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John Passant

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November 2013



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (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. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (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

Sick kids and paying upfront


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. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



WA deaths: what price Aboriginal lives?

A story of racist double standards is unfolding a few hours north of Perth, in Geraldton writes Robert Callan in Red Flag.

On 5 October, two Yamitji people – Horace Bynder and Christine Ryan – are walking along one side of a road. A 27-year-old white man, Desmond Peterson, is driving his ute – drunk – along the other side.

He veers onto the wrong side of the road, hitting and killing both of them. He promptly flees the scene. Several hours later, he turns himself in at the police station. He is released – without charge – and heads home to await a court summons.

Eleven days pass before any charges are laid, and then only after regular protests at the police station by family and friends of the victims. But the charges are so minor – failing to stop, failing to render assistance and driving under the influence – that it only inflames the situation.

Similar leniency is unthinkable had the offender been black.

On 31 October, the Indigenous community of Perth holds its own gathering, part protest, part public mourning. Local Indigenous activist Marianne Mackay (a cousin of one of the victims) leads a march around the Perth CBD, telling the tragic story over a megaphone (the West Australian saw fit to give it only a few centimetres). Perth police trail after us, sheepishly.

I spoke to Marianne after the protest, and she explained why people are angry: “If this was the other way around and an Aboriginal person had run down two white people, we know – from history and statistics – that he’d be sitting in prison right now, and he wouldn’t be out on bail. And that’s just the unfair thing, and what we want is justice, not racism.”

On the day of Peterson’s first court appearance, 7 November, more than 250 people rally outside the Geraldton Magistrates Court. Their demand is that the defendant be charged with the more serious offence of dangerous driving causing death.

After Peterson is granted bail with just a few thousand dollars as surety, protesters attempt to get into the building. They are blocked by police, and in the ensuing struggle a door is broken and a window smashed. Police subsequently arrest a man and announce a full investigation into this act of violence committed on a building.

Australia’s “justice” system usually reveals its racism by targeting and over-policing Indigenous people. It fills its prisons with them or kills them in police holding cells. This time the racism appears in the leniency shown a white man responsible for their deaths.

Either way, Aboriginal lives mean little to it.



Pingback from WA deaths: what price Aboriginal lives? | OzHouse
Time November 28, 2013 at 9:11 pm

[…] Nov 28 2013 by admin […]

Comment from OzHouse
Time November 28, 2013 at 10:23 pm

Install a social media plugin on your blog so I can quickly share your articles on twitter, facebook etc… please? 😉

Comment from John
Time November 29, 2013 at 6:30 am

OzHouse, I have no idea what that means.

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