Monday, September 12, 2005

"what do we want? Democracy! When do we want it? Now!"

The powers that be in Australia are now flexing their muscles with the new anti-terrorism legislation. Our first political prisoner from foreign shores is strangely not a member of any fundamentalist sect, a mercenary or someone who appears to be anti-democracy. Scott Parkin, from Texas, is currently being held in detention due to the Department of Immigration revoking his tourist visa on the grounds that he is now deemed a threat to this country. Scott Parkin is a peace activist. His crime? Being anti the war in Iraq.

According to Aljazeera Parkin came to the notice of our secret service, protesting against Halliburton at the annual Forbes Global CEO Conference at the Sydney Opera House in August. Last week the spooks paid him a visit and when he refused to speak to them, was promptly detained pending being deported.

Protesting against war profiteers is now considered a threat to national security.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.


Blogger DJ said...

If you've read Orwell you'll recall that the world Smith lived in was always in a constant state of war, with someone, seemingly, anyone. It was the way the goverment was able to keep its citizens under scrutiny, always under the watchful eye of big brother.
Recall it was illegal to go out of the house without displaying your identity, exactly what the poms are proposing with their new ID card.
And notice how many changes, a lot of them liberty-encroaching ones have been introduced under the banner of "The War on Terror".

News flash: Terrorisim is as old as mankind. It wasn't invented in 2001, it started when opposing tribes of our ancestors beat each other up with rocks and bones, like in the scene at the beginning of 2001.
The weapons may have changed but fundamentally we have not.

And we've expereinced terror here in the past: The Hilton Bombing, Russell St etc.
Don't think for a minute I'm advocating it, however is the loss of liberty and seemingly unconditionally ratcheting up of security agencies powers worth the payoff?

What were seeing here is some shrewd people taking adavnatge of a window of opportunity to really remove some liberties that they felt gave too much freedom to the masses and too little control to them.
Its a power grab, make no mistake, of "them" over ordinary you and me

9:49 am  
Blogger guru Rex said...

Two aspects of this story do not surprise me at all.

The first being that our government would use the fiction of terrorism to enact legislation to increase their own power to better protect their corporate masters and then actually use it.

The second being that it was not reported on any Australian media, either print or electronic, but rather on Aljazeera. We must bear in mind that the Australian corporate media is one of our government’s corporate masters.

Has a sort of beautiful symmetry doesn't it???

10:58 am  
Blogger guru Rex said...

Now I'm surprised, its in the Fairfax press ...

11:11 am  
Blogger Aleks - Anarcho-Syndicalist said...

There's a protest in Syndey outside a Federal Police office today about this. I'll be there.

As for terrorism, Norman Davies sums it up best:

"The distinction between terrorists and freedom fighters has nothing to do with the nature of their activities and everything to do with the viewpoint of their enemies or admirers."

1:30 pm  
Blogger Aleks - Anarcho-Syndicalist said...

Oh, forgot to mention, I've actually been on Aljazeera.

1:32 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Absolute agreement to all of you. We should be alert and alarmed what our government is doing at the moment.

Alex, tell more about your media foray!

1:50 pm  
Blogger Aleks - Anarcho-Syndicalist said...

Which one? I have a couple, most relating to my involvement in the refugee rights movement

However the Aljazeera one came about because the refugee rights group I am a member of was asked by Aljazeera if they could come along to our meeting, which we said yes to.

I've given community radio interviews on the issue, you could see me on television quite clearly in some of the footage of the Baxter protests this year (including one where you could hear me yelling at a policeman crawling under a pipe "that's right, get on your knees you low-life scum"), and on Saturday I spoke at a rally against the Chinese Communist government where I talked about Chinese refugees fleeeing to Australia being put in detention and as a result I was briefly interviewed by a Chinese Language newspaper. What can I say, I am a media whore!

5:11 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Puts my chats with Bert to shame Alex :)

6:11 pm  
Blogger Aleks - Anarcho-Syndicalist said...

When you say Bert, you don't mean THE Bert, Bert Newton do you? Because if you do, then I am so envious of you. He is so the man!

8:23 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Yes i have shaken the great man's hand many times. But really, its not a lot to be envious of. The only advantage of being in the studio with him is getting a look at the plugs/hair piece/cosmetic surgery up front. Its a bit like watching a car crash. You don't want to stare, but its really hard not to.

10:34 pm  
Blogger Aleks - Anarcho-Syndicalist said...

What, how dare you insult the man!

1:51 pm  
Blogger Brownie said...

I am sure the ASIO handpuppet had the FBI hand up it's bum for this one. I am ashamed of our government (again).

9:37 pm  
Blogger Justine said...

Its just crap. They should all be strung up with piano wire.

No no no, I'm trying to be a pacificist... they should all get counselling. Just doesn't have the same ring to it, does it?

11:02 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

justine - perhaps as perfect punishment for the bastards behind this is to lock them in a room with new age music, with only mung beans to eat - for weeks, til they repent :)

8:34 am  
Blogger Justine said...


10:08 pm  
Blogger Iain Murray said...

Deported peace activist blameless

November 1, 2005

AN AMERICAN peace activist deported from Australia on the grounds he was a threat to national security was not involved in any dangerous or violent protests in Australia, ASIO revealed yesterday.

Scott Parkin, 36, from Houston, Texas, returned to the US in September after his visitor's visa was cancelled on the grounds he posed a national security risk. He was kept in solitary confinement by Australian Federal Police in Melbourne following an adverse security assessment by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.

ASIO chief Paul O'Sullivan denied his agency was pressured by the US into making the adverse assessment. Asked if Mr Parkin had been violent in Australia, Mr O'Sullivan said he had not.


3:03 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

If the counter terrorism laws had been in place when this happened, we may never have known about it.

4:52 pm  

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