Assange, Church and Occupy

There are men who struggle for a day and they are good. There are men who struggle for a year and they are better. There are men who struggle many years, and they are better still. But there are those who struggle all their lives: These are the indispensable ones. — Bertolt Brecht

12pm Fri 19 Apr 2019:

Ian presents a soundscape  of Occupy  Brisbane made by Corey.
Franz Dowling on weapons in church.
Assange extradition

Assange Extradition

Why are we discussing Assange’s guilt or innocence on a range of matters while the helicopter pilots go free for murdering unarmed civilians in Baghdad, or why George W can go to parties and get blind drunk or not without a single hand laid upon him.

‘Last Train’ for Julian Assange?

Then a friend reminded me: “Because not only do the victors write the history, but they also prosecute in the courts.”

That said, here are my concerns.

I have read a little about the sex allegations on and off since 2010 when the allegations were made by two women. The facts stated say that Assange refused the plea of one woman to use a condom during sex. That he ‘interfered’ with a condom with the second and later, while she was asleep, began unprotected sex with her. Both women asked that he submit to an STD test which he didn’t.

I think that on these facts alone, if true, he is guilty of sexual misconduct and should be held accountable for it. If true, I think what he did was rape.

However I can’t see how Assange can be held to account for rape while locked up in a terrorist cell in Belmarsh Prison awaiting extradition to the US. I think the two women in Sweden were the victims of a ‘sting’, their experiences with Assange were used to manipulate a situation where he could be prosecuted by the US Attorney General for releasing classified information with the assistance of Chelsea Manning. Manning refused to be a party to any of it and that is why she is locked up again even though Obama pardoned her. They may crack her yet … but they already have all the info needed to prosecute Assange. Their problem is that they can’t legally get hold of him. He eluded them for 7 years with the help of an anti-yankee Ecuadorian government. But in the end his mental and physical health suffered and the authorities used this to get him out of the embassy. When I saw his face last week as he was dragged from the embassy I was shocked by the toll that it had taken upon him.

This could indeed be ‘the last train’ for a person who revealed to the world the atrocities of the Iraq war but who also, by releasing a cache of Hillary Clinton’s emails before the presidential election, might have contributed to the election of Trump – which is an international disaster. Mind you, I do not think Clinton would have been much better, if at all.

For what it is worth, that is my take on the long sad story of Julian Assange.

Last Train to Mirabad
Julian Assange took on the US
Wikileak’d ten years war in Afghanistan
Julian roams downstairs in Woolwich Court
Thinking what would Pilger and Ellsberg do now?
Waiting to be taken through tunnel to Belmarsh Prison
Where ghosts of IRA meet
Ronnie Biggs in special secure unit
No Wikileaks today about Sapper Jamie Larcombe
No mention of his Afghan mate
Both dead in Mirabad
– Ian Curr

Corey’s soundscape on Occupy eviction in Brisbane 2011

Occupy Brisbane prior to Eviction

KC’s “Three weeks people, three weeks!”

We have held our ground, we have been chased around the city … caged in and caged out of public spaces. The question we have to ask (mayor) Quirk and (premier) Bligh and the whole world is:

“What are they afraid of?”

They say we a fading away, they say that we are irrelevant.

If that is the case why are they treating us like this?

Why are they surveillancing? Why have we got people watching us twenty-four hours-a-day? They know just as we do that we are not irrelevant. We are not going away. They know that we are everything that matters at the moment because we are hope … hope of a fair world and that is all that matters because it is awakening people. It is bringing freedom to the 99% who have suffered for so long, under their rules, their exploitation their aggression.

They are using every law in the book at the moment to try to silence us. They have scoured their bi-laws to find anything they can use against us. No matter what we do they will find some way to use their laws against us because the laws are written to protect their system. And the reality is that what we are facing now is nothing new, these laws are used every day against the poor and the dispossessed. ..being chased around the city, being chased off communal land, this has been the reality of aboriginal people in this country for over 220 years and we must never forget that.

The whole of this system is designed to protect the wealth of the 1%. We must prepare ourselves to stand strong and do what we know is right. Not what they say is right. The legal protection that we had today is a product of the struggles of the past. We must learn from those struggles. And we must learn to rely on our own strength. We can’t plead; we must stand our ground and demand our rights.

For the right of the 99% to fight for a better world.

eviction notice from occupy
Eviction notice from occupy

And we are growing in strength, we can’t afford to get disheartened in any way or allow ourselves to be worn down… the support is out there and is growing. Some people are threatened by this, some people in the 99% are threatened by this, some people believe the lie that they are wounded, some people are beaten down by the system and the constant struggle to survive, they can’t see that we are fighting for them and with them. But if we stay and we stand our ground, then people will realise who we are and what we are saying. It will happen because it has to, humanity has no other alternative than to take control of society from the 1%. We have to believe in the people, we are the 99%, and we shouldn’t see ourselves as shepherds on them. Believing in the people starts with believing in ourselves. It is our movement, not one of us is any more important than any other one of us. Everyone here matters, what we do matters. Everyday this system tries to make us feel small, tries to make us fell irrelevant. It promotes celebrity and status to make us feel worthless. The political system disempowers us, the economic system alienates us, we are taught from day one to defer … to accept authority.

This occupation is a giant school in learning how to resist. Learning to be ourselves, we are reclaiming our dignity, we are re-claiming our humanity, we need to hold on to that because right now nothing else in this world matters.

The only thing that matters is our collective strength, our strength of standing together, the strength that we have built by working together to build through all sorts of barriers … three weeks, three weeks we have held our ground, that strength, that strength that built this occupation of building human solidarity, human solidarity and that is what they are afraid of. We are not fighting each other, if we are putting each other down; if we are hanging on each other then they don’t have to do it. They don’t have to oppress us. They tell us every day that humans are naturally selfish and greedy. Every day we are proving them wrong. We are working for a better world by taking control of our lives and collectively, and with more people joining this movement we will take control of society, we will in the interest of human needs. We have seen it, humanity is beautiful, they can’t take that away from us because human solidarity is a motivator a billion times more powerful than their filthy money, than their stinking careers, it is a billion times more powerful than their institutional power. We’ve seen what human solidarity can achieve, they are trying to crush us because they know if more people experience what we have in the occupation over the last three weeks, the more people that feel that, then there is no way they are going to be able to crush us.

They’ll try, they’ll use their laws, they will try to force us, they will do whatever they can to say we are hopeless and not ready, but we are ready we are going to hold onto that vision, we are not going to extinguish the flame of a new society, we will be true to ourselves we will be true to the struggle, stand by each other, stand by the 99%, we’ll grow, we’ll win because we have found our strength, we have found human solidarity.

KC Newnam at Occupy Brisbane
5 Nov 2011

[transcribed from YouTube video by David Jackmanson]

Arms in Church

If God’s on our side
He’ll stop the next war

– Bob Dylan ‘With God on our Side

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk together with former Federal Attorney General George Brandis were in the front row at St Stephens in Brisbane last Sunday surrounded by fully armed soldiers showing off their weaponry. Surely this is not a response to Christchurch?

Palm Sunday Peace rally patron Claire Moore was in the front row with Palaszczuk and Brandis. It would have been interesting to ask Senator Moore why she chose to be there. Labor Party politics … how awkward, especially when Ms Moore has been rolled by Palaszczuk’s AWU faction for pre-selection in a winnable Senator spot. All these nominal catholics in one spot for an ANZAC mass, how weird, how factional.

Recently Queensland minister, Cameron Dick, announced that a Regional Growth Fund will be given to the Rheinmetall Nioa Munitions joint venture to open a factory in Maryborough to manufacture munitions and tanks.

Meanwhile the Courier Mail reports that “International missile manufacturer MBDA is understood to be considering setting up a presence in the state to get a share of the cash, while Rheinmetall has promised to set up an $80 million research fund in conjunction with the Queensland University of Technology and other tertiary institutions if it wins.”

Maryborough like the rest of regional Queensland is in recession. In the past it always had heavy industry. So Minister Cameron Dick said today ‘The economy (is) on the march with all guns blazing‘. I’m sure the pun was intended but the decision is mad. A $7.5 million government grant from the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund will be given to the Rheinmetall Nioa Munitions joint venture to open the factory.

All this under the familiar jobs, jobs, jobs mantra. Why not make electric cars or trains? Insted of Australian governments spending $billions on arms why not build a very fast train linking the capitals.

“The shell forging plant will be one of a kind in Australia, contributing to the establishment of sovereign capability in the state to support the Australian Defence Force and defence exports, while creating around 100 full-time jobs when the plant is fully operational,” RNM Director Robert Nioa said.

Sovereign capability‘, what a joke when Brisbane does not even honor its first nations people with a cultural centre – a place that would engage many capable aboriginal artists in employment, education and cultural business. The working class keeps getting sucked in by jobs, it is time to change that.

Thanks to Tony Robertson and Frontline film for the footage.

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