- Date published:
7:42 am, October 17th, 2019 - 22 comments
Categories: australian politics, climate change, global warming, human rights, Social issues, uk politics, uncategorized - Tags:
Much of Australia is like that brash in your face cousin that you cannot stand. Loud, opinionated, as soon as you start to raise an idea or a proposition they shut you down and say you are wrong. Not all of them, like America there is a deep seam of progressives and intellectuals. But there are also rednecks, too many rednecks.
Like Minister Peter Dutton. A more despicable person I cannot imagine. He is the Minister responsible for treating refugees appallingly, transferring them to Manus Island and keeping them in conditions where self harm and suicide was common. He is that grotesque a human being that he appealed a Federal Court Ruling requiring him to transfer refugees needing urgent medical treatment back to Australia and he claimed that female refugees were falsely complaining about being raped so they could get treatment in Australia and then seek asylum.
His latest attacks are on Extinction Rebellion activists. From Amy Remeikis at the Guardian:
Protesters who disrupt traffic should have their welfare payments cut and be subject to mandatory jail sentences, Peter Dutton has declared, as conservative MPs continue to lash out against climate change protests.
Following reports that a repeat protester who had been banned from entering the Brisbane CBD after his seventh arrest came from a wealthy suburb, while others in his cohort were unemployed or students, the home affairs minister agreed with the 2GB radio host Ray Hadley that their welfare payments should be cut.
Dutton also blamed the Queensland government for not going far enough in deterring the protests.
“Community expectation is these people are heavily fined or jailed and they should be jailed until their behaviour changes because they are putting lives at risk,” he told Sydney radio 2GB.
“They’re diverting police and emergency service resources from tasks that they should be undertaking otherwise and they keep turning up week after week because they know a slap on the wrist is just not working.
“The premier needs to come out and explain why this is acceptable. If there needs to be mandatory or minimum sentences imposed, that can happen overnight in a Queensland parliament.”
His criticism of Queensland Labor was not justified. They are doing their best to undermine the right to protest which is one of our most important civic rights. But no, the Queensland Labor Government, famous for facilitating the Adani Carmichael mine, is proposing to dramatically increase penalties for peaceful acts of civil disobedience. Committing crimes against our environment by pushing through a coal mine is apparently ok but standing up and saying it is wrong needs to be met with the full force of the law.
But Queensland Labor has already been acting to undermine the right to protest. As well as engaging in underhand tactics. Again from the Guardian:
The Queensland government has been accused of “fabricating” claims about climate activists setting booby traps to justify a crackdown on escalating protests, including using images more than 18 months old as evidence of the new allegations.
The state premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, on Tuesday announced that police would be given new powers to search anyone suspected of carrying “locking on” devices, which delay the removal of protesters during acts of civil disobedience.
She spoke mostly about a series of recent street protests, organised by the group Extinction Rebellion, that aim to stop commuter traffic in Brisbane.
Palaszczuk said she had been briefed about the actions of protesters “last week” by the Queensland police commissioner, Katarina Carroll, who had shown her “evidence of locking devices laced with traps that are dangerous”.
Palaszczuk claimed in parliament that protesters were using “sinister tactics” – cylinders containing glass fragments and gas containers “so that anyone trying to cut a protester free will be injured or worse”.
In a video distributed on social media, Palaszczuk posted images apparently showing one such cylinder to support her claims. Guardian Australia can confirm the image was from a protest in North Queensland that occurred in January 2018.
But the claim has been denied. Again from the Guardian:
Critics have rounded on Palaszczuk and her government, comparing her to the former ultra-conservative premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen, who cracked down on street protests.
The state’s lone Greens MP, Michael Berkman, told Guardian Australia: “All Queenslanders should be concerned that the premier has provided absolutely no evidence for the claims she made in parliament this morning.
“The government is using this fabricated notion – that peaceful protesters are using dangerous, booby-trapped tools – to silence dissent and distract from their own hypocrisy on climate change.
“These are dangerous, anti-democratic new laws that pretend to solve a nonexistent problem.”
Protest groups vehemently denied using such tactics, including butane canisters. The intent of “locking on” actions is to remain in place for as long as possible, and activists do use tactics to prevent their removal. These can include mixing cement with metal, which slows down attempts to cut through devices and extricate them.
The United Kingdom Government is also attacking the right to protest. From Idiot Savant:
For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government’s response? Ban their protests:
Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s camp in Trafalgar Square.
The Metropolitan police issued a revised section 14 order on Monday night that said “any assembly linked to the Extinction Rebellion ‘Autumn Uprising’ … must now cease their protests within London (MPS and City of London Police Areas)” by 9pm.
Almost immediately, officers moved into Trafalgar Square and demanded that protesters remove their tents. Most XR activists staying at the site had already decamped to Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, south of the river, and only a few dozen tents, along with gazebos and other infrastructure, remained on the square.
Which speaks volumes about the intentions of the British government. Face with people raising the alarm about the biggest crisis facing humanity, the establishment’s response is to gag them. Not only do they not want to know – they don’t want anyone else to be told. They’d rather UKanians all drowned rather than face the inconvenience of admitting the problem and taking credible action on it. Which is a prime example of why that political establishment needs to be voted out on their arses.
Weka has covered the situation in this excellent post and concluded:
Shit is getting real with increasingly widespread acceptance of the climate emergency and the urgent need to change. At some point the government will have to step up and make a decision about whether to meet with XR over their demands or to double down as a repressive state.”
Of course with the effects of climate change becoming more pronounced this sort of development is not unexpected. The powers that be will believe they have no choice but to enforce police states if they are to retain control as we descend into a crisis.
But I wonder how they are going to deal with this sort of protest?