Independence from America Day
Byron Bay, Australia, 2 July 2006

Paul Barrett and the Samba Blisstas leading the Independence from America Day parade up Johnstone Street,
Byron Bay, 2 July 2006

Drumming Up Dissent

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.

Graeme Dunstan
6 July 2006

Bruce the Pixie shows off his Independence from America Day costume set up with new banner by Vernon Treweeke

Bob Cummins and Michael Balderstone speak

Organizer captain, Graeme Dunstan, with Jennifer the Maremma fans, Kuatarina and Bodha Gwen

Young Avel speaks and wins the Sedition Competition

Young Bo beats up a rhythm while his father, Varij, speaks

Dennis prepares while Richardo speaks

Robin Harris and Bodha Gwen speak

Byron Shire Mayor, Cr Jan Barham, speaks for peace

Gina LaCosta winds up the speaking with winged words.

Warming up and preparing for the parade. Graeme and Gwen stride about and Jennifer barks her enthusiasm.

The Parade in Fletcher Street passed the newly opened BAY FM Studios which were blessed that day by Tibetan monks.

In Johnstone Street the Parade was exultant and it entered the Byron Market in triumph

Happy Independence from America day!

Click here for the prepublicity for Independence
from America
Day 2006

Click here for a report and photos of Independence
from America
Day 2005

Click here for the Jeff Dawson's photos of Independence
from America
Day 2005

Click here for photos of Independence
from America
Day 2004

Click here for photos of Independence
from America
Day 2003

Click here for photos of Independence
from America
Day 2002

Click here for other productions and campaigns of

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