This book reveals Australia’s radical past through tales of Indigenous resistance, convict revolts and escapes, picket line hi-jinks, student occupations, creative direct action, media pranks, urban interventions, squatting, blockades, banner drops, street theatre and billboard liberation; including stories and anecdotes, interviews with pranksters and troublemakers, and over 300 spectacular photos documenting the vital history of creative resistance in this country.
Written, compiled and researched by Iain McIntyre.
Additional research and editing by Lou Smith.
Book design and Photo Editing by Tom Sevil.
Book available October 12 for RRP: $29.95 (Aus)
Published by Breakdown Press, 2009
270 pages 210mm x 206mm, 48 colour pages.
Printed in Australia on recycled paper using vegetable based inks.
Foreword by Andrew Hansen from The Chaser.
14 interviews with Australian Troublemakers:
John Safran, Pauline Pantsdown, Dave Burgess, The Chaser, Buga-Up, Grevillea, Kevin Buzzacott, Meredith Burgmann, Deborah Kelly, Order of Perpetual Indulgence, Stuart Highway, John Howard Ladies’ Auxiliary Fan Club, No To Pope Coalition and The Graffiti Games Organising Committee.
What people have said about the book:
“If you’ve ever thought of speaking out about an issue or have idly wondered what you could do to make the world a better place, this is the book for you! Fascinating interviews, quirky historical snippets and stunning photos chronicling all the Australians who have made a difference and who have done so with courage, audacity and a lot of humour! Keep it on your desk at work for all those moments when you need some inspiration, a bit of hope or just a good laugh.”
Jill Sparrow (Co-author Radical Melbourne 1 & 2)
“A fascinating recovery of Australia’s neglected past and a worthy inspiration to today’s would-be troublemakers.”
Sean Scalmer (Author of The Little History of Australian Unionism and Dissent Events: Protest, The Media and the Political Gimmick in Australia)
Extracts from the book:
“Who’s to define what’s funny, what’s clever, what’s offensive? Politicians, talkback presenters and current affairs reporters seem to think the job’s up to them. But the truth is the job’s up to all of us.”
Andrew Hansen, The Chaser, from the Foreword.
“The APEC stunt was one of those days when you just get lucky. The odds of getting into the official APEC restricted zones were extremely slim, but we were all determined to give it a crack. The massive security measures had been a big news story, as well as a major inconvenience to Sydneysiders, so we thought it might be interesting to see how tight the security really was. We came up with a couple of ideas to try to gain access to the restricted areas: one was to “accidentally” drift into the restricted water zone on a pool pony; the other was to try to drive in by pretending to be one of the official motorcades attending the conference.”
Chris Taylor, from The Chaser interview
“The fantastic thing was that it actually stopped the game. I think we were the only people to stop the game. Africans listening to it in South Africa have told me since how exciting it was for them to listen to that happening on the radio. It was, in retrospect, a very proud moment. At the time I didn’t think of it as anything terribly huge, but I think in the scheme of things it was pretty important.”
Meredith Burgmann, reflecting on the anti-apartheid movement in the 1970s and the actions at the South African Springbok rugby team tour.
“Well, the people I knew generally used paint filled eggs. They were pretty good. You could get a pretty decent throw with those. Other people used balloons but they weren’t as easy… I heard of one guy who had adapted the back of a panel van so that he could open the back doors of the van and he had this catapult in the back and he could hit quite high billboards with this method. Mediaeval… and quite large paint bombs. I seem to remember that I have seen the results of his work and they were quite high and very effective. He was a very good aim.”
TOFU, from the BUGA-UP (Billboard Utilising Graffitists Against Unhealthy Promotions) interview
Iain McIntyre is a Melbourne-based writer and community radio broadcaster. In the late 1980s he was involved in anti-racist and environmental activism in Perth, Western Australia where he also co-edited his first publication Freakzine and presented a number of music shows for 6UVS/RTRfm.
In 1992 Iain moved to Melbourne where he continued his activism and began co-editing the Melbourne-based fanzine Woozy with Laura MacFarlane. Woozy ran for the best part of a decade and brought DIY currents around music, politics and comics together in the one publication. Twenty Two issues, involving over 100 contributors, were produced and more than 20 benefits and launches held. Woozy also spawned Choozy which distributed a number of zines and musical works in the late 1990s.
In 1996 Iain began contributing to, and later co-hosted, Community Radio 3CR’s Squatters and Unwaged Workers Airwaves (SUWA) show. 3CR published Wild About You: Tales From the Australian Rock Underground, 1963-68 in 2004, a book which was co-written with Ian Marks. In 2005 Iain produced the Australian Troublemakers’ Calendar as a benefit for the SUWA show. The following year the station financed a higher-end version and a collective was formed to produce and nationally distribute the Seeds of Dissent Calendar, which is now in its fifth year. Iain continues to provide an Australian radical date for each day of the year and also produces occasional programmes focusing on music and radical history.
The first volume of How To Make Trouble and Influence People, which gave rise to three sequels and this book, came out in 1996 under the pseudonym of the Question Mark Collective. Since 2003 Iain has run Homebrew Press which has self-published three of his books (Revenge of the Troublemaker, Disturbing The Peace: Tales From Australia’s Rebel History and Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life: The AIDEX ’91 Story) and two of his pamphlets (Up Against The Wall Motherfucker! and Lock Out The Landlords: Anti-Eviction Resistance, 1929-36). In 2006 Wakefield Press published a collection Iain edited entitled Tomorrow Is Today: Australia In The Psychedelic Era, 1966-70.
Over the years Iain has also played in a number of bands, including Ninetynine, The Kleber Claux Memorial Singers and The Hatchets, and contributed to more than 40 publications. He continues to reside in Melbourne with his partner and child.
Breakdown Press has been producing posters, zines and anthologies since 2004, bringing together the work of Australian and International DIY artists and writers. To date publications include: Scrapbook to Somewhere, The Stolenwealth Posters, The Breakdown Posters, The Nuclear Posters, Civilian Sticker Packs, Civilians Unite, Mining and the zine anthology YOU: some letters from the first five years. We aim to produce ethically printed and affordable publications. Breakdown Press was founded by street artist and activist graphic designer Tom Sevil and poet and community radio presenter Lou Smith, both of whom have a longstanding involvement within the zine, street art, and alternative media communities.
The imagination, never domination.
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