Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Drafting a Bike Plan

The City where I live... and maybe you do too has just released a Draft of it's Bike Plan for the next 5 years.

Kids riding against the traffic, no helmets....Why?
I don't believe I am a control freak. I just get agitated when I see people doing something that defies logic. I understand the reasoning people use for riding against the traffic. The argument just doesn't stand up to logical scrutiny. If they were doing it out of contempt for rules or to tempt fate or play chicken with a potentially high impact death, that would make sense... However I am quite sure most people do this because they think it gives them some mastery over the road and circumstances because they can see oncoming traffic, it makes no sense.

The plan comes in three volumes, including baseline data, The Proposed purposes of the plan and it's implimentation.

Darwin is a really great place for  cycling but infrastructure is inconsistent and there are major attitude problems on our roads and shared cycle paths. Anyone who rides a bike will know that cyclists do not fit neatly into a single demographic. Cyclists needs are quite diverse, similarly are our attitudes toward road use, other users and how we prefer to ride. I hope the study has been able to take into consideration some of this diversity.

I'm gonna head down to the library to get hold of a hard copy, if you're interested in how our municipality is attempting to address cyclists needs and plans to cater for us over the next 5 years then you can read it yourself HERE.


Cambodia.... where?

Time to learn a little about Cambodia...
What do I know about Cambodia? Nothing really. When I was just a baby there was an horrendous war there, while I was growing up I heard a bit about Kampuchea, refugees and starvation, as I grew older and started paying attention to current affairs I heard about a despotic dictator who caused unspeakable suffering to many people.

Until last year the only Cambodian person I remember meeting was a woman I studied Bahasa Indonesia with, and that was 20 years ago. She had somehow managed to come to Australia. I'm not sure how she got here.

Last year I was fortunate to meet the hypnotic singer Srey Thy and the band Cambodian Space Project. These guys have the most amazing sound and cover art. Check their website HERE

CSP have revived a bunch of pre-war Khmer music from the 60s as well as some awesome original music.

So for a bit of optimism after having watched the The Killing Fields last night, I decided to listen to some CSP and found this song:

Whiskey Cambodia - by Cambodian Space Project

I still haven't got any of their CDs yet and am wondering how I'm going to get to sleep without this playing in the background!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Walking in silent contempt-ation (part 2)

On the 21st September 2014 Here's what a few people from Darwin decided to do to mark International Day of Peace

We walked from Darwin to Wickham Point Immigration Detention Centre, (40km).
8 walked and we were joined by several others at the vigil

Walkers and friends outside the Wickham / Bladin Point Immigration Detention Centre

Trevor (The Rubbish Warrior) Jenkins walked the whole way with holes in his shoes
 It was a long walk

Me absolutely exhausted!
Some of us who walked and Ben. Eldest walker Liz... age 72!

We all made it to our destination. Not much to say having walked such a long way except. It was good.
Read more HERE on FarceBook.

Took 11 hours.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Walking in silent contempt-ation

 I'm Walking to Wickham Point!

After visiting people in Immigration Detention Centres here in Darwin over the past couple of years, and trying to advocate for people where I could, I have found that the situation for asylum seekers is now even worse than when we started!

I am frustrated, and fed up with constantly grovelling with pathetic bureaucrats and gaolers on behalf of people whose voices have been silenced!
I am tired of seeing people loose their sanity and dignity as they fall into despair, after months and even years of incarceration by this country; it's leaders indifferent to the suffering they have caused and the hearts they have poisoned!


What about justice?! 
Will the guardian of detained children (Scott Morrison) be brought to justice? I doubt it.

I have asked myself, what more can I do? What action will be effective in stopping this madness? Maybe none...?

Unable to articulate my outrage, and the sense of loss and disgrace that has been welling in me I have decided to take action through prayer and meditation.

I do this in the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi when he said:
"Prayer is not an old woman's idle amusement. Properly understood and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action."

I will walk in silent prayer for 40km (More like 37km actually).  From Darwin to Wickham point on Sunday 21st September - International Day of Peace.
• In solidarity with all those who have suffered while in the care of the Australian Immigration Department. (Those I have visited but could offer no practical support!)
• In defiance of the policy makers whose choices have brought misery to the innocent (and the brutality of the tools they engage to do enforce their control!)
• To Bear Witness and to remember

If you want to walk too, it's a long road and there's plenty of room. Bring messages of hope, cards letters etc... See you on the road or at the Vigil outside Bladin Point at 4:30pm!

1st Leg: Darwin to Palmerston

2nd Leg: Palmerston - Wickham Point