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Decision making

Decision making - how do we do it, evidence of it, what does it mean anyway?

Don't vote your life away!

The electoral commission's been sending me letters for a while now, demanding I pay a $160 fine for not voting. They've cancelled my driver's licence and sicced their debt collectors Dun & Bradstreet onto me, threatened to steal money from my bank account, or steal my belongings and sell them to pay their debt. Still I haven't given in to this criminal gang, these terrorists known as 'the government.'

I've lost count of how many letters I've received, threatening me, trying to intimidate me, but I've ignored them all, as I've done for more than 20 years. I stopped voting in the early '90s after I realised that it's pointless. How will they actually get the money out of me?

It seems the State's repressive apparatus isn't really all that efficient. If they steal the money from my bank account I won't be able to stop them. But my friend said they'll have to get a court order to do that.

They keep reminding us that voting's compulsory. A lot of people say they vote, or at least get their name ticked off at the polling booth so that they don't get fined. But how well do they actually enforce this law?

Past generations fought for the right to vote. But not for the State's right to compel us to vote! Voting was made compulsory in Australia in 1924 because of falling voter turnouts. That's nearly a century ago now. Logically the right to vote implies the right not to vote. So it's no longer a right but a duty.

I suspect there are thousands upon thousands of people in Australia who don't vote, many of whom aren't even on the electoral roll, even though both these things are compulsory. The number's probably rising too, as more and more get pissed off with the system.

The media tries to whip up enthusiasm for the election by broadcasting the words of politicians. They try to make it seem exciting. Your vote counts! Isn't democracy wonderful? Anything could happen on the day! The most important election since World War II! (Did they say that one again this time?) We have so much freedom! Aren't we grateful to our masters for giving us the right to vote?

We all know that the promises and words of politicians are worthless. Because unless we're rich enough to give them big donations, we can't hold them accountable. Before the election they pretend to be interested in community issues, but afterwards they don't want to know you.

Some say to get off the electoral roll. But how do you do that? I've moved 3 or 4 times but they always manage to track me down. Others say to tell them you have a religious objection to voting. But why should I lie? I haven't done anything wrong.

Each time I voted I felt like a mug after. For getting sucked in to the bullshit. "Come on, you've got to support our friend so-and-so! She's standing for the Greens and you know they do a lot of good work! They're not anarchist but it's a step in the right direction!" Yeah right. Candidates I voted for didn't win, and even if they had, they wouldn't have been able to achieve anything worthwhile.

Recently the Australian Electoral Commission sent me a warning letter, saying that I may be prosecuted if I don't vote in the 2 July election, and fined up to $180. Well, again I didn't vote in your election on Saturday, 2 July, so suck shit, you pathetic authoritarian bastards!

I went past Petersham TAFE college on the way to the Jura monthly collective meeting and there seemed to be a polling booth there. I was accosted outside on the footpath by party workers trying to give me their how-to-vote cards. I declined them all and asked whether there was a sausage sizzle. (I'm a vegetarian most of the time but when it comes to sausage sizzles I'm afraid I can't help myself!) Some polling booths have sausage sizzles but, no, this one apparently didn't.

Seems a polling booth up the road had one. Too bad! Nope, they missed their chance at seducing me with a sausage sizzle. Glad I didn't get sucked into supporting the stupid system of selecting slavedrivers.

I look forward to a new series of intimidating letters from the AEC.



Anarcha-feminist reading/discussion group

Over the last few months, a group of people from the Jura community have organised a series of readings and discussions in an attempt to develop our (pro)feminist politics. We have focussed in particular on readings on practical ways of improving our (particularly men's) behaviours and practices of consent, and on community accountability processes. After these meetings, we decided that our discussion of transformative justice would be enriched by developing our feminist politics more broadly. As an attempt to begin that process, we have chosen to read the book Quiet Rumours: An Anarcha-Feminist Reader. We are starting with the prefaces and the first chapter. If you are a like-minded person and would like to participate in this reading/discussion group, please get in touch via email or personal message. People of all genders and sexualities are welcome and we would like this to be a safe space. (In the interests of honest disclosure, we should mention that the majority of us who have been participating so far identify as hetero cis men, with a smaller number identifying as wom*n). Also, please note that this is not an open public ‘forum’ as such, but rather a smaller group with a commitment to ongoing discussion and development. Participants are all committed to turning up regularly (about monthly) and doing the readings.

Quiet Rumours is available at Jura for $22, or online.


Political Perspectives: 

Provisional Anarchist Federation Australia formed


At a meeting on 14th June 2015 at Jura Books, delegates from four anarchist groups agreed to form a provisional Anarchist Federation Australia. The four founding groups were Jura Books, the Melbourne Anarchist Club, the Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group and Perth Libertarians. At the meeting a number of individual observers were also present as well as an observer from Black Rose and Black Flag. The provisional Federation is based on this constitution. However the constitution is still being discussed, and changes may be made at the first Congress of the Federation - tentatively scheduled for December 2015 in Melbourne. As well as being geographically diverse, the groups making up the federation have a range of political differences, but we hope to work together cooperatively to spread anarchist ideas in Australia. Other anarchist groups are welcome to join us.


F*CK MAY 68. FIGHT NOW! Red and Black Forum on Contemporary Athenian Anarchists

Sunday, August 24, 2014 -
2:00pm to 4:00pm

This talk will look at the contemporary Athenian anarchist and anti-authoritarian milieu and their on-the-ground struggles against capitalism, the state and the rise of fascism.

Presented by Nick – a Jura Collective member who recently completed a phd at Macquarie University, based on his research in Athens.

Nick will consider how militant protest actions act as expressions of collective grievance, desire for retaliation against police injustices and as manifestations of anarchist and anti-authoritarian praxis. He will also explore how varying shades of anarchic tendencies and ensuing ideological and practical disagreements are, for the most part, overcome in these often violent Athenian street-protests.


The talk will be followed by discussion.

2pm, Sunday 24 August at Jura.


Jura Collective meeting

Saturday, May 31, 2014 -
12:00pm to 2:00pm

The Jura Collective is having it's next meeting at 12pm on Saturday 31st May in the bookshop.

All are welcome!!

Please email us at jura (at) jura.org.au before then with the details of any event you'd like to hold in our space during June/July.

Library working bee

Monday, March 18, 2013 -
1:00am to 4:00am

Jura's library collection, the Fanya Baron Library, is having a meeting and working bee from 2pm-5pm on Sun 17 March. We'll be finalising our Donations Policy, making decisions on recently donated books (including a large and awesome one from John B), and spreading out the collection on our brand-spankin'-new shelves. If this sounds like fun to you - and it sure does to us - come down and hang out.

Jura Collective meeting

Saturday, November 10, 2012 - 11:30pm to Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 1:00am

The Jura Collective meets once a month to decide on the running of the shop and space. We're an open group and always keen to get new people involved! Come along to our next meeting - it's in the shop at 12:30pm on Sat 10th November. We'll be hanging around afterwards for a cool talk and doco on the Wobblies in Australia and internationally. Love to see you there!

Saturday Arvo Screenings - Zanon: Heart of the Factory/Corazon de Fabrica

Sunday, October 14, 2012 -
2:30am to 4:00am

Our first in a planned series of films and documentaries at Jura on Saturday arvo - and we're starting with a cracker.

Zanon/FaSinPat in Argentina is the only factory in the world where workers' management has been operating successfully for more than seven years.