Cronulla. Bikini. Mosque… and @ in Eugene’s Ashes.

Long live Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky! Read Fergus Michaels (Australia: one year after the Cronulla riots, racialist provocations continue, December 21, 2006)!

…In the build up to the first anniversary [of the Cronulla riots], there were similar efforts to create another confrontation. In particular, Murdoch’s outlets, including The Australian, encouraged a “Great Australian Bikini March,” which the newspaper said would be staged outside a prominent mosque. The Australian’s December 7 editorial endorsed the proposed march as a “perfect example” of the supposedly quintessentially Australian manner of “deflating fundamentalism of all stripes”. It declared: “the more light shone on extremists in Australia’s Muslim community, the better.”

The “bikini march” was planned to coincide with the Cronulla anniversary. Women dressed in swimsuits were to parade past Melbourne’s Brunswick mosque, and possibly Sydney’s Lakemba mosque, purportedly in response to comments made in October by a prominent Muslim cleric, Sheikh Taj Din al-Hilali, which implied that female rape victims dressed in a manner that made them responsible for the crimes committed against them.

Interviewed on ABC radio, Christine Hawkins, a march organiser, appealed to the same social elements that took part in the Cronulla riots. The bikini march would be “about maintaining our way of life”. She encouraged participants to wear beachwear, as this was an “iconic image for most Australians,” strongly associated with “our beach culture”. Hawkins claimed not to belong to any political group.

The racist Australia First Party supported the Melbourne march on its website. It also called for a commemorative gathering at Cronulla beach on the anniversary of the riots. However, neither event attracted any significant public support. According to media reports, a few Australian First supporters were at the largely deserted Cronulla beach, handing out fliers to passers-by. The bikini marches failed to eventuate, with the organisers declaring the Melbourne march postponed until Australia Day, January 26…

Long live Rupert Murdoch! Read Andrew “She’ll Be Right, Mate” Bolt (Keep a cool head, Herald Sun, December 15, 2006)!

…But where were those ferals on Sunday? Where were these “‘patriotic troops” Germaine Greer warned would be brawling with “Lebanese Muslim youths, inspired by rap, ablaze with bling, armed to the teeth” in what “looks like a bloody summer in Australia”?

Nowhere. Even The Great Australian Bikini March on a mosque was called off by organisers, shamed into covering up their flesh and their bigotry.

Joe, we’re all right, mate. Settle down. And let’s talk.

It’s a fine country, this, with a long, long traditon of tolerance and getting along.

Yes, we have a few problems, but nothing so wild that we can’t sort it out, provided we don’t overreact. So, let’s quietly sort out one problem that has us suddenly jumpier than we should be…

And er, thanks Amir for the link to the video of the community BBQ against racism and sexual assault! Watch it!


Part V: The Ashes
Kera Abraham
Eugene Weekly
December 21, 2006

More than a decade ago, a 21-year-old Lacey Phillabaum danced barefoot in a blue sundress on the downtown Federal Building lawn. A recent UO graduate, eco-radical writer and defender of the old-growth trees at Warner Creek, she jumped with other activists to the live lyrics of Casey Neil‘s “Dancing on the Ruins of Multinational Corporations”

See also : Is eco-sabotage terrorism? | Thoughts from the trenches: Eugene eco-radicals weigh in on Operation Backfire…

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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