The Null Device

F14 anti-war rally

I went to the anti-war rally this afternoon. It was pretty big; Swanston St. was packed solid from Flinders St. to past the State Library. The range of people were fairly diverse: everyone from church-going grannies to schoolkids to trade unionists to punks and ferals to private-school girls wearing Socialist Party badges to fringe conspiracy theorists.

(Speaking of the latter, I ran into a member of a certain local band there; he had a rather novel theory on 9/11; he thinks there's no way that one could learn to turn a 747 in a sufficiently tight circle to aim it into a skyscraper with anything less than 20 years of experience, and thus that the Bush cabal must have organised the WTC attacks, recruiting veteran pilots to the cause. I, myself, have some doubts about this (firstly, simulators would make learning to fly a plane a bit easier, and secondly, the logistics of organising such a conspiracy, well ahead of time, and keeping it secret would be a bit implausible).)

(I also ran into a guy in a "#!/bin/bash" T-shirt, who turned out to be a Linux/BSD-based experimental musician. I heard a rather intriguing rumour from him: apparently Steinberg have a proof-of-concept port of Cubase SX to Linux, which they're beta testing. Though it isn't clear whether they'll actually release it, because of driver issues and such.)

Anyway, back to the rally. Some of the more memorable slogans: "Make Lego Not War", "Frodo has failed, Bush has the ring", "sub-sonic sonar is a weapon of mass destruction". And it seems that the Che Guevara icon (as seen on consumer products) has been largely replaced by the Palestinian flag as a symbol of Liberation/Resistance/the Oppressed/&c. I wonder how long it has until trendies appropriate it as a radical-chic fashion symbol.

Oh, and the speakers. They kept things fairly middle-of-the-road; no calls to smash capitalism or apologetics for Saddam Hussein or anything. Though Buffy Stott-Despoja came across as somewhat of a lowest-common-denominator populist.

There are 14 comments on "F14 anti-war rally":

Posted by: Fake Ben Sat Feb 15 01:54:06 2003

Didn't see you there, but that's hardly a surprise - enormous.

My sign had a pic of GWB holding up a kid with the caption "GEORGE BUSH EATS BABIES".

Factually incorrect, yet defensible as a metaphor.

Lots of other funny posters - good to see a sense of humour in what's otherwise deadly serious. I liked: "Bombs are bad, mmmm'kay?"

Posted by: acb Sat Feb 15 02:11:54 2003

I was the guy in the Joy Divison Unknown Pleasures T-shirt and green Converse sneakers. Didn't have a sign, though.

Posted by: N http:// Sat Feb 15 10:10:05 2003

Well done comrades, if you keep this up you might even stop the democratic revolution in Iraq after all. After all, it's better that Saddam controls the middle east than those 'evil' Americans.

Posted by: acb Sat Feb 15 14:46:55 2003

You mean in the way that the apartheid regime still rules South Africa to this day? Maybe if we'd have bombed the fuck out of Johannesburg rather than appeasing them with namby-pamby "sanctions", there'd be power-sharing and majority rule there today...

Posted by: Fake Ben Sun Feb 16 03:02:49 2003

Ah yes, the democratic revolution. Remind me again about the humanitarian credentials of the Iraqi government-in-exile...

Posted by: Graham Sun Feb 16 07:51:49 2003

The Yanks have practically anointed that dude who's wanted for fraud charges in Jordan, haven't they?

Posted by: mark Sun Feb 16 12:09:54 2003

N, the US' record in choosing puppets could probably best be described as "spotty." No, scratch that. It's even better to describe it as "so spectacularly fucking horrendous that it can only be the product of sheer evil." yeah, that sounds better.

Personally, I would like to see Saddam Hussein out on his arse. I even support the idea of a multilateral war to do so (howevermuch I dislike the lies of the USA).

Posted by: mark Sun Feb 16 12:10:06 2003

But no matter how much I try to stop it, a little nagging voice at the back of my brain keeps reminding me of such evils as Chile, and El Salvador. Saddam Hussein is an evil son-of-a-bitch. But who's to say the yanks' puppet won't be the next Pinochet? Really? Can they fucking <em>guarantee</em> that if their puppet turns out to be as bad as Hussein (or, $deity forbid, worse), they'll step back into Iraq, even if he <em>does</em> keep the oil flowing?

Posted by: Stephen http:// Mon Feb 17 02:36:03 2003

<turning a 747 to hit skyscraper...>yep, it could present a bit of a problem, especialy since NONE of the aircraft used as the murder wepons of mass distruction were FUCKIN' 747's...if you can't don't even rember THAT how am I suppost to take ANYTHING else by you seriously?

Posted by: acb Mon Feb 17 03:10:22 2003

By "747", I meant a "big hard-to-fly airliner", as opposed to a Cessna or F14 or somesuch. The fact that the aircraft were other types of large airliners doesn't change the fact that turning them in a tight circle would have required a lot of training.

Of course, judging by your comment, you hadn't bothered to think about what you had read. Switch your computer off and go watch FOXNews.

Posted by: richard Mon Feb 17 21:09:33 2003

On a completely unrelated topic (say, the rally) I have some on-the-ground photos up:

Posted by: lego not was http:// Tue Feb 18 03:34:55 2003 was a strange rally... we has people coming up to us and saying "you DO know that lego is made up of PVC and is therefore REALLY bad for the environment..."

so many old people and young people... it was a little like being at a music festival in front of a stage "buddy you're NOT getting through"... pretty unfriendly some of the times...

everyone loved our banner though. well everyone except them nazi environmentalist... its plastics resin, not pvc you dickheads...

Posted by: mrsmalkav http:// Tue Feb 18 16:41:19 2003

australia got the first line in this story. one *million* in rome. that's amazing.

we drove through the one here in austin, tx on saturday. just as we got near the capitol building, a guy on his cell phone, in his suv, rolled down his window and started yelling at the protesters about how they were traitors to their country.


Posted by: acb Wed Feb 19 02:17:11 2003

One million in London too. That's about 1/8 of the population. (Though, to be fair, it probably includes people from outside of London who caught a train down.)

Only 1,000 in Israel though. The anti-war movement seems to be as popular over there as, well, a pork chop at a bar mitzvah.

Want to say something? Do so here.

Post pseudonymously

Display name:
To prove that you are not a bot, please enter the text in the image into the field below it.

Your Comment:

Please keep comments on topic and to the point. Inappropriate comments may be deleted.

Note that markup is stripped from comments; URLs will be automatically converted into links.