Interview: Agenda 2003
Peace: The Colour Purple
Industrial: Long, Hot Summer
Solidarity: Workers Against War
Security: Howard And The Hoodlums
International: Industrial Warfare
History: Unions and the Vietnam War
Review: Eight Miles to Mowtown
Poetry: Return To Sender
Satire: CIA Recruits New Intake of Future Enemies
The Locker Room
A Call To Arms
A Tale of Two Malls
Talk Back Tom
On The Beach
The Colour Purple
A white dove flutters above houses sporting ribbons, banners, streamers and rosettes in the purple of the peace movement. Welcome to Oxford St, inner-city Newtown, one of hundreds of localities where ordinary citizens are giving practical effect to the "act local, think global" theory of modern protest.
The Newtown action started with one woman, school teacher Pru. Disgusted by her country's active support for George Bush's war on Iraq, she ran off a leaftlet inviting neighbours to a weekend barbecue in a small park at the end of her street.
She already had neighbours, Robert and Fiona on board. Together the school teacher, tv producer and registered nurse, set about sounding out others in the street. About 25 attended the get-together and, over a few drinks, talked about how they could show their opposition to the looming war.
Neighbours decided to decorate their houses, string up a dove, and this weekend, will gather together and march to the Hyde Park rally, in central Sydney, behind their Newtown Neighbours banners.
Organisers report enthusiastic support for their grassroots campaign from residents of nearby St Marys and Baltic Streets, both of which now boast homes in the purple.
The Newtown action is just one of hundreds undertaken by ordinary citizens who refuse to be cowed by the orchestrated campaign of sneering and denigration being run by Miranda Devine, Piers Ackerman and other well-paid mouthpieces for militarism.
Workplaces, church groups, political parties, trade unions, women's organisations, artists and professional groups have taken stands alongside individuals from all walks of life, whose purple ribbons can be seen every day on buses and trains.
As always, with peace issues, women are at the fore.
Their organised responses have been wildly diverse, from the silent, veiled protests, staged every week outside Sydney Town Hall to the 750 women of all ages, shapes and sizes who got their gear off on the hills outside Byron Bay.
The weekly Women in Black protests, organised by a group whose roots grew out of Jerusalem in the 1980s, suggest solidarity with their Islamic sisters, while the Byron Bay action would likely be interpreted as decidely non-Islamic.
The latter event, of course, scooped the headlines and drew photographers to the NSW north coast where women used their bodies to spell out "No War" against a lush, green backdrop.
Organiser, jazz singer-songwriter Grace Knight, said a targeted email campaign had aimed to get 67 women, the number necessary to spell out the message. Seven hundred and fifty turned up turned up at the secret marshalling point in Federal and were bussed to the scene of the action.
Knight, formerly lead singer with 80s band Eurogliders, told the Sydney Morning Herald the women hadn't been comfortable with the nude element of their protest but "if it takes lying naked in a paddock to get the message across so be it".
Knight isn't the only entertainer lending her talent to the anti-war movement. Actor Judy Davis has been a headline act at rallies where singers like Jenny Morris and Leonardo's Bride have performed.
Geoff Morrell, aka the Mayor of Arcadia Waters, has been prominent in the a movement which has also drawn public support from the likes of Jane Campion, Toni Collette and Reg Mombassa..
Theatre Group Hoi Barberoi are staging Euripi des' Women of Troy at Sydney's Belvoir St Theatre in the words of director, Robert Kennedy, as a warning.
"We as a community are mistaken if we think that such naivety can protect us from complicity and guilt in the bloody devastation that will follow large scale military action," he writes in some fairly unambiguous director's notes.
But it has, perhaps, been the large-scale mobilisation of ordinary Aussies who don't have either name recognition or access to the media that has marked this campaign.
People in Terrigal have staged regular silent vigils on their popular beach while just last week more than 5000 marched through Wollongong. Three thousand rallied at Coffs Harbour, while residents of Parramatta, Leichhardt and Blacktown have staged rallies and/or peace picnics.
Just this week, some enterprising professional-types in Kempsey staged a Brown Nose Day in recognition of the Prime Minister's special relationship with the US president.
Pockets of Purple have taken root in locations as diverse Foster, Adelaide, upmarket Mossman on Sydney's northern beaches, and Stanmore's Greek Cypriot Club.
Greeks, Moslems and, significantly, Vietnamese have become involved in the coalition against the war under the banners of their communities, joining a range of groups from various South American countries.
This Sunday, they will come together. Ferals, anarchists and Trots will walk alongside businessmen and church leaders - Christian and Moslem. Labor, Green and Democrat adherents will march under their banners while disaffected Liberals have also pledged their involvement. NSW Labor Council and dozens of unions, affiliated and non-affiliated, will have official presences.
Household names, including Judy Davis and John Pilger, will reinforce their stances publicly, alongside Mums, Dads and kids from the suburbs. Somewhere, in the middle, you will find Richard, Fiona, Pru and their neighbours from Newtown.
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