It's a curious place, Melbourne -- third largest Greek city in the world; football mecca; major node of Pacific Rim financial capital.

A city of majestic parks and vast suburban sprawl; more urbane, but also more staid, than Sinful Sydney. Today it's home to three million souls, most with a patch of back lawn, a car, and nothing much else to sell but their ability to work. It's also home to rampant privatisation, corruption on a vast scale, and cops who shoot first.

Melbourne has its official history, one in which money has ruled the roost ever since the day when the white man John Batman "bought" the place some 160 years ago.

Melbourne has another history, one which is periodically shoved from view: a history of struggles against tyranny in the workplace and home, of Wobblies and commos, of Kooris and migrants, of efforts by "normal" and "deviant" people alike to exercise some control over their affairs.

These histories are intimately connected -- joined at the waist, like Siamese twins. Most of the time, "official" Melbourne overshadows everything.

It's my city, and I love it -- because once again, somewhere in there, midst all the routine and tedium, a multitude of new social subjects are struggling to emerge.

Here's how to contact some of them:

alt.eRED

Barricade Books Infoshop

Xchange BBS

Zapatista Solidarity Collective


Visit the The gatherings for Humanity and against Neoliberalism site administered by the Irish Mexico Group
Want to drop me a line? Write to pmargin@xchange.apana.org.au
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