Saturday, September 6, 2008

What's political?

I recently watched a doco called Love and Fearlessness. I found the link from Who by the way have been very cool in uploading a video I edited of an infamous incident at the 08 RNC. Check it out

Anywas, the point, is this doco was about the loitering laws that are used to criminalise homlessness in a particular province of Canada. Basically the rule is you can't just be in public and you certainly can't sleep in public. The police can fine you, arrest you and take all the belongings you happen to be holding. The way they get away with this shit is by selectively enforcing these laws. If your some student it's perfectly ok for you to be sitting infront of the library, but if your homeless you get arrested.

So this got me thinking about my local situation and what the laws are like here. To be honest I don't know. I know a few homeless people, but I've never enquired as to how they manage to avoid state persecution. Sheltered me.

Then I started thinking about how in the activist circles I know, we rarely think about our local situation. We are media fiends. We decide what movement is most pressing based on what's currently being portrayed in the media. So we don't really pay much attention to the kids starving on our streets that are being hunted by the police. We're more likely to campaign about the impoverished kids in another nation. There was a fairly big movement in Australia a while ago around the Australian Gautanamo Bay inmate, David Hicks. It was great that this happened, but how many people stopped to think about the abhorant situation faced by inmates in Australian prisons everyday?

Personally I think that this preference toward the "exotic," is a huge weakness.

There are many reasons I think this, but the one I want to address here is that allowing the media to set our agenda means that we are always responding to them. We never have the element of surprise. Hell, even if they weren't surprised by us, at least if we're not letting them tell us when and where all the maijor conflicts are going to take place, we might be able to strike at a time that is particularly inconvenient...

My brain just fried, I need to eat. More later.