngarli peoples' sacred site, 1500 km north of Perth on Western Australia's Pilbara Coast.

The problem:

 Woodside , concession holders of vast offshore gas extractive leases have earmarked this area as an onshore processing facility. State and Federal Governments have so far refused to act to conserve the area, despite widespread local opposition and Global heritage significance. It is an absolute absurdity that The Burrup remains devoid of protection while comparatively insignificant and modern urban buildings enjoy protected status. 
Heritage listed Summer Hill Shops c 1912
   On September 23 Occupy Sydney will host the Sydney Stand Up for the Burrup Event meeting at 1st Fleet Park Circular Quay at 12pm to take the photo opportunity offered by Sydneys twin iconic backdrops ,the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.We will deliver a photo similar to the one featured while taking the opportunity to inform locals and tourists  about the unique opportunity and responsibility to PERMANENTLY conserve this unique ancient Rock Art site.
Not in Sydney?? How you can help: 

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Going to Work and coming home Dead

Australian Workers have seen many of their hard won conditions lost in recent years.

  •  Pay rises foregone for highly questionable increases in Superannuation contributions marketed by Super Unions.
  • The Building Industry now work in the rain - Gone is "Rain Drops Work Stops". 
  • Many workers now work unpaid overtime.
  • Casualisation means many workers no longer have job security.
  • Mutual employer employee loyalty has evaporated with whimsical bosses now flippantly sacking workers en-masse to drive their bottom line.
  • Workers are dying across a broad range of industries. The latest in a bakery of gas poisoning as OHS government agencies go to sleep at the wheel.


At the moment there is a  targeted campaign running against the mining companies and their plans for expansion in NSW. It is directed at the proposed massive coal loading terminal T4 in Newcastle. The project T4 is nearing the end of the approval stage despite massive community opposition in Newcastle. The local people have been getting very sick from the coal dust from problems like asthma and even cancer. In a recent hair sample test local people often have three times the level of mercury in their system advised by the World Health Organization. And this is just from the present levels of coal dust. This will get worse if the T4 project goes ahead.

Please help with an online action to send a letter to the NSW state politicians that are making the final decision: http://stopt4.good.do/stop-t4/stop-t4/

Get the word out about this action! If we can stop the T4 project then many mines will not expand or open too, thereby protecting other areas from mining destruction.

The T4 Coal Terminal Expansion and the deals done by the LibLab Conflab in NSW State parliament to enable it are here

Mapping and Disabling the 1%: Part 1

We know about multinational corporations such as Glencore and Monsanto but they are merely suits in the wardrobe which the 1% wear to expand capital while committing their horrendous acts of social and ecological harm.

 There is widespread dispair as people throw their hands up in frustration and ask "what can we do?" 
Click picture to enlarge to Full size

 We can start by sharing and understanding information.If you don't know find out why these comapnies and their products are listed here. We can disable them by NOT BUYING THEIR PRODUCTS.   

Journo tries to live on Newstart


Some choice quotes:
Many economic experts and social welfare groups have argued that the payments are
actually so low they hinder people in their efforts to find work and move forward with
their lives.
No shit?!

Over 500,000 people [rely] on an unemployment benefit of just $244 per week. That's more than $130 under the poverty line; it's merely 45 per cent of the minimum wage


Not one of [those I spoke to] said to me that Newstart is what they want for their lives, or for their family... I actually think it is insulting to claim that a person would willingly forgo employment to live significantly below the poverty line.


As far back as 2009, Secretary to the Treasury Ken Henry told the ACOSS National Conference: 'The tax­transfer system is the principal means of expressing societal choices about equity. The tax­transfer system is a reflection of the kind of society we aspire to be'.

I certainly don't believe it is okay to condemn people to poverty, to encourage shame and social isolation, or to punish them while they search for a 'new start'.

Years of both old parties stirring up fear about welfare cheats and dismantling our social support system has left ordinary Australians with a safety net so low that it barely functions at all. Is this the kind of society we aspire to be?

Bravo! This is fantastic stuff. The idea that people choose to live in poverty and marginalisation is absurd, yet it is the core argument made of the right-wing nuts who seem to have taken over society. When they call for welfare cuts, saying "We just can't afford it!" (I know a semi-articulate half-wit who parrots Alan Jones' opinions like this), they are using a false dichotomy. They are saying "We've tried welfare, and it doesn't work, so we have to start being cruel to be kind". The problem is that this kind of welfare has been disingenuous all along, because it's so paranoid that people are living it up on $244 of unearned money.

There are serious social and economic reasons for not continuing down this road of paranoid, not-on-my-tax-dollar capitalism. Economically, if we are not at the end of the resources boom (as Resources Minister Martin Fergusson said we are, recently), then we will arrive their one day, through external economic circumstances. What have we built as a *society* (not merely an economy) out of that? We've taxed very little of it, while at the same time, we've been busy destroying and privatising education, and we've withdrawn from manufacturing. In other words, we manufacture very little, and we are quite incapable of designing much. We currently are not capable of being a first-world, intelligent, value-adding economy.

As a friend pointed out to me, the US went from a predominantly agricultural industry, to manufacturing, and then on to a services based economy -- the centrality of financial services to that is problematic. What has happened in Australia? We've skipped the middle bit. Universities are still flogging of degrees for the financial services sector, and more and more seem to be setting up elitist management schools offering MBAs. These are all experts in an unsustainable economic status quo, amounting to both a bubble economy, and a brain drain that undermines real value-added industry.

The stupid irony of this is that solution is meritocracy, but meritocracy is that is being fought against by people who think that giving people a chance to build a life out of nothing that others take for granted is indulging cheats. So what do we do when we need to prop up token sector of the smart economy? We have to *import*professionals*. (Certainly it's my experience that physics is perhaps predominantly full of foreign professionals.) In other words, lest we give people who need it the Fair Go Australia loudly prides itself on, we import professionals. Aside from displacing opportunities for young Australians, this also acts as a brain drain on the countries that these professionals are coming from. And then what happens? The same stupid idiots who have to be placated by denying anyone who deserves it a Fair Go (the Catch-22 of the Fair Go is that if you need it, then you don't deserve it), then enact their racism against immigrants. It's a vicious cycle of Aussie stupidity that has governments by the gonads.

As a society we have to recognise this before the resource boom ends and the property bubble ends and all hell breaks loose. If we don't, expect to hear the shrill voice half-wits shouting battle cries as an overt war against the poor commences.

Hmmm.... Actually, who am I kidding: we're well and truly there. Gillard has said she wants to cut DSP by 40% and introduce a disability insurance scheme which, despite right wing opinion, is really the vehicle for cutting DSP. Now Allan Coop tells us the Canberra rumour mill says that Newstart will be replaced by an unemployment insurance scheme -- a superannuation for unemployment. The shrill, "We can't afford it!" voices justifying this mean such measures are surely something we imagine doesn't happen here, only in other countries: they're austerity measures. Let's start calling them that.

The truth is, what we can't afford is this duplicitious insincere approach to welfare. We can't afford to deny people their ability to reach their full potential, based on the assumption that they're trying to cheat the contented majority with their poverty-stricken lives. We can't afford to keep wasting our most precious resource, human capital, just so that the contented majority don't have their delusional, heroic narratives threatened.