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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
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Cops attack free speech demo: They won’t silence Wikileaks and they won’t silence us

More demonstrations were held in a number of cities today, demanding the release of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. It is incredibly positive that in the space of half a week, two rounds of protests have been organised and that people have turned out in decent numbers for both.

Wikileaks has exposed the violence, double-dealing and hypocrisy of our rulers and the system they govern. Assange, still languishing in a British prison, has injured no one.

His only crime is to be the recipient and publisher of cables and files which detail war crimes and lies; expose what diplomats routinely say and do.

Around the country speakers from the Greens, the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (Assange’s union), lawyers, journalists, writers and activists addresses crowds ranging from 200 in Adelaide, 600 in Sydney and 1000 in Melbourne.

In Sydney a taste of the violence that the state is using against people the world over – Iraq, Afghanistan, the students in Britain and against both those who leak information and those like Assange who publish it – was on display as police viciously attacked the demonstration.

In the lead up to the rally, police had told organisers that they would not be allowed to march. After negotiations, they then indicated that a march would be permitted. Just hours before the demonstration, police then indicated that they would oppose the entire gathering – even if it were not to march.

Part of the problem, the cops maintained, was that too many police were indisposed; they had half the city on lockdown for Oprah Winfrey, so would be unable to shut down a couple of streets for a free speech march! As one demonstrator noted:

You couldn’t make this shit up! We came to protest against a system which defends the rich and powerful, while treating like criminals those who wish to exercise free speech. What do we encounter? Police defending the rich and powerful, while treating like criminals those who wish to exercise free speech…

But it got worse. The police did find enough staff. As the gathering of peaceful protesters voted to march regardless of police instructions, the cops attempted to surround and stop people moving on. The rally was able to out manoeuvre the cops for a time and marched from Town Hall to the intersection of George and Market Street, where they stopped.

Cops assault a demonstrator in SydneyCops assault a demonstrator in Sydney

Without warning, the cops attacked the demo. Witnesses say it wasn’t simply a series of scuffles – they went in hard, punching people in the head and driving people in to the ground face first. Up to 7 were arrested in a five minute blitz.

Yet the march was not intimidated, it was defiant in the face of this gross abuse, with people holding their ground and chanting slogans such as: “Who’s streets? Our streets!”, and “This is not a police state; we have the right to demonstrate!”

Eventually pushed onto the footpaths, protesters marched to the US consulate in Martin Place to hear more speeches.

In Melbourne, lawyer Rob Stary demanded that instead of going along with the international persecution of Assange and his organisation, the Australian government should be attempting to have charges pressed against the likes of former US vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee for threatening violence against an Australian citizen.

A fiery crowd marched to the British consulate on Collins Street, occupying the road for half an hour as speaker after speaker called for Assange’s release. A proposal was put that weekly demonstrations be held until such time as he walks free from the British jail and extradition proceedings against him are stopped.

The proposal was welcomed and the rallies will begin this Friday, 5:30pm at the State Library. An organising meeting has also been called for 6pm this Thursday at Trades Hall (corner Victoria and Lygon Street, Carlton) to launch the “Hands off Wikileaks” campaign group.

A proposal to have weekly demonstrations was also put and supported in Sydney: Every Friday night until Julian Assange walks free from the British jail and extradition proceedings against him are stopped, 5:30pm at the Sydney Town Hall.

In Adelaide, protesters marched through Rundle Mall – an achievement in itself as rallies usually don’t march in the city. It was indicative of the anger at the Australian government, the British authorities, and the US establishment.

Colleen Bolger, one of the Melbourne protest organisers, summed up the mood at all of the demonstrations today: “They won’t silence Wikileaks and they won’t silence us.”

The article by Ben Hillier first appeared in Socialist Alteranative. The first Canberra demonstration is this Thursday 16 December from 5.30 pm in Garema Place.

Following the speakout

Socialist Alternative public meeting

Why is telling the truth a crime under capitalism?

Snug Room, King O’Malley’s Pub, 131 City Walk, Civic
(just off Garema Place).

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Comments

Comment from Walter
Time December 15, 2010 at 6:38 pm

So using violence is okay just so long as it’s on the side you agree with? Violence against say terrorists and their supports is something you passionately decry, yet it is cool to attack police, destroy private property etc in the name of what… Freedom of expression?

Honestly, if you cannot see an hypocrisy in this, I am astounded. What makes you judge, jury and executioner? You support violence when you agree with the motive or position, but oppose it when you are on the other side.

I wonder how you and your ilk would feel if your university was burnt down or the Canberra police taken out in the name of some holy principle of ‘free expression’?

Assange is not a hero, like Hicks he is a fool, thinking the West is the enemy. 60 years ago these blinkered men would be saying Germany isn’t a threat and it is The USA and UK who are imposing trade restrictions and embargoes that are forcing Japan and Germany to defend their homelands!

In years to come, we will view Wikileaks as the work of a misguided egotist and the world will be a worse place because of him.

Comment from Arjay
Time December 15, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Walter,you need to open your eyes. see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBp3RuMV28 Here we see that two Fox shows were able to predict 911 months before it happened.The scene from ‘City of New York v’s Homer Simpson’
How do you explain the magazine in the Simpsons depicting the date and place of the 911 terrorist attack so graphically?

You say the West is a shining light of freedom and democracy? Have a long hard look Walter.

Comment from Arjay
Time December 15, 2010 at 7:49 pm

Try again, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SB3URuMV28

Comment from Calligula
Time December 16, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Strikes me John that the bold gendarmerie like taking advantage of any opportunity to sink their slipper – in the public interest, of course.
Or should that read – sink their slipper into the public for their own gratification.

Isn’t the internet a marvelous resource?
I can google psychopathy and read right there in the list of symptoms the sort of thing our ‘masters’ let the rozzers get away with.

I don’t think they even need to point them in the direction (note, I didn’t say right direction).
These days it seems anyone or any old crowd will do – so long as an ‘accomodation’ and the right slant can be negotiated with the ‘media’.

BTW – Walter –
My Lady Wife needed to make a triple 0 call a few months back.
An adult male of European, chemically challenged, appearance was messily headbutting our gravel driveway.
Neither police nor ambulance had appeared for over 1 ½ hours and she’d become very concerned.

Her thanks for bothering police and later the Qld CMC was a visit from two ARMED police sergeants and the threat of her being charged with “misusing” the triple 0 phone service.

It is not the use of force, Walter – it’s the way force is used.
I know the status codes of our own defence force – the way they are applied and the ways they can be abused.
I’ve spoken with ex-soldiers, including of the Wehrmacht; heard their accounts of decency, brutality and pragmatism. I’ve read the histories of both victor and vanquished.

A bloke gains a picture that some get caught up in bad acts and suffer for it the rest of their lives while others thrive on causing others harm.

It is easy to make generalizations about this sort of thing but when I look at that pikkie above I can assure you that the bloke on the deck is going to have sore kidneys, neck and spine for the next several days.

Packaged there is a glimpse of practiced, controlled, excess force.

The Townsville lad – in more cack than Flash Gordon lately.

I have a confession to make public.
I have the luck of the Irish.
I clicked on ‘WikiLeaks’ the first time the other day hoping the site might provide some hints about dealing with a few outstanding issues of ‘bastardry by governance’ in Qld.

The very next day the furore erupted leading to Mr. Assagne’s wrongful detention.

Exactly the same thing happened when I phoned for a ceiling insulation subsidy.
The next day minister baldy was the bad boy and the scheme was folded.
I’m not game to attempt trading in our clunker for fear I scotch yet another government scheme.

I spent some time today researching Australian opinion about WikiLeaks and the earlier Gillard/McClelland misunderstandings about the status of an Australian national.

Despite the odd adverse comment from stirrers and the gormless the vast majority of rebellious Australians seem overwhelmingly in favour of freedom of speech.
A pie chart wouldn’t even show a notch were the naysayers slice displayed.

Seems most Australians have a better understanding of the rule of law than do our raffle winners.
Nothing surprising there but somewhat of an indictment upon those self-same raffle winners.

A logical progression would be to promote some of those who do display a grasp of justice and ethical standards way and above those who so remarkably do not.

It’ll be a cold day in hell before that happens unless the increasingly politicized paramilitary are disarmed and required to behave as ‘model citizens’ the way they’re theoretically expected to be.

Comment from Calligula
Time December 16, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Hey Walter,
You got me thinking – your talking about WW11 stuff.
These days there are some remarkable historical/research resources that are not available at the local library/better bookshops.

These days it is generally accepted as gospel that the septics (septictank-Yank) rightly or wrongly rammed the Japanese into WW11.
The same pretty much applied in Europe.
Meanwhile the politics never discussed in conventional histories (but certainly available elsewhere now) demonstrates that the second innings was inevitable after the Great War.

One thing for sure is that if Adolph, Uncle Joe, Tojo, Roosevelt and Churchill had all been smothered at birth – there would have been plenty more to replace ‘em.
My own view is that humankind is as silly and self-destructive as the proverbial lemming.
Sometimes artifacts appear that materially confound the official histories.

My favourite is a cartridge case made in Austria for the Austrian service rifle.
It was date stamped and marked as made in Austria before her annexation into the Third Reich but bears the Wehrmacht eagle with the HakenKreuz between her claws.

There are countless such paradoxes lying about in collections and storerooms the fact of which causes the history stream to look rather more like an extended family tree.
If there is any lesson at all to be learned it may be best to consider passing a law mandating instant death in future for both parties were ever again an industrialist to communicate or make arrangement with a politician.