(Kate Hennessy’s article appeared in the Guardian, 9/20.)
At midday on 31 August, a silent and subversive music event happened inside Parliament House. Milling among the gaggles of children on school excursion were about 15 unacquainted visitors distinguished by one thing: all wore earphones and walked the same route through the building’s public zones.
I was one of them. That morning, as instructed by the artists, I downloaded an album from Bandcamp called Kill Climate Deniers: Listening Party Mix and headed to Parliament House. I parked between gleaming government-issued cars, walked to the forecourt and pressed play. Over ambient sound came the disembodied voice of the Canberra musician Reuben Ingall.
“There are plain-clothed police officers patrolling every floor. You’ll be watched on camera for the whole trip and Australian federal police officers are armed with SR16 semi-automatic assault rifles,” he said. “When you head through security, act as normal as possible. How does a normal person act? Be like that.”