Saturday 29 August 2009

Festival fever this weekend

This weekend, half-way through the revamped and reinvigorated Festival Cairns, there's heaps to choose from.
You can wander down to City Place to see the launch of Speakers Corner at 2pm, as part of the I Love Cairns speech contest. Local Toastmasters Clubs have put together the inaugural contest, with the final speeches christening the new speakers corners, that was the scene of banned public protests under a former certain Council.

“For someone to publicly declare their reasons for loving this area, fits with the telling our stories Festival theme,” Mayor Val Schier says.

“This place is central to the city which provides a ready audience, has a location that is well shaded and will retain its original name Ray Jones Speaker’s Corner.”

The official statement from the Council says that members of the public may use the new speaker's corner to "speak freely between 8am-6pm daily for no longer than one hour on any day and may not use amplification during speeches."

Today there's also the kids-only event called We Built this City. Head along to the lawn, just East of the Esplanade Lagoon, and see the amazing creations that children will construct. Huge fun.

You can head down to the Botanic Gardens this afternoon for Artistico, see and chat with local artists and musos, amidst the wonderful gardens, as they entertain you.
Then on Sunday from 11am, the Tropical Pride festival will grace the Tanks Arts Centre, complete with dog parade, markets stalls and entertainment.

The Tropical Writer's Festival will be at the Shangri-la over a slap up luncheon.

There's complete info at Festival Cairns.


Bryan Law said...

Actually, Ray Jones Speaker’s corner was not at City Place, but on the Esplanade near the present Council offices there. It was liquidated by contractors not paying attention to detail while the Lagoon was being built. Named after ALP hero Ray Jones, its demise was accepted by genX ALP hero Jason O’Brien who couldn’t quite get it together to raise the issue effectively while he was a Cairns City Councillor. Jason has since gone on to more important issues, like housing in indigenous communities, to which he brings the same rate of success.

Since 2002 the Council has been required to permit public speaking in City Place through the application of the Peaceful Assembly Act, which allows for reasonable amplification of speeches and creates a statutory right that is much more significant than a Council PR release.

I’ll be going to City Place at 2.00 pm to see how it unfolds, but I’m not going to be fooled into thinking this is about free speech. Free Speech might involve a topic like “the corruption of local politics”, or “ALP spin doctors and why they can’t run a hospital”, or some other topic that touches on the reality of our society and its problems.

“Why I wuv Cans” is asinine bullshit, and the sort of topic that will end up on the Festival blog or the Cairns Poos as an example of story telling that makes Cinderella look like a hard-hitting expose of monarchical oppression.

Bryan Outlaw said...

People using the corner to say "Why I wuv Cairns" have been adjudged by Bryan Law, the arbiter of all, as "unworthy" free speech.

Funny, but in this one statement Bryan Law exposes his ignorance and idiocy for all Cairns to see. For the idea of "free speech" means that all can speak their mind freely, without fear or favour, equally. Even the poor judge allowed Bryan Law's incomprehensible, ignorant, and time wasting rants in court just a couple weeks ago - recognizing even wackjobs like Bryan Law have the right to free speech.

And then he was found guilty as charged.

What right does this dole-bludging ex-taxi driver have to decide that one person's free speech is somehow "unworthy"?

Until Bryan Law begins to understand the concept of free speech applies to all, he should be banned from using the area.

Bryan Law said...

You're 100% correct Mr Outlaw, I just didn't understand that free speech was something you could be banned from if it contained any critical thinking.

You'll be pleased to know that Toastmasters' northern Honcho David Burston stopped me speaking just as I was putting out copious quantities of defamatory material against Jeremy Blockey (Chamber of Commerce) and Rob Giason (TTNQ) and the way they connect with Satan (Cairns Post) to reduce our beloved Cans to a single dimension that rhymes with hollers.

If you need a flavour of the defamation, imagine all the things you say about me. Then add some wit and charm (you may need help with this).

Anytime you'd like to have a public debate with me, just Dollar up sweetie, and you're on. Anytime, anywhere. You can even wear a mask, or a burka, to preserve your splendid anonymity.

In the old Aussie vernacular: C'mon ya mug, have a go!