Friday, August 17, 2007

for the vegetarians among us

Beautifully placed right next to Nando's near my house...someone's put "eating animals" on the stop sign.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

here we go again

I'm giving up the news again. No more newspapers, tv news, nothing. I stand by my previous reasons for doing so, but add the following Thomas Merton quote to the mix:
"Nine tenths of the news, as printed in the papers, is pseudo-news, manufactured events. Some days ten-tenths. The ritual morning trance, in which one scans columns of newsprint, creates a peculiar form of generalized pseudo-attention to a pseudo-reality. This experience is taken seriously. It is one's daily immersion in "reality". One's orientation to the rest of the world. One's way of reassuring himself that he has not fallen behind. That he is still there. That he still counts!

My own experience has been that renunciation of this self-hypnosis, of this participation in the unquiet universal trance, is no sacrifice of reality at all. To "fall behind" in this sense is to get out of the big cloud of dust that everybody is kicking up, to breathe and to see a little more clearly." (Thomas Merton: Faith and Violence)
Last time I tried this, just under a year ago, stuff I was doing ended up in the paper the next day, so...we'll see what happens.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Pace e Bene 2007

Headed to Adelaide the day after court for the gathering of the Pace e Bene Oz people from around the country. We drove down south of Adelaide to a place called Middleton, to a Christian Brothers House there that overlooks the ocean. Amazing views from the house.

The beach is pretty amazing too - very flat so the tide comes in and out a long way.

Anyway, we worked pretty hard and worked out a lot of things for Pace e Bene and the spirituality of nonviolence in the future and the present.

And here's the crew!

The mention

The 18 arrestees (two of the original 21 had already been processed, one arranged to plead guilty in her absence) turned up at the Yeppoon foreshore on Thursday morning August 2 to process to the courthouse. The sea was like glass, a sensational morning. We danced the hokey pokey then took the banners and walked together to the courthouse.

After that we stood in a circle and shared a bible passage, quote, or just talked about how we were feeling.

Then after a brief wait, we entered the courthouse only to wait again while they got ready.

Finally all was ready and they asked for all the adjournments first - which it turned out included the not guilty verdicts. Luckily one of the experienced guys went first, so he was able to arrange with the magistrate to be excused from appearing at the review mention which she scheduled for October 4th.

After that the procedure was pretty simple; you just went up when you were ready and said your name, the magistrate read you the charge and asked if you understood it, then asked if you wanted the same conditions. Sometimes she asked one or two more questions. Then you were excused. When it came time for my turn, all was going smoothly until I heard my phone start ringing behind me. Julie had it in the bag and couldn't get it in time to turn it off, so she had to leave. The magistrate was not impressed, but she didn't know it was mine so she just made a general comment to the gallery and I was done.

Jess and Carole pleaded guilty, and both made brilliant statements. The magistrate told Carole she "shared your aspirations for peace" but had to enforce the law.

Since it was only 10:30am when we were all finished, we all decided to go and enjoy the rest of the day in a magnificent part of the world. We went to the beach first.

Then we went for a drive through Byfield to the Byfield (or Blue Route) gate. I hadn't been to any of the demos at the gates over the whole Peace Convergence week because we were preparing. This was therefore the only gate I'd been to - it was the gate where we emerged from the base in the police car and they stopped here to arrested us before transferring us to another vehicle for the trip to Rockhampton. It was totally weird to be there - not least because the overwhelming thing at the time was being cold and wet, with the ground totally muddy, and here we were now with dry dust and about 28 degrees. Mostly it just brought back memories though of sitting in the divvy van and staring at this very sign, for about half an hour, just wondering if they were going to press charges or not, and wondering what would happen next.

No police around this time, but a family did drive past us in their car, open the gate, and drive into the base. A very strange feeling.

Great to have Ella there with us. The shirt is one I made to wear into the base, but as it turned out it was too cold to have it visible! So I wore it to the court proceedings instead.

Afterwards we went back to some local's houses and had a bonfire and BBQ dinner. Such a beautiful place, and you could see every star in the sky. By the end of the day I was totally exhausted but the day had been really relaxing and wonderful.