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Position, position, position

Posted by on August 15, 2011

You’re told that I’m a bludger ‘cause I don’t work nine to five;
my job consists primarily of trying to stay alive,
a job made far more challenging, ‘cause I’m not on the dole.
I do not own a house, or land; at least I own my soul.

I do not own or drive a car, or have a mobile phone
My C.V. isn’t up-to-date, I’ll never get a loan.
I get great food from dumpsters and I write insightful rants,
and do not care about my hair not patches on my pants.

I pay my taxes, just like you, on anything I earn.
Which comes to, oh, eight grand a year, before I have to burn
a bunch of zaks on income tax; my hard-earnt goes away,
and’s spent undemocratically – on what, I have no say.

I do some jobs which are not paid, I do ‘em ‘cause they’re fun -
(and government neglect has left essential things undone)
like bush regeneration; and I help to oversee
a not-for-profit website for the whole community.

I think it sucks to spend my bucks on rented real estate,
plus ten percent on top of that is something else I hate.
I live therefore in self-administered accommodation,
in vacant public buildings, sold for gain by speculation.

I am an urban squatter, and the tabloids give me shit.
The talkback hosts admonish me with mediocre wit.
I have no rights to safely sleep enshrined in local law.
I can’t afford the courts which shield the wealthy from the poor.

I do have on advantage; I’ve no needle in my vein,
re-routing my financial blood into the rental drain.
I think it’s fair that I live where I do not have to pay
for basic housing – it’s a human birthright anyway.

There’s lot of empty buildings which might force the rent rates down
but landlords and their agents keep the prices high in town
The price is now an artefact of how they _don’t_ allot it.
Real estate’s fantastic stuff . . . I wonder how they got it?

The Koories had it robbed from them, their land was never lent,
and landlords, in Australia, don’t pay the Koories rent.
A lucky thing they don’t as well. I wonder how they’d go
finding cash to pay arrears – two hundred years or so ?

I once was told I voted-in the rulers that would rule me
but that is a deception and it really doesn’t fool me.
I’d vote for cheaper housing if they had it on the form;
our plebiscites don’t offer rights to people. That’s the norm.

Electoral instructions always make me wryly laugh -
they ask me to choose which goose will lie on my behalf.
Voting’s disenfranchisement, I don’t vote any more :
in “shareholder democracies” you can’t vote if you’re poor.

You will never see me show up at the polling booth
I have more choice at shopping malls, and that’s the sorry truth.
The marketeers observe such votes with an attentive eye -
I vote for corporate barons when I pay for what I buy.

The government should be concerned about our human rights,
not flogging off our public land to corporate parasites.
The money that they take from us should help improve our station
not weapons, cops or parliamentary superannuation.

I’ve squatted here with strangers who have since become my friends
“RENT-FREE HERE” – the landlords fear the message that it sends.
I think if justice had its way the realtors would fall -
we’d either pay the natives rent . . . or pay no rent at all.

I’ve watched the local mayor try to grind us into dust,
and came home to a friendly place where I felt warmth and trust,
enriched by being resident in this communal home
(a place where, amongst other things, I sat and wrote this poem).

And soon we’ll be moved on again, there’s rental to be paid,
investors to be satisfied and money to be made.
Eviction is a trauma when you have no place to go,
we’ll simply find a place and start another squat, you know.

You might think you are distant from the homeless and their plight,
you think that you will never sleep upon the street at night.
You sleep secure, deluded that you’re nowhere near the brink?
The world is full of treachery. You’re closer than you think.

With this in mind it might be time for you to have a say,
harrass your local members and ensure there is a way
for those of us who lack a place to get one on the cheap -
it might be you one day, and you’ll appreciate the sleep.

<predator>
Broadway, 18 January 2001

As you can see, Predator wrote Position, Position, Position while living in the Broadway Squats in early 01. He wrote it in big letters on one of the walls, and even after the squats were evicted passing shoppers could read some of the verses through the windows. Pred was a remarkable squatting polymath and enthusiastic dumpster diver, computer geek, molecular biologist, anarchosyndicalist, Cave Clan-er and handyman; he was generous with his time and knowledge and, in general, he was all-time good people. In 2004, having in his own words“lived long enough to get grey hair, be fucked senseless, blow shit up, play god with the genomes of living things, learn most of the things I wanted to know, free myself of religion, despair of the future of my species, travel much of the world,” he died of cancer. He is sorely missed.

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