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in these dark times it's hard to know where to turn. you want to help others but you also worry about paying the rent and feeding your children. so what can you do?

the sunday afternoon activists club is a light-hearted approach to activism. we know we can't change the world alone, but we also know we want to try, together.

taking inspiration from book clubs, high teas, tweetups and blogmeets, we will be using this network to encourage physical gatherings and online sharing of the more positive and beautiful aspects of activism, in all its forms.

each 'meeting' can take place online or offline (or both!) and we will encourage a particular book, theme or area for discussion in advance of each gathering.

this is a new community which launched in Perth on Feb 1st 2015. get in touch if you would like more information or want to host your own meet up, wherever you are. My contacts can be found via http://reallybigroadtrip.com/contact.

most of our activity takes place through the facebook page at the moment, where the focus is on creative approaches to social change and the very many campaigns taking place around the world - http://facebook.com/sundayafternoonactivistsclub.

hugs xfee

facebook.com/sundayafternoonactivistsclub

reallybigroadtrip.com

twitter.com/feesable

sunday afternoon activists club

#NoBusinessInAbuse @nobizinabuse - @CityofSydney votes to divest from corporations profiting from the abuse of asylum seekers

2 min read

Last night I spotted another link on facebook about the 'No Business in Abuse' campaign, which asks local councils to divest from companies like Broadspectrum (the new name for Transfield Services) and Wilson. These (and other corporations) profit from abusive regiments like Manus & Nauru. I mean, it isn't enough that we inflict such inhumane suffering on innocent -and legal- asylum seekers? What kind of sickness must exist within you to actually want to profit from it?

The link itself wasn't new, I'd seen, signed and shared one myself a while ago. But the news - the oh-so-bloody-marvellous news! - was from a comment below the thread...

it passed!

and then another one...

Read the statement from the council's meeting minutes below. Sure, it's 'just' a request that the CEO sign and uphold the pledge, but they LISTENED. Now we need to maintain pressure to hold them to this resolution, and encourage councils around the country to do the same.

Check the 'No Business in Abuse' link and add your name to pledge for change, then send this to the council nearest you. National campaigns can be found here: https://www.communityrun.org/efforts/no-business-in-abuse-local-government.

Abuse is abuse, no matter how happy your shareholders are about the profits you make for them.

They won't shut down their sickening camps, so we'll shut down their sickening businesses. ‪#‎nobusinessinabuse‬

Congrats to City of Sydney for stepping up to the challenge (why not tweet them to say thanks?), and HUGE CONGRATS to EVERYONE behind this campaign. We know divestment works, we know collectively we have the power to push through change. We've had some momentous wins this year, and yes a few losses too, but let's end the year on a high. 

 

 City of Sydney council meeting minutes:

http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/248112/151214_COUNCIL_ITEM16.pdf

City of Sydney votes to divest from abusive business

And here's a video about the campaign lead by Human Rights lawyer Shen Narayanasamy

 

sunday afternoon activists club

Geeks, Arts and Activism: a Call to Arms

3 min read

As I've been travelling the country learning about effective organising and social change (and especially working alongside First Nations communities) I've been constantly asking myself "what can creative technology thinking bring to all this?" I have a few ideas myself, obviously, but one thing I have always been so grateful for is my incredible network of super-smart people. So I'm doing the cleverest thing I can think of - asking them what they think.

As you probably know Sunday Afternoon Activists Club started out as a book club but I'm always keen to play with models and I have a long history of public speaking and collaboration labs, so... welcome to "Geeks, Arts and Activism: a Call to Arms".

The full blurb from the (Facebook) event is pasted below, fyi. This one is in Perth (where SAAC was born!) next Weds, 7th Oct, and I'll continue them as I travel.

When: 6pm for a 6.30pm start. Weds 7th Oct 2015.
Where: Vic Park Mini Lab, 874 Albany Highway, Perth.

Fee Plumley has been a Media Arts agitator for almost two decades. In that time our western society's leaders have revealed some questionable concepts of a humane society. If the “geek will inherit the earth”, isn’t it our nerdy responsibility to make sure there’s actually an earth left to inherit?

This is a call to arms: let’s build a geek social change army equipped with the tools and networks to collaborate with and support the growth of decentralised networks locally, nationally and internationally. It’s all broken; bring out your nerds.

In this informal session generously hosted by Enkel and the Vic Park Mini Lab, Fee will present a few of her favourite Media Arts and creative activism examples to get the ball rolling. From there we’ll chat about how an Internet of Things* approach could help us collectively translate slacktivism** into direct meaningful social change outcomes.

This is a short-notice event as Fee lives in a bus and has to drive back to South Australia next week. The dialogue we begin together here will be taken through to other Maker and Hacker Spaces as she travels around the country. Join our geek social change army physically here or online via Sunday Afternoon Activists Club: https://www.facebook.com/sundayafternoonactivistsclub.

http://twitter.com/feesable
http://reallybigroadtrip.com/
http://sundayafternoonactivistsclub.com/
https://www.enkel.co/vic-park-mini-lab/

In the true spirit of DIY maker culture, please feel free to BYO drinks & snacks :)

* Internet of Things = the physicalisation of the ephemeral internet.
** Slacktivism = passive activists who click to sign petitions but don't tend to take things much further.

sunday afternoon activists club

Which state/territory is the most 'potentially progressive' around Indigenous Rights? #saaclub #auspol

2 min read

I've been sharing a few posts of creative activism interest on our facebook and twitter feeds recently but this one merits a little blog post, methinks.

On Feb 1st - our first gathering - we will be discussing some of the work I've recently been doing with the Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy and Grandmothers Against Removals. You'll be seeing more from me about this ongoing work and Australia's relationship (or lack of) with our First Nations Peoples. On that note I encourage you to join the Canberra protests tomorrow (to mark Invasion Day) and on Feb 13th (to mark the 7th Anniversary of the national 'apology').



But this is the article I've just been sent: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-22/barngarla-people-granted-partial-native-title-in-eyre-peninsul...

The Feds have just granted Native Title in Eyre Peninsula to the Barngarla people. Not only will it be fascinating to watch how this decision nuts out given the current whitefella settlements (and 20 mining companies!), but the statement made by Justice Mansfield mentions an interesting term: "effective sovereignty".

"In my view, [the] material supports the conclusion that in the period between effective sovereignty and the present day, the Barngarla tribe as it existed at sovereignty has continued to exist, and the present claim group is the continuation of the original Barngarla people."

This begs the question, "What exactly does "effective sovereignty" mean and how can it be built upon?"

Combine that with the rights embedded in the founding documents of the State of SA, within the Letters Patent of 1836 signed by King George IV, which say:

"Provided always, that nothing in these our letters patent contained
shall affect or be construed to affect the rights of any Aboriginal
Natives of the said Province to the actual occupation or enjoyment in
their own Persons or in the Persons of their Descendants of any Lands
therein now actually occupied or enjoyed by such Natives."




Of course it'd help if this Letters Patent was actually being adhered to, but in theory, at least... does that make SA the most potentially progressive Indigenous Rights whitefella-occupied state/territory in Australia?

Asking because I'd genuinely like to know... let's have a competition :D

sunday afternoon activists club

aaaaand, we're off!

1 min read

Giddily excited to be launching the Sunday Afternoon Activists Club! (aka 'book club meets high tea for creative activism chats'). 

Join the inaugural @saaclub, 2-4pm on Feb 1st 2015 at CIA studios / @ciahq - http://rbrt.cc/saaclub1

Free bookings come with a discount code for 'Beautiful Trouble: a toolbox for revolution' and lashings of tea & biscuits.

(and please show our brand spanking new social feeds some love! http://twitter.com/saaclub and https://www.facebook.com/sundayafternoonactivistsclub

sunday afternoon activists club

reblog: "on humanness"

6 min read

On my way to Perth last year, having just crossed the Nullarbor for the first time, I was interviewed by Bec Brewin for an ABC Local blog post in Kalgoorlie. The article "The never ending road trip: what it's like to live on a bus" is a really nice overview of what this life-shift has been about for me. The lovely photo set shows the inside of homeJames (something people have told me has been largely missing from my buspr0n collection), in the nomadic equivalent to a 'good housekeeping celebrity home tour' (a strange sensation for a non-famous hermit!)

In that post - and in other ramblings on my lateral drift blog - I talk about the humanness I think we've lost as a society. I've found it hard not to think about this as I've made the transition into buslife. I've experienced firsthand how open, welcoming and phenomenally generous people can be (despite largely battling for their own survival at the time). Yet it's hard to find sense in a world which is dominated by corporate profiteering and religious hatred (which itself often just boils down to corporate profiteering) over basic human rights. When even science says poor people are stronger/more generous than rich people I can't help but wonder why 'we the people' have let this come to pass.

I've been thinking a lot about our basic human rights, especially those we (some far more than others) have lost. Sure I'm a huge advocate of a basic living wage but our rights go so much further than just income. For me the basic human rights are water, food, healthcare, education, employment, a home (or access to common land for us nomads), electricity and a free and open internet. It should go without saying that we should also have the right to retain our own cultural identities, free speech and to choose our life-partners and belief systems without fear of oppression. Where those rights are transgressed we should have methods of protection and appeal; not just a blanket one-size-fits-all legal system, but one that listens, takes each of our circumstances into account and then decides on appropriate, human-centric, resolutions. The laws which govern us now were developed during times so entirely far removed from present-day existence that much of it needs rethinking and significant reform.

No, this isn't a simple thing to deliver and it certainly can't happen overnight. But if our governments really cared about what 'we the people' need to survive in contemporary society, all these things would be provisioned before we even start to look at global competitive markets or attempting to force one belief system onto everyone. And yet we find ourselves locked into an existence prioritising profit and religious doctrine over everything else. If you don't tow the line you are branded a criminal, a troublemaker, an activist... or a terrorist. The only conclusion is that governments (with the possible exception of Uruguay) don't care about 'we the people' at all. How can they when they repeatedly refuse us our basic three r's: recognition, respect and rights?

So let's just accept the truth. We have no basic human rights - not just asylum seekers, first nations people and minorities, but all of us. That's some mouthful to swallow, but if we don't start recognising it now we cannot possibly invoke change.

I so wish I had answers for all this, but of course I don't (I'm pretty sure one person can't single-handedly save democracy, let alone a nomadic artist with no political or economic education!). I'd truly love to demand my right to democracy, to electoral reform, to a return of The Commons, but where is a person supposed to go to demand these things? What right of appeal do we have when the people who make all the decisions have already made it clear that they don't care about our voices?

I always thought that at least if we didn't want to be part of the system we could leave, go off-grid, become a self-sustaining hippy in our own self-made utopias. But the more I try to do this myself the more I realise we don't even have rights there either. A nomadic existence still requires access to water and food (the former in terrifyingly short supply in Australia and the latter unaffordable for those wanting fresh fruit and veg on a less than logical minimum wage); infrastructure like roads and fuel (electricity is sorted thanks to solar but even that is becoming harder for those who live in houses); a place to park (it's getting harder and harder to find safe and legal free parkups, especially with proposed changes to laws in UK which will only act as precedent); and threats to net neutrality only increasing.

So what do we do? Well for me I'm reading a lot more about positive action and the rights we do have. I'm listening to my heart and trying to combine what I feel is wrong with creative ways to communicate this, and encourage others to do the same. I'm working with communities where my digital culture knowledge and experience will hopefully be able to offer meaningful solutions and an online voice to those who struggle with the most basic literacies. And I'm living the 'otherness' life with passion; the more confident I get with buslife the more I appreciate that the freedoms it provides far outweigh the struggles.

I've got a few new artworks in the blender and will be starting an on/offline gathering called The Sunday Afternoon Activists Club, combining a book club with an afternoon tea. It's a lighthearted opportunity for me to share some of the most novel media arts activism I've experienced and learn more about others; to highlight some of the most severe human rights abuses and also the most trifling (aim for the high and low branches together, why not?!); and for us all to start thinking about what we can do about them, together.

Our first book will be "Beautiful Trouble", a set of case studies and a toolkit for those wanting to be more creatively active (they've even given us a discount code for the book for those who sign up!). And our first discussion topic will be the outcomes of Memefest14 in which we were invited to work with the Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy and Grandmothers Against Removals. We haven't yet set a date, but I'll update here and on the SAAC blog when we do.

Until then, I'm curious to know how my set of basic human rights compares with yours. If you have one, I'd love to know what they are. Perhaps together we can create a People's Bill of Human Rights, akin to the great work going on in Queensland. We live in troubling but exceedingly astonishing times. We have never before had so much access to information and each other. So let's make it count.

this post is re-blogged from my other world, http://reallybigroadtrip.com

sunday afternoon activists club

welcome to the sunday afternoon activists club!

1 min read

in these dark times it's hard to know where to turn. you want to help others but you also worry about paying the rent and feeding your children. so what can you do?

the sunday afternoon activists club is a light-hearted approach to activism. we know we can't change the world alone, but we also know we want to try, together.

taking inspiration from book clubs, coffee mornings, tweetups and blogmeets, we will be using this network to encourage physical gatherings and online sharing of the more positive and beautiful aspects of activism, in all its forms.

each 'meeting' can take place online or offline (or more likely, both) and we will encourage a particular book, theme or area for discussion in advance of each gathering.

this is a new community which will launch in 2015. get in touch if you would like more information or want to host your own meet up, wherever you are. My contacts can be found via http://reallybigroadtrip.com/contact.

hugs xfee