Who are we?

Hi Friends. Welcome to the blog of the Pine Gap trial, held in Alice Springs. For a background of the case and our group, and other stories please see www.pinegap6.org. At the bottom of the page is a photo of the four accused (from left) Jim Dowling; Donna Mulhearn; Bryan Law and Adele Goldie arriving at court on the first day of the trial, Tuesday 29th of June 2007.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Garrett in Alice

“U.S. forces give the nod, it’s set back for your country”
“nothing’s as precious, as a hole in the ground”
“They’re only there to lend a hand. Short memory”

These are some of the lyrics we sang last night outside the Alice Springs RSL where Peter Garrett was due to speak at an ALP organised event. We decided to sing Midnight Oil songs that particularly resonated with our perspective: US forces; Blue Sky Mining; Short Memory. Our plan was to support the views expressed in these songs, with solidarity for where Garrett still shared these views.

It was an hour in the cold night before he arrived, giving us plenty of time to let loose in singing and dancing – so our voices are a bit sore today!

Garrett’s speech was a bit disappointing for many of us, most of his speech was talking of why Howard’s regime is bad for Australia (which most of the audience already believed), and when moving to Labor’s policy he sprouted clean coal (oxymoron in my view)!

He chose not to take questions from the floor, but to move among the crowd in conversation, which proved very controversial!

The realists among us reflected that this is what you need to do as a shadow-cabinet member. He got a bit of heckling from the audience (including us) about Rudd’s view of the war, and the change of ALP policy on uranium mining.

So when I got my 10 seconds with him, I thanked him for his previous and current work in the struggle against uranium mining, and stated that there were many outside the party standing behind him in this view. He assured me that he would continue to work, within party structures and limitations, for this aim.

“Political party line don’t cross that floor”…………..(U.S. forces)

1 comment:

Pine Gap on Trial said...

Hello, Margaret P here.

We had a lot of fun preparing some songs for Mr Garrett. Joseph was interested to see him because mainly he has encountered Mr Garrett through a nicholson animation http://www.nicholsoncartoons.com.au/cartoon_5272.html

But Mr Garrett did not stop to listen to our lovely and lively singing and dancing; he did not look at us; he did not speak to us. He did not take up three invitations to meet with us as a group. Inside the meeting - which we did not disrupt - he did not take questions and he was careful who he spoke to. He purposefully avoided Bryan despite assuring Bryan twice he was available to talk and was extremely careful not to support us in the local paper.

Our group was rather disappointed at this approach. As nonviolent activists we applaud opportunities to talk respectfully and enter debate.

This event smelled of old style Labor party organising. No opportunities for real engagement; dismissal of thinking; partyline only; scared looking candidates avoiding the topic people actually want to speak about. Nothing new. As Bryan said - if they continue to organise that way they will lose the next election as well.

It bodes badly.