Topic: independent media
The penultimate post was a mild sledge of the ABC morning programme the way you get the shits with a parental figure when it comes to community media, and we mentioned 'The Mural'. As said our understanding is that the mural was done by Donald Urquhart, unauthorised possibly, a Kiwi living in Australia and who we suspect has a day job as a nurse, if still here.
Now here is an artist blogger dated 22 April 2007, which we are so grateful for, for saving us the trip. Over to Nosey in Newtown:
Sunday, April 22, 2007
The 'Three Proud People' mural on the side of a house near Macdonaldtown Station is one of my favourite pieces of Newtown street art. Not two proud people, but three.
The white guy in the picture, the third proud person, is Australian Peter Norman. He knew the African-American athletes, John Carlos and Tommie Smith, were planning to give the black-power salute during the ceremony and supported them by wearing a badge for the Olympic Project for Human Rights. He also suggested to them that they share their one pair of black gloves, which is why Smith has his left arm raised and Carlos his right. Norman died last year, and Smith and Carlos came to Australia to be his pall-bearers. They were quoted as saying that Norman deserved to be more famous that Steve Irwin.
I can't imagine any Australian Olympic athletes making a political statement like this today. Certainly not if it meant risking offending the United States. Carlos and Smith were expelled from the Olympics for this salute, and Norman was officially reprimanded. Despite qualifying, Norman was not picked for the 1972 Olympic athletics team.
RailCorp has recently erected a massive concrete sound barrier along the tracks at Macdonaldtown, completely obstructing the view of the mural.
I have written a letter to the Lord Mayor and the Minister for Transport calling for them to reproduce the mural on the other side of the barrier so you can see it again while trundling past on the train. If you'd like to voice your support for repainting the mural, feel free to write to me for a copy of my letter which you can conveniently modify and send on.