Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Australia still not ready to be weaned from Big Oil

CCTV of Me thinking about parking, boarding and seeing my man in Broken Hill
So I had my day in court today (yesterday now) to explain to the magistrate why I cycle without a helmet and I now have another criminal conviction to add to my collection.

As I have done on previous occasions, I mentioned that my conduct of riding a bicycle without a helmet is a question of survival, mine and the planet’s, and that I believe wearing a helmet puts me at greater risk of catastrophic brain injury, and to stop cycling because of the law, which many cyclists have done, would be bad for the planet.

I explained to the court that to me using a bicycle is an attempt to mitigate my carbon footprint ...

Yes, necessity is the sine qua non of me riding a bicycle without a helmet.
      I went through the three elements of necessity:
(1) ...

... oh I can't be arsed to mention them here again for the umpteenth time ... sigh ... you get my drift

Anyhoo notwithstanding all the stuff I did say, I didn’t get a chance to mention that I can no longer continue to observe the havoc that our capitalistic lifestyle is causing without doing something to mitigate it.

Or that climate change, and the world’s children make me think twice about using a car, or that to avert possible brain injury, I ride my bicycle without a helmet.

Or that riding a bicycle without a helmet is a victimless crime, or that the benefit cost / analysis suggests cycling is 20-30 times more beneficial to society than harmful thus I may have been found guilty of breaking the letter of the law but I wasn’t causing any personal or social harm and therefore perhaps I shouldn’t be punished but thanked!
CCTV of Me at Domestic Airport with AFP behind me
The magistrate seemed very cranky that I had wasted the time of three Australian Federal Police who should have been ‘saving the country and community from drug addicts and terrorists’ rather than in court waiting around for me and my matter.

I agree, but let's not forget it was the AFP who decided to go after me in October 2015, and then call me in for an interview at their Airport offices in November 2015, in rooms far away from the public view where they interviewed me and recorded me both visually and aurally for close to 40 minutes before I flew out to England.

That interview was certainly not necessary, and as far as I am aware quite unheard of for a bicycle helmet matter.

When you think about it, that interview at the airport sometime after the alleged offence was really quite weird.

Me photographing AFP whilst AFP photographing me

·         Next I was criticised by the magistrate for my place on the list in light of the fact that an accused on the list whose liberty was in question ought have been heard before me. The liberty angle is a fair premise for the right order of matters, but I was not in charge of today's (yesterday's) scheduling otherwise I would have gladly stepped aside and waited my turn.
I think it is disappointing that I am always held to account for wasting court time ... but why am I wasting court time any more than a mugger or a thief or a murderer?

My hair continues to be a distraction, and the bill I'm told will come in the post.

Oh dear - I'm not sure if I can continue doing this caper; it's demoralising and crushing, and if truth be told I think it would be more fun to bang my head against a brick wall - and should that occasion arise, maybe a helmet might be useful.


  1. Don't be too hard on yourself. Every crusader sometimes feels like giving up. In a couple of days you'll be ready to get up and fight another round.

    1. Thanks, John, and you're right because after reading your comment right now and a whole heap on facebook this morning I am feeling a lot more optimistic!!!! Thank you as always for your support!

  2. Good on ya, Sue! Change will come eventually.

  3. And of course those things are made of petroleum derivatives... Well, so is my computer, but it is a small one and I try to keep them for a long time; and I absolutely need it in order to work. I don't have a lot of techie stuff otherwise. Not even a telly.

    It is bizarre, the stuff about major crime - talking about terrorism when that is tied up so much both with the Saudi régime and western "wars on terror" that have done so much to destroy Middle Eastern and other petroleum producing societies (in sub-Saharan Africa as well). And talking about "drug addicts" rather than major drug dealing as organised crime is simply bizarre...

    Why the hell isn't there a major push towards solar in your sunny country? And of course to cycling, which you could do year-round (perhaps adopting the very sensible siesta to avoid the extreme summer heat in the afternoon). It is very strange that your cargo bike remains a novelty there, where it can be used year-round by people of all ages.

    All I can say is that I hope that support from environmentalists and utility cyclists the world over keeps you from discouragement...

    1. Lagatta, thank you so much for your beautiful words as always, and today (2 days on) I'm feeling braver again because the level of support has been amazing and reminds me that it is worth while banging on about helmet law, and the lack of evidence for it being effective, and the hypocrisy of it all. Today I feel like we will get there ... yes we will indeed!!!!!!