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(en) Anarchist Age Weekly Review No. 599 14th June ­ 20th June 2004

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Wed, 16 Jun 2004 10:30:31 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
News about and of interest to anarchists
http://ainfos.ca/ http://ainfos.ca/index24.html

Listening to the Prime Minister trying to blow the wind out of Peter
Garrett's attempts to nominate for a safe Labor Sydney seat, I was surprised
John Howard, an astute politician who has just celebrated his 30th
anniversary as a Federal representative, has such a poor grasp of both the
electoral and the democratic process. Howard's claims that voting is both a
'right' and a 'privilege' and that Garrett's apparent failure to be on the
electoral roll and vote, shows that he is 'not very passionate about the
political future of this country' are clearly wrong. Voting is a duty, not
a right or a privilege in Australia. It is clearly stated in the
Commonwealth Electoral Act under section 245(I) ­ compulsory voting 'It
shall be the duty of every elector to vote at each election'.


The difference between exercising a legal right and a legal duty is as
different as chalk and cheese. A person who has a legal right may choose
not to exercise that right, a person who has a legal duty must carry out
that duty or face a legal sanction. Under the Commonwealth Electoral Act,
failing to vote without a valid reason is an offence. Million of
Australians have been fined and some have been jailed since compulsory
voting at Federal elections was introduced in 1924.

The role of a citizen in a democratic society is not as the Prime Minister
suggests limited to casting a ballot at an election to give a representative
a blank cheque to do whatever they like for the next three years. A
citizen's failure to vote or participate in the electoral process in no way
indicates whether someone is not very passionate about the political future
of this country. Democracy is too valuable a concept to be left solely in
the hands of parliamentary representatives.

Extra parliamentary political activity ­ meetings, demonstrations,
blockades, strikes, picket lines, occupations, riots, revolts and even
revolutions, have all played and continue to play a significant role in the
creation and expansion of those democratic rights that people need to ensure
that the people not the State or the corporate sector have the power to
create the type of society people want to live in.

Merlin Luck's hijacking of the commercial agenda on the Big Brother program
by raising his concerns about the treatment of the refugees in this country,
highlights the lack of reality on reality television. What people are
seeing and hearing are carefully edited and choreographed bits and pieces
that suit the editorial team and owners of the program's commercial agenda.
The criteria used to select housemates are carefully designed to weed out
participants with strong personal views about community issues, politics or

Merlin Luck chose the only live segment of the program to outline what he
considered to be an important issue. Live television, as Libby Gore found
when she interviewed Chopper Read, gives participants the opportunity to say
what they want. Andrew Denton's much-lauded Enough Rope program is not as
many people believe live television, it's an edited version of what Denton
and his editorial team consider to be highlights.

Television is a heavily scripted and edited medium where editorial teams
maintain total control of the process by choosing guests who will not rock
the boat and if the occasional guest doesn't play by the rules, edited
highlights with the appropriate voiceovers and images are used to reinforce
the editorial position of the group hosting the program. Their editorial
agenda is directly linked to the economic and political agenda of the owner
of the station.

When allegations were recently made by the Chief Police Commissioner of
Victoria Ms. Christine Nixon about Crown Casino being used to launder drug
money, the allegations were not aired on Channel 9. The editorial staff on
Channel 9's News and Current Affairs programs had to balance the interests
of the community in relation to the interests of the owners of Channel 9 and
Crown Casino the Packers when they made their editorial decision.

Reality television has nothing to do with reality. It is the creature of
people who want to impose their vacuous commercial agenda on the community.
That's why it's ironic that when one man uses what little real time
television is available to make a point, reality as opposed to the
manufactured consensus that passes as reality becomes a newsworthy issue ­
"reality on reality television ­ wow ­ powerful television man".

What do the Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott and Mullah Omar the head of
the former Taliban government in Afghanistan, have in common? They both
believe they can use the State apparatus to impose their moral viewpoints on
the rest of the community. The mindset of both men is only limited by the
numbers of checks and balances that exist between them and their ability to
exercise absolute power.

The amount of power Tony Abbott is able to exercise in Australia to impose
his views on the people about morality, is countered by a number of
institutional checks and balances that make it very difficult for a minister
of Federal parliament to have legislation passed through parliament that
gives the State power to enforce specific moral view points. It's no
accident that the separation of church and State plays such an important
role in the modern secular State.

Giving the State the power to make moral choices for people rapidly leads to
situations where only moral positions, which coincide with the viewpoints of
those who exercise State power, are legitimate and acceptable. Those
members of the Liberal Party who refused to accept Abbott's position on the
morning after pill and the right of parents to intervene in the relationship
between teenagers and their doctors, have highlighted that decisions which
are debated in parliament about moral choices, should be based on a
conscience vote not the party line.

Abbott's ham-fisted attempts to coerce Liberal and National Party members to
support his proposed legislation have come unstuck. Abbott has failed
because a number of courageous government members took the unusual step of
using those checks and balances that currently exist in parliamentary
democracies to blow Abbott's plans to impose his moral viewpoints on
Australians through the legislative process out of the water.

The Liberal / National Party has released their electoral environmental
policy a policy that, at best, can be described as a joke. In a nutshell,
the policy goes something like this. Yes, global warming is a problem and
the government needs to do something about it. No, the Federal government
will not sign the Koyoto Agreement, but wait, they have a plan to tackle CO2
emissions and save the environment.

A plan that is so breathtakingly simple and courageous, that no one could
possibly oppose it. Oh yeah! Wait for it, here we go, fossil fuels are a
problem, but the government can tackle that problem and fund research that
cuts down emissions and buries them in the ground. Yes, that's it. You're
kidding. Nope, that's it. What about renewable energy sources like Solar
and Wind that do not produce emissions. Sorry, they don't fit the
government's plans. What's the point of supporting sustainable energy
sources when those folk in the trucking and fossil fuel industry have been
so good to the Howard government?

It's un-Australian for the government to desert its inefficient polluting
mates in their times of need. You can't expect them to pay for their own
pollution controls. You can't expect them to be responsible for the
emissions they produce. That's why we have taxpayers stupid, they are there
to help pick-up the tab to clean up the fossil fuel industry's mess. It's
just so simple, as Kamal is fond of saying 'Why are people so cruel?' Why
can't they understand that the Howard government was elected to power, to
look after the interests of it's mates and ensure that it has access to
corporate resources so it can fund next its next re-election campaign. It's
so simple, if only people would understand.

The United States seems to be very upset that the Saudi Royal family is
under direct attack in Saudi Arabia. Successive US administrations have
poured in money and troops to keep the feudal monarchy in Saudi Arabia in
power. While the Bush camp carries on about democracy in Iraq, they have
over the past 50 years supported one of the most authoritarian governments
in the world. No wonder they face an internal revolt in Saudi Arabia.

No amount of foreign workers, troops and money can save the Saudi Royal
family. Endemic corruption has created conditions that have allowed Muslim
fundamentalism to flourish in the kingdom. US and Israeli intelligence
sources have confirmed that what is happening in Saudi Arabia is the
beginning of a popular revolt, not a terrorist onslaught. Osama bin Laden's
call is essentially a nationalist call Saudi Arabia for the Saudis and
foreign troops out of Saudi Arabia. The suicide bombers that were
responsible for the 9/11 carnage came from educated, middle class Saudi
families, the very families that the US is relying on in Iraq to form the
new interim government.

The Saudi Arabian Royal family enjoys absolute power, controls the oil
industry and controls all levels of government. It has become a hostage to
foreign interests and relies on the millions of guest workers and foreign
troops to maintain its authority in the kingdom. Upwardly mobile educated
Saudi citizens cannot ever hope to exercise political power at any level in
Saudi society. They have channelled the time and resources they possess
into radical religious studies. Many mosques have acted as centres for
radical religious education that have caused many middle class Saudi
citizens to abandon the pleasures of the secular West and embark on a quasi
religious nationalist struggle.

The problem the West and newly industrialised China and India face is a real
one. The impending revolt in Saudi Arabia threatens the power base of
corporations that has, to date, been able to control the worlds oil
supplies. The loss of Saudi oil reserves poses such a threat to the
corporate capitalism that all stops will be used by the US, Europe, China
and India to keep the Saudi Royal family in power so they can maintain the
access to Saudi oil supplies they currently enjoy.

Q. What happens if nobody wants to do dirty work in an anarchist society?
A. It's not done. Difficult, dirty and unpleasant work in many societies
is traditionally done by a particular class of people who are normally
regarded as outcasts by the rest of society. The untouchables in India were
by birth forced to carry out tasks that were necessary but nobody else was
prepared to do. In modern Western societies, unpleasant dirty necessary
work is carried out by workers who, if labour is scarce, are normally able
to extract a premium to perform that work. In Third World countries, dirty
unpleasant work is assigned to people who at best live a marginal hand to
mouth existence.
In an anarchist society, dirty unpleasant work will be shared among the
community as a whole. If nobody wants to share the task then that work is
not done and the community will have to bear the consequences of that work
not being done. Citizens in an anarchist society can't blame 'City Hall' or
the 'government' or a 'private corporation' for their dilemma. Discussion,
not just at the decision making level, is an integral component of being a
member of an anarchist community. People can make all the decisions they
like in an anarchist society, but if they're not involved in the
implementation process those decisions will never be carried out. The price
of freedom is external vigilance, the price of enjoying the fruits of the
labour of an anarchist community is active participation in both the
decision making process and the implementation of collectively made
Personal responsibility plays a pivotal role in the life of an anarchist
society, that's why it's unlikely that necessary dirty work will not be
collectively shared in an anarchist community.

The spate of gangland killings and allegations of widespread corruption in
the Victorian Police force have raised the spectre of institutionalised
corruption in Victoria. The Bracks government's refusal to establish a
permanent Royal Commission with powers of reference which would allow them
to examine allegations of corporate, media political, judicial and
government corruption raises concerns about the government's competency and
It's a serious mistake to think that allegations of corruption are limited
to a few bent cops and the criminal underworld. As John Cain, the former
Victorian Premier has stated, the best way to deal with allegations of
corruption is to follow the money trail. The best way to follow this trail
is through the establishment of a permanent Royal Commission that has the
powers to lift the lid on where profits from gangster related activities are
channelled. Tens of millions of dollars illegally obtained through the drug
trade are laundered into legitimate businesses every year.
'Citizens for a Royal Commission' is a coalition of radicals and
conservatives, the political and the apolitical, young and old, employed and
unemployed. We are Victorians who are sick and tired of being treated as
mushrooms by governments, the media and the corporate sector.
Institutionalised corruption is everybody's business. When governments
refuse to listen to the concerns of the people they represent, it's time
that people come together and force governments to listen to their concerns.
When the institutions that have been established to protect people are not
doing their jobs, citizens need to stand up and make their feelings heard.
To remain silent in a period when the stench of institutionalised corruption
permeates the community, condones the activities of those elements in
society that use institutions that have been established to protect the
people to enrich themselves. 'Citizens for a Royal Commission' has been
established to mobilise people around the issue of exposing
institutionalised corruption.
Over the next few weeks a steering committee will be finalising a plan of
action to tackle this growing problem. The group will be publicly launching
their campaigns on Wednesday the 14th of July ­ Bastille Day.

A ban on the use of the Red Flag was introduced (except to signal danger)
under the War Precautions Act in September 1918. The Red Flag, the
traditional emblem of the Australian Labor movement was banned because it
was considered to be a sign of disloyalty and a sign of support for
Bolshevism. In Sydney, returned servicemen attacked socialist meetings held
under the Red Flag in the Domain. In Melbourne, the poets R. S. Ross and R.
H. Long were arrested and jailed for speaking under the Red Flag on the
Yarra bank.
In Brisbane, the Brisbane Industrial Council called a demonstration for
Sunday the 23rd of March 1919 to protest the continuation of the War
Precautions Act (WWI ended in November 1918). The Industrial Council agreed
not to fly red flags on the march. The Industrial Union Propaganda and
Education League (compromised of former members of the banned I.W.W.), the
Russian Workers Association and the Australian Socialist League had other
ideas. A 400-member contingent in the march (over 100 Russians) unfurled
red flags. Monty Miller, jailed in his 80's because he was a member of the
I.W.W., marched near the head of the demonstrations. The police
unsuccessfully tried to remove the red flags from the demonstrators but
arrested 13 of the protestors flying red flags. The following night, the
ex-servicemen's organisations struck back. Over 5000 protestors attempted
to destroy the Russian Workers Association rooms in Merivale St, South
Brisbane. The police battled with the ex-servicemen for over an hour. 19
people, 14 of them police were injured. Police Commissioner Urquhart was
injured when the crowd forced him back onto the point of a police bayonet.
No arrests were made at the servicemen's demonstration, although 13 arrests
had been made at the Labor Day demonstrations on the previous day.
The 13 men who had flown red flags were charged under the War Precautions
Act, were found guilty of the offence and were jailed for 6 months. Among
those jailed were E. N. Free the State Labor member for South Brisbane and
R. J. Carroll the secretary of the Amalgamated Engineering Union. The Red
Flag prisoners went on a hunger strike and demanded they be treated as
political prisoners. The Queensland Premier T. J. Ryan challenged the
legality of the arrests in court but lost the appeal. The Premier sent
oysters and champagne to the prisoners in Boggo Road jail when his appeal
was turned down. 10 of the prisoners were released when the Peace Treaty at
Versailles was signed and the last 3 were released a short time later. The
ban on the Red Flag was lifted later in the year when the wartime powers of
the Federal government expired.
SOURCE OF MATERIAL FOR ARTICLE: The Bitter Fight ­ Joe Harris University of
Qld Press 1970.

­ The Enemy Within'
Jeff & Jill Sparrow, foreword by Guy Rundle, The Vulgar Press 2004, ISBN
Jeff & Jill's foray into radical Melbourne between 1940-2000 lacks the sting
of their earlier offering Radical Melbourne. Reading their attempts to
document the last 6 decades of radical life in Melbourne by presenting a
sample of 25 city sites 'arranged geographically rather than thematically or
by chronology', it soon becomes apparent that Radical Melbourne 2 doesn't
have the impact of their earlier efforts. In their defence, it's difficult
writing a book about events that've happened in people's living memories.
Everybody has a different opinion about what is and isn't important and
whose contributions should be recorded. The format they have chosen to
present Melbourne's radical history has to a large degree prevented them
from telling much of the story.
The events depicted and the way they are depicted does not do justice to the
rich radical history of the city of Melbourne. Important stories, groups
and individuals are left out, while a great deal of fuss is made about
events that could have been contained in footnotes.
Some of the more interesting selections include ASIO Auctions, The Love Art
Boutique, Val's Coffee Lounge, Operations Intelligence Unit and Fire-bombs
and Fascists. The best way to approach Radical Melbourne 2 is to think of
the book as a lucky dip. Jeff and Jill Sparrow have thrust their hands into
a historical treasure trove and pulled out a tasty morsel or two.
Unfortunately a lot of what they have pulled out of this fascinating
treasure trove does not do Radical Melbourne 2 justice.
Radical Melbourne 2 is available from the New International Bookshop at
Trades Hall, 54 Victoria Street, Carlton, Melbourne. The book is also
available from The Vulgar Press, P.O. Box 68, Carlton North 3054, Melbourne
AUSTRALIA. www.vulgar.com.au

Different crowds, different strokes. The people at an outlaw motorcycle
gang picnic are a different bunch to the opera crowd. Mass culture exists
and doesn't exist. The perception of one group about the other are forged
in the crucible of celluloid dreaming. The baying wolves at a Jerry
Springer show are mirror images of the baying wolves at a football game.
Crowds, crowds, crowds. Crowds in the street break all the norms. People
wander from A to B. The opera, football, biker and celluloid crowd merge
into one pulsating, heaving street organism. The only interesting feature
of the kerb-side crawlers, are their faces. Stand or sit on a street corner
deep in the heart of the city and in a few minutes you'll notice historical
snapshots pass by the residue of inter-generational mass culture stamped on
their faces.
The old lady with the blue hair and red lipstick stares at the aging bodgie
rubbing shoulders with a survivor of the pork pie hat brigade. The greying
middle aged survivor of the Aquarius continues to have his hair tied in a
disorganised ponytail. 40 something punks nervously finger their studded
dog collars while watching turbaned Sikhs discuss the finer points of
trading on the Futures Exchange. Immaculately groomed survivors of W.W.II
gaze at the naked midriffs of a never-ending parade of young women.
Cardigan clad grey arsed bureaucrats nervously wait to cross the road and
down a café latte, before going back to work to fill in time and collect fat
superannuation payouts.
Faces, faces, faces stare out from the crowd waiting for immortality. Each
generation carries the stigmata of their youth on their outer garments and
bodies. 1960's in your face, psychedelic shirts the mark of Cain for the
turn on, drop out lost generation act as beacons on the journey to the
promised land.

Talk about lies piled on lies. The Murdoch empire has pulled out all stops
in an effort to keep Australia's very own Sergeant Schultz in power. Those
of us who have lived long enough, can see how media content is manipulated
to push the idea that only Johnny Howard and his cohorts are able to keep
the country on a steady as she goes course. Even the non-event of a retired
aging rock star being pushed into parliament by the Labor executive, is a
concern for media breast beating.
It seems that all of Peter Garrett's efforts to save old growth forests have
been in vain. If you count the number of trees that the fourth estate has
chopped down to run headlines about Garrett's selection for a safe Labor
seat, the trees that 20 years of campaigning by Peter Garrett may have
saved, have been sacrificed on the fourth estate's printing presses. The
government expenditure of tens of millions of dollars on the taxpayer funded
political advertising in combination with the Murdoch press and much of the
other media's 'we will all be ruined' codswallop, should in Howard's and his
media mates estimation be enough to push him over the line.
The problem activists face is that the barrage of government propaganda may
have the desired effect if people don't speak out about what's going on.
The only hope is that people have stopped listening to the barrage of
propaganda because it doesn't reflect their day to day lives. Hopefully the
day to day experiences of millions of Australians will be enough for them to
see beyond the celluloid lies that are being pedalled by a government that
is bereft of any ethical or moral standards.
Only by raising our individual and collective concerns with the people we
live, talk and work with, will we be able to destroy the rhetoric reality
gap that the Howard government has so skilfully used to keep itself in
Joseph TOSCANO / Libertarian Workers
For A Self-Managed Society.

USA. Director Peter Weir. 2003.
Patrick O'Brian's series of Aubrey-Maturin novels are set in British naval
warfare from the Napoleonic era & reveal a vivid picture of life at sea &
the bloody carnage of close-quarters gunnery & hand-to-hand combat. However
O'Brian's canvas, which contains healthy doses of intelligence, humor &
compassion, has been cut by Director Peter Weir & presumably the films
financiers & distributors; trimmed to suit the current retrograde political
& cultural climate. Review by Patrick Martin
Patrick O'Brian set his intricate historical novels, 20 volumes & over 7,000
pages, in the first two decades of the 19th century. The adventures of
British navy captain "lucky" Jack Aubrey & ship's surgeon & "anarchist"
naturalist (perhaps inspired by geographer Elise Reclus) Stephen Maturin.
O'Brian, who died in 2001, was a careful student of this period, producing
non-fiction studies of the British navy in the era of Nelson, as well as a
biography of the British naturalist Joseph Banks. While using the titles of
the 1st & 10th novel however the content has been changed...O'Brian set Far
Side of the World during the War of 1812, & has Aubrey & Maturin pursuing a
powerful US frigate around Cape Horn & into the Pacific, where the US ship
intends to wreak havoc among British whalers. At least half a dozen of the
Aubrey-Maturin books involve the US-British naval conflict of 1812-1814<a
fertile source for the historical novelist, since this war included many
spectacular ship-to-ship duels. Portraying the US as the enemy is obviously
not a paying proposition in the Hollywood of 2003, so the ship has been
changed to a French vessel. It is Frenchmen who are slaughtered in the final
battle scenes & the French tricolor flag, not the Stars & Stripes, that is
struck when the enemy surrenders. Perhaps for last year avoiding the war on
Iraq the French have become the Enemy! Yet another alteration suggests
reshaping to serve a conformist agenda. Maturin, the ship's surgeon, is
downgraded to become little more than a well-meaning cipher, a good-hearted
'greenie", somewhat unrealistic nag on the fearsome warrior Aubrey, a
contrast underscored by the casting of the low-key Paul Bettany against
Russell Crowe, the reigning Hollywood leading man. In the novels, Maturin is
a fully equal character. He serves not only as ship's surgeon & naturalist,
the role depicted on screen, but as a private agent for British intelligence
working with anti-Napoleonic forces in Spain & South America<he's of mixed
Irish & Catalan extraction & fluent in Spanish. An ex member of the United
Irishmen, which spearheaded the great uprising of 1798 against British rule,
Maturin has concluded that Napoleonic tyranny is an even greater political
danger, & acts accordingly by enlisting in the British navy, even though as
a Catholic he cannot be an officer. These political complexities are never
hinted at in the film, nor the popular-democratic side of Maturin's
character, as he inwardly debates the tragedy of Ireland & seeks to foment
revolts in South American countries against Spanish colonialism. Maturin
like Sherlock Holmes, is addicted to laudanum. In many of the novels it is
Maturin who's actually in charge, as the Surprise is sent on delicate
diplomatic or espionage missions.
Aubrey's characterization in the film is one-dimensional. He's uniformly
brilliant. But as one reviewer of O'Brian's novels noted, Aubrey is a lion
at sea but an ass on land. He's a great sailor & fighter, but on shore has
more than his share of shortcomings as a businessman, politician & husband.
(In one of the novels, Aubrey is victimized by a con man & ends up on trial
for stock swindling; he's convicted & cashiered from the navy. He's
condemned to the pillory<a potentially fatal sentence<but is saved by
hundreds of rank-and-file seamen who converge on London to protect him, in
what comes close to mutiny. This spirit of fellowship & solidarity is almost
completely absent from the film).
It's the relationship between Aubrey & the rank-and-file seamen that's most
distorted in Weir's film. In the novels, Aubrey is a captain who cares
deeply for the men & rules them with a comparatively light hand. He's
notoriously averse to the lash, which is used perhaps once in 20 books, yet
an obligatory lash scene finds its way into the film. On the other hand,
O'Brian repeatedly portrays Aubrey personally rescuing sailors who have
fallen into the water<he's one of the few sailors of his day who can swim.
Such incidents are a recurring theme in the novels, but find no place in the
film. Aubrey is portrayed as a patriotic speech maker, a war leader who
inspires the ranks on the basis of a nationalism that is a product of a much
later historical period. The British navy of the Napoleonic era, as O'Brian
makes clear, numbered sailors of every nation, motivated not by patriotism
for the British Empire, of which they had little conception, but by
comradeship born of long months together at sea, & loyalty to a captain
celebrated as 'Lucky Jack' because of his ability to capture lucrative
prizes, in which the crew shared. This distancing of Aubrey from the crew
seems the result of a conscious decision by the filmmaker.
The first novel of the Aubrey-Maturin series, Master & Commander, has a
scene in which the captain halts his ship, even when being followed by a
more powerful French warship, to rescue a midshipman who has fallen
overboard. He saves the sailor, devises an ingenious method of escaping his
pursuer. In the film, Weir stands the incident on its head<Aubrey cuts the
drowning man loose to save the ship. The political implications of this are
unmistakable: lives must be sacrificed for the greater good of the nation.
The sailors serve as cannon fodder to achieve military victory.

BICEL No.15, MARCH 04, Fundacion de Estudes Libertararios, Paseo Alberto
Palacios MMM 2. 28021, MADRID, SPAIN, Tel:91 7970424, Fax:91 5052183,
email:fat@cnt.es www.cnt.es/fal
FREEDOM Vol.65 No.11, Anarchist Fortnightly, 84b Whitechapel High St,
London E17QX, ENGLAND Tel/Fax: 02072479249 www.freedompress.org.uk
LIBERTAIRIA Vol.6, No.2, Il piacere dell'utopia, Editrice A,
Cas.Post.17125, 20170 Milano, ITALY, Tel:0226143950, Fax:022846923,
Email:eleuthera@tin.it www.club.it.eleuthera
TIERRA Y LIBERTAD No.190 MAY 2004, Periodico Anarquista, Apartado 7.056 de
Madrid, 28080 SPAIN, Tel:917970424, Fax:915052183,
UMANITA NOVA Vol 84 No.17 EL 23RD MAY 2004, Settimanale Anarchico, C.50
Palermo 46, 10152, Torino ITALY. tel/fax (011) 857850 Mobile 338-6594361

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An innocent man who spent 2 months in jail due to police incompetence has
been refused compensation, despite witnessing a murder & a rape, being
bashed 4 times & developing post-traumatic stress disorder. John Cran was
arrested for having stickers allegedly laced with LSD. In fact they were
ordinary paper. He was refused bail & sent to Silverwater Jail. The
magistrate ordered a drug analysis be completed by April 16, but the police
forgot to fill out a form that would've made the test happen more quickly.
When it was not ready the case was adjourned. Mr Cran was given bail
provided he came up with $1000 of his own & another $500 from an "acceptable
person". He was unable to find anyone to stand bail for him & so was sent
back to jail. Almost 2 months after his arrest, police told the drug
laboratory the analysis was required urgently. The results were available 4
days later he was released, having spent 64 days in jail. The NSW Court of
Appeal has ruled that his claim for compensation should fail, b/c police
have no duty of care towards the people they investigated. Justice Santow
said he could offer no relief to Mr Cran, b/c of the implications of
allowing police to be answerable for harm caused during investigations.
(Source: Sydney Morning Herald)
US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld & one of his top aides authorised the
use of 'physical coercion' & sexual humiliation against Iraqi prisoners,
according to an article in the New Yorker magazine. The article says Mr
Rumsfeld & Undersecretary of Defence for Intelligence Stephen Cambone,
approved use of the 'tougher' interrogation techniques last year. The
techniques were based on those already used by US forces in Afghanistan.
(Source: The Age)
Macedonian police murdered 7 Pakistanis & Indians & falsely claimed they
were terrorists in order to impress the US govt & be seen to be
participating in the war on terror. The 7 were picked up as they entered
Macedonia through Bulgaria & held in custody for several days before being
driven to a spot en route to the US embassy. Then they were shot. To cover
their tracks, the police had placed bags filled with guns & uniforms next to
the bodies. Ljube Boskovski, then the Macedonian interior minister, said his
forces had foiled a terrorist attack on the embassy. The police originally
said the men had ambushed them, but they couldn't explain why 7 heavily
armed terrorists were killed while the police were uninjured. They then
changed their story to say they'd ambushed the terrorists to prevent them
attacking the US embassy. However an enquiry has found the men were not
terrorists & were shot in cold blood. (Source: Sydney Morning Herald)
US authorities have been accused of "living in '1984' after a 15yo who drew
an anti-war cartoon showing George W Bush impaled on a stick was interviewed
by the Secret Service. The drawings were done for an art class. Another
cartoon portrayed Bush as a devil launching a missile, with a caption
reading "End the war on terrorism". The student said the President's
'head' was intended to be an effigy, said Kevin Cravens, a friend of the
boy's family. The caption called for an end to the war in Iraq. (Source:
Associated Press)
Aust David Hicks was tied up & bashed for 2hrs at a time by US soldiers in
Afghanistan, an ex cellmate said. 22yo Shah Mohammed was released last year
after spending 3 months in US custody. "The other detainees would be tied up
with rope on 1 hand & 1 foot, but Hicks they tied up both hands & both feet"
he said. He also said the US filmed their beatings & interrogations.
(Source: The Australian)
The govt spent almost $24,000 of public money trying unsuccessfully to send
an asylum seeker to another country. Edriess Abdulrahman & his entourage,
including 5 guards, took 17 flights b/w them over 13 days. Aust authorities
tried to send him to Sudan, despite rejecting his claim that he's Sudanese.
He's now in Baxter detention centre. He's already spent 3 years in detention
in Aust. (Source: Herald Sun)
The US military says it has nothing to apologise for a raid that killed 41
Iraqis, allegedly incl kids as young as 3. The US military says they
attacked a suspected safehouse used by foreign fighters. Witness Basim
Shehab said he didn't see anyone firing at the US soldiers & didn't see any
weapons, the US troops shot the wounded & then planted explosives in the
house to destroy what remained, a bride & groom celebrating a wedding were
among the dead. Munif Abdullah, who also witnessed the attack, said "they
hit the cars & houses. They even hit the families running away". Mahdi Nawaf
says 8 of his relatives were killed in the attack, incl 6 kids ranging from
3 to 10 years old. US Marine Corps Maj Gen James Mattis said "these were
more than 2 dozen military-age males. Let's not be naive...bad things happen
in wars...I don't have to apologise for the conduct of my men". A member of
the US-appointed Governing Council, Mahmoud Othman, disputed the US govt's
version of events, saying "I think they've made a mistake". (Source: Herald
Iraqi prisoners said they were sexually fondled by guards & forced to eat
from toilets. The Washington Post reports 100's of photos & short video
clips show detainees cowering before unmuzzled dogs, being forced to
masturbate, being hit, threatened with shotguns & sexually assaulted. The
Post's website carried a photo of a naked inmate smeared with what seems to
be excrement being forced to walk by a baton-wielding guard. Detainees
described being ridden like animals, sexually fondled by female soldiers &
being forced to retrieve food from their toilets. 1 said that he saw a US
Army translator having sex with a teenage boy. There are new claims that
elite Delta Force troops forced prisoners to wear hoods, drugged them during
interrogation & dunked them in water or smothered them until they thought
they would suffocate, at a top-secret jail near Baghdad's airport. (Source:
Herald Sun)
QUOTE OF THE MOMENT: "After a while we stopped asking for human rights we
wanted animal rights. In Camp X-Ray my cage was right next to a kennel
housing an Alsatian dog. He had a wooden house with air conditioning & green
grass to exercise on. I said to the guards 'I want his rights', & they
replied 'that dog is a member of the US Army'". Jamal al Harith, a UK
citizen recently released from Guantanamo Bay, after being held there for 2
years without charge or trial.
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Has been awarded to the Australian media hacks, who have attempted to limit
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about bent cops and celluloid gangsters.

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