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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)

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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
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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The real face of terrorism in Australia

The Australian government has arrested Renas Lelikan, a journalist, for the ‘crime’ of allegedly being a member of the PKK, the Kurdish Workers’ Party, one of the groups fighting ISIS. Echoing Billy Hughes’ outlawing of the Industrial Workers of the World in 1915/16, the PKK is a proscribed organisation in Australia (but not all Western countries) and membership per se is ‘illegal’.

At the same time the Cessnock City Council on Wednesday narrowly approved building a mosque. The response of those racists opposed to this should be, but won’t be, eye opening. According to Georgina Mitchell and Sage Swinton in the Sydney Morning Herald today (Thursday):

‘The mosque’s opponents immediately took to social media to decry the decision and some promoted violence against both the planned place of worship and the council chambers.

‘”Sounds like the council chambers might need a bomb,” one man wrote on an anti-mosque Facebook page, while three separate people proposed setting the mosque on fire.

‘ “If it is approved I hope it is burnt to the ground,” a man wrote on the STOP the Buchanan Mosque – kurri kurri page.

‘ “I bet a packet of matches and a litre or two of petrol it won’t last long,” another said. A third man added: “Isnt that a bushfire prone area? We can only hope!”

‘Another poster on the page said residents “need to bring out the fighter in all of us and make them think twice about where they want to lay their hijabs”.’

That is the voice of real terrorism in Australia – angry right wing racists demanding death for councillors who voted to allow a mosque to be built or threatening to burn down the mosque when it is built.

There will be no prosecutions. Certainly there will be no arrests for what these threats are, terrorism, and there will be no media condemnation of these threats as terrorism.  These are after all white people ‘expressing their fears.’

These right wing terrorists perform a vital function for capital. First they are the logical expression of state racism and its demonisation or ‘othering’ of asylum seekers, Aboriginal people, and, nudge nudge wink wink, Muslims.

Second their actions reinforce the agenda of fear the government wants to promote.

Third they distract from other issues that impact on working class people such as government attacks on welfare recipients, cuts to Medicare, public schools, Universities, wages, jobs…

And forth, the ruling class thinks it can control these racists, reactionaries and worse and use them against the left when (not if) the working class mobilises around its own interests.

These are Malcolm Turnbull’s allies.

Nathan Paterson holds his fist in the air in a rally against Buchanan Mosque in Cessnock in 2015. Photo: Perry Duffin

 

Meanwhile Renas faces 10 years in jail for the crime of reporting the struggles of the Kurdish militia, the People’s Protection Units, or YPG. The YPG is one of the main groups successfully fighting ISIS. According to Lauren Williams, writing last year in the Lowey Institute’s, Interpreter ‘YPG is considered the military arm of the Democratic Union Party (YPD), the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK)…’

Our first response must be to defend Renas. Our second response must be to try to build a mass movement against the normalisation of racism and right wing terrorism, driven by the State and the media, in Australian society today.

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Comments

Comment from Fred
Time July 21, 2016 at 3:37 pm

I noticed that you didn’t mention Man Monis when it comes to terrorism. Why’s that???

You claim to stand up for workers and a couple of workers got killed by Man Monisyet you just gloss over it.

Comment from Kay
Time July 21, 2016 at 4:02 pm

And yet “angry right wing racists” haven’t killed anyone in Australia! Fanatical Islamists have.

However, I agree. Renas should not be gaoled.

Comment from John
Time July 21, 2016 at 4:11 pm

Because he was not a terrorist. He was a nut case. Just like the murderer in Nice. But then you accept every lie the politicians and media tell you when it implies Muslim terrorism. Who needs proof when you can generate fear?

Comment from Fred
Time July 22, 2016 at 10:58 am

So now we’re learning the Nice terrorist was planning the attack for months and had accomplices.

Comment from Allan
Time July 22, 2016 at 11:38 am

In the 1980’s serving as a member of the ADF, I dealt daily with the people who wrote and set up the training manuals, carried out the drills and indeed have spent many hours examining printed matter of the day for hidden messages. Cleaning their weapons, examining the same for faults and generally wiping their backsides…all in the name of “Counter terrorism”. Later on in my career, alongside the Men ‘Who Stared at Goats’ it became apparent that we as a society had lost the plot regarding terrorism, terrorists and the real underlying meaning of “terror”. The real terrorists are from within us, from within our own shores and from within our own culture. We wholly share the blame, not for allowing those of the any faith, who in their holding of radical views express this in the form of violence, but for allowing the successive Australian governments of the day to foster ‘Boogey Men’. For the military-politico-industrial apparatus to function and prosper it needs a communist, it needs a Che Guevara, it needs an Osama bin Laden to hate and to hunt down with every fibre of its being. That is its life blood. The real terrorists are the people you voted for at the recent election. 13 years later it still amuses me that at a symposium in 2003, with eminent experts on the subject of terrorism, they could not, after 3 days, come up with a definitive meaning for “terrorist”.

Comment from John
Time July 22, 2016 at 12:17 pm

Yes, the authorities are taking their time to get their lies right to spread fear and reinforce the politics of oppression. Now we find out his ‘accomplices’ photographed the damage the day after. Wow. That is evidence of what? This alcohol drinking wife beating philanderer was evidently a late convert to radicalism. Oh hang on, that was the story a few days ago. Now it is that he has been planning it for months, with others…. They cannot lie straight in bed.

Comment from Fred
Time July 22, 2016 at 12:18 pm

So all the 1625 candidates who nominated at the previous Federal election are terrorists?

You’re off your rocker Allan. I’m amazed you passed the ADF psych entry test.

JP comment: I have allowed this on to my site to show the cesspit which the likes of Fred and other Islamophobes and racists sink to.

Comment from John
Time July 22, 2016 at 12:19 pm

Well said Allan. On terrorism, as Anna Talbot and Greg Barnes in Independent Australia say:

Terrorism is about motivation. A massacre is not a terrorist act without the motivation being clear. The Australian Attorney-General’s Department describes a terrorist act as “an act, or a threat to commit an act, that is done with the intention to coerce or influence the public or any government by intimidation to advance a political, religious or ideological cause”, and the act causes damage. Without the intention to coerce or influence, the act is a regular, non-terrorist, crime.

Comment from John
Time July 22, 2016 at 12:50 pm

To misidentify a crime as terrorist risks misdirecting the response to that crime. Anna Talbot and Greg Barns explain why on behalf of the Australian Lawyers Alliance.

https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/nice-attacks-accuracy-is-important-to-understand-this-crime,9266#.V5FEnSc1iRc.twitter

Comment from John
Time July 23, 2016 at 9:42 am

Allan is not ‘off his rocker.’ He makes perfect sense, unlike you Fred. The fact that his considered and intelligent comment provokes such a ridiculuous claim and ad hominem attack from you indicates the paucity of your arguments Fred.

Comment from Fred
Time July 23, 2016 at 10:39 am

John, didn’t you recommend voting for the following people in the federal election?

https://enpassant.com.au/2016/06/16/some-socialists-to-vote-for-in-nsw-victoria-and-wa/

Are these people terrorists?

Comment from Juan
Time July 23, 2016 at 11:06 am

Kay, plenty of Aboriginal people have been killed by right wing racists wearing uniforms

Comment from Kay
Time July 23, 2016 at 11:40 am

“Terrorism is about motivation. A massacre is not a terrorist act without the motivation being clear.”

Actually, both Man Monis and the Nice killer believed they were acting on behalf of ISIS. That was their stated motivation. Hence, both of these were terrorist acts!

Comment from John
Time July 23, 2016 at 5:18 pm

Man Monis, a Shia, joins in Sunni ISIS terrorism? Wow, I have a bridge in Sydney to sell you. A man who drank, ate pork, never attend Mosque and beat his wife killed 84 in Nice for ISIS (which as far as I can tell a claim he never made)? I also have a house on the side of Sydney Harbour to sell you.

Comment from John
Time July 23, 2016 at 5:20 pm

Yes I did and no they are not. Allan never said anything like that. End of conversation. Find somewhere else to spew your nonsense. But do see a psychiatrist first.

Comment from Fred
Time July 23, 2016 at 5:24 pm

Allan”The real terrorists are the people you voted for at the recent election.”

I must need my eyes checked then.

Comment from Kay
Time July 23, 2016 at 6:51 pm

Sure Man Monis was a nutter, but his motivation was that he was doing his bit for ISIS. Crazy, yes. Wrong sect you would think. But that was his stated motivation. But, of course, you could read his mind and he didn’t really mean what he was saying?

Nice, France – yep, a not very religious Muslim, but, this is the pattern for ISIS terrorists. A ‘born-again’ Muslim attracted to the violence that is ISIS. So he hangs his hat on that. And he followed the internet exhortations by ISIS to use vehicles to kill ‘infidels’. A real stretch to deny this is terrorism! You are the only one denying it.

Comment from John
Time July 23, 2016 at 8:04 pm

No, but since you are free and easy with advice, see not an optometrist but a psychiatrist. Physician heal thyself. As I have written elsewhere the real terrorists sit in Washington, London and Canberra. So yes, the real terrorists are the people you, the Australian people, voted for …’

Comment from John
Time July 23, 2016 at 8:30 pm

Manis’s motivation was doing his bit for ISIS? Seriously? House and bridge thrown in together. And Nice? no evidence of a connection to ISIS, just a lot of BS from the French state to justify both its suppression of rights and bombing of Syria. All that does is see the fascist Le Pen shoot to the lead in the polls.

Comment from John
Time July 23, 2016 at 8:32 pm

Am I the only one waiting for real evidence before proclaiming it a terrorist attack? Doubt it. https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/nice-attacks-accuracy-is-important-to-understand-this-crime,9266