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Refugee Embassy Report <nettime> anti-terrorism bill
nettime's_fold {AT} idl.net.au_digest on Sat, 20 Apr 2002 16:44:19 +0200 (CEST)


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Refugee Embassy Report <nettime> anti-terrorism bill



   Refugee Embassy Report                                                          
     Dave/Ross <fold {AT} idl.net.au>                                                     

   anti-terrorism bill                                                             
     Dave/Ross <fold {AT} idl.net.au>                                                     



------------------------------

Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2002 14:35:52 +1000
From: Dave/Ross <fold {AT} idl.net.au>
Subject: Refugee Embassy Report

Dave here, on Saturday, 20 April, with a Woomera update.

Things have levelled off a bit here.  There continue to be radio 
stations, etc. that call for interviews, as well as a lot of mail to 
answer.  However, Ross and I are starting to have more relaxed 
evenings together.

Our hopes of eventually getting inside to visit detainees took a 
nosedive this week when Paul Boylan (one of the volunteer lawyers, 
with whom Ross spoke just before he went to the centre to deliver 
some gifts to a detainee) was banned from visiting on the grounds 
that there was glass in the frame of the photo he delivered. 
(Someone has said that they will ban people for wearing watches with 
glass in them, or spectacles with glass in them next!)

We are hoping to discuss with the lawyers next week how PAUL is going 
to go about getting the ban reversed.  If they, with all their legal 
expertise and all the media pressure supporting them, are having 
these problems, and especially if they cannot get the ban reversed, 
then we have Buckley's chance of getting ours reversed.

We have mostly been sending letters (dozens of them) to the detainees 
this week, but so far it looks like none have gotten through.  We 
paid $10 for a special service where the post office informs the 
centre manager that he must come in to the post office to sign for a 
letter (ours to him, which also includes a stack of letters to be 
delivered to detainees) as proof that he has received it.  So far, he 
has not turned up to collect it.  (Could be that he has an idea about 
who it would be from!)

We have heard from others that they have received no mail from 
Woomera since Easter.  Can others let us know how it is going with 
you?  If you have been corresponding with inmates, have you received 
any mail since Easter?  Were you receiving mail BEFORE Easter?  We 
are trying to determine if ALL mail is being intercepted.  The same 
may be the case with people who have been cleared for phone calls to 
detainees.  Have you been able to get through since Easter?  Please 
let us know, so that we will not be guilty of making false 
assumptions.

Nevertheless, with regard to visits, here's the situation as we see it now:

Yes, we can stay on here and still accomplish a lot of good, and we 
pretty much plan to do that.  However, rightly or wrongly, our 
actions have resulted in us getting banned from visiting, and very 
possibly from writing to or phoning detainees, whether or not they 
request our visits/mail/phone calls.  Some people have criticised us 
for being too impatient, for speaking out to the media, etc.  There 
is a lot of truth in that.  Any true embassy must be extremely 
diplomatic and tactful.  We have not been.

But no point in crying over spilt milk,  It's possible that we would 
be no farther along than we are now (possibly even worse off) if we 
HAD taken the softer line too.  Different strokes for different folks.

But that should not stop someone ELSE from coming along with a whole 
new approach, and seeing if they can open the door.

Sooner or later we are going to need a replacement up here.  Rather 
than wait until the last minute, we need to advertise that vacancy 
NOW.  I am a writer, and so I have been able to sit in the little 
room we have here for $85 a week, and do a lot of my normal workload 
on the laptop computer along with everything else that is going on. 
Maybe there is someone else in a similar situation (or a housewife, 
unemployed person, or whatever) who could consider a month or more 
out here doing what both Ross and I have personally found to be a 
very satisfying and rewarding job.  (There have been a lot of 
compliments and praise, and we've really enjoyed that too!)  Our 
basic needs have been met by donations, which, hopefully will 
continue... especially if someone can actually start visiting on a 
regular basis.  I'd pay the expenses myself if I could just to see 
someone getting inside and giving some regular encouragement to the 
people in there.

So how about some applicants for the position?  If you can say that 
you were NOT at the Easter demonstrations (I don't know whether they 
would be able to prove otherwise anyway.) it would probably be a plus 
point for getting official approval.  We would like someone who will 
be happy not to speak "directly" to the media (as I have done), and 
even to be careful about saying anything too negative here locally. 
Surely there must be somone who could do this!  If you've already 
been corresponding with someone inside, that too would be a big help 
in getting started.

Now for a budget report.  We checked the account on Friday, and there 
was $925 in it, broken down thusly:  $500 from the Hunter Valley 
Quakers, $250 from the HOPE (Hunter Organism for Peace and Equity) 
team (I think the Newcastle Uni Students Association may have been 
the main donor for that.), $100 from Anita and Bob Berghout, and $75 
from I'm not sure who.  There were a couple of people who said they 
were going to put a few dollars in, but they may have gone into the 
wrong account.  As long as you gave Westpac Bank the right name (Ross 
Parry), you should be able to get them to transfer the money to the 
correct account, if you explain the mistake.  The correct account is:

Branch No. 735065, Account No. 544823.  (The error earlier was that 
the second "4" appeared as a "9".)  It's a Westpac account.

Our phone number is 0407-238805.

Till next time....

Stay faithful!

Love and peace,

Dave & Ross


------------------------------

Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2002 07:25:59 +1000
From: Dave/Ross <fold {AT} idl.net.au>
Subject: anti-terrorism bill


Please cut and paste the following, and send it to:  legcon.sen {AT} aph.gov.au

For more detail check out
http://www.ozpeace.net/


It relates to legislation which could have serious implications for 
the freedom of the people of Australia, and which is being rushed 
through the Senate without adequate time for debate.


Attn: The Secretary
Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee

   Please accept my submission to the committe on the raft of 
Terrorist Bills currently under scrutiny.

1. Time & Place

   As these Bills have such far reaching implications, less than two 
weeks is insufficient time for Australian citizens and non-Government 
organisations to fully research and respond to the proposed changes.
   I ask the committee to:
a) request of Parliament a further time period for public consultation;
and
b)provide detailed briefing notes for public education on the impact 
of these Bills within a timeframe which would allow full and advised 
public response.
   I request that the Committee hold public consultation meetings in 
all Australian capital cities

2. Definitions

  The new definition of terrorism is far too broad.
  All the acts of violence which may be used as a form of terrorism 
are already illegal under the Criminal Code. There is no need to 
create a new crime of terrorism. Rather terrorist acts should be 
prosecuted under the current adequate legislation.
   The branding of terrorism will be used to justify a range of 
punitive measures which would not otherwise be tolerated.
   There is no need for a new offence of terrorism and the existing 
laws should be used.

3. Banning Organisations

   This proposal is reminiscent of Menzies' attempt to outlaw the 
Communist Party in the 1950s.
   The powers given to the Attorney General are far too broad and 
would enable him to ban any organisation opposed not only to the 
Australian Government but supporting any popular people's movement 
anywhere in the world.
   The banning of organisations is un-Australian and cuts across the 
rights to free association that these laws are allegedly designed to 
protect.

4. Powers of Detention.

   ASIO should not be given the right to order the detention of 
persons incommunicado.

   The right to legal representation and the right to silence are 
fundamental rights which should never be set aside for any purpose in 
a democratic society.

I would welcome the opportunity to speak on my submission in a public 
consultation.


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