Arrived back in Melbourne again last Friday...
Plenty of family time. I managed to get the bike back on the road and have been taking it on the trains. It's awesome down here, you can ride the trains both suburban and rural with your bike. The Geelong train even has a bike rack... Sorry no photos.
On Friday night I received an email to say there would be a rally against Ruds oppressive Asylum Seeker Policy to send all boat arrivals to PNG. I don't bother too much with political stuff on this blog since I am sure most of my old friends and those I grew up with are racist, bigoted pricks... Sorry guys it's just the shit you say and do... If you're wondering why we aren't friends on facebook it's because I've had a gut full of that shit and I really don't want to offend your insular sensibilities or rock your boats... and I certainly don't want to be constantly reminded of the good old days...
Anyway I rode the train into Melbourne on Saturday morning and hoofed it off to the State Library where I joined a small group of people who were setting up for the rally. It's always a bit daunting attending these things, you never know if anyone else will turn up or what kind of opposition you might meet. I was glad to see there were about 30 people with banners and placards. I noticed one of the banners was sagging so I thought I'd hold it up for them... Within 15 minutes a crowd had gathered larger than any I've seen for a very long time. By the time we marched there was a crowd of over 500 people marching on Melbourne's coldest day in 6 years... in the rain! What a buz!
Now apparently poles have been taken and despite the benefit of the doubt afforded to the Australian Public by some speakers I've heard there is an over riding sense of malice held toward asylum seekers in Australia. Back home in Darwin people have openly asserted that boats should be sunk and people shot in the water! I am not surprised. Actually I was more surprised when I heard a local public figure stating that he was sure it is only a small minority in Western Sydney who are generating most of the ill will towards Asylum Seekers. What planet has he been living on?
So friends... Here we are. At a cross roads, a turning point for our national conscience. We are not naive children or innocent unaware folk. We can't go on claiming to be the poor little country of battlers who believe in a fair go and continue to support policies that condemn people we have a moral and legal obligation to help... We will have to choose. We are not being The Good Guys!
I've just now listened to a political Rap song, not my usual style of music... but it took me back to my teenage years and reminded me of how I managed to hold to my political beliefs despite the attitudes of my friends and acquaintances... I was lucky that my parents weren't like that but what got me through feeling totally isolated was Music. I listened to heaps of music that backed up my gut feelings. Red Gum, Lou Reed, Midnight Oil, Warumpi Band, Bob Dylan.... and heaps more! Even if you grow up surrounded by ignorance maybe music will provide safe harbor.