Monthly Archives: January 2007

The empire strikes back! – Police threaten industrial action

ABC online “Police ‘furious’ over Palm Is decision”

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200701/s1834494.htm

The Queensland police union is threatening industrial action to protest against manslaughter charges being laid against Chris Hurley for the killing of Mulrinji in the Palm Island watch house.  TV reports today and last night have suggested that action could take the form of withdrawing police from indigenous communities as well as marching on parliament.

Continue reading

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Australians all let us rejoice?

So it is Australia day 2007.   Today the news is that Chris Hurley, the police officer that killed Mulrunji in the Palm Island watch house is to be prosecuted for manslaughter.  The independent review of the evidence has recommended prosecution, contradicting the Queensland Director of Public Prosecutions who dismissed the evidence of the coronial enquiry into the death by saying the whole thing was a tragic accident.

For many non-Aboriginal Australians the death of Mulrunji and the apparent cover up by the first police investigation and the DPP’s refusal to lay charges has been an abrupt awakening into the institutionalised legitimisation of killing Aboriginal people, a reality that has been a hallmark of Australian police forces from the marines of the first fleet in 1788 right through to the officers who patrol Aboriginal people today.

In the 1800s the “Native Police” was established which was the most brutal killing regime that this country has ever seen – bands of death squads who opened up Australia’s rural frontiers by exterminating those Aboriginal people who resisted  the invasion of their lands.

The key element of the native police was the invisibility of their deeds.  Continue reading

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The last (unofficial) post

Well it’s the day before “Australia Day” 2007, the promised launch date of Paradigm Oz, from which time onwards I can proudly respond in the affirmative if I should ever be asked the question “Do you blog?”.

This is the last test post!

I am still off-line and posting 1st drafts from internet cafes so I can’t yet write the sort of stuff I want too.  I am happy to give a few personal opinions here and there and provide interesting links from time to time but I am still looking forward to being able to write some deeper and considered pieces, especially from Palm Island when I eventually get there after Marley’s court case in Feb (see previous post “Give the man a life”)

In the meantime I will blog as often as I can – aiming at at least 2 a week but when I am back online I will post daily.

I suppose the “blog” idea is to give a bit of a personal diary as well as pontificating on the meaty issues of the world and this is a challenge I am looking forward to. 

Over the last couple of years my partner and I have beeen trying to develop a range of projects from cultural education to housing developments.  Unfortunately personal issues including health issues and Marley’s situation have scrambled our plans over and over again – but we are still pressing on.  But even while we are still pushing shit uphill and not yet achieving the things we are trying to do, there are still things to discuss.  In fact I have channelled much of my frustration into posting on other people’s blogs over the past year – espeacially Andrew Bartlett’s -as a sort of therapy through the hard times.  This is part of my own motivation for writing my own blog – even when things are going disasterously with little hope in the real world - the infinite world of the writer is not determined by what is really happening in the real world, it is an escape and a biased commentary where the writer can assume their ordained position at the right hand of God and pontificate infallible truths to the rest of the world who simply just do not understand.

I’ll see you tomorrow after the Brisbane invasion day March with the first official post of Paradim Oz.

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Aurukun explodes under pressure

For those readers from outside Australia who may have heard news of a riot in the Aurukun Aboriginal community, it is a small community near the top of Cape York in Queensland.

Much of the political direction of the aftermath of the Palm Island riot has centred around whether or not The cop who killed Mulrunji would be charged or not.  It is clear that the outrage in the general community has been focused on this very limited issue of the circumstances of this one man’s death in 2004.

Meanwhile Aboriginal communities continue to be policed by men and women in uniform very much inline with the long British tradition of policing natives including the routine use of violence such as has been alleged in the incident that sparked the Aurukun riot.

The Palm Island death in custody has come onto out TV and computor screens and is now a part of the “Queensland story”.  However the day to day mundane process of repression and overpolicing continues in Aboriginal communities who are reaching breaking point, and have done so in Redfern, Palm Island  Wadaye and now Aurukun.

All the political gains of the 20th century for Aboriginal Australia such as the development of ATSIC, Native title law and the Royal commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody have been undone, which means there is no longer a political direction for Aboriginal Australia – neither a forum to develop an agenda nor a point of interface with the colonial authorities of Her Majesty’s state and federal governments.

But the day to day desperation of Aboriginal communities, especially those whose sociology and collective psychology has evolved from the colonial missions has had more pressure than is humanly possible – through police harrassment, housing overcrowding, family violence and all the other day to day realities that Aboriginal communities suffer under with no relevent programs of assistance or community development offered by governments.

As long as state and federal governments insist on demolishing Aboriginal cultural process then the clashes between police and Aboriginal communities will continue as surely as police officers continue to police Aboriginal communities through intimidation.

If government authorities saw Aboriginal cultural processes as assetts to be protected and developed in order to tackle the many issues that cause anti social behaviour and chronic addiction – such as housing, education, employment and cultural programs as prescribed by the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody all those years ago – then advancements could occur in both Aboriginal lifestyles as well as good relationships with police authorities.

But as long as the police rule through violence and the fear of violence then they are simply increasing pressure on people who have simply had too much.

Unfortunately I do not believe Aurukun is the last Aboriginal community to riot before some of these ingrained opressions are removed.

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Blogging on the run

Well, shit happens doesn’t it!

Just as soon as I decide to start blogging regularly my computer decided to die.

However, this bloggazine sooner or later will be published from Palm island and hopefully many other places too as I travel around.  I had anticipated that much of what I will write will be done at internet cafes and such places.  (The contraversial and illegally built Palm Island Police and Citizens Youth Centre is the only public access computer on the Island) The demise of my computer has just hastened this inevitable development and this is my first post on the run.
The “Grand Launch” of Paradigm Oz will be on January 26 – invasion of Australia day.
From that day the blogazine will contain articles from some of my guest contributors but between now and then it is just me in ordinary blog mode.

Just an update on Marley’s situation (the reason I am not on Palm Island right now)

Bacckground – “Give the Man a Life”

Marley is back on the streets where he has spent most of the past 2 months. The Adult Guardian are still refusing to allow him to visit his family on Palm Island offering nothing more than a referral to a local Brisbane homeless agency. The Public Trustee are still refusing to allow him money for clothes or for accommodation. They are insisting his wage remains at $150 p.w. and he still has no way of accessing this small pittance.

I have complained up every possible channell to try and get some help for Marley but all legal roads go to the Adult Guardian who is both investigator and investigatee.

I have been astounded at the callous disregard for the humanity of Marley throughout this whole process.   I could have understood a bit of burecratic laziness or ignorance. But despite the clear facts that a disabled man is still living on the streets with no state agency being able to provide him with healthcare, food, clothes or accommodation is absolutely disgusting. The fact that they are preventing his family from intervening – for no given reason – is outrageous.  The fact that he can afford to buy his own house makes the whole situation absurd.

The earliest opportunity for anything to be done about this situation is a Guardianship and Administration Tribunal hearing on Febrary 7. There seems nothing that can be done for Marley until then (except of course what the state authorities could do if they chose to) so it seems Marley will remain homeless and without any means of support except begging until then.

I ask again, please send letters of concern to the email addresses on “Give the Man a Life”

Stay tuned to Paradigm Oz for more updates

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