Grassroots spark catches winds of change: @jansant reviews #NoFibs 2014 coverage of #auspol

No Fibs editor Margo Kingston comments on her 2014 highlights So, the second year of No Fibs is nearly over. Personal highlights? It’s hard to go past getting back on the ground after so long to report civil disobedience at the #leardblockade (my first Twitter report, No Fibs tribute). As a print journo it was thrilling to report live, and to report the frontline of grassroots citizens’ action on climate change at Australia’s first blockade of a new coal mine. Much of my work was Twitter portraits of Australians who’d travelled to the Liverpool Plains to take a stand, and these portraits proved that this was not a campaign of […]

The #indivotes movie: @adropex review and musings on how Indi is changing politics

INDI: The Road to Canberra — CROWDFUNDING TRAILER from David Estcourt on Vimeo. INDI: The Road to Canberra  “More than a year has passed since the campaign, so it was interesting seeing our emotions on the big screen…Obviously there are a lot of nuances that can’t be conveyed in a 90 minute film, but [the film makers] did a great job of showing the big picture of the campaign.” Cam Klose – “Indi Expat”  Indi: The Road to Canberra is a documentary about the grassroots campaign that saw the unexpected election of an independent, Cathy McGowan, in the 2013 federal election. After collecting extensive footage, David Estcourt (Director) and Bethany […]

@RobinMosman calls on grandparents of Australia to unite for climate action

In August this year my husband Warwick and I went back to the Leard Blockade with a group of friends, and blockaded one of the roads to the Maules Creek mine for a few hours.  We’d made a number of signs to hold, but our favourite was one that said “Grandparents for Intergenerational Equity”.  I wrote an account of our trip that was published here on NoFibs and it included a photo of us with that sign. Messages started being posted on Twitter “Are you a group?  How do I join?” I had been thinking for some time about how to reach and engage a wider demographic on the issues […]

Participation antidote to cynicism: the #indivotes democratic revolution, by @adropex

“What do rowers and politicians have in common?” asked Dr Simon Longstaff AO, Executive Director of the St James Ethics Centre. “They both look one way and go another.” This resonated with the 265 attendees at the  “Indi talks Democracy” event who came to listen to Simon Longstaff and, “the warhorse from the inside”, former Federal Independent Member for New England Tony Windsor, discuss the ethics of politics. As the two men delivered their words, listened and answered questions, it was clear that it wasn’t so much what they said as the conversations that were being had that were paramount. The attendees were reminded of what they already knew but […]

Rural Victoria rising up against #csg for #VicVotes, by #Indivotes campaigner @camklose

[clear]About a year ago the rural electorate of Indi had just about turfed out their local member, Sophie Mirabella in the shock result of the 2013 election. It was a result that not even the most optimistic political punter could have predicted. A huge community surge that wiped out a senior Liberal frontbencher in a ‘safe seat’. But that’s what happened. A community, fed up with a lack of representation from their local member, took on the responsibility themselves and achieved what many thought was the ‘impossible’. I worked on Cathy’s campaign from its inception. Throughout the campaign I witnessed rural communities across Indi harness an incredible amount of human […]

Off the rails with @margokingston1 at #BentleyBlockade: @mickdaley1 interview

Dean Sewell and Margo Kingston at #BentleyBlockade (At the time of the interview on April 30 the #BentleyBlockade was the subject of shouting matches in NSW Parliament as the Labor Opposition Party belatedly tackled new Premier Mike Baird over his plans to unleash riot police on thousands of peaceful farmers and townies. Senior police had confirmed that a riot squad deployment of up to 700 fully kitted out storm-troopers would arrive soon. Social and local print media was roaring with anger at this affront to democracy, food and water security.) Underneath a small marquee in the heart of the Bentley anti-coal seam gas protest camp I’m sipping lime cordial with […]

Reporting grassroots greenshoots when faith in establishment politics dies: @margokingston1

Margo: A version of this column appeared in the Byron Shire Echo – @Echonetdaily – on 29 April as a substitute for Mungo McCallum’s weekly column while he recovered from surgery.    Mungo and I last discussed politics just after the federal election on Late Night Live. We both knew what Abbott would do – seek to close down free speech and climate change science information and further corporate interests at the expense of community. The bottom line was that a disenchanted public had voted in a climate change denying Government at a time when climate change amelioration and adaptation was crucial to the survival of our species. I felt lucky to have co-ordinated the […]

East West Link a collision course for Victorian state election: @tackvera reports

In the lead-up to the Victorian state election in November 2014, the East West Link tunnel toll road continues to be a divisive and unpopular issue for the Premier Denis Napthine and his Liberal Government. The toll road is projected to cost $8 billion to connect the Eastern Freeway and Alexandra Parade to Citylink as phase one, with subsequent extension planned to the Western Ring Road. The issue was a factor in federal electorates in Melbourne in September, 2013, and probably contributed to The Green’s Adam Bandt’s re-election as the Member for Melbourne, and helped Greens candidate Tim Read supplant the Liberals for second in the Wills electorate based upon […]

The #MarchinMarch Canberra in pictures, by @Jansant

By Wayne Jansson  @jansant 23rd March 2014 Roll over photos to read captions or click for slideshow. Read More from the March In March Archive 

Sssshhhh, don’t tell the media, but politics is changing from the ground-up, by @ariadne_syd

Ariadne Vromen, @ariadne_syd Source: The Conversation University of Sydney 21st March 2014 Political participation in Australia will soon be about hope – and the transformation of citizenship engagement in this country. Here is why. Traditionally, Australian political participation was centred on, and supported by, the electoral system, political parties and major political organisations. Most media commentators tend to focus on the electoral system as the main way of consolidating political support and bringing about change. They assume citizens make political choices to participate and/or express themselves based on rational, self-interested, often economic, calculations. When citizens have been mobilised it has usually been done by unions, political parties and environmental organisations. These have […]