In which my Tarot Bicycle is hijacked for a cause to which I do not subscribe
All sorts of things happen to my flowery tarot bicycle while I leave it chained to random poles around Sydney. Sometimes I hear people ringing my bike bells as I sit in my nearby tarot office, or I walk past my bike on my lunch break to see people posing with it for Instagram photos, or parents lingering around it with their toddlers, who are fascinated by the flowers and tarot cards. Sometimes people leave my bicycle gifts (both pleasant and unsavoury ones – mostly pleasant!), and then there are things that I will never know about.
Today my bicycle was used in a way that I found objectionable.
I rode my bike to the Black Lives Matter rally at Town Hall and listened to powerful and inspiring speeches, then I marched with everyone through the streets of Sydney to the American embassy. You can learn more about this event here.
Half an hour later while I was having lunch, a friend tipped me off via Facebook that my bicycle was being utilised as a prop in a photo shoot by an ‘All Lives Matter’ group. My first reaction was one of annoyance that my bicycle, which has a very visible sign saying who I am, along with my phone number and website, was co-opted for something that I do not align with. Of course all lives matter but that is not the point, as it is clearly black lives which have been and still are under attack here in Australia, and all over the world. Would you bring a sign saying “Cancer kills too you know” to an AIDS benefit? If you are confused as to why I am opposed to having an ‘All Lives Matter’ placard propped on my bicycle, this article deftly explains the perilous nature of the ‘All Lives Matter’ response.
Listening to the speeches at the rally today, I learned that ‘middle-aged’ for an Aboriginal person living in Australia is 25 years old. I learned many things today but I prefer to direct you to other sources to get more information, as there are others, namely Aboriginal people, who are far more well-versed than I am on these matters due to their personal and lived experience, so obviously I defer to them completely in regards to these issues. For instance this article by Amy McGuire for New Matilda, has a lot of important information and is a must-read for anyone living in Australia. If you know of other useful links, please say so in the comments.
After receiving the tip-off about my bicycle, I walked back up George St and when I reached Town Hall I could see three guys standing around my bike with a camera. I ran over, yanked out the placard and flung it on the ground and fiercely asked the guys if they had put it there. They backed away wide-eyed and shook their heads.
I saw a photo of the guys who supposedly did it on the Black Lives Matter event page, trolling one of the threads. I responded asking them to not use this photo in this way, as I was not asked for permission to use my bike as a prop, nor would I have given permission if they had asked. This was met with support from others in the thread, and the photo was eventually deleted.
Through that same facebook thread, I discovered that the police had asked the two guys using my bike in this way to move on. I only wish they had also removed the sign!
My wife commented that my bike needs a good smudging now to get rid of the bad vibes! Luckily I had some incense on me today, so I lit it up, put it in the incense holder attached to my handlebars and headed home. 🙂
So does this blog post belong on my tarot business’ website? I believe it does because my tarot business, through my bicycle, was implicated in something that is not associated with me and what I stand for. And lastly but most importantly, because the land that I was born on, live and work upon is, was, and always will be Aboriginal land. My tarot office stands on the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation (one of 728 nations across what is now called Australia), their sovereignty has never been ceded nor has any treaty been made with them. If you are curious to know the name of the nation upon which you live or are traveling through, there is an app called Welcome to Country which will tell you that and other information about the people of that land.