Rock Against Howard

I got an email from Amy today – “could be blog worthy”. Indeed it is 😉

Rock Against Howard is a compilation of musicians who are downright sick of the Howard / Liberal / Coalition government and the evils they have perpetuated against our lovely country, and many other countries.

Seen posters about this around, but wasn’t sure if it was a concert, a CD, a promotion, or what exactly. Now we know.

On a similar thread, I saw an ad for “Rock Against Free Trade” which is on at the Annandale tonight. Although I appreciate where they’re coming from, it’s an unfortunate title – a lot of people aren’t against free trade per se. Opposition is aimed at the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement, and aginst unfair trade practices. But, that said, it’s good to see the local music community continuing to speak up against fallacious government policy and actions.

  • Hmmm i think the difference between Rock against Howard and Rock against the FTA is that one is ‘playing the man’ and the other is targetting the issue. it is much easier to ‘play the man’ but that expends a lot of energy of personality politics which, in the case of people like George Bush, is a deliberate tactic to distract people from the real issues at hand. it’s more important to look at the issue on a wider, long-term scale.

  • Thanks for your comments Joel. I couldn’t agree more – I much prefer seeing issues debated, and yes, targetting Howard is a pretty easy thing to do, and doesn’t really address the underlying issues (of which there are many).

    The issue I mention with “Rock Against Free Trade” is not that I disagree with the sentiment (I think the content of this blog is testament to that), but that it was an unfortunate choice of title.

    But, that said, the “Rock Against Howard” banner probably isn’t all that much better – I should have pointed that out – well caught.

  • Hi Joel. Funny you should ask – your comments here prompted me to speak to a few people offline, and what follows pretty much comes from those discussions.

    I have to admit I’m a little over activist’s/left’s (whatever you want to call it) tendancy to be “against” everything. Against GM, against free trade (certainly the neo-liberal version of it), against Howard, anti-globalisation etc. There is a tendancy (and certainly a perception) that activists to be against everything but not really promoting alternatives.

    In that line, I prefer headlines and titles that are “for” things – for organic farming, for fair trade, for global justice etc. Not only do I feel that this is less likely to turn people off the causes involved, but also, in that snippet of a headline, promotes an alternative agenda, or at leasts says “there is something else we could be looking at”.

    With that in mind I probably would have called the night “Rock for Fair Trade”. “Fair Trade” as a word can mean a lot of things – which broadens the potential base for support in the general population – it encompasses good corporate governence, it means a fair international trading system etc. But for activists, it obviously has a direct tie in with the Fair Trade campaign – which means that they’ll also be likely to support it.

    All that said, I if that proved to be a problematic title (for whatever reason), “Rock against the FTA” would probably have been a better title – that is, of course, if the FTA was the specific target of the night – because the FTA is not “free trade” – which is partly why there’s such broad opposition to it. The Australian Democrats even introduced motions with the Senate to call the bloody thing a “Restricted Trade” agreement – see

  • I’m interested in bringing out someone from Canada to talk about how they have developed proactive resistance to their FTa with the US. The thing with Canada is that theirs made ‘culture’ exempt, because you Cant trade culture, it’s not a commodity. Would you or anyone else be interested in discussing the logitics of this?

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