Dispatches From the Moderate Left

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Don't Rock the Boat

It seems that engaging in non-violent political activism in Australia is becoming a deportable offence. Scott Parkin was over here with the backing of Houston Indymedia to conduct protests against Halliburton's "war profiteering" (apparently ANZ over here is linked too) and to run workshops giving locals tips from US anti-war protest experience. In their infinite wisdom our Attorney General and ASIO have divined that he is a security threat despite the fact that he was let into the country with no flags being raised. Unfortunately the honourable Mr Ruddock is also unable to tell us what leads him to believe Parkin is a threat. He's just repeating the words "national security" over and over again.

Now, we have processes in place to try and stop this sort of potential abuse. If Ruddock is just making this up, Parkin can apply to the Migration Review Tribunal for a merits review. Unfortunatley they've got that base covered too. As his lawyer explained on JJJ yesterday (stream) he is currently being detained in immigration detention and they're charging him $130 per day for this privilege. Given how long a merits review would take to schedule and be heard you can see why it's unlikely he's going to challenge the decision. And even if he does, Ruddock can just issue a certificate saying that he's a security threat and the appeal is over. Heads I win, tails you lose.

I wonder if this gives us a sneak peek at how ASIO will interpret the expanded "inciting violence" in the proposed new anti-terrorism laws.


  • ANZ's "link" is that we are doing the despicable deed of offering the Iraqi's short term trade finance to help with the purchase of grains and other agricultural commodities.

    For this, the ANZ has had to hire extra security and implement extra security measures on several occasions this year to protect itself from protestors. The net result is that next time an opportunity comes along for mainstream banks to be involved with trade and finance in a politically controversial region, they will give it a pass and the profiteers will be free to charge the unfortunate nation as much as they like.

    By Blogger JP, at 9:46 PM  

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