20 June 2011


I have set up a petition page to help us to stop Australian Incarceration of Asylum Seekers.

Please help by sending this to as many people as possible so that the numbers signing become overwhelming!

PETITION SITE - http://www.thepetitionsite.com/13/stop-australian-incarceration-of-asylum-seekers/#taf

15 June 2011


It is difficult to know where to start with the issue of asylum seekers trying to come to Australia - politicians are trying to outdo each other in their appalling behaviour and each is getting worse than the other! In the end, are they any different from John Howard and his Tampa and his Peter Reith??

The trouble with it all is that most people who live in Australia have been asylum seekers of one sort or another over the past 200 years. It makes one shudder to imagine what would have happened to many of our ancestors if they had arrived here to be treated like this current crop of desperate people.

What makes it so much worse is that Australia, the pathetic lackey of imperialist USA, is involved in all the nefarious exercises with that country which makes so many millions of people in various countries need to flee the terror in their homelands.

I personally needed to flee my homeland because of the police-state nature of the world in which I was living, and am in the nature of an asylum seeker. I was lucky on several counts. I am white, speak English, have a tertiary education, and had a father who happened to have been born in Australia, although he only lived here for the first 8 years of his life - enough for me to qualify for Australian citizenship by descent!!!

What if??? There were enough people wanting to flee the terror of apartheid South Africa who were none of the above and so were not able to get out of that benighted country when they were desperate.

There are many people in this country who are very unhappy about the behaviour of the politicians who are running the show. Not enough of them are raising their voices to protest at "man's inhumanity to man".

The following article in The Age of 15 June 2011 is one of too few by those who have access to the media - which I do not have - who could make a difference, but don't.

The only way I have of making my small voice heard is by putting such items on my blog and on my web pages, both of which the mass media have no control over - fortunately!!

So read the article and raise your voices, loud and clear!!

Rescue us from this madness

David Day

June 15, 2011

Illustration: Andrew Dyson.

Neither side of politics has the courage to restore decent Australian values to the debate over asylum seekers.

WHEN future historians sit down to write our history, they will be puzzled and doubtless dismayed at the increasingly harsh treatment meted out to asylum seekers who fetch up on our shores after enduring hazardous voyages in small boats. Instead of receiving our sympathy and succour, they are thrown behind razor wire for long periods of mind-destroying detention. How did it come to this?

Back in early 1990, when I was writing a history of the Australian Customs Service, I flew along the Kimberley coastline in a small Coastwatch aircraft looking mainly for Indonesian fishermen. There was also the possibility of sighting a refugee boat, following the arrival weeks earlier of such a boat from Cambodia, the first to have come all the way from that war-racked place.

Looking through the Customs records in Broome, I came across the correspondence relating to that first boat, which had brought an extended family of 26 people. They had come ashore and been reported by the local Aboriginal people, who thought the people were Indonesians.

Even when their true origins became known, there was none of the hysterical hullabaloo that now infects the political debate. Instead, matter-of-fact newspaper reports showed pictures of grinning women and children relieved that their month-long journey was over, while headlines noted their ''amazing 5000 km voyage''. In that more innocent age, a Broome tourist operator even offered to house the whole group and employ its adult members.

Such an outcome would have been ideal. The refugees would have had immediate livelihoods, while Broome's labour shortage would have been eased. Alternatively, they could have been taken to a reception centre elsewhere, where their needs could have been assessed and housing and jobs organised. Instead, a posse of immigration officials escorted the refugees into months of detention in Sydney.

The bureaucratic reception was in marked contrast to the humane treatment of other refugee arrivals, whether it was Jews fleeing Hitler, displaced Europeans after the Second World War, Hungarians in 1956, Vietnamese fleeing their homeland or Chinese students seeking refuge after the Tiananmen Square massacre. And it had the unfortunate effect of locking both sides of politics into an approach that would get increasingly harsh as populist politicians and radio shock jocks began to bang away at the drums of fear and suspicion.

To his eternal discredit, John Howard took the drum-banging to new heights over the Tampa, when shipwrecked asylum seekers were met by gun-toting members of the SAS. This extreme response was a chance for then Labor leader Kim Beazley to show his mettle and remind Australians of their humanitarian obligations. But he funked his chance. There was an election in the offing and there was no time for talk of values or principles. Labor has been boxed in by the debate ever since and recently pushed into ever more extreme positions of its own desperate devising.

Now Australians are presented with the bizarre solution of sending 800 asylum seekers into the harsh clutches of the Malaysian government in return for 4000 of their refugees. The best that Tony Abbott can offer in response to this exercise in human trafficking is to suggest reopening the failed Nauru detention centre.

Back in the Howard years, when the Woomera detention centre was a byword for infamy, I suggested that it be kept as a historical monument to remind passing tourists of the moment of madness that had gripped us back then. Perhaps because of my suggestion, when the detention centre was closed, the site was bulldozed. Although there are no reminders at Woomera, every state now has a monument to our continuing madness.

Neither side of politics can take pride in the stands they have taken, the fears they have evoked and the damage they have caused to the most vulnerable of people. There is a solution, but it will take political courage. Political leaders on both sides have to restore decent Australian values and principles to the debate, which demand that people be treated with dignity, respect and humanity. Why should that be so hard, and why have political leaders of the major parties lacked the courage to do so?

Kim Beazley failed to display ticker over the Tampa, choosing short-term political results over long-term reputation, and was punished for being a tin man. Julia Gillard follows that sorry example as she thinks up ever more extreme ''solutions''. Labor has allowed Tony Abbott to portray himself as offering a more humane solution on Nauru than Labor offers in Malaysia or on Manus Island. And so Labor continues to be boxed in by John Howard's cruel political trap.

In the 21 years since that first Cambodian boat, while the politics have become increasingly fraught to the point of obscenity, the practical problem of dealing with asylum seekers has remained just as manageable as it was in 1989. There was no need to use detention centres back then and there is no need now.

Instead of fortified camps for mandatory and indefinite detention, we need reception centres where new arrivals can be briefly housed and processed, before being moved quickly into one of the many Australian communities that would welcome them. We also need a staff of immigration officers in Jakarta to process refugee applications, with preference for family reunion to deter desperate people heading here by boat. It just requires a leader with the courage to reframe the debate in terms of decent principles and values. Only then will the arguments of the fearmongers be neutralised once and for all.

David Day is the biographer of three Labor prime ministers. His most recent book is Conquest: How Societies Overwhelm Others.

13 June 2011


This article in The Age newspaper on 13 June 2011 has to be one of the most insightful articles of recent times on those two "bastions of democracy, Israel and India".

A MUST READ article!!!

Tremors on mountains of tyranny

Pankaj Mishra

June 13, 2011

Illustration: Andrew Dyson.
Non-violent mass movements against India and Israel pose a challenge to the pronouncements of Barack Obama.

AT A dark moment in postcolonial history, when many US-backed despots seemed indestructible, the great Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz wrote: ''We shall witness [the day] when the enormous mountains of tyranny blow away like cotton.'' That miraculous day finally came in Egypt and Tunisia this northern spring. We have since witnessed many of the world's legislators scrambling to get on the right side of history.

Addressing the ''Muslim world'' last month, President Barack Obama hailed ''the moral force of non-violence'', through which ''the people of the region have achieved more change in six months than terrorists have accomplished in decades''. But Obama failed to acknowledge the fact that the US enabled, and often required, the ''relentless tyranny of governments that deny their citizens dignity''. And he gave no sign that he would respect the moral authority of non-violent mass movements ranged against America's closest allies, India and Israel.

Let's not forget: before the Arab spring of 2011, there was the Kashmiri summer of 2010.

Provoked by the killing of a teenage boy in June last year, thousands of Kashmiris took to the streets to protest against India's brutal military occupation of the Muslim-majority valley. Summer is the usual ''season for a face-off in Kashmir'', as Indian filmmaker Sanjay Kak writes in Until My Freedom Has Come: The New Intifada in Kashmir, a lively anthology of young Kashmiri writers, activists, rappers and graphic artists. There is little doubt that Kashmiris, emboldened by the Arab spring, will again stage massive demonstrations.

The chances of a third intifada in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel are just as high, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu devises ever greater hurdles to self-determination for his Arab subjects. In the next few months we will see more clearly than before how India and Israel - billed respectively as the world's largest, and the Middle East's only, democracy - respond to unarmed mass movements.

Certainly, they have shown no sign of fresh thinking. India's security establishment fell back last summer on reflexes conditioned by two decades of fighting a militant insurgency during which more than 70,000 people have died; 8000 have ''disappeared'', often into mass graves; and innumerable others have been subjected to ''systematic torture'', according to a rare public outburst from the Red Cross.
Last summer, soldiers fired at demonstrators, killing 112 civilians, mostly teenagers. (Kashmir has many of its own Hamza al-Khatibs, a 13-year-old tortured and mutilated by the Syrian government). The Indian government imposed round-the-clock curfews (one village was locked in for six weeks) and banned text messaging on mobile phones, while police spies infiltrated Facebook groups in an attempt to hunt down organisers of demonstrations.

Faced with non-violent Palestinian protesters, who correctly deduce that their methods have a better chance of influencing world opinion than Hamas's suicide bombers, Israel has not varied its repertoire of repression much. For years now the West Bank village of Bilin has campaigned against the Israeli government's appropriation of its lands. Israel responded by jailing its leader, Abdallah Abu Rahmah, often called the Palestinian Gandhi, for 15 months - ''solely'', according to Amnesty International, ''for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression and assembly''.

Encouraged by Egyptians and Tunisians, masses of unarmed Palestinians marched last month to the borders of Israel to mark the dispossession of 750,000 Palestinians in Mandate Palestine. Israeli soldiers met them with live gunfire, killing more than a dozen.

Of course, occupations damage the occupier no less than the occupied. Revanchist nationalism has corroded democratic and secular institutions in both India and Israel, which, not surprisingly, have developed a strong military relationship in recent years.

Israeli counter-insurgency experts now regularly visit Kashmir.
India and Israel, both products of botched imperial partitions, were the Bush government's two most avid international boosters of the catastrophic ''war on terror'', deploying the ideological templates of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq - democracy versus terrorism, liberalism versus fundamentalism - to justify their own occupations.

Jingoistic media helped hardliners in both countries to demonise their political adversaries as terrorists or terrorist sympathisers. Liberal opinion grew almost inaudible. Writing in The New York Review of Books, Israeli scholar and activist David Shulman lamented: ''Israeli academic intellectuals as a group have failed to mount a sustained and politically effective protest against the occupation.'' This is also true of the Indian intelligentsia.

So the burden of non-violent protest in India and Israel has fallen almost entirely on the victims of the occupation. Many liberal commentators try to condone their passivity by deploring the absence of non-violent protests in Kashmir and Palestine (never mind the fact that the first intifadas in both places in the late 1980s turned violent only after being savagely suppressed).

The moment of truth is fast approaching for those powerful men who preach the high morality of non-violence to the powerless. Only a US veto seems likely to prevent UN member states from declaring a new Palestinian state in September. But Palestinians may rise up against their colonial overlords well before this expected rejection. As political philosopher Michael Walzer points out, Israel would then confront ''something radically new. How can it resist masses of men and women, children too, just walking across the ceasefire lines?''

The tactics of young, tech-savvy Kashmiris have already confused and bewildered the Indian government, whose recent actions - censoring The Economist, forcing spying rights out of BlackBerry and Google - evoke the last-minute desperation of the Arab world's mukhabarat (secret police) states. The mass movement in Kashmir, which has emerged after two decades of a futile militant insurgency, poses, as Kashmiri journalist Parvaiz Bukhari writes in Until My Freedom Has Come, an unprecedented ''moral challenge to New Delhi's military domination''.

The stage is set, then, for a northern summer of protests. They may well meet with live bullets rather than offers of negotiation and compromise. It will be fascinating to see if Obama makes good his claim last month that the US ''opposes violence and repression'' and ''welcomes change that advances self-determination''. Certainly, as the corpses of the Palestinian and Kashmiri Hamza al-Khatibs pile up, there will be the usual flurry of intellectual rationalisations - the bogy of Islamic terror will again be invoked. And we will witness how the ''enormous mountains of tyranny'' in the world's greatest democracies do not blow away like cotton.

Pankaj Mishra is the author of Temptations of the West: How to Be Modern in India, Pakistan, Tibet, and Beyond.

11 June 2011


The cartoon illustrates how the mindset of Australians has been conditioned by the media and the shock-jocks of radio and television.

Why do these events remind one of apartheid South Africa with the "THEM" and "US" mentality so prevalent in our societies?

In Australia there are two sides of politics - ultra conservatism and super-ultra-conservatism.

The trouble is that it is difficult to tell which is which! Each side of this equation is trying to outdo the other with move and counter-move and people who are asylum seekers from countries in which this country's soldiers are losing their lives in losing political battles, while all politicians are spinning to the citizens of Australia that we must stay the course and finish the job.

What this means in real terms is that the longer Australians are in those countries the more people will have to flee from the horrors caused by Australia's presence there.

More and more letters are actually being published in some of the newspapers asking how it is that live cattle being sent to Indonesia are more worthy of our compassion than human beings fleeing terror and escaping however they can and risking the last threads of their lives to try and save them!

10 June 2011


The only obvious difference is that Philip Ruddock hypocritically wore an Amnesty International membership badge and Amnesty didn't have the honesty and integrity to cancel his membership. At the moment at least, Chris Bowen isn't sporting an Amnesty badge - yet!!!

Chris Bowen seems to be relishing his position as the minster who is enjoying demonising asylum seekers and finding ways for his government to not only get them out of Australia but to ensure they are discouraged from ever attempting the journey here.

Part of these efforts is making arrangements with the Malaysian government - hardly a country renowned for its forward-looking approach to human rights - to take asylum seekers in exchange for Australia taking some of their refugees.

To put the obvious racist slant on this, the Malaysians would incarcerate Australia's asylum seekers, mostly refugees from Muslim countries, and Australia would take the refugees in Malaysia - mostly from non-Muslim countries.

The inferences and implications are obvious even to blind Freddie - to use another insulting simile!

09 June 2011


13 MAY 2011



484 Lake Park Ave #41

Oakland CA 94610




PO BOX 1675



April 22, 2011

Dear Mannie,


On behalf of the Bradley Manning Support Network,
thank you for allowing us to send letters on your behalf in support of accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower Bradley Manning, "We stand for truth, for government transparency, and for an end to our tax-dollars funding endless occupation abroad... We ask that Pfc. Manning be released from pretrial confinement and the charges against him be dropped."

Courage to Resist volunteers mailed these letters to Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh and Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army General George W. Casey,
today. This is a critical aspect of the international campaign to free Bradley.

Please encourage friends to also join this effort by signing the declaration online at www.standwithbrad.org. Or, we can send you petitions so that you can help gather signatures (like in the old pre-Internet days).

Also, please see the bulletin "Help end the inhumane treatment of Bradley
enclosed. We're asking supporters to send letters to the Marine authorities who oversee the brig at Quantico, Virginia, where Bradley is held.

Underscoring the importance of our efforts, Congressman Mike Rogers—a member of the House Intelligence Committee—announced recently that Bradley should be put to death if convicted! Bradley's pretrial motions are already being fought out in the military justice system, but we don't expect the first pre-trial hearing until April-May (followed by the actual court martial during the fall).

On behalf of Courage to Resist and the Bradley Manning Support Network,




Supporting the troops who refuse to fight

484 Lake Park Ave #41,


C A 94610



"Soldiers sworn oath is to defend and support the Constitution. Bradley Manning has been defending and supporting our Constitution." —Dan Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistle-blower

April 29, 2011

Dear Friends,

It's been quite a ride since we took up the defense of accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower Bradley Manning last July. Since then, we helped form the Bradley Manning Support Network, established a defense fund, and have raised about 75% of the total $170,000 in estimated legal expenses (that total recently increased due to the addition of the death penalty charge of "aiding the enemy").

Last week Bradley was transferred from the Marine brig at Quantico, Virginia to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. It seems clear that the military was finally forced to address the situation, but only after...

More than a half million people signed a statement decrying Bradley's treatment as a "violation of his constitutionally guaranteed human rights, and a chilling deterrent to other potential whistle-blowers committed to public integrity." Over 300 of America's top legal scholars called on the Obama Administration to end the torturous treatment at Quantico. The list of signatories includes Laurence Tribe, a Harvard professor who taught constitutional law to Barack Obama. Prof. Tribe was a key backer of his 2008 presidential campaign, and was most recently a legal adviser in the US Justice Department. And after we attended the President's fundraiser in San Francisco last week in order to sing him a protest song about Bradley. President Obama declared Bradley guilty of "breaking the law" on video while talking to our Internet coordinator Logan Price--clearly a violation of unlawful command influence, which alone should be a basis to free Bradley now.

We do not yet know if the transfer has in fact improved Bradley's conditions of confinement or not. Please check bradleymanning.org for the latest updates and featured articles.
Now, I'm asking for your support of Courage to Resist so that we can continue to support not only Bradley, but the scores of other troops who are coming into conflict with military authorities due to reasons of conscience.

Iraq War over? Afghanistan occupation winding down? Not from what we see. For example, soldier Jeff Hanks continues to fight the Army for PTSD help, all the while being threatened with redeployment to Afghanistan. Jeff's situation is far from isolated.

Most of the folks who call us for help continue to be effected by Stoploss, a program that involuntarily extends enlistments (despite Army promises of its demise), or the Individual Ready Reserve which recalls thousands of former Soldiers and Marines quarterly from civilian life.

Additionally, we continue to assist Conscientious Objectors like Pfc. Colton Turner, "I was a little shocked that I didn't have anybody on my side and that I was basically being ignored," until he found help. "At this point, I know I'm a Conscientious Objector and I don't feel that I need the army's approval to say that."

Another example of our efforts is Kyle Wesolowski. After returning from Iraq, Kyle submitted an application for a conscientious objector discharge based on his Buddhist faith. Kyle explains, "My experience of physical threats, religious persecution, and general abuse seems to speak of a system that appears to be broken.... It appears that I have no other recourse but to now refuse all duties that prepare myself for war or aid in any way shape or form to other soldiers in conditioning them to go to war." We believe he shouldn't have to walk this path alone.


Jeff Paterson

Project Director, Courage to Resist

First US military service member to refuse to fight in Iraq

P.S. I'm asking that you consider a contribution of $50 or more, or possibly becoming a sustainer at $15 a month. Thanks again for your support!


Open letter to the Victorian Premier concerning human rights and discrimination

PO Box 1675
Preston South
Vic 3072


Dear Ted,

You were recently elected to the Victorian parliament with what could not be termed an overwhelming parliamentary majority, either in the lower house or the upper house.

Your government is now trying to remove human rights from the citizens of this state which have been fought for over time and which have achieved success and relief for many people previously disadvantaged before human rights achieved the openness for which they have become so necessary.

It would appear that the attorney general of your government is determined to reintroduce discriminations which had been successfully removed and which will, by their reintroduction turn the Victorian clock of achievements back some 50 years to a time when so many people didn’t have rights which they now have.

It is worth bearing in mind that organisations which will be able to discriminate at will are those organisations which already have exemptions under the present legislation. This, of course means religious institutions which are also non-taxpayers to the society which houses them.

You and the attorney general should bear in mind the facts that you may not need the protections provided by the laws as you intend to change them, but one day when you are older and circumstances change, you may find yourselves lacking those very protections for which so many people have fought for so long.

It is also worth remembering that although people elected your government on the basis that they saw the previous government as out of touch and arrogant, it will probably not take much persuasion for people to notice that your government is acting no differently from the previous government and decide at the next election, only 3 years away, that they have had enough of the Baillieu government’s take on human rights in Victoria and will vote for change.

The gay, lesbian, transgender and HIV/AIDS (GLTH) communities are still discriminated against by religious institutions under current human rights legislation. This discrimination will now become much worse with the changes proposed by the attorney general. How you and your government will deal with this when it is discovered one day that people who are close to you are in those categories and are being discriminated against by your government will be interesting to discover.

JCCV Welcomes Amendments to Equal Opportunity Act [May 6 2011]

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) is delighted to see that the Victorian Government is proposing amendments to the Equal Opportunity Act as recently announced by the Attorney General, Robert Clark. In particular, the JCCV sees the amendments as rectifying anomalies in Victorian Equal Opportunity legislation as it relates to religious based schools and organisations.

Searle noted that “the amendments will ensure we have a fair balance between preventing discrimination and ensuring that schools and other organisations are able to employ people who conform with the value system and beliefs of the organisation. In this way, we will limit the possibilities for clashes, offence and tension in the workplace.”

This would be a good time to stop this amendment in its tracks before it does irreparable harm to the Victorian communities it is supposed to support and help.

Mannie De Saxe, Lesbian and Gay Solidarity, Melbourne

Media release: Greens MP stops Equal Opportunity Amendment Bill in the upper house


"Changes to Victoria’s equal opportunity laws which were rammed through the lower house on Wednesday are a step backwards for the human rights of thousands of Victorians", Greens justice spokesperson Sue Pennicuik MLC said today.

"The government rushed the bill into the upper house first thing yesterday morning, but I was able to use the right open to any member to deny the government 'leave' to 'second read' the bill straight away" said Ms Pennicuik.

"We had already witnessed the spectacle of the government suspending the rules of parliament to allow the bill to be reintroduced and passed in the Legislative Assembly after the government lost the vote on it last week. This has set a very bad precedent for democracy in Victoria". The bill will now be debated in the upper house on 14 June.

"This bill will allow faith-based organisations and schools to discriminate in employment matters on the basis of a person's religious beliefs or activities, sex, sexual orientation, lawful sexual activity, marital status, parental status and gender identity, without the current qualifier that the attribute must be an inherent requirement of the job (introduced by the previous government in 2010 in attempt to balance religious freedom with freedom from discrimination).

“However, neither the current act, nor the proposed changes balance religious freedom with the fundamental human rights of everyone to equality and protection against discrimination,” Ms Pennicuik said.

“There is no place for discrimination in employment on the basis of personal characteristics", she said. "Employers should not be asking employees or job applicants about their personal lives. The only questions should be about qualifications and experience that are genuine requirements of the job”.

The review of equal opportunity laws in 2008 by Julian Gardner, recommended that the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) should be empowered to uncover entrenched or systemic discrimination.

"The new Inquiry function is very important when we know that individuals do not always make complaints of discrimination for fear of the consequences”, Ms Pennicuik said. "The new laws will remove this newly won function of VEOHRC".



PO Box 1675
Preston South
Vic 3072


Dear Barry,

You were recently elected to the parliament of New South Wales in what is considered a democratic election in Australia and the states and territories which are the parts of this country.

When you were elected, several other people were also elected under the same democratic process. People voted for the candidates of their choice and you were able to form government because those you represent obtained a majority in the new parliament.

You might like to bear in mind that there were also people elected who were not of your party and they have as legitimate a right to sit in that parliament as you have.

One big hat is more than enough for Clover Moore, Barry O'Farrell says

* From: The Daily Telegraph
* June 06, 2011 12:00AM

Clover Moore

Sydney Lord Mayor ... Clover Moore. Source: The Daily Telegraph

BARRY O'Farrell has signalled the end of Clover Moore's two-hat reign over Sydney, deeming it a "conflict of interest".

After Ms Moore, who is both an MP and Sydney Lord Mayor, was slammed yesterday for missing a week of parliament while on a council trip to Brazil and New York, Mr O'Farrell said "being an MP is a full time job".

Mr O'Farrell said Local Government Minister Don Page will be told to find a way to stop mayors also acting as MPs before the September council elections.

Mayors in other states, including Queensland, are banned from drawing two public pay packets.

Mr O'Farrell said about a third of an MP's work dealt with complaints about councils.

"If you're a constituent in the seat of Sydney and you've got a concern about your local council, who do you complain to?," he said.

Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar.
Related Coverage

* MP Moore too busy, says O'Farrell Perth Now, 1 day ago
* Stop double dipping mayors The Daily Telegraph, 2 days ago
* Time to slash councils and red tape The Daily Telegraph, 9 days ago
* Time for the double-dippers to choose The Daily Telegraph, 21 May 2011
* MPs who won't give up second job The Daily Telegraph, 21 May 2011

End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.

After Mr O'Farrell's attack, Ms Moore's press office circulated a three-page paper on her achievements. "Holding down two roles, as parliamentarian and lord mayor, puts me in a unique position to get things done," she claimed.

The attacks which you and your colleagues and the media have been waging against one of the members of the parliament are undemocratic and unconstitutional. The statements being made in these attacks are patently false and misleading and are done with the intention of totally discrediting one of the longest and hardest working members of the New South Wales parliament.

If it is the intention of your government to change the laws thus preventing people like Clover Moore from representing the people who voted for her at local government and state levels you are subverting the democratic process in the country and you will be remembered for these actions at the next election.

It is a known fact that most politicians treat their constituents with contempt, believing that the politician knows better than the people he/she is representing.

However, the evidence points to the fact that in the long run it is the politician who has underestimated the power of the electorate, and when voters are bombarded with spin and distortion, the voters remember at the next election.

New South Wales has been in a sorry state for many years and is now about to enter an even darker and sorrier state.

If you and your government have any integrity left, you will order an immediate cessation of attacks on Clover Moore by the government and the media you are so fond of supporting when it suits you but equally fond of condemning when they turn against you and personally attack you.

Gutter journalism is not the approach the premier of a state the size of New South Wales should indulge in – it will come back to bite you by the next election.

This will assuredly happen as you approach the next election which is only 3 years away.

I have been involved in politics in one way and another for at least 70 of my 84 years, of which at least 22 years were lived in the state of NSW. NSW voters are notoriously fickle as you may find to your cost as you set out to damage what little is left of integrity in the democratic processes in your state. If you want to make sure yours is a one-term government, you are helping the situation along with these unwarranted attacks. Have no other members of the NSW parliament been absent for a week at a time – or more – on affairs involving state - or other business - matters – all parties being equally involved?

Mannie De Saxe, Lesbian and Gay Solidarity

01 June 2011


Alex Kane has kindly given me permission to reproduce items from his blog, and this one is absolutely a "must read - must listen to " posting.

You will not be disappointed!

AIPAC's thuggery comes home

Alex Kane | May 25, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Tags: AIPAC, Benjamin Netanyahu, CODEPINK, Israel lobby, Jewish Voice for Peace, Rae Abileah | Categories: Israel/Palestine | URL: http://wp.me/pYDfH-cH

The American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is committed to supporting Israel's thuggish right-wing government--no matter how much land is confiscated from Palestinians, no matter how many homes are bulldozed, and no matter how many Palestinians are killed. And, it appears, AIPAC's support of violence also applies to the U.S.

Rae Abileah, a Jewish-American activist with CODEPINK and Jewish Voice for Peace and who is of Israeli descent, interrupted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress yesterday. She shouted: "No more occupation! Stop Israel war crimes! Equal rights for Palestinians! Occupation is indefensible!" She was tackled by members of AIPAC, and was subsequently hospitalized and then arrested.

From the CODEPINK press release:

Police arrested CODEPINK peace activist Rae Abileah at the George Washington University Hospital in Washington DC. Abileah was taken to the hospital after having been assaulted and tackled to the ground by AIPAC members of the audience in the House Gallery during Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress.

Abileah interrupted Netanyahu with a banner that said “Occupying Land Is Indefensible” and shouting, “No more occupation, stop Israel war crimes, equal rights for Palestinians, occupation is indefensible.” She rose up to speak out just after the Prime Minister talked about the youth around the world rising up for more democracy.

As this 28-year-old Jewish American woman spoke out for the human rights of Palestinians, other members of the audience—wearing badges from the conference of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee—brutally attacked her. The police then dragged her out of the Gallery and took her to the George Washington University Hospital, where she was being treating for neck and shoulder injuries.

“I am in great pain, but this is nothing compared to the pain and suffering that Palestinians go through on a regular basis,” said Abileah from her hospital bed. “I have been to Gaza and the West Bank, I have seen Palestinians homes bombed and bulldozed, I have talked to mothers whose children have been killed during the invasion of Gaza, I have seen the Jewish-only roads leading to ever-expanding settlements in the West Bank. This kind of colonial occupation cannot continue. As a Jew and a U.S. citizen, I feel obligated to rise up and speak out against stop these crimes being committed in my name and with my tax dollars.”

Abileah explained that she stands in solidarity with the Palestinian and Israeli activists who are routinely jailed and beaten for speaking out for democracy.

Watch Abileah's interview with Democracy Now! this morning:

Rae Abileah's Democracy Now! Interview


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Preston, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
90 years old, political gay activist, hosting two web sites, one personal: http://www.red-jos.net one shared with my partner, 94-year-old Ken Lovett: http://www.josken.net and also this blog. The blog now has an alphabetical index: http://www.red-jos.net/alpha3.htm