Speaking truth to power – on Zaky Mallah, Steve Ciobo & QANDA

Let me preface this by noting my own opposition to offensive violence in all forms; whether committed by soldiers on behalf of governments, individuals or extremist groups.

I strongly oppose the ongoing war in Iraq. I equally oppose violent attacks by extremist religious groups within Iraq. I also oppose violence committed by drunk individuals, and have repeatedly put myself at risk to prevent such violence occurring.

So, to anyone who wants to claim I’m on ‘the terrorists team’, here’s a big up yours (┌∩┐) in advance. I’m not on any ‘terrorist team’ but I’m certainly not joining YOUR team either.

I’m on a team which de-escalates conflicts.

Rather than further isolating at risk people in our society, I want to give them reason to join us.

Only if we break the isolation can we prevent extremist groups radicalising at-risk people. Only if we know who is at-risk, if we build relationships with them, can we help them.

If we fail to achieve that, then no matter how many of our rights we hand over to the intelligence services, we will never feel safe. Continue reading Speaking truth to power – on Zaky Mallah, Steve Ciobo & QANDA

It’s time – Shift the Rock (like Gough).

That classic Gough Whitlam campaign slogan “It’s Time”, is as relevant today in 2015 as it was the day his campaign launched in 1972.

The space for progressive political and economic change is once again widening, after having come under repeated attack by conservatives ever since Gough was dismissed via Double Dissolution in 1975.

At Progress, I attended a workshop called “Moving the Rock – Shifting Power for Sustained Change”, hosted by Sam La Rocca and Holly Hammond. Points raised in that workshop provided some of the key takeaways for me. Particularly, a strong reminder about the value and role of radicals. 

It’s about the intersection of what is ideal and what is ‘politically achievable’. Continue reading It’s time – Shift the Rock (like Gough).

We need each other… (The best words from Progress 2015)

If there’s one thing I took away from #Progress2015, it’s that we need each other.

We need to be actively build deep cross-campaign and inter-community relationships. Our causes are all STRONGLY connected and so are our audiences – but we as individual people are not yet, and we need to be.

So hi, I’m Luke. I run online comms for a union, consult in online comms for several popular hip hop artists and a heap of causes, and have been managing/admin in online communities since IRC in 1996.

I am very interested in the space where online communities and communication meets (positive) real world actions.

I’ve got experience in turning people out to gigs/protests/actions, crowd-sourcing for causes (or to get me to Progress!), obsessively following hashtags with up-to-the-moment live coverage of amazing events overseas when I should be sleeping, developing new friendships//meeting new people online.

Actually, I met many/most of the closest people in my life online before real life: Continue reading We need each other… (The best words from Progress 2015)

Then they fight you… Barnett’s new anti-protest laws

The WA Liberal Party’s vague new anti-protest laws are a legal over-reach which reverse the ‘onus of proof’ and damage the credibility of the entire legal system.

Having lost several pet projects to public opposition, Barnett has moved from ignoring and ridiculing activist to trying outlaw us.

The Criminal Code Amendment (Prevention of Lawful Activity) Bill means any person suspected of preparing to use a ‘thing’ to obstruct a ‘legal activity’, could be locked up for 24 months and face huge fines.

Additionally, people charged under these laws will be forced to pay costs associated with their arrest; violent criminals aren’t even forced to pay that.

But these laws will not stop activists from putting our bodies on the line in defence of what we believe in. We know this means we are having an impact, our strategy and tactics are working. We will continue.

It begs a few questions though: Continue reading Then they fight you… Barnett’s new anti-protest laws

2015: Day 1 of the New Climate Era

People Climate Mobilisation 2014 - photo by Zeb Parkes
From the People’s Climate Mobilisation, Sept 2014

Today is Day 1 of the New Climate Era – a whole new reality for humankind.

Welcome to the new climate era, where the earth is never again like it was for the rest of human existence; where our very existence depends on changing our economies and lifestyles to become compatible with the sensitive and finite nature of life on earth.

We’ve now reached the point of no return in regards to preventing catastrophic climate change.

We must act urgently and with a social determination not seen since the immediate period post World War II, when social progress came in leaps and bounds around the globe and nations received self determination.

That was a time where the all consuming power of kings, queens, empires and oligarchs was repeatedly challenged and defeated in the name of a necessary progress.

Now it’s our turn.

We must challenge and defeat the seemingly endless power of corporations and their ill-conceived economic doctrine of ‘endless growth’, if there is to be anything like our modern civilization left for future generations to inherit. Continue reading 2015: Day 1 of the New Climate Era