Link Roundup: September 9

W O W E. Over a month since our last link roundup! I’m not sure if I really have an excuse for such negligence, except that I went overseas and got out of the habit, and then it was really hard to get back INTO the habit upon my return. But here I am ready to make a fresh start.

(Big thanks to Maddy and Ryan for doing a couple of roundups when I was away. For those who had been following the saga of Maddy’s bond claim, you will be pleased to know that a battle to the death (that is, QCAT arbitration) ended with Maddy and partner winning back all except $100 of their $3000 bond. I am nagging her to write a full ‘How to Fight Your Landlord and Win’ instructional recap.)

The inquest into the death of Aunty Tanya Day, who was arrested for public drunkenness in December 2017 and died after hitting her head in her police cell, has been heartbreaking, but certainly illuminating of how little Aboriginal peoples’ lives are valued in Australia, and how much the police can get away with. Indigenous X has been doing excellent daily updates, and on Friday Aunty Tanya Day’s family succeeded in getting the CCTV footage of the police cell released. If you would like to support the family, there is a fundraiser here to help them with travel and accommodation costs.

One can always rely on The Baffler for a solid “left take on X issue that I’d never spent more than ten seconds thinking about before”. Here are two, both from Kate Wagner: one on the labour politics of the television show How It’s Made, and one on unionisation, neoliberalism, and the myth of meritocracy in the classical music industry.

Melissa Lucashenko’s keynote address to the First Nations Aboriginal Writers Network Conference, about storytelling and sovereignty, is well worth a read. An excellent, thoughtful meditation on modernity, indigeneity, history, and stories.

It can be hard sometimes to reflect that the stories about us, told by Australia, are so harmful and so dangerous to us. But the other side of that coin is that only something very powerful can be so harmful, and if we can just hold the line, wrest back some control over the stories told about us, and replace them with our own, then we can exert power too. We can reshape the ideas of what it is to be Aboriginal.

We won’t even go into Brexit here, a of all because I have more or less given up on understanding it, and b of all because we’ll be discussing it on our next Floodcast. (Tentative recording date is this Friday.) But, if you’re wanting to dive in deeper with some real Brexit-heads, Novara Media’s show Tysky Sour has you covered. My boyfriend puts it on as soon as we get up and plays it every night before we go to bed. I hear Tysky Sour in my dreams.

This book excerpt in the Guardian, about labour organising and strike action in the ‘new gig economy’, is excellent: inspiring without being delusional, detailed without being boring. Here’s a great tidbit:

In 2016, for example, an announcement by Deliveroo that it would soon be unilaterally altering its rider payment structure prompted a six-day “strike” in which riders acted en masse to make themselves unavailable for orders. Colleagues from Deliveroo’s rivals, Uber Eats, swiftly followed suit, and began taking advantage of a promotional offer within the app that granted new customers £5 off their first order. By repeatedly creating new accounts and ordering low-value meals to be delivered to the picket line, the strikers amassed both a mountain of free food at Uber’s expense and a steady stream of fellow riders, who would turn up with the order only to be met by a sea of radicalised peers cheering their arrival and chanting “Log out, log out!”

That’s enough for this week - I feel exhausted by all that effort, time for a lie down. Until next week!