Israeli anarchists block Tel Aviv city centre

December 31, 2006

Don’t see the embedded video? Click here to watch it.


Basel Street, one of Tel Aviv’s hippest coffee shop centers, was blocked by 20 anarchists, using razor wire from the wall itself today at around 14:00.

The two rolls of razor wire were stretched across the street parallel to each other, in a formation reminding that of the wall, and red signs reading: “Mortal Danger-Military Zone. Any person who passes or damages the fence endangers his life”, also from the wall itself, were hanged on it. Flyers explaining Israel’s policy of restrictions on movement land-grab were passed around.

The action was carried to remind Tel Aviv’s café goers of everyday hardships of Palestinians, resulting from Israel’s apartheid policies and conduct in the Occupied Territories, and from the occupation itself. The activists urged Israelis to take responsibility of what is being done in their names, and force an end to Israeli occupation.

See also: Israel Indymedia.




Breaking the illusion of consensus

December 29, 2006

If Not Now, When?

A short film in which Jews speak out against the illusion of Jewish consensus on Israel. From Jewish Conscience.

Don’t see the embedded video? Click here to watch it.

Looking back on my Sunday school lessons, I felt that I had been hoodwinked. Indeed, it was a remarkably similar history to the one I had learnt at school about Australia’s colonial past and its treatment of Aborigines. In both cases, inconvenient facts were whitewashed. I was taught about the creation of Israel, but not about the indigenous Palestinian inhabitants. We discussed Arab terrorism but never what may have caused it. Zionist pioneers were praised for their ability to turn an empty land into a fertile Jewish homeland. Perhaps most disturbingly, though, we were told constantly that the only believable reason anyone might hate Israel is antisemitism. The morality, or otherwise, of Israeli actions was never questioned, let alone given context. In the eyes of this dominant Zionism, Jews have always been and remain blameless victims and visionary pioneers.

From My Israel Question by Antony Loewenstein.

Animal Rights Terrorists!

December 26, 2006

Sorry about the lack of writing, been focussing on getting the second issue of the Anarchia zine finished (it’s almost done, will hopefully be online before New Years). In the meantime, enjoy this lovely image, apparently from a new NRA comic book!


Unsafe or uncomfortable? Challenging patriarchy means challenging ourselves

December 22, 2006

I recently took part in a (men only) workshop on consent run by a local anarchist men’s group who work on issues relating to patriarchy. Generally speaking, it was a good workshop – it was structured well, the facilitators did their job, people were honest and we had some interesting discussions. However, since the workshop, I have reevaluated it several times (with the help of a few discussions with people, some of whom were also at the workshop) and have got some thoughts together about why it didn’t quite feel right.

At the start of the workshop, we worked together to create some ground rules, in order to try to create a safe space where we felt able and willing to talk about our own experiences, safe in the knowledge we were amongst a group where we could constructively work together to broaden our own understandings of consent and confront that which had been inculcated into our minds from the moment we were born.

Unfortunately, my experience of this workshop was the same as every workshop I have been to on consent, male privelige, patriarchy, intimate violence and other such subjects. While I found the workshop worthwhile, I long for the day I attend a workshop where the atmosphere is more conducive to us actively challenging each other and ourselves. In short, I long for the day where the workshops, while remaining safe, can become uncomfortable.

This might sound like a strange thing to say, but allow me to run with it for a bit. In a safe environment, it is easy to bring up that which is already on the surface. The problem is, however, in order to be on the surface, an issue must already be in your mind, and you must already be willing (on some level) to deal with it. This means that you have already taken the first step, and, as long as you genuinely desire change, it can happen from this level. It strikes me, however, that the hardest part of challenging our own fucked up behaviours is to acknowledge and name them, and to create the desire to change them. This means that we need to bring issues to the surface from deep inside ourselves, and it is that which I feel workshops such as the consent one I began this post talking about could do best.

In order to be able to bring up issues we don’t even acknowledge, we need to be pushed and probed, both by ourselves and by others. We need to be taken to a (metaphorical) space where, while still feeling safe, we lose that sense of comfort – where we are being confronted and challenged. It is this that will bring our deeper emotions and behaviours to light.

How can we begin to create these spaces? In order to ensure they remain safe for all participants, I think the best solution is ongoing groups who work on this issue. Note, however, that I said groups, plural. The reality is that we all feel safe (and unsafe) around different people. And it is for this reason that I am not joining the group that ran the consent workshop – while I have respect and admiration for much of the work they have done and continue to do, the reality is that those are not the people I would desire to open up to when confronting patriarchy’s manifestations within myself.

Quiet time over

December 14, 2006

So, this blog has been quiet of late. Why? Well, I’ve been in Melbourne.

While I was there, I participated in protests against the G20 Conference, and also did a spot of forest blockading in East Gippsland.

Won’t say any more for now, but if you want to know more about the G20 and what went down, I can highly reccomend A Rush And A Push, a collaborative blog that’s been set up to try to expand on thoughts that began with A Space Outside (a conference prior to the G20) and during the G20 itself.

Normal blogging will resume shortly.


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