Activist Assigned Police Bodyguard

Celebrity peace activist Bryan Katter leaves this week's special session of Rockhampton Regional Council. Mr Katter has been recently pre-selected by the Australia Party as its candidate for the federal seat of Capricornia. Mr Katter is considered a national treasure and Rockhampton Police inspector Mel Adams said nothing could be too much trouble for the coming generation of peace activists. Mr Katter will address a public meeting at the Fitzroy Motor Boat Club on Monday 4 July. The theme will be independence FROM America.

Negotiating with Police

On Monday 20 June I was arrested by a rogue copper for spruiking on the East St Mall.  Three officers tried to bully and bluff me into moving on, but I was authorised by Rockhampton Police to be there, under the Peaceful Assembly Act 1992 and I stood up for my rights, then lay down for arrest.  Read the Morning Bully story for a small pic of the arrest.

On Wednesday 22 June I went back to the East St Mall, this time with Graeme and three media workers.  Inspector Mel Adams and Snr Sgt Ewen Findlator came along to examine my set-up and negotiate with me.  We agreed I had a right to be there.  When they wanted to further restrict the conditions of my presence, we agreed they should seek orders from a Magistrate – according to the Act.

It even achieved some discussion in a Morning Bully Editorial.  It was a great day spruiking, and here are some pics from it:

Bryan's spruik and Graeme's public space display at the East St mall, 22 June 2011
Negotiating, but is it in good faith?
Finally, getting on with it outside the Oxford Hotel (the publican wants me locked up. "Be patient" I tell him "It'll happen").

And finally, what happens when Police falsely arrest a seasoned activist.

Peace be upon you!

Media Reports – Rockhampton Morning Bulletin

16 June

These texts appeared after I “stormed” the Council chamber and confronted Mayor Carter. The reactionary bunch has re-emerged! Hooray! The personal abuse is a bit of a drag, but the tactic of confronting a (deeply unpopular)  Mayor will keep the story “hot” for the duration.

17 June

The story on the right is inaccurate on several key points. I was never abusive. I didn’t threaten to “bring down a helicopter”. I calmy explained how I was gunna try and smash one that was already on the ground. I’m taking the matter up with Editor Fraser Pearce, and looking for a retraction.

The story on the left comes out of the Senate Estimates Committee, courtesy of LNP Senator Ian McDonald.  Felicity Hill of Scott Ludlum’s office alerted us to it.  With Houston, Carter, McDonald and me all talking about Talisman Sabre and the war in Afghanistan – this might just be the beginning of a public debate.

Signposts on the road to TS11

I’m pretty happy with how events are unfolding in Rockhampton.  Graeme is going great with the Byfield/Yeppoon connection.  Most things are going well in Rockhampton.  See this letter for more information..

Police & civic leaders outside St Paul's Anglican Cathedral, after the memorial service for DSC Leeding 7 June 2011

There’s a spirit afoot (perhaps the Holy Spirit) that’s creating a little vortex of synchronicity and serendipity in Rockhampton.  I was able to show Kerri Duffy and Brian Heenan that John 15: 12-14 – which was the feature of the second reading in Damian’s service – is also the passage of scripture carried all the time by Peace Trike.

Here’s a surveillance picture of Rockhampton Airport, showing a possible path of entry.  I look forward to feeling the spirit move.

Can I make it all that way across without being detected?

The campaign begins

It was like having a proper job.  We started on Monday morning.  After a pleasant social weekend, meeting up with five key Capricornian contacts, we had a program to work on with some key dates in place.  Mine is 4 July, and a public meeting (Now at the Fitzroy Motor Boat Club).  Graham has a parade date for Yeppoon, with a supporting program of community banner, flag, and lantern making.

So we did some media work, for which we scored a Rockhampton Morning Bulletin and WIN story on Tuesday.  Both of these were good, positive stories.

We didn’t see or get to record WIN (we can now), but those who mentioned it to us were favourable.

Today we took our “Bob Katter Peace Show” for an outing to test out various peaces of equipment, and watch how the East St Mall operates.  In reality it used to be a Mall until the Council reopened East Street to vehicles and created what must be one of the ugliest public spaces in this part of the Galaxy.

But there’s a lot of pedestrian and vehicle traffic.  The auto-teller is very popular.  The publican of the Oxford Hotel found our very existance obnoxious and wanted us taken away – so we adopted the Hotel as our sponsor, and gave them littles advertisements as part of the spiel.

Some people gave a listen.  A few dozen took leaflets.  A whole bunch of drivers and passengers paid fleeting attention.  How fleeting depended on traffic conditions.  East Street is heavily calmed.  Sedated even.

We had some technical issues, which are now hopefully fixed.

My Katter costume got a great reception from Graeme, media, police, and the amorphous general public.  Instantly recognisable, and the right image for this town.  I got heaps of recognition, and a lot of friendly smiles and waves.

Tonight Jim Dowling and Culley Palmer dropped in to have a yarn and a look around.  They be coming with me in the morning for the Second Katter field test, and maybe do some media.

You can probably tell from the photographs that I’m having heaps of fun.

We’d met a travelling Japanese heritage violinist at the Mall (performing in tuxedo) who helped us out “for peace”, and Graeme remarked to me later on that the presence of serendipity was a sign one is on the right track.  I’ve been noticing a lot of serendipity lately.  The Fitzroy Motor Boat Club is very much in the same spirit as the Cairns Yacht Club, and I can still enjoy a meal there…. for a couple of months anyway.