Tag Archives: Sydney


So, I went to Fremantle to do some sightseeing on Thursday.

And I saw stuff to warm my heart!

Shop windows and busses all in Purple, flags everywhere.

This especially wonderful flag flying proudly for all to see!


And where was it?

Above the Round House, Above the historic Time Ball

Time for my team to create some history of its own!


Warning! World Youth Day. Do Not Annoy!

Welcome to World Youth Day Sydney 2008!

World Youth Day (WYD) is the largest youth event in the world and will be held in Sydney from Tuesday 15 to Sunday 20 July 2008. Organised by the Catholic Church, WYD brings together young people from around the globe to celebrate and learn about their faith on a more regular basis.

WYD08 will be the largest event Australia has ever hosted. It will attract over 125,000 international visitors – more than the 2000 Olympics.

WYD08 will mark the first visit of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to Australia. Through the WYD08 experience, young people from throughout the world will make a pilgrimage in faith, meet, and experience the love of God.

World Youth Day is an invitation from the Pope to the youth of the world to celebrate their faith around a particular theme. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Such is the official blurb on this event.

However, it seems the NSW Government is not as welcoming as the Papal apologists.

Special emergency laws have been enacted, not to ensure public safety as that is already covered by numerous laws, but to stop anyone annoying the pilgrims!

From ABC OInline; “This week, it was revealed NSW Police had been given the power to arrest anyone who they believe causes annoyance or inconvenience to pilgrims during World Youth Day. Offenders risk fines of up to $5,500. Protest groups worry about the definition of the word, ‘annoying’. They fear it could lead to the confiscation of items such as placards and T-shirts bearing anti-World Youth Day slogans.”

That’s right. It will be illegal to “ANNOY” anyone during this celebration. This is in addition to the “Special Powers” given to the police during APEC last year.

During APEC last year, Sydney was fenced up and virtually locked down for one person – Mr George W. Bush. Police gained special APEC powers to exclude people from entering city, police were also given extraordinary rights to search people with no reasons required. In plain words, police were allowed to use whatever force they like to whoever they want.”

I should not be surprised at this. No Government likes protesters, even though peaceful protest is a democratic right. Many Governments are so paranoid that they ensure that agents provoceteur are scattered through a protesting group to cause disturbances. This allows the police to take severe action against the protesters.

Since the events of 9/11 the paranoia of our democratically elected Rulers has been dramatically increased. Our freedoms and rights as citizens of Democracies have been severely curtailed.

In the time-honoured way, some Aussies are choosing to protest this new, stupid law against annoying people.

Remo, Sydney T-Shirt manufacturers have been running a competition for the best “World Youth Day T-shirt”. Many of the entries will be annoying to someone. Especially the police and pontiffs and pilgrims. Here is one example – front and back.

Just remember this the next time some politician says that terrorists are threatening our freedoms: not a single freedom has been taken away from us by terrorists – they have been taken away by our elected officials.

With a hat-tip to the Rev Anaglyph who, like all good Rev’ds, showed me the way with the Holy Words, “This time it all started when someone (the Catholic Church says it wasn’t them and the Catholic Premier of NSW, Morris Iemma, says it wasn’t him) decided that any form of protest of the upcoming World Youth Day (or as some wag has pointed out: World [Roman Catholic] Youth [if you’re a bishop] Day [more like a week]), is not acceptable.”

Red-Faced Media

Yesterday was quiet and peaceful here in Australia.

No major bushfires, no tornadoes, cyclones or earthquakes.

Sadly there was a triple axe murder in New South Wales but much of the rest of the continent was at peace.

So peaceful that even the media indulged in an unexpected long weekend.

It took the BBC to alert me to the fact that many people thought we were under attack by terrorists determined to recreate the Twin Towers event! Not one Australian media outlet has reported this incident.

From the BBC:

Defence officials have had to allay the concerns of Sydney office workers, who watched as an air force fighter chased what appeared to be a passenger plane.

Some people thought Australia’s most populous city might be coming under attack.

A number of office workers decided to evacuate their skyscrapers after watching in alarm as a passenger plane flew low over Sydney harbour chased by an air force fighter.

After flying over the city the planes banked over the coast then headed back towards the central business district.  One eyewitness said the sight and sound of the planes was “terrifying”.  Another said he’d never been so scared.

But rather than witnessing the pursuit of a hijacked plane, the office workers were watching a farewell flight. The Australian Defence Force was bidding farewell to one of its aircraft.

One of the defence force’s Boeing 707 aircraft was being retired from service, shadowed by a hawk fighter from which aerial photographs were being taken.

The media had been alerted about the fly-past over Sydney harbour bridge but not, apparently, the public.

Oh, I tell a lie, the Sydney Morning Herald had a Video of the flypast. After the event!

Pornography, Censorship and Art. Same old, Same old!

I am severely lacking in writing inspiration today.

Not that I don’t have a lot to write about. I have a very important subject to write about. It is just that the words wont come out in a satisfying way.

Australians will know what I want to write about when I mention the name “Bill Henson“.

Considered by many to be Australia’s foremost photographer, he is fascinated by twilight, the space between day and night, by adolescence, that space between child and adult. The moment of hesitancy. He has been exhibited around the world and his work is hung in some of the most prestigious galleries.

Online, some of his work is visible and much more can be seen on the net – just google the name and then click on “Images”.

Now to the the subject, the controversy. The best way to follow the developments is through a series of news items.

It began five days ago when police raided a Sydney art gallery. Within hours, the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd weighed into the debate and the police began questioning the photographer. Betty Churcher, head of Australia’s National Art Gallery gave her opinion while some of the subjects themselves spoke out. The controversy widened to another gallery while more than 40 of Australia’s leading writers and artists supported Henson. Today the police have rejected the art world’s outcry, while two prominent politicians have supported the photographer.

In another report today, Louise Adler, the head of Melbourne University Publishing, one of 44 prominent figures who have signed an open letter urging Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to rethink his condemnation of the photos as “absolutely revolting”, calls the controversy a ‘beat-up’.

“I don’t believe that paedophiles and pornographers are going to rush to Roslyn Oxley’s gallery to find Bill Henson’s work for stimulation,” she said. “The question is, is it a private matter, one of taste or is it that the community has to come down and make a judgement?

Do we need to be chaperoned by the state on these questions?” she asked.

I don’t believe we do. Although I know a lot of people will disagree with me.

Everyone’s comments are welcome, although I do reserve the right to adjust the wording, but not the intent of some comments, where those comments may be viewed as offensive by some readers of the archive.

So that truly informed debate can take place, the image which originally sparked this controversy is over the jump.

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