Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tourist Boycott of Australia

Tom has drafted a letter below for consideration and I have added a few things.

It details an intent to boycott visiting Australia. I think it is close to what we need.

We want and need to hear from you. Please tell us what you think about the contents.

Also, should we be finding an email address for Ambassador Dennis Richardson (pictured) instead of snail mail?

I can't find one at the Australian Embassy website.

My opinion is that folks won't take the time to mail a letter. Maybe we should put this up in petition form, set dates for collecting signatures, then mail details to the Australian Embassy and Consuls.

We should also keep in mind that many folks outside of the US will be part of this call ... so we must make our boycott campaign broad enough to include everyone.

What you think?



This is the agreed upon letter (though we are still open for suggestions of course).

Ambassador Dennis Richardson
Embassy of Australia
1601 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington D.C., 20036

Dear Sir,

I am writing to inform you that I am participating in a boycott by foreign tourists against Australia.

The tourist boycott is in response to Prime Minister Howard's recently adopted plan to institute what I consider draconian measures against Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory. In particular, I am protesting the intention to institute compulsory medical examinations of Aboriginal children.

I consider the overal effect of Prime Minister Howard's stated plan to be racist, immoral, and illegal in terms of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

I have no wish to make this boycott last any longer than necessary. But I will continue to participate as long as the policies above remain in force.



######UPDATE###### (July 10, 2007)

K. has mentioned that we should write directly to PM John Howard. I have found a way to do so from his government page. Please see here.

Folks could copy and paste and send there ... what you think Tom, Eugene, K?

PS: See feedback in comments section from Ana of Whenua, Fenua, Enua, Vanua and Ahni of Intercontinental Cry

I feel that there is also a move toward a Petition. Am I feeling this right? I will write the petition statement and set up the account. May need a few pointers from Tom if possible.

Thanks to all.

Holla back.

######See Tom's blog for a very useful reading list on Howard's attack on Aboriginals.


Tom said...


I like your version better!

I hear you about snail mail & about how many people will participate. A petition with wording like this, maybe it would have an impact.

For the other petition, I'm trying to make a banner that folks can easily grab from wherever they see it. Maybe that would spread farther. If that works, it might help here too.

Most of all, as Eugene said, I wish we were in touch with some indigenous Australian folks. They should be calling the shots on something like this?

Ridwan said...

I hear you Tom. I too wish we were in contact with Aboriginal folk too.

But we can safely assume that this is the right thing to do on the whole.

Australia is very dependent on tourism. But since this issue is so hidden they have the upper hand for sure.

OK, so hopefully folks will respond here and we can go from there.

Thanks man. I look forward to seeing the banner you are working on for the Jenna petition.


Anonymous said...

Hey Ridwan, your version looks great. Maybe there is a main email to the Australian parliment offices. It would be great if this petition is available so that people could copy and paste and send it directly to Howard.


Ridwan said...

I am feeling you on this suggestion. As you know I am afraid that single mailed letters will not work.

Plus we will not be able to count the numbers.

We are going to need help here though. Getting the word out to folks, etc.

I will put a fact sheet together to catch folks up on the issues.

But right now we need to decide where to send a letter like this electronically.

Does anyone know? I will look at Parliament offices in Aus.

Thanks K.


Anonymous said...

I have no idea how to keep track of the numbers except by people letting you know they have sent the email. If we had a system like Moveon.org where they send people the email form and it goes through their system. They send out the emails so they can keep track.
...need money and servers.

Ana said...

Kia Ora

This is awesome stuff, and keeps the pressure up on the racist regime in australia.

Respect & Regards

Ridwan said...

Ana thank you for stopping by and poting a link of the story in your blog.

Readers see: http://uriohau.blogspot.com/

We are going to go ahead for sure. And we welcome input.

Peace and struggle,

Ahni said...

Hey Ridwan, Tom, Anonymous, Ana :D

Thanks for passing this on... I think an online petition would stand a better chance of having an impact here -- Emails (even thousands) are too easy to disregard, plus yeah, there's no way to know what's going on.

For getting attention, using nowpublic.com and similar sites (like digg and care2.com) would be a good start.

Plus, I don't know how many are still valid, but I have a massive collection of world government and media emails I made a couple years ago. Let me go see what I have on AU...


Chelsea said...

Sorry to be absent for so long--I actually tried to post another response on the older conversation a while ago and lost the whole thing on my computer :(

I think the letter sounds great! Ridwan, thank you for finding that link, I think e-mail increases the likelihood that people will participate. I am still up for the petition as well--Tom, those fliers sound accessible too, and another good way to increase numbers. Let us know how they work for the Jenna 6.

I just got back in touch with a friend of mine who lives in Brisbane--I thought I would broach the subject with him to see if he has any connections/ideas, and at least get him to add some names. I will try and brainstorm other ways to reach as broad an audience as possible.

As always, thank you all for doing this.

Ahni said...

Hey. Ok, I had a look at my email resources. I found a site with emails for nearly every embassy in and for AU, except they don't have any info for the embassy in the US :(

But I did find an email for Howard: John.Howard.MP@aph.gov.au

and here's the Minister of tourism

aswell as the Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General (the UN's AU Ambassador australia@un.int) and a directory listing on the AU government for further contacts.

Hopefully this can be useful,


Ridwan said...

Ahni this information is invaluable. Thank you kindly.

I think we should write a letter (the one we have already is good) to Howard and cc it to Macfarlane.

The letter should tell of our call for a tourist boycott. Then send it to media outlets everywhere.

And at the same time we collect signatures on one of the sites you mention.

Let's see what comes in for today. But I think we are nearing a decision to put up a petition.

Thanks once again. I am, and I now my comrades above are, very appreciative of the time you have taken to provide these resources.

Peace and struggle,

Ridwan said...

Good to hear you Chelsea. Thanks for your comment.

OK, so you are thinking petition?

Can we get all folks here to agree by the end of tomorrow? Pacific time that is :) ... it is already tomorrow in Australia (occupied Australia).

Holla Chelsea.

peace from Ridwan

liz said...

Dear all,

If you have a look at this blog from my comrade it has info on statements that various Australian politicians have made about the plan to re-occupy land in the NT.

It might be an idea to circulate this to Andrew Bartlett from the Australian Democrats and get them to present it in Parliament also, if you're into those sort of tactics. That way you can keep track of how many letters are going through.


His email details are:

Anyway - the other thing I was going to add that I think its particularly important to emphasise is that without the permit system, the destruction of which is part of this attack, communities have no way of preventing tourists coming on to their land. I think it would be good to publicise that part of the problem as well, though obviously you're suggesting a total boycott or Australia. Communities around Uluru/Ayers Rock are some of the first to be targetted by the Australian government.

From occupied Australia (Kulin Nations territory)


Eugene said...

Kia Ora, Anna! Are you Maori? OK, I know this is cliche as I get asked by folks, "Hey, did you know so and so. I used to go to school with him 30 years ago. He was Indian, I thought you might know him." Do you know Kelly Martin? I know she does a lot of political work in the NZ, but I haven't heard from her in a while and hope she is in good health and keeping her strength for the struggle.

I think the petition, letters, boycotts, rocks, hatchetts, and whatever else we can throw at these monsters is WORTH THE EFFORT!


Ridwan said...

Hello Liz:

Thanks so much for your comment. I will look at that site immediately.

I read about Uluru and posted some about the tourist boycott in a previous post.

I think that the permit aspect needs to be known for sure.

As of now we have some consensus here that those of us outside occupied australia are taking a stand and calling for a universal boycott.

I expect that perhaps somewhere down the line we could talk also about boycotting aussie goods.

I know that I will not buy a damn thing from australia until Howard backs off his thieving plan.

So we need to collect signatures, send letters, do radio/tv shows (right brother Eugene) to put this issue front and central.

In the US you will hardly find too many folks that even know about the issue.

Anyway, I am grateful to chat with you here and hope you will stop by and add more as we get this campaign rolling.

Peace and struggle sista,

Tom Autopref said...

A petition sounds good.

Jubin George said...

Hi Ridwan,

I had posted a comment in this post and one in an earlier one, but have no idea why it didn't appear.

Your version of the mail is much more clearer and stronger, and from the response here, I guess we can finalise on that. But, just as many pointed out, there's no way to keep track of the number and effect of those mails. We shouldn't forget the fact that Howard & Co. is doing this knowing the repercussions very well. My point is, even if thousands of mails reach them, they just ignore it for the simple fact half the people won't be tourists, but only concerned humans. So, what I suggest is an e-mail campaign with an online petition. As Tom suggested, a banner too would be good to popularise the issue. I assume, he's talking about a web banner. If someone among us can provide the design and code for such a thing, we can put it up on our sites, directing the traffic to the petition site.

And once the petition site is up, we can inform it to ANTaR, and they might publicise it inside Australia.

Tom Autopref said...

Ridwan, if I can help out, let me know.

Ridwan said...

Jubin George your points are very well taken here. I think you and Tom are right. So did you see the piece that Eugene put up today?

I want to use some of that with his permission for the online petition.

I need to move on this part because I am leaving for Mexico next Wednesday and will be out of commission so to speak for a couple of weeks, even more.

I am sure that there will be opportunities to check on the blog, etc.

Tom if you are around in this period can we share the petition watch ... please? I would be grateful of course for any amount of time you can spare.

We are looking good. So, email campaign with copy and paste, and online petition it is!

Thanks to all. And thanks Chelsea for telling me about your whereabouts too.

K. I will see you on Sunday and we can talk about getting stuff out via email too.

Thanks comrades.


Tom said...

Ridwan, sure, I will be around & happy to help out.

The other petition gets some email, a couple messages a day. It might be worth setting up an email account for that purpose.

I wish I had done a "dry run" with the petition site before launching the Jena petition. There are a bunch of different options that the petition owner has to select, and I just rushed through picking things. Nothing really bad that I know of, but I wish I had gotten some consensus instead.

One other concern was raised by a potential signer who emailed me today. On the free petition site I used (PetitionOnline.com), ads appear in the middle of the list of signers. One ad that comes up sometimes on the Jena Six petition appears to be from a right-wing organization.

So you might want to look at a different petition site and see if the situation is any better. It's hard to do, though, because Google ads are placed according to content.

I dunno, in time we may need to find a solution other than free petition sites.

Take care.