Plastic Paddies pull off Plot. Putting the Band back together for Julian Assange

Update

This benefit gig raised AUD$500. The money is being passed on to the Manning family and the Assange Defence Fund.

Solidarity Gig: Brisbane, Australia, 7 July 2012

The July 7 Solidarity Gig for Julian Assange and Bradley Manning was conceived following a chance encounter at a recent Refugees Solidarity rally. Two of West End/Brisbane’s most notorious “Plastic Paddies”, gay artist and activist Chris Maver whose Ma is from Tipperary and Catholic Worker activist and (bullshit) artist Ciaron O’Reilly whose Da is from Offaly (pictured above) decided that “we need to put the band back together” for Julian Assange.

Pig City is an underground anthem from Brisbane, Australia in the 80s when Premier “Jackboot” Joh Bjelke Petersen used the police to stifle dissenting citizens while failing to notice the police corruption that went all the way to Commissioner.

“What is it with this place, that treats the first and the most recent inhabitants like shite?”
Ciaron O’Reilly

“Plastic and Proud!”
“It’s a second generation identity thang. You wouldn’t understand!”
Neck, punk band out of County Holloway, London

With no resources, a limited sense of who’s who after being away from Briz for over 2 years and an even more limited sense of what’s what, Ciaron falls back on the technology he knows best, unleashing a tsunami of texts in the lead-up to the gig.

Interviews with Ciaron

3 July: John Jiggins interviews Ciaron before the gig.

26 June: ABC RADIO Brisbane’s Steve Austin interviews Ciaron on the Persecution of Julian Assange.

Call-out for the Gig

In solidarity with Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and in trouble with the U.S. of A. and Bradley Manning in a U.S. military prison in trouble for exposing U.S. war crimes and to End the War on Afghanistan!:

“Free Speech: Use it or Lose it! From Joh Bjelke Petersen to Julian Assange! That was Then, This is Now!”

At Turnstyles 10 Laura St. South Brisbane, Australia. 

Entry by donation (to cover costs of staging the event, anything else to Assange and Manning families to support their sons!)

Programme

2pm: “Resist the Powers that Be!” Exhibition of Queensland bred memorabilia: free speech photos and t-shirts from 1977 to 2012.

4pm: Speakers

Gary MacLennan, Brisbane based intellectual and activist, still going strong from the 1970s to 2012.

Ciaron O’Reilly, recently returned from London where he attended all of Julian Assange’s court appearances, helping to provide security for Julian outside the High Court and Supreme Court.

See also Ciaron’s Run at the Irish Election part 1 and part 2. More interviews here.

and by telephone link: Ben Griffin, British SAS Veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan wars and founder of Veterans for Peace UK. Ben is presently part of maintaining a daily solidarity vigil outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. The vigil has been a constant daily presence since Julian Assange entered the embassy on 19 June seeking sanctuary and political asylum.

6pm: Break for food

6.30pm: Music

The Wicked Wicca-Leaks of West End with Chris Maver and Chris Anderson

Mark Dalton/Simon Wells (Irish trad)

Tony Kneipp, backed by the Fugitive Microbes (Scott Kirsten) to play his composition, only performed in public three times before, the Briz cult classic Pig City.

The Butchers Hank Wymarra, Bob Weatherall

Muzzray (bass Amy Goodman voice over of WikiLeaks collateral murder footage)

Jumping Fences (Lachlan Hurse, Sue Monk, Ross Gwyther)

Report from the Gig

From under the house and backyard of Turnstyles, West End, Brisbane came Irish trad/classical/punk/indigenous/cabaret/Latino/local folk sounds, speeches and film (Subterranean Homesick Blues and Radical Rosary Mystery Tour) that were definitely more kick ass than kiss ass.

Approx. 100 folks passed through, many who had made their initial acquaintances in the back of Brisbane police vans and cells under the rule of Premier Joh Bjelke Petersen  in the late 70s and early 80s.  

Maggie B had cooked up a storm and the no budget/unresourced event unfolded rather than unravelled under the highly Irish whiskey medicated/heavy cold laden MC Ciaron O’Reilly.

Ciaron is back in his home town for a visit, fresh from accompanying Queenslander Julian Assange through running the gauntlet of the British legal system.

Julian is now ensconced  in the Ecuadorian Embassy in Knightsbridge, London.  As keynote speaker Gary MacLennan stated, it’s obvious why Julian didn’t seek sanctuary in the much larger Australian High Commission. He would have been delivered immediately by the Gillard/Carr government to a US Gulag or one of the many black sites run by the Obama administration.

Brisbane born and raised former anti-war prisoner of the United States, Ciaron reflected on a life of free expression and nonviolent anti-war resistance.

“Free Speech, Use it or Lose it!” YouTube photo compilation to the accompaniment of Rum Corps by The Joes compiled with tech support from Damien and Simon.

Ceremony

I will tell you something about stories,
[he said]
They aren’t just for entertainment.
Don’t be fooled
They are all we have, you see,
all we have to fight off illness and death.

You don’t have anything
if you don’t have the stories.

Their evil is mighty
but it can’t stand up to our stories.
So they try to destroy the stories
let the stories be confused or forgotten
They would like that
They would be happy
Because we would be defenseless then.

Leslie Marmon Silko, Native American writer of the Laguna Pueblo tribe, from her novel Ceremony.

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