What a triumph of artful dissent it was! What happy smiles and what exultation in the crowd! Happy Independence from America Day!
The sixth annual Independence from America Day parade thundered through Byron Bay led by local community band, Samba Blisstas.
About 200 drummers, shakers and costumed dancers took part in the parade and delighted the 3,000 or so visitors and locals in Byron that day for the monthly market.
The event was described and reported in local media as a carnival of liberation, a preemptive strike for peace and a flowering of grass roots democracy.
Speaking at the rally that preceded the Parade, the Mayor of Byron Shire, Cr Jan Barham. Australia's first Green mayor, said that "In a time of war I am happy to be speaking up and sepaking out for peace and I encourage citizens everywhere to do like wise
Many are there to thank: Bodha Gwen for her companionship, Jan Barham for her leadership, the Byron Shire Echo for its witness, the Samba Blisstas for its uplift, and all the poets, all the flag bearers and all the brave and passionate hearts.
Gratitude to Eureka spirit, too, spirit of the ancestors, and amongst us on that bright day, like a wind in our sails. Everyone standing up alive! And speaking up for justice.
Young Avel of Byron Bay (did i get the name right?) won the sedition competition for his pure neophyte passion while the Samba Blisstas won our hearts with a woof of rhythm and colour. All hail drum master, Paul Barrett.
Thank you one and all.
The times call for us to be more visible and active in our dissent. Let's make it an art form.
6 July 2006