The Long Arm of the Law

long arm of the law:

Richard from Grafton asks:

Hello Kurma. I was scrolling down the side bar of your blog and noticed a picture of you getting arrested in the Bourke Street Mall. Is that really you?

My reply:

Yes Richard, that is a very young Kurma being arrested outside the now-extinct Buckley’s on Bourke Street and taken away by four burly ‘boys in blue’ for a week in Melbourne’s high security Pentridge Prison almost 30 years ago in 1978. My crime: not paying fines for selling Hare Krishna literature on the streets of Melbourne.

The graphic photo of my arrest was snapped by an Age photographer who just happened to be passing.

The Melbourne City Council’s seven-year vendetta was draconian and harsh, but after many skirmishes with the law, the Hare Krishna’s were finally allowed to merrily chant and dance on the street without further harassment. Mine and many other jail sentences only helped turn the public’s perception in their favour.

An Australian blues legend of the time, Matt Taylor, wrote a song about it. His debut solo album, Straight as a Die, was released at the end of 1973. The single “I Remember When I Was Young”/”Krishna Loves You, Too”, which had been recorded in an open paddock at Kingston Park Farm, hit the Top Ten in Melbourne, and tells the story.

Sing along with Matt now!

Things are getting bad when you can’t practise your religion,
Walk through the streets, giving all the love you can to Krishna.
Elohim, God, or Allah, the name doesn’t matter,
Love is a commodity you can’t put a price on,
People who love life give to one another,
‘Cos God’s in me, God’s in you.
Yes, City Councillors, Krishna loves you too!

When you go to church on Sunday to hear a sermon
They pass round the plate, are you telling me it’s begging?
Is God a one-day affair, the next day you don’t care?
Krsna people make the city streets a temple
What’s wrong with living your religion every second
If God’s in me, God’s in you?
Parking attendants, Krishna loves you too.

I remember Christians thrown to the lions,
Because their faith was seen as defiance.
But now I see Centurions in Blue, ain’t nothing new.
Religion’s not exempt when it comes to evolution
Each step along the way is plagued by persecution,
Still, God’s in me, God’s in you.
Mr Policeman, Krishna loves you too.

Salvation Army playing on the corner,
Turned-on our folks in another era, but now I see
God remains the same, forms of God have changed.
Now you’ve heard my story, just forget your fear,
And chant ‘Krishna’ every day
And your world will ’come clear
‘Cos God’s in me, God’s in you.
Yes, every human being, Krishna loves you too.

(Krishna, Krishna, etc…..)

Posted by Kurma on 17/7/07; 9:20:46 AM

Life and Travel

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