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John Passant

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Keep socialist blog En Passant going - donate now
If you want to keep a blog that makes the arguments every day against the ravages of capitalism going and keeps alive the flame of democracy and community, make a donation to help cover my costs. And of course keep reading the blog. To donate click here. Keep socialist blog En Passant going. More... (4)

Sprouting sh*t for almost nothing
You can prove my 2 ex-comrades wrong by donating to my blog En Passant at BSB: 062914 Account: 1067 5257, the Commonwealth Bank in Tuggeranong, ACT. More... (12)

My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/18-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-g20-meeting-age-of-enttilement-engineers-attack-of-austerity-hardship-on-civilians.mp3 (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2014/02/11/john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-2/ (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/4-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-end-of-the-age-of-entitlement-for-the-needy-but-pandering-to-the-lusts-of-the-greedy.mp3 (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole
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Sick kids and paying upfront

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Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2013/12/03/john-passant-australian-national-university-8/ (0)

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Jackboot junkies and bikie gangs

I have been reading the New South Wales Crimes (Criminal Organisation Control) Act 2009. This is the motorcycle gang law although it applies to all organisations, not just bikies.

The basic scheme is simple. The Police Commissioner can apply to a judge of the Supreme Court for an order that an organisation (defined widely to include basically any group of people, not just bikie gangs) be a declared organisation.

The Commissioner can present any rumour, piece of hearsay or down right lie parading as intelligence to convince the judge that the organization should be declared.

The rules of evidence don’t apply, the determination is made on the balance of probabilities, (the civil standard), not beyond reasonable doubt (the criminal standard) and the organisation or its members may not get to see the information to rebut it.

The judge does not even have to reasons for his or her decision.

The Court order would make membership of a declared organisation illegal.

Declared members associating together would be committing an offence, punishable on first offence by 2 years in jail and on second and later offences 5 years jail.

The Court has to be satisfied that members of the organisation associate for the purpose of organising, planning, facilitating, supporting or engaging in serious criminal activity, and the organisation represents a risk to public safety and order in this State.

That shouldn’t be too hard for outlaw bikie gangs since the media effectively makes them criminal per se by associating them with unproved criminal activity and tarring the gang with the brush of a few members.

In fact an expert on bikie gangs says they account for only 0.6 per cent of all crime.

Big business is more crooked than bikie gangs but you don’t see any campaign from the Labor or Liberal puppets of profit suggesting outlawing them or their organisations.

In fact more often than not the ruling class honours its crooks. I wonder if Pratt the Rat will get a state funeral?

As I have stressed the law does not just apply to bikie gangs. I am a member of Socialist Alternative, a left wing group which believes in a new society, a society where production is organised democratically to satisfy human need.

Such a society can only come about through mass, democratic action.

This aim may, in the eyes of some, be criminal and possibly seriously criminal. Then it wouldn’t be too hard to paint a revolutionary group, if it gains support, as presenting a risk to public safety and order.

Sound far fetched? Have I gone paranoid? Not really.

In 1917 at the height of the anti-conscription campaign the Prime Minister Billy Hughes made membership of the Industrial Workers of the World illegal and from memory made it a crime for members to associate with each other.

It was easy to convince some of the public that the group was a threat to public safety and order.

The cops simply framed 12 members or associates with starting fires in Sydney in 1915. (After a second Royal Commission into the convictions, ten of the twelve were freed in 1920.)

But the legislation didn’t work and in the Billy Hughes went further. He banned the IWW itself and smashed up its printing press and offices. That worked, for a while.

The IWW legislation seems to have been the model South Australia and now new South Wales have followed.

The real aim is not bikie gangs. It is those who challenge the established order in any meaningful way.

When the Liberals win the next NSW state election in 2011, I can envisage this legislation being turned on unions who have the temerity to defend jobs and living standards.

I would have thought building unions will be prime candidates for the laws.  The years of bullshit from Howard and Rudd and the anti-democratic Australian Building and Construction Commission give the impression of lawlessness on building sites.

The recent Wilcox Report into the future of the ABCC didn’t even mention safety, but did talk a lot about lawlessness.

No proof, just assertions, assertions that the Police Commissioner could use to have unions banned under Labor’s ‘bikie’ laws in NSW.

In the eyes of the bourgeoisie defending living standards and jobs, and enforcing safety standards by taking industrial action, are crimes.

Class Struggle is the crime, Workchoices Lite, the ABCC and now the outlaw bikie gang laws are the solution.

But maybe I am wrong. Maybe it won’t be the Liberals in NSW who use the laws against unions.  It might be Rees Labor.

The ALP has form here (along with Australian Council of Trade Unions). They outlawed the Builders’ Labourers’ Federation because it stood up for its members against the untrammelled rule of  the bosses.

Couple the draconian powers of the Building and Construction Commission with a campaign against ‘lawlessness’ by governments and the Commission and you could see a conservative Government of either persuasion supporting the building union – the CFFMEU – being a declared organisation.

They don’t need evidence, just a few lies and rumours will do and bingo CFMEU members could be in jail for having a beer after work with fellow unionists.

Or they could end up in jail for striking against the draconian powers of the ABCC.

The ABCC; the ‘bikie gang’ laws; anti-terrorism laws; the loss of habeas corpus – the ruling class jackboots are stirring.

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Comments

Comment from KrisBelucci
Time June 2, 2009 at 12:26 pm

Original post by mattusmaximus