Freo's View

FREMANTLE DOES NOT NEED ROYAL GLORIFICATION

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, royalty by freoview on February 26, 2016

What! A royal walkway in Fremantle to celebrate that Queen Elizabeth II occupied the throne for 63 years? A walkway at Arthur Head that only a few years ago became the Manjarree Trail to inform people about the Aboriginal history of the area.

Have people conveniently forgotten that British settlement of Western Australia did not happen at the invitation of the Wadjuk Nyoongar people but was forced upon them? Shall we ignore the atrocities at the Quod indigenous prison on Rottnest Island, the massacres and the Stolen Generations and the abuse handed out to Aboriginal children?

And why would we want to celebrate a selfish monarch not willing to step down and make way for her son Charles, who is now almost getting too old to become king,  because mummy does not care about his royal career.

Australia is well on its way to become a republic in the foreseeable future and we don’t need a path to celebrate the archaic institution of royalty.

Roel Loopers

FOOTY FINAL TRIGGERS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Posted in domestic violence, fremantle, western australia by freoview on September 7, 2015

The State Government is correct to finally start focusing on family and domestic violence says Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk, but it will fail if it doesn’t follow words with action. WA Labor’s Shadow Community Services, Women’s and Children’s Interests  says more resources are needed if the government is really serious about tackling the problem.

Western Australia currently faced unacceptable levels of family violence but under the current Liberal Government existing services already struggled to cope, McGurk said. Without ensuring there are additional resources for shelters, specialist services and education, the government’s strategy is unlikely to reduce family violence.

WA Labor welcomes the government’s adoption of the Labor’s 2013 election policy, which proposed the use of electronic monitoring of violence restraining order (VRO) respondents.

Simone McGurk’s response comes after an article in today’s West Australian by Helen Morton, the WA Minister for Child Protection. Morton wrote that a staggering 40,000 calls about domestic violence were made in WA last year and that in 65 per cent of the cases children were the victims of domestic violence or witnessed it.

Disturbingly the biggest night of the year for domestic violence in Western Australia is on AFL grand final day according to Minister Morton, so maybe the AFL should invest in an advertising campaign against domestic violence during footy TV telecast.

Roel Loopers

Facebook: ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

ABORIGINAL ISSUES NOT JUST BLACK&WHITE

Posted in aboriginal, fremantle, indigenous, western australia by freoview on March 31, 2015

Aboriginal issues are close to my heart and concern me a lot because I often feel I am watching the slow suicide of a beautiful culture and people, so hence this post.

It is far too simplistic to make the closure of Aboriginal communities a Black&White issue and one should not dismiss the arguments by the Commissioner of Police lightly.

No one should ever hesitate to combat child and sexual abuse in our society and no one should engage in political correctness and pretend it is not rampant in some Aboriginal communities. But one also has to consider that displacement has been one of the reasons why we have many disfunctional indigenous people in Australia.

One cannot ignore the past and we have to acknowledge that the pain of displacement and being forced off one’s land, together with the Stolen Generations issues, are partly to blame for the alcoholism, substance abuse and domestic and sexual violence in some communities. That does not make it acceptable though that sexual abuse is now the norm and accepted culture in some remote communities.

Forcing people away from their little patch of motherland will again create heart break and hardship and will push the problems elsewhere, like the move on notices police give in cities, that do not solve anything.

Aboriginal people should not put their head in the sand and pretend sexual abusive is not an extremely serious, and absolutely unacceptable, issue in some communities, but white people should also be more thoughtful and considerate about Aboriginal culture when trying to find solutions.

Forcefully moving Aboriginal people is akin to telling people in Spain they will now have to live in Finland. We all need to try to understand and accept the importance of what home means for our indigenous friends in this country, but at the same time we cannot compromise the safety and welfare of innocent children. That is a massive challenge for our society.

Roel Loopers

REFUGEES SHOULD BE WORLD’S PRIORITY

Posted in australia, fremantle by freoview on June 15, 2014

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Hundreds of people joined the annual WELCOME TO REFUGEES walk through Fremantle on Sunday and enjoyed the live music on the Esplanade. I noticed Mayor Brad Pettitt, Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, Labor Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk and Freo Councillor Ingrid Waltham among the crowd.

For me the international asylum seekers crisis is the number one priority in the world, just ahead of the global warming concerns. There needs to be immediate help for the millions who get raped, tortured, starve and die, and for the poor children who are forced into prostitution.

It is not acceptable that we allow people to remain in refugee camps for many years and often indefinitely, and for Australia to shift its refugee responsibilities overseas. Compassion is not just a word, it requires action!

Roel Loopers

ONLY COWARDS ABUSE WOMEN

Posted in australia by freoview on May 26, 2014

Women are very close to my heart, I just adore them, and with three sisters I learned early in life to respect them totally. So I just want to copy a Facebook message I posted about author Tara Moss‘ participation in this evening’s Q&A on ABC TV. What an outstanding woman!

Tara Moss I love you! What a great, eloquent and brave appearance on Q&A this eve. You are a remarkable person and your remarks about misogony and violence against women just need to be heard and heard and heard, until society yells and screams so long and loud that those men who believe they are the alpha males with a right to abuse women will finally get the message!

Roel Loopers

SORRY DAY-A JOURNEY OF DESPAIR

Posted in australia, fremantle by freoview on May 26, 2014

It’s SORRY DAY today, a day where Australians should reflect on the wrongs of the past and the way we have treated the indigenous custodians of this land. The Stolen Generations are a very black mark in our nation’s history and it should never be forgotten.

For many decades generation after generation of Aboriginal people have suffered the consequences of this. Parents whose children were taken away from them, kids who grew up without parents and who were abused by those who were supposed to care for them. The hurt and humiliation, the displacement, the loss of culture and language, and that deep feeling of powerlessness, all resulted in many of our indigenous people taking to alcohol and drugs, and kids sniffing petrol, paint and glue.

No matter how well many might have meant it, it was wrong to take children from their parents, and our society is still dealing with the aftermath of it. Don’t judge those Aboriginal people who are lost, drunk and obnoxious, but ask why it is they became like this, and who forced them on the journey of despair they did not ask for.

Roel Loopers

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SKATERS ARE NOT CRIMINALS!

Posted in fremantle by freoview on December 13, 2013

Let me share the last part of a letter published today:

“…when kids would have chosen to work on the ports or constructed railways, rather than ride skateboards high on various nefarious substances before moving onto a Rohypnyl and metamphetamine-fuelled night of probable daterape and gang-violence at some so-called boutique brewery”

I consider this letter in the Fremantle Herald, written by Owen Fry of York Street, Hamilton Hill, highly defamatory to a very large group of young people. To make a huge generalisation and accuse skaters of taking drugs, date-rape and gang-violence is absolutely outrageous and I can’t believe the Herald published this fascist rant.

I am 65 and have never used a skateboard, but I know many very decent young people who do. Many of the baristas and people waiting in cafes come and go to work on their skateboards, many university and high school students also love them. These young people do not deserve to be accused of unlawful activities just because one of their hobbies is riding skateboards. Shame on you Herald for publishing this rubbish. An appololy to skaters is due!

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE RECLAIMS THE NIGHT

Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 27, 2012

Hundreds of women, men and even children marched through Fremantle on Friday night to RECLAIM THE NIGHT and call for an end to violence in our cities. It was a show of strength to make our leaders aware that we are not prepared to put up any longer with anti-social behaviour, rape, drunkenness, fighting, or domestic violence.

We all have the right to feel safe wherever we are, be that on the streets , in bars, nightclubs, on public transport or at home. Violence is unacceptable!

I noticed politicians Lynn MacLaren, Simone McGurk and Scott Ludlam in the crowd and also Fremantle councillors Rachel Pemberton and Andrew Sullivan

Roel Loopers

TOUCHING HUMANINSIDE SHOW AT FREO PRISON

Posted in australia, fremantle, photography by freoview on October 14, 2012

The HUMANINSIDE exhibition at Fremantle Prison is a confronting one for sensitive people. It is a show of photos, video and sound about the imprisonment of Aboriginal people. Ni Djininy Kadidjiny Wangkiny (Listen, Look, Learn & Talk) is very moving as it makes us deeply aware of the unacceptably high rate of indigenous incarceration in Western Australia. The Aboriginal imprisonment rate in W.A. is 3,991 per 100.00 which is almost double the national rate! Last night one in every 14 adult Aboriginal men would have spent the night in prison in this state.

Standing in front of a large wall with excellent photos by James Kerr I felt a deep sense of sadness, but also one of immense powerlessness and frustration. Aboriginal people looking at me from these photos, standing in a tiny cell arms crossed, almost asking what I am going to do about making it better. And I felt ashamed that we white people started the plight of Aboriginal people and their culture. We displaced them, took their children away, rejected their culture and belief, used them as cheap labour and many in our care were abused and all that often in the name of God.

Many Australians say we spend millions of dollars on Aboriginal issues and that it is time they themselves took responsibility and moved on, but moving on when white people took your kids for no other reason than that you are black must be extraordinary difficult.

How can we change the expensive programs that are not working into ones that will help and support our indigenous people. How can we make the millions of dollars work instead of being wasted. How can we get society to respect Aboriginal people, their culture and belief. How can we get rid of racism.

I love the T-shirt artists Tanya Ferrier was wearing yesterday. ERACISM it read. She mentioned that she had done sound recording of Native American people confronted with very similar issues as our Australian indigenous people, and I am sure she would encounter the same in South Africa and other countries where patronising white Christian settlers invaded and absolutely ignored the culture and laws of the indigenous people there.

Moving on is very important as we are fast seeing Aboriginal culture, law and languages die and that is beyond belief for me. Aboriginal people need to take more ownership of the problems, as many of their own leaders say, but there also needs to be far more sensitivity for the plight of the indigenous people from the non Aboriginal community.

I still have hope that together and with great respect for one another we can make the right policies which will make the changes needed.

The artists who created this excellent exhibition are film maker Glen Stasiuk, visual artist Tania Ferrier and photographer James Kerr. Don’t miss it!

Roel Loopers

ONLY COWARDS HIT WOMEN

Posted in australia, fremantle by freoview on November 25, 2011

It is WHITE RIBBON DAY today and many men around Australia are swearing not to tolerate violence against women. Although I of course support the sentiment, it is sad we need prominent men to pledge to something that should be a given. Violence against women is inflicted by cowards, and it is reprehensible and absolutely unacceptable!

It is incomprehensible to me that many men believe they have some form of ownership over the girlfriends, lovers, partners or wives, and that makes it alright to abuse them in any way and form they see fit. Great relationships are made of respect and tolerance, and are partnerships, with equal rights and responsibilities. Women are not our servants or properties!

But we should not stop by only combatting violence against women. Violence in all forms is unacceptable in a civilised society and we need to stand up whenever we witness it. It is not good enough that many people in our community don’t feel safe on the streets, on public transport, and in their own homes. The violent cowards who have total disregards for the safety and lives of their fellow citisens need to be taken off the streets, because we all; men, women and children, have the right to feel safe in OUR cities and towns!

Roel Loopers

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