Australia tramples on indigenous peoples rights in the 'arc of instability'

Australia tramples on indigenous peoples rights in the ‘arc of instability’

The Australian Federal Police (AFP), established in 1979, enforces Commonwealth criminal law and protects Australia’s interests at a national and international level. The AFP also contracts out a general policing service to the Australian Capital Territory Government, where it has recently been accused of torture and other human rights violations. The idea expressed by Sir Robert Peel, the father of modern policing in 1829, that police are not merely tools ...

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Superfluous People

Superfluous People

For today’s post I’m borrowing a theme from Turgenev, specifically from The Diary of a Superfluous Man. As readers of Turgenev will know, much of his fiction is associated with variations on this “superfluous” type, a hero who fails not simply at love, but in other arenas as well. Turgenev’s plots often hang on anticipation without consummation. So it is with Indigenous Australians. Anticipation without consummation has been the lot ...

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'The Australians are basically English rednecks' – Robin Williams

‘The Australians are basically English rednecks’ – Robin Williams

Well Robin, ya ain’t wrong, mate! Anglo-Saxon ‘Australians’ whilst superficially decent, hard working Christian folk who, whilst not regular church goers, none-the-less profess to a certain spirituality, are racist! All you have to do is scratch the surface and there you have it, not an embryonic Klansman but fully fledged pillow case wearing, cross burning racist. On Saturday 19 March an Aboriginal friend and I were denied entry to the ...

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perjury and perverting the course of justice strike at the heart of the administration of justice

perjury and perverting the course of justice strike at the heart of the administration of justice

“…each of the offences of perjury and perverting the course of justice strike at the heart of the administration of justice…” The above statement comes from Justice Bruce James’s judgment in the case of former Federal Court judge Marcus Einfeld. In 2009, Einfeld was sentenced to three years’ jail, with a non-parole period of two years, after pleading guilty to false statements over a $77 driving fine. He admitted he ...

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The life of a culture depends on its transmission across generations

The life of a culture depends on its transmission across generations

Following is the second installment of David Harrison’s story from member of the ‘new’ stolen generation to disaffected adult to fully fledged social activist. Over to David breaking the connection between parents (and communities) and children was the shortest route to killing their culture. Those sitting in the halls of the academy or human rights institutions may find it difficult to define “the right to culture” in pithy terms, but ...

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The `Stolen Generations' and Cultural Genocide

The `Stolen Generations’ and Cultural Genocide

Mr David Harrison is a member of the ‘new’ stolen generation and a former colleague from Canberra. I asked David a while ago if he would write a piece about his life in the care of The Department of Community Services (DoCS) for Blak and Black. David agreed, but asked if he could write a very brief introduction to the ‘new’ stolen generation as a prelude to a post about ...

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Our youth, a future of hope?

Our youth, a future of hope?

Yesterday I received a communication from a foreign school student who has an Australian Federal Police detachment in his country. His question, to me after reading my comments on Blak and Black was: “Are the AFP really as corrupt and racist as you make them out to be on your web site?” My immediate response to my enquirer was that on the basis of my own interactions with the Australian ...

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Mr Commissioner Hypocrisy doesn’t equal integrity

Mr Commissioner Hypocrisy doesn’t equal integrity

As part of the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Additional estimates for 2006–2007, held in February 2007, Senator Evans put the following question on notice to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade: Mick Keelty has also branded the Solomons Government as either corrupt or incompetent (see SMH -Police Mission to Solomons at Risk of Collapse 10/02/07). Does the Government have any ...

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Australia, you are racist!

Australia, you are racist!

So, you still think Australia doesn’t have a problem with racism? It’s time we took a good look at some evidence to the contrary, the most recent of which can be found in the Bonds Australia’s Cutest Baby Competition. It seems that when a child of Eurasian decent is included, she’s not good enough to be called Australian by some. Pippa Taylor was floored when someone posted a comment on ...

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Some uncomfortable parallels between Mubarak’s Egypt and contemporary Australia

Some uncomfortable parallels between Mubarak’s Egypt and contemporary Australia

Mr Paulo Flores is today’s guest poster on Blak and Black. Paulo is a European trained and qualified Psychologist, Lawyer, Mediator and Human Rights Activist. He is currently working in Australia as a mediator and investigator. Paulo was previously a case worker dealing with the victims of ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia. During many hours of heated discussions, fuelled by the odd bottle of red or two, we began ...

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Who are citizens of ‘Australia’s great democracy?’

Who are citizens of ‘Australia’s great democracy?’

First, democracy implies processes of communication through which individuals come to know as individuals what they want or think is right. Individuals should be the owners of their beliefs and preferences, meaning that beliefs or preferences should not be the result of manipulation or received opinion but rather the result of considered adherence. Second, democracy implies processes of communication through which a collectivity comes to know what it wants or ...

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The AFP and Detachment 88

The AFP and Detachment 88

Detachment 88’s major facility at the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Co-operation was established in 2004 with almost $40 million of Australian funding. According to its website, most of the counter-terrorism seminars at the Centre are run by the AFP and according to The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 2009/10 annual report, it is a major beneficiary of $16.3 million in annual funding allocated to the AFP to combat ...

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How complicit is the AFP in the torture of West Papuan’s by Detachment 88?

How complicit is the AFP in the torture of West Papuan’s by Detachment 88?

The attached video shows very clearly what I mean by torture of West Papuan by Detachment 88. What this video shows is a clear violation of international law. Detachment 88 is equipped by Australia and trained by the AFP. Is this what you want your tax dollars spent on? Do you want to be associated with a police force, the Australian Federal Police that condones, even tacitly, this type of ...

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The genteel art of bullying

The genteel art of bullying

I was recently discussing the genteel art of bullying with a former associate, Paulo Flores, who is a psychologist and mediator and Watershedd, a recent contributor to Blak and Black. During the course of both of these conversations the topic turned to the definition of bullying. This made me stop and think and eventually realise that what I’m actually ‘banging-on’ about to the United Nations and on Blak and Black ...

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Shades of hypocrisy

Shades of hypocrisy

Some observations on the realities of being and Aborigine in 21stcentury Australia by an observer who isn’t. One of my piano teachers was the sole child of Polish Holocaust survivors. Unassuming people, these quiet and reserved people welcomed my mother and I into their home on a weekly basis so Elizabeth could tutor me. It was she who taught me to love music. It is only now that I comprehend ...

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Will Australia ever move from Black and White to the Grey that sits between?

Will Australia ever move from Black and White to the Grey that sits between?

I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves or figments of their imagination, indeed, everything and anything except me. Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man After 220 years of sustained European invasions and occupation ...

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Ambassador Chan speaks about Moti, Sogavare and the Australian Government

Ambassador Chan speaks about Moti, Sogavare and the Australian Government

The following article written by Ednal Palmer appeared in the Solomon Star on Saturday 15th January, 2011. While the article is ostensibly about the tenure of the outgoing Taiwanese (ROC) ambassador to the Solomon Islands Mr. George Chan, it traverses ground which I have covered in a number of posts I have done about Mr Moti and corruption within the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Government. Specifically it covers ...

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A blast in a bin; corruption holds sway

A blast in a bin; corruption holds sway

While strolling along the foreshore of Botany Bay today I spotted a Kingfisher. In Classical Greek mythology “Halcyon” is associated with the Kingfisher. There was an ancient belief that the bird nested on the sea, which it calmed in order to lay its eggs on a floating nest. Two weeks of calm weather were therefore expected around the winter solstice. This myth leads to the use of halcyon as a ...

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The Rule of Law

The Rule of Law

The Rule of Law, in its most basic form, is the principle that no one is above the law. The rule follows logically from the idea that truth, and therefore law, is based upon fundamental principles which can be discovered, but which cannot be created through an act of will. The most important application of the rule of law is the principle that governmental authority is legitimately exercised only in ...

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Racism takes many forms

Racism takes many forms

Kevin Spratt, an Aboriginal man from Western Australia, was tasered up to 41 times in a week and went to hospital with fractures, a collapsed lung and a dislocated shoulder after being taken out of his cell by a special ‘cell extraction’ team, a Corruption and Crime Commission inquiry has been told in Western Australia’s Capital, Perth, this week. In one incident tasers are used on him 11 times, including ...

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