Saturday, June 05, 2010

Rabble In The Rain.

NOT the cast of Glee.

While my immediate world is occupying most of my time, I still try to keep across what's happening in other areas. With the recent situation with the so-called Freedom Flotilla (the one where the peaceful protesters attempted to murder Israeli commandos), there is the usual carrying on about how Evil Israel is and Jews Are.

Accordingly, I figured there would be yet another display of chest beating and berating in Town, and I was right. MuslimVillage to the rescue. It's worth reading the thread for the comments more than anything else, particularly this gem:


Only my thought....but the above is never a good look and just causes a loss of support from the average person in the street. This isn't Palestine. It's much better IMO to fly Australian flags when protesting against something whilst on Australian soil.

Just my 2 cents.[emphasis added]

The idea that upsetting regular (read, non-leftarded, non-muslim, Aussies) might not be a good thing shows that over the last couple of years there are a few more of these Aussies getting pissed off.

We now need to make sure our presentations are kept on topic, and not derailed.

It was interested to note that for such a small turnout, relatively speaking, there were a few Australian flags there. Of course, in a sea of Turkish flags, with a couple of Hezbo flags and plenty of Palestine flags, they didn't do much good in the pr department.

Now my impressions...

Here outside the State Library in Swanston Street, the weather kept a lot away, so the turn out wasn't as large as the 4-5000 predicted, and there was a much larger police presence.

The police started arriving in numbers from about half an hour before the advertised start time of 2pm, and I did have a chat to a couple of them. They were polite and approachable, and didn't get offended at my comment about coming along to watch the rabble.

I met up with a couple of mates who contribute to the Australian Islamist Monitor, and one of them can get a bit ranty at times. He didn't get hit, though, which is a good thing.

I do believe the rainy weather put a damper on the aggro, since there was no sense of overt menace like there was when I went to the demo in Jan 09. It probably helped that I kept my mouth shut and smiled at people. I was quite open about taking photos, and wandered freely.

The signs were rather tame, although there were the usual misspellings,

appalling grammar attacks,

and visitations from car dealerships.

And, yes, to remind us to keep on topic, there was even a replica boat.

There was the usual assortment of speeches, from Green MPs, Trades Hall morons who declare that what Gaza needs (apart from No Jews) is help from the unions. That got a cheer, but I suspect that there were a few non-english speakers in the crowd who didn't quite get that bit.

Sheikh Fehmi, one of Victoria's very own go-to guys for the islam perspective spoke also. I didn't pay a whole lot of attention as I was busy wending my way through the crowd.

Interestingly enough, there was a call for 1 minute's silence, which never made it anywhere near a minute. After quiet fell, there was a request to express the rage about Israel's atrocities in boarding the Mavi Marmara. That, of course, was an excuse for a 45 second hate that Orwell would have been proud of.

After the talking was done outside the Library there was a march along Swanston Street, then up Bourke Street, to the other usual gathering place on the steps of the Town Hall Parliament House.

There were more speeches, more chants, the usual rants about wanting a free Palestine, Israel out, that sort of thing. It truly does get boring after a while, and I'm amazed at the patience of the police who have to tolerate it. I can walk away any time, and my companions and I didn't actually rush to follow the rabble up to the Town Hall Parliament House. We took our time, conversing on other things as well as the day's activities.

Back amongst the crowd, though, there was some interesting hectoring going on. I took some video with my camera - more for the audio than any great pictures, since I wanted to capture the usual allahu akhbar that appears at these things.

My favourite was the young woman who first labelled herself as a "Palestinian", and then went on to tell us how her family were kicked out of Jordan in 1967 and hadn't been able to find their way back home.(link to my vid.)

She then went on to demand that "our government" expel the Israeli ambassador, and show "our true Australian values."

Her irony meter seems to be a bit rusty.

There were quite a few ageing hippies, and plenty of socialists hanging around, not having lives to go to, I guess.

And there were plenty of muslims. The girls in hijabs with beautifully made up faces and tight, tight, jeans amused me as always - not real modest there, of course, but as an infidel whore, what would I know?

Last but note least, my favourite sign of the day:

Timing is everything.

These guys came along just as the procession left the Library, and I reckon that's a sign I can get behind.

[edited to amend Town Hall to Parliament House, with thanks to the pedantic anon in comments.]


At 11:09 PM, Anonymous Dan Lewis said...

Australian Union Rep, Paul Howes: "Sderot, [Israel] pounded by Hamas rockets, is a working-class community, while Hamas is a unionist’s worst nightmare, with “an atrocious record of oppressing trade union leaders in Gaza in particular. There have been instances of Palestinian union leaders being shot.”"

At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hate to be pendantic but it's the steps of Parliament House, not the town hall.

At 11:53 AM, Anonymous Matt said...

You've got a huge arse!

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Boy on a bike said...

Matt, you are a huge arse!

At 12:55 PM, Blogger Nilk said...

Thanks for being pedantic, Anon. :) I've fixed it.

And Matt, good to see your awesome debating skillz in full flight.

At 1:39 PM, Blogger rapa707 said...

Hooray! Just when I thought I was alone. "peace" flotilla has driven me nuts. I am too old and crappy but there are people who will take up the guttering torch etc. etc. Don't get bored. There is more to come. They want to destroy us.

At 4:09 PM, Anonymous KeithTalent said...

I can take implied Holocaust denial. The misspellings I can excuse. I can even laugh off the Islamic Peace Mercedes. But 'whom' used as the subject of a verb? No. I draw the line there.

Thanks for caring, DeathBogan.

At 5:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would it be presumptuous to assume the arrival of the flotilla heralded a glut of knitting needles?

At 6:19 PM, Blogger heisenbug said...

The "Palestinian" girl may be right, you know - Israel sits on something like 24% of the "Palestine" as drawn up by the victorious powers during the partitioning of the former Ottoman empire. The other 76% or so is what is currently called the Kingdom of Jordan. Jordan didn't want the "Palestinians" either, even though they're identical in both ethnic and religious terms. You don't see Hamas wanting to destroy Jordan, but then it's not about the land. It never was.

At 8:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was on the platform at Melbourne Central waiting yesterday when I saw a group of charming young men waving Turkish flags about and doing some foreign war chant when their train pulled off, contemplating bashing anyone who looked at them funny for being a bunch of tribalist pricks. This is how far we've come.

At 8:39 PM, Blogger Nilk said...

KeithTalent, I can't abide poor grammar. In my case, I refuse to use a spellcheck, but sometimes errors do slip through.

If they want to get their message across, I'd treat it with a bit more respect if they could at least get the language correct.

Rapa707, you'd be surprised by just how unalone you actually are in the way you feel. Too many people are cowed to speak up; the long march has done a lot to delegitimize true freedom of speech.

Hence people worry too much about being seen as racist while the true racists parade around in our streets calling for the annihilation of a country.

One of my companions yesterday asked a young socialist about Israel getting out of Gaza. When asked where Israel would go to, he couldn't answer except to say that he didn't know, but Israel has to get out.

I guess if the Iranians or Hamas or the Hezbos do get their wish, he will also be able to answer the question.

At 8:46 PM, Blogger Nilk said...

Anon of Melbourne Central, we'll probably fall somewhat further if you look at how things are going overseas.

Look to Britain if you want to see how far we could go.

If we could get rid of the black armband view of European history and achievement, there would be a whole lot more people willing to stand up and be counted when it comes to demonstrations like this.

I know a young man in his 20s who quite candidly told me that he wouldn't fight for this country because of what white people did, and what a terrible history we have.

Ask the young people you know about history. Real history, not the stuff they get forcefed at school from kindergarten onwards.

At 10:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A bit ranty? A BIT ranty? NILK, you damn me with faint praise!
People should know Nilk spent most of Saturday afternoon pushing me around.... and I loved it! Cheers, Champ.

At 11:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually I like your photo. Yowza.

But I'm a bit anxious about your interests in "world domination". How many of your ilk can we fit in the VRWC? It's tough enough to simply have a continuing education seminar without weaponry being pulled at the slightest provocation. And when I say provocation, it can be as little as me shouting out "please be quiet and sit down".


At 7:53 PM, Anonymous Patrick Carroll said...

I would have loved to see the cops water-cannon those fools right outa there!

Clowns the whole lot of them.


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