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John Passant

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March 2015



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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)



Should mass civil disobedience be the next step for the refugee movement?

From left, former chief minister Jon Stanhope and former refugee Ismail Hussaini in Garema Place for the rally. Photo: Melissa Adams

This is the letter I sent today to the Canberra Times on the refugee rally on Sunday.

I read Ross Peake’s report on the Palm Sunday Rally for refugees in Garema Place on Sunday ‘Gallagher to push for refugee policy change‘ (The Canberra Times page 2 Monday March 30.) I must have gone to a different rally. For example Ross made no mention of the vibrancy, loud chants, the cheering, of the 3000 who attended. He did notĀ even mention the various groups such as Unionists for Refugees, the faith based groups, students, gays and lesbians, that marched under their own banners to join together to defend asylum seekers.

Ross spends most of his time quoting newly installed Labor Party Senator Katy Gallagher. Gallagher did not speak at the rally but according to Peake’s report will seek changes to Labor’s refugee policies at the next Labor Party National Conference. This is at odds with what Jon Stanhope, former Labor Party ACT Chief Minister who did speak at the rally said. According to Jon Labor’s national policy already opposes mandatory detention and offshore processing but as the sorry history of Labor shows national conference decisions are mostly bits of paper the parliamentary party ignores.

Gallagher is a member of Labor for Refugees. Let’s be clear. The Labor Party leadership cynically manipulates this group of good Labor Party members to give the impression that mere members can advocate for and win real change. At the same time the Parliamentary Party will continue its brutalisation and demonisation of refugees in its bidding war with the Liberals to implement crueller and crueller refugee policies irrespective of what national policy says.

As Sister Jane Keogh made clear at the rally a vote for Labor is a vote for the bastardry that is, in my view, the bipartisan policy of murdering, raping, beating and torturing refugees (including children) in concentration camps here and offshore.

The three thousand at the rally want something very different. Some of us are looking for ways to advance our fight to defend asylum seekers.

In my opinion, and as the great US civil rights movement, the anti-Vietnam war movement, the anti-apartheid movement, the struggle for women’s liberation and for gay liberation all show, being polite and playing by the rules of the oppressors and their allies doesn’t work.

My own view is that for the refugee movement in Australia to defend asylum seekers and to defeat the rotten, cruel, inhuman and rights abusing policies of both the Liberals and Labor we need to begin to have a discussion about civil disobedience as the next step in our campaign to free the refugees from Australia’s concentration camps here and offshore and fromĀ the hellholes in Indonesia and Malaysia.



Comment from peter piper
Time March 31, 2015 at 9:05 am

“a vote for Labor is a vote for rape/murder etc” do realise that it is the illegal immigrants doing this to other illegal immigrants?? More evidence of them failing the ‘character test’.

Comment from John
Time March 31, 2015 at 11:52 am

No it isn’t. Who murdered Reza Berati? Who asks for sexual favours from women on Nauru and Manus Island? The Moss report contains evidence.

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