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Big news: 50 cent public transport fares! Why not just make it free? + Recent articles and upcoming events

Big news: 50 cent public transport fares! Why not just make it free? + Recent articles and upcoming events

Hey friends,

I thought I'd rush out an email update today in response to the very exciting news that the State Government is proposing to introduce a 6-month statewide trial (starting this August) of reducing all public transport fares to just 50 cents!

Congratulations to everyone who has been pushing for cheaper public transport over many years.

Annoyingly, the announcement doesn't apply to privatised services like Brisbane's Airtrain, but this is still a huge win that I don't think would have happened without significant electoral pressure from the Greens.

This morning, I churned out an opinion piece at this link which poses the question: If you're going to reduce fares to 50 cents, why not just make them free?

QLD public transport fares dropping to 50 cents: Make it free you cowards!
Big win for the Greens, but a 6-month trial isn’t enough

I've also had lots of positive feedback about my recent article sharing some insights about life on our houseboat. If you haven't read it yet, you can check it out here:

Living on our off-grid houseboat makes us more connected, not less
The world looks a little different from the other side of the mangroves

Over the past few weeks, I've been getting along to several events and actions in support of the Palestinian people. Here's a 1-minute clip from the last major rally in the city, and here's a short clip from a recent protest at the University of Queensland.

You could also check out this 6-minute video interview I did with Sam Woripa Watson at a recent blockade of Ferra Engineering – the Tingalpa-based company that makes components used by Israeli planes to drop bombs on Palestinian civilians. The Ferra protests have been really effective and inspiring, you can follow Shutdown Ferra's social channels for updates on future actions targeting weapons manufacturing.

If you're in the mood for a longer thought-provoking discussion, you might also be interested in watching this longer video (70 minutes) from the event I organised on 17 May, unpacking the connections between the 2009 genocide of the Tamil people in northern Sri Lanka, and the ongoing genocide in Palestine. I was really pleased to see this event bringing different communities together, and I hope in future we can all support deeper theorising about the common threads between the Tamil Mullivaikkal, the Palestinian Nakba, and other mass atrocities across the world.

Below is a list of future events you're warmly invited to, followed by links to other articles I've published recently.

Upcoming events

Free poetry show tomorrow night + open mic and discussion forum about multiculturalism in the arts

This Monday, 27 May, 6:30 to 8pm and 8pm to 9pm at QLD Multicultural Centre, 102 Main St, Kangaroo Point
I'll be performing a free spoken word poetry set tomorrow evening as part of the BEMAC Discover event, which kicks off at 8pm. Following my set, we'll be opening up the stage for an open mic segment where anyone who'd like to share a poem or song or a couple of jokes is very welcome to jump up and have 5 minutes on stage (or longer if there aren't many prospective performers).

Prior to the 8pm session, I encourage you to also come along from 6:30pm to attend the free forum titled BEMAC Discussions: Can Multiculturalism be taken seriously in the Arts? I think it should be an insightful discussion.

The open mic session is a great space for first-timers and experienced artists alike to share what they've been working on. Please forward on the invitation to friends who might be interested. There's a Facebook event you can share at this link.

Justice for Palestine Rally this Saturday

Saturday, 1 June, 11am at King George Square, Brisbane CBD
The regular mass rallies in support of Palestine are switching from Sunday arvos back to Saturdays, and the next rally is coming up this weekend. Recently, the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu. It was deeply disappointing (but perhaps not surprising) watching the way the USA and Israel dismissed the court's legitimacy. In light of this, it's important that we keep up the public pressure on our own government to take a stronger position against the Israeli regime's war crimes. Hopefully I'll see you there.

Palestine solidarity activism skillshare this Sunday at UQ

Sunday, 2 June, 8:45am to 5pm, University of Queensland Great Court, St Lucia
This coming Sunday at the UQ Gaza Solidarity Camp, a bunch of comrades (primarily coordinated by the incredible Anna Carlson) are organising a day of skillsharing and collective strategising to support activism movements, with a focus on the justice for Palestine struggle. The whole event is free – including lunch.

We're running a range of sessions. Here's a rundown of the program as it stands:

  • 9am: Opening discussion with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander and Palestinian Elders (organised by the Institute for Collaborative Race Research)
  • 10am: Honouring and amplifying personal histories of anti-colonial struggle (organised by Lamisse Hamouda & Brisbane Free University)
  • 11.30am: Lived experience leadership & solidarity building workshop (organised by Justice for Palestine Magan-djin, Brisbane Free University & Jonathan Sriranganathan)
  • 12.45pm - 1.30pm: Catered vegetarian lunch
  • 1.30pm: Action Planning: strategy, safety, security & solidarity (organised by Grassroots Action Network, Action Ready & Brisbane Free University)
  • 2.45pm: Resisting disposability & burnout: building cultures of care (organised by Meanjin Solidarity Fund, Brisbane Free University & Grassroots Action Network)
  • 4pm: Using art and community events as tools for liberation (organised by Justice for Palestine Magan-djin, Magan-djin Creatives for Palestine, Jonathan Sriranganathan & Brisbane Free University)

This day is open to anyone who's interested in being part of movements for social change. You can come for the whole day or a single session (or even just to join us for the free lunch!) More details are available via this Facebook event and you can also share this Instagram image if you wish. Hope to see you there!

Come see my hip-hop band Rivermouth at the Northey Street Winter Solstice!

Saturday, 22 June, 2pm to 10pm at 16 Victoria Street, Windsor
Our set time hasn't been confirmed yet, but I'm very excited to confirm that my spoken word/hip-hop band Rivermouth will be performing an early evening show at the annual Winter Solstice Festival at Northey Street City Farm.

This will be Rivermouth's first gig in ages, and I'm psyched to be able to share some new songs with you. If you've never been to the Northey St Winter Solstice event before, I encourage you to make time for it if you can. There are some amazing workshops and talks planned throughout the afternoon as well as a solid lineup of bands and performing artists.

You can read more info and find tickets for the event at this link. Please also share the Facebook event with friends.

Other recent works

This is how the system eats us
A non-specific cautionary tale about your favourite political party
Touch one, touch all: What should we do if police arrest individuals at peaceful protests?
Last Friday night, the cops arrested one of us at a protest march, so we staged a snap sit-in
What’s it really like on the ground at UQ’s Gaza Solidarity Camp?
Initial impressions/reflections on the #FreePalestine Gaza Solidarity Camp at the University of Queensland

Thanks for supporting this!

You can find all my previous articles at www.jonathansri.com. Please do forward this email newsletter on to anyone else who might be interested in this stuff.

As always, feedback on the format, content and frequency of these updates is very welcome. I'm excited to report that this newsletter now has 430 subscribers (the vast majority of which are free subscriptions). If you’re financially in a position to switch from a free to a paid subscription, that’ll allow me to spend more time on writing and research, and will ensure everything I produce remains freely accessible to the wider public.

Paid subscriptions also help me make time to co-organise political events like the above-mentioned workshops at UQ this Sunday. So even if you don’t personally manage to read or watch absolutely everything I churn out, please know that your contribution is also helping fund more community events and political actions that bring people together.

Alright, time for some dinner! Hopefully I’ll see you at an upcoming event sometime soon!

Warm regards,

Jonathan Sriranganathan
No fixed address