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John Passant

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February 2012
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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)



More lies from The Australian

This is a letter, with a few emendations, I sent today to The Australian in response to two articles in it.

Janet Albrechtsen’s illiberal attack on the right to demonstrate (‘Illiberal rules that stifle free speech’ The Australian Wednesday February 1, page 14) is built on lies. She says that ‘protesters set upon Tony Abbott.’ This is a lie. She says they did so ‘to shut down his views.’ Another lie.  She refers to ‘intimidation and violence.’ More lies.

If all this setting upon and intimidation and violence are true, why have there been no arrests? Maybe because the police on the ground – not liars sitting hundreds of miles away – know the truth. There was no violence by protesters.

But on the same page as Albrechtsen’s calumnies, your resident Inspector Clouseau, Tim Priest, has an answer to my question about why there have been no charges against protesters. (” “Softly softly” riot policy tangles up inept police’, The Australian, Wednesday 1 February.) Evidently ACT Police are soft and inept.  

Sitting comfortably in his armchair hundreds of miles away he calls the protest a ‘riot’ and says what was needed was  ‘swift and determined action on the part of the police.’

He talks about assault and public order and affray charges and ’rounding people up’ and then people being ‘publicly paraded before being charged with inciting to riot.’ This is concentration camp stuff.

His description and analysis is built on lies. There was no riot. That is why ACT police haven’t charged anyone.

It is why the shoe trials haven’t started.

Doing what Clouseau Priest suggested would have resulted in millions of dollars of claims against the police, if not criminal charges against them.

Clouseau Priest goes on to argue that fringe groups, minorities and the disaffected are treated differently to other groups. That is true.

269 indigenous people have died in custody since the 1991 report on stopping black deaths in custody was handed down. Aborigines are over-represented in some jurisdictions’ jails between 5 and 25 times greater than their numbers in society.

Socialist groups are under constant surveillance, wire tapping, infiltration and suspicion from ASIO and other spooks. Legitimate refugees find themselves imprisoned without trial, perhaps for life, on the word of an ASIO operative.   

But don’t let racist stories as part of a racist agenda of continued dispossession and genocide of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders stand in the way of the truth.

These two disgraceful articles are just a further indication to me that racism is systemic and entrenched in Australian society and its institutions, including the media. And not just The Australian. The Fairfax media and ABC were full of this shit too.

How to fight this institutionalised racism?

A good first step is telling the truth. As George Orwell put it, in a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act. Hence all my articles on the issue.

But in the end only a mass struggle of Aboriginal people and their millions of supporters can challenge the systemic racism of Australian capitalism.



Comment from Jack Howard
Time February 1, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Sorry to use the comments section of this post to mention a separate topic, John, but will you write an article on the victory of the equal pay campaign for community workers that happened today? I’d look forward to reading your take on it 🙂 .

Comment from John
Time February 1, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Maybe. And I never did respond to your point about Bob’s article did I?

Comment from Jack Howard
Time February 1, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Don’t believe so, John.

Comment from Chris Warren
Time February 3, 2012 at 2:04 pm

A bit of weekend reading on the non-riot at the Aboriginal Embassy.

I was at the Embassy for the early part of proceedings but wandered-off before the anti-Abbott stuff started.

It is clear from the reports that there was NO reasonable threat to any of our political royalty. Even if there was, the police ‘response’ was bizarre. Why would you bring protected people right through the middle of a crowd of protestors, when there was an very easy exit out the back.

The police simply decided to bash their way through the demonstration because this is what you do to aboriginal activists.

Anyone with experience with the Aboriginal Embassy from 1972 to 2012 will be able to give you a litany of police violence, unsolved bombings, and political attacks from the likes of Abbott.