Parkin: When peace is a threat to national security
Thursday September 15th 2005, 10:44 pm

Scott Parkin (image: ABC TV via SMH)Scott Parkin was deported on a flight from Melbourne to LA, which departed this morning at 10:25am.

For once, I’m at a loss for words.

This is what the readers of the Sydney Morning Herald had to say about it:

War on terrorism morphs into a war on dissent

There are security concerns about Scott Parkin, such that it takes six immigration officers to nab him mid-cappuccino in a Melbourne cafe ("Outcry over plan to deport activist as a security threat", Herald, September 12).

A history teacher from Houston, Texas, is involved in non-violent action like street theatre (dressing up as Halliburton executives with their snouts in troughs). What is his weaponry? Artline markers on butcher’s paper hanging on a wall, filled with ideas of engagement and dialogue. He has given workshops on non-violent methods of suggesting there might be moral dimensions to the behaviour of governments and corporations.

Against him the US Government (and then, naturally, our own) invoke security so they don’t have to explain anything to us. This is how they use the powers they have now, and yet Howard and Ruddock ask us to trust them to give them more.

The war on terrorism has extended to a war on dissent.

Paul Wilson Annandale

When an American peace activist who speaks out against George Bush’s policies is detained for being a "threat to national security" we can see just how the new terrorism legislation will work.

Pip Denton Guildford

So non-violence is now a threat to national security in this war on terrorism. Even Orwell would be impressed by that one.

Justin Whelan Petersham

The arrest of American peace activist Scott Parkin has set my alarm bells ringing. I’ve voted Liberal all my life, but now I think I’m going to have to vote for someone else. Although the Libs are good for the economy, I’d rather have less prosperity than live in a police state.

No amount of prosperity can compensate for the democratic freedoms that the Liberals are taking away. This is the beginning of a very nasty downhill slide. This is the sort of thing that doesn’t happen in Western democracies. This is the sort of thing that only happens in morally and politically corrupt Third World countries. And now it’s happening here.

Look out, Mr Howard, we Australians love our freedom, and when you start taking it away from us we’ll remove you from government.

Lau Guerreiro Oxford Falls

How much lower can this Government sink? Seeking to deport a bloke for promoting peace!

Jim Iveson Hornsby Heights

The continuing wisdom of the Howard Government never ceases to amaze. With the impending deportation of Scott Parkin, it appears to have identified a greater threat to Australia than terrorism: peace.

Margaret Van Heekeren Bathurst

Think about it. Three months ago Scott Parkin was given a visa. Now it seems he is such a threat to our national security that he has been picked up by John Howard’s storm-troopers, who usually nab kids from primary school, and interned. If Parkin was a terrorist he would have had enough time to wreak havoc and leave. This is real "keystone cops" stuff.

Any Howard Government acquiescence to the US in this matter would be the biggest threat to our national security. For ASIO’s benefit, John Howard lives at Kirribilli.

Greg Loder Springwood

In reply to G. Borthwick (Letters, September 12), should there be a terrorism attack in Australia, I shall certainly blame Mr Howard; not for doing too little, but for doing too much to invite terrorism.

Lisa Penlington Artarmon

The plight of Scott Parkin should serve as a warning. If the Howard Government’s enhanced counter-terrorism proposals become law, anyone imprudent enough to have a letter published in the Herald commenting on John Howard’s integrity deficiency, or George Bush’s military pursuit of America’s oil supply on Halliburton’s behalf, could reasonably expect a visit by the boys from ASIO.

Richard Keyes Enfield

First they came for the peace activists and I did not speak out because I was not a peace activist.

Andrew Worssam Bondi

How ironic. The gagging of peace activist Scott Parkin effectively silences any robust debate, which is a fundamental tenet of democracy. The Federal Government has succumbed to those tactics abhorrent to the notion of freedom.

Diane Dennis Hazelbrook

"Blessed are the peacemakers" for they shall be deported … even with a valid visa.

Denise Woods Forbes

It’s reassuring to see peace activists are to be deported. Next I propose vegetarians, blondes, Volvo drivers and anyone with garlic on their breath.

Bruce Spence Balmain

Being a dual US/Aus citizen has its ups and downs. I’m a lot more accustomed to the sensation of being embarrassed by the actions of the US government.

The deportation of Parkin for protesting against Halliburton is an embarrassment and shame all Australians will bear.

-weez

UPDATE: Parkin receives $11,700 bill for his incarceration and unexplained deportation.


15 Comments so far
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I wonder if the government and opposition will ever be confident enough to provide us with some evidence for his deportation. If they won’t tell us, you have to wonder why not.

Yeah, deport people like Parkin, meanwhile do nothing about the greatest threats to our national security, that is global warming and the death of the oil economy. Fan-fucking-tastic!

Comment by dj 09.15.05 @ 11:09 pm

deej, do you wonder at all why peace activists are deported, but Opus Dei operatives with neo-nazi cronies rise to the top of the Lieberal party?

I wonder… a lot. So does Darp.

Comment by weezil 09.16.05 @ 7:05 am

I’m worried. I’m vegetarian, agnostic, dye my hair red, work for marriage equality, hate Howard, loathe Bush, want peace to break out and keep commenting on sites like this. I’m hiding my passport.

Comment by JT 09.16.05 @ 5:33 pm

JT, your passport won’t do you much good when they begin revoking citizenships. It’s already been discussed.

I’m a carnivorous atheist with natural blonde hair, wouldn’t get married again on a bet and expect it to be 50-100 years before we see a level of peace and international cooperation as we did during the Clinton administration… and I’m a good bit more worried than you.

6 big burly bastards will simply grab me after I get halfway through my coffee and throw me in jail, for no reason whatsoever.

Andrew Wilkie’s had a word about this. Says that if Parkin had actually been a threat to national security, he’d have been arrested and charged, not deported.

Can’t wait for Andrew to have another go at politics. We need truthseekers in government.

Comment by weezil 09.16.05 @ 5:50 pm

“Truthseekers in government”, now that’s definitely subversive and so dangerous they’ll send 12 burly bastards to make sure of you.

Comment by JT 09.16.05 @ 7:06 pm

Yes loss for words too. Totally disgusting.

Comment by Ray 09.16.05 @ 9:37 pm

JT, the scary part is that you may be right…

Comment by weezil 09.16.05 @ 11:36 pm

I’m in real trouble, a British citizen who has already complained heartedly to the government about their treatment of Australian prisoners overseas, and am unable to apply for citizenship for quite some time. What I find really disturbing is not only has Scott Parkin been deported but the total feeling of apathy in these cases, as in the Cornelia Rau and Vivian Alvarez scenario’s.

We should all feel incredibly safe today, knowing that our governments fight on terrorism includes arresting and deporting peace activists and shooting dead innocent people on their way to work. Jean Charles de Menezes death was justified quite simply by Tony Blair, as an unfortunate incident. So I am sure Howard will have no problem in justifying locking up and deporting Scott Parkin.

Comment by Kate G 09.17.05 @ 8:47 am

Kate, if you’re not an Australian citizen, you do indeed have cause to fear your imminent deportation.

We’ve got to keep this issue in the headlights until the HoWARd gubmint retracts the claim that Parkin was a ‘threat to national security,’ apologises to and compensates him for his losses.

Funny thing is, had HoWARd and his lying sack of shit not bothered with Parkin, he would have come and gone with little notice. Now the anti-war left have a new cause celebre- and nothing short of a hero if Parkin stays in this and fights to the ends of his legal ability.

The government have stupidly put themselves in a position of having to define just what it is that Parkin was supposed to have done that was so threatening. There’s most definitely a precedent set that will weigh heavily on every non-citizen resident of or visitor to Australia.

If ever there was a time for a Bill of Rights in Australia- it’s now.

Comment by weezil 09.17.05 @ 9:31 am

Those questioned by ASIO may not reveal the fact for 28 days. Call me dumb but I can’t figure that one out apart from the fact I couldn’t keep my mouth shut for 28 seconds. Going back when ASIO was not so highly thought of, I knew a young girl who worked for them. She smoked pot, had a heroin shot every now and then and slept with anything that had a pulse. Can’t quite remember the level of security clearance but it was high. I’m sure they’re a lot more careful these days and don’t make mistakes. No, it wasn’t me, I was too busy keeping the Navy happy.

Comment by JT 09.17.05 @ 11:44 am

The technicality, like ‘disturbing the peace’, is that he entered on a Visitor’s Visa, the fine print of which, demands that one simply ‘visit’ and not have any kind of ‘profile’. the bastards.
Breaking news just now, has a statement from Robt McLelland who says The Australian Labor Party is totally committed to the US Bush Regime. Weez: your nationality is not ‘dual’ – we are they and they are us and we are all warmongers.
London has just held an International Arms Dealers Convention and I am composing a post on it but keep getting too upset to go on. Their head of BAE Systems Dikk Olverr has bribed Pinochet to buy British arms, and for all I know he is bribing the Austn defence Minister too.( I have learned to mispell names to avoid people who Technorati themselves).

Comment by Brownie 09.17.05 @ 10:29 pm

The DSD & ASIS are to be authorised to spy on Australians in their homes. They will be allowed to use any intelligence gathered “accidentally”.
They will be allowed to pass information to taxation, welfare and police.
ASIO will use the information as part of its counter-terrorism activities.
What has taxation and welfare got to do with terrorism?
You were right Weezil, anyone against the Prime Miniature and his U.S. boot licking is a target.

Comment by JT 09.18.05 @ 12:56 pm

Hi again.

I was reading several of your posts and I am a bit confused. In one picture, I believe you are standing yet in another post you state that you can hardly stand.

Are you disabled?

If so, please let me know if you would like me to post your weblog on my company’s link directory http://www.audacitymagazine.com

Thanks.
Nathasha

Comment by Nathasha 09.18.05 @ 11:13 pm

Hi Natasha,

I can be on my feet for about 10-15 minutes before I have to sit. I walk short distances with a cane but use an electric mobi to get around shops.

Back in Feb 2003, I was able to walk a few sections of the march against the Iraq invasion (as pictured a couple of posts back). That was pretty stoopid as I wasn’t able to walk at all for the ensuing 2 weeks.

Thanks for the offer of a link. Yes please! Audacity is a very nice looking site. Will read.

cheers

-weez

Comment by weezil 09.18.05 @ 11:22 pm

[…] Prepare to be Parkinised. […]

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