Saturday, November 18, 2006

wot a day

I've had a pretty full-on 24 hours.
As many Melbourne activists were in full swing protesting the G20 forum being held here, the police swooped on a couple of squats. Yesterday sometime they shut down the A Space Outside squat that had held a two day conference and I'm assuming was a space that intended to exist beyond the G20 conference (click here for a critique of ASO from Indy Media). It's possible that the police found some literature that mentions the recently set up The Wake squat, established about five weeks ago in Coburg. It was a squatted funeral home that had held a few fundraiser gigs and was hoping to run for at least a year. This was not to be as the police raided the venue and shut it down.
Let's be specific:
The police, at least thirty of them, smashed down the door when they were refused entry and charged into the home. They spread themselves throughout the house and monitored the eviction of the four anarchists living there. Many of the police were standing with folded arms, tut-tutting like disapproving parents, or standing outside smoking and clearly bored. Thirty! At least. I could not believe how excessive that was. I rocked up with my boyfriend and helped the residents move out. At one point I picked up a baseball bat and loaded it into a washing basket full of odds and ends whilst a couple of cops muttered something about needing to watch me. It was all surprisingly intimidating at the same time as it was sort of mundane.
Obviously there is a connection between the disbanding of 'radical' squats in Melbourne on Friday and the G20 conference that happens Saturday (today) and Sunday. Clearly an ineffectual measure by the state, however, because this did nothing to dampen the spirit and efforts of thousands of like-minded activists who protested the G20 today. My question is, where is the radicality when a G20 isn't happening? It's just not good enough. That's not to say that I think of myself as some kind of radical messiah.
Much more importantly, this morning my boyfriend woke up with a sharp pain in his lower back. The pain quickly escalated and whilst I and my flatmates dithered about, disregarding his wailing demands to be taken to a hospital, he vomited and writhed around in absolute agony. He was in the worst pain I think I've ever seen another person (andI've seen some pretty fucked up shit) and it was truly a distressing experience for everyone, although none more so than Leigh of course. I finally did the right thing, listened to him and demanded our friend and sometime chauffeur take him to a hospital and not a doctor's surgery, which took what seemed like an hour. We spent the whole day at St Vincent's Hospital and it turns out that Leigh had a kidney stone. Fortunately he passed it quickly, though not quickly enough, given that he was doped up to the eyeballs and beyond with morph and valium and still it took over an hour for the pain to subside. He was inconsolable, shouting swear words, moaning, writhing and gasping with pain. Many of the medical staff said that some women who've both given birth and had a kideny stone claim they would rather child birth. I suppose there's something positive at the end of a birthing experience, unlike passing kidney stones.
Hospitals are such strange environments: weird noises, weird people, fluoro
lighting and air conditioners, constant humming and illness in such extraordinary variety. So tired right now.
I hope he never has another kidney stone.
It's awful seeing someone I love in so much pain.


At 12:44 am, Anonymous Ali said...

Funny, I was thinking, "At least when you pass a kidney stone you don't have to take it home and feed and raise it and pay for it for the next 18 years of its life." That's quite a positive outcome in my book.

But anyway, very glad to hear that he's all better! Give him a hug from the three of us. Looking forward to seeing you guys soon.


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