The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (Revised Third Edition 1993) provides the following definition of a police State:
Police State: a totalitarian State controlled by a national police force with secret supervision of its citizens' activities.
Letters Editor Bob Hawkins, The Sunday Age,
250 Spencer Street, Melbourne Vic. 3000.
Thursday, 15 September 2005.
From: Kendall Lovett, 2/12 Murphy Grove, Preston Vic. 3072.
Tel: 9471 4878. Email: josken_at_zipworld_com_au
Last weekend ASIO on Saturday got the Department of Immigration and the federal police to trample down the democratic rights and freedoms of anti-war activist, US visitor Scott Parkin.
And on Sunday the PM in New York used a video threat that Melbourne could expect to be an Al-Qaeda target as proof of our need of his latest anti-democratic terror measures. We don't thank you!
Look what ASIO did to Scott Parkin using existing outrageous terror laws. Arrested on Saturday; charged with no offence; the pacifist protestor was deported on Thursday. What an alarming week!
Mister PM, we need sunset clauses in all existing anti-terrorism legislation to rid us of the lot when terror zealots wake up to the truth. The god of the muslims, the christians and the jews doesn't need them --the proof: Hurricane Katrina and last December's Tsunami.
Signed: Kendall Lovett
The Premier of Victoria, Office of the Premier,
1 Treasury Place, Melbourne Vic. 3000. Sunday, 25 September 2005
From: Kendall Lovett and Mannie De Saxe, Lesbian & Gay Solidarity (Melbourne),
PO Box 1675, Preston South, Vic.3072. Email: josken_at_zipworld_com_au
Dear Premier Steve Bracks,
On Tuesday this week we believe that you are to attend the Prime Minister's Summit on terrorism along with other State and Territory leaders. The PM wants the leaders to introduce an unprecedented and dangerous new regime of "preventative" detention because the Australian Constitution forbids his government to do so.
The new regime will allow State and Territory police forces to detain people without charge and without even appearing before a judge for up to two weeks. The Australian Constitution does not allow the Government to detain people for more than 48 hours without judicial authority. The Federal Attorney-General has admitted that if this new "preventative" detention regime was to pass into federal law the High Court of Australia would have to rule it to be illegal hence the need to convince the States and Territories to work for him.
Unfortunately, you have already told us that you want those dangerous powers given to Victoria Police. Reconsider, and don't do it.
These are the kind of laws that enable dictators to arise and turn democratic countries into police states ... remember Pol Pot Cambodia, Chile, South Africa and Nazi Germany. Such laws undermine people's basic legal and democratic rights.
Anyway, Victoria Police currently doesn't have an exactly salubrious record using the powers they have (the Tasty Nightclub affair!!!!) nor for that matter do NSW and the other States police as well as the federal police instructed by ASIO. When was the last terror attack in Australia? It was on 13 February 1978 in front of the Hilton Hotel. It remains an unsolved crime but ASIO got hefty new powers out of the bomb that was exploded in a garbage can killing innocent workers and injuring others.
Police don't need greater powers anywhere in Australia anymore than ASIO does. Think of the very recent use made of Victoria Police here in Melbourne by ASIO and Immigration Officials to detain and deport peace activist Scott Parkin. + The Federal Attorney-General does not permit the release of reasons for ASIO security assessments. + ASIO is allowed to hold people in secret for up to seven days. + Those questioned by ASIO may not reveal the fact for 28 days. + The subject of ASIO interrogations must remain secret for two years. + Lawyers can be required to obtain security clearances before representing clients. + Courts may hear secret evidence in the absence of jurors and lawyers for the defendant. What more do your need other than sunset clauses in every one of these existing ASIO and National Security laws?
You say: "Open and accountable Government is part of my commitment to the people of Victoria" so when you are in Canberra on Tuesday please remember that you are not accountable to the Howard Government.
Signed: Kendall Lovett and Mannie De Saxe, for Lesbian & Gay Solidarity (Melbourne)
Mannie De Saxe, Lesbian and Gay Solidarity, Melbourne
2/12 Murphy Grove Preston Vic 3072 Phone:(03) 9471 4878
email: josken_at_zipworld_com_au web: http://www.zipworld.com.au/~josken
Isn't Daniel Lewis the lucky one? (The Age 15 October 2005) He woke up and didn't feel in any way as though he had any fewer civil liberties.
That's how Germans thought in 1933 as did South Africans in 1948, and we all know what happened to their civil liberties in a very few years!
Daniel is freely writing to this newspaper, which prints only what it thinks its readers should read. Try writing something a little "subversive", Daniel, and see how far you will get. Define "subversive" in the new legal dispensation being proposed by the federal government and so blithely accepted by Federal Labor and the Labor states and territories and a few mornings after the bills have become law you will notice subtle changes taking place.
As Pastor Niemoller said, "First they came for the communists - - - - !" Oh, and by the way, censorship of media will follow swiftly as well! You have been warned! Big Brother is watching you! Remember Orwell's 1984.
Mannie De Saxe
The Premier of Victoria, Office of the Premier, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne Vic. 3000.
PERSONAL Tuesday, 18 October 2005.
From: Kendall Lovett and Mannie De Saxe, Lesbian & Gay Solidarity (Melbourne), PO Box 1675, Preston South, Victoria 3072. Email: josken_at_zipworld_com_au
Dear Premier Bracks,
Last month, before you went to Canberra at the invitation of the Prime Minister, we wrote to you (25.9.05) about the reason behind the PM’s Summit on terrorism. Afterwards we were aggrieved to learn that you and the leaders of the other States and Territories had accepted the dangerous new powers for ASIO provided there was a ten years sunset clause to them. Ten years! One year perhaps, but ten?
Thanks to the Chief Minister of the A.C.T. who posted up on his website a copy of the Howard government’s 2005 terrorism bill against the wishes of the PM, we were permitted to read what the leaders had agreed to at the Summit.
Did you really agree to 14 days detention without charge for Victorians? Control Orders involving tracking devices and home detention; federal police given power to use lethal means to enforce detention; 5 years jail for revealing to another person that you were being held in detention; 7 years jail for criticizing the government or bringing the Constitution into contempt; and ugly penalty units in assessing a prison sentence for a Victorian citizen who does not comply with some order or demand by ASIO/AFP.
Are these the powers you want for Victoria’s police?
Whatever you were told about the need for new treason and sedition laws and increased powers for ASIO and the AFP at the Summit, the need would have been mere supposition on the part of ASIO. Its advice to the PM before Gulf War 2 was certainly unreliable intelligence. The powers both agencies got previously on terrorism has been more than sufficient and the amount of secrecy they are permitted is ridiculous. They are answerable to no one. During a public hearing on the ASIO Bill 2002 in Melbourne at which we were represented, Kim Beazley admitted that despite several attempts over the years as a member of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on ASIO, ASIS and DSD he had been unable to find out what kind of interrogation they engage in and how they obtain their information. It’s secret! We citizens of Victoria do have to worry. We are getting close to a police state. Look what happened in Germany early last century, in South Africa and Chile. Before their citizens realized it, they were living in a police state.
It’s hard to comprehend that Labor heads of state around Australia were prepared to relinquish the basic tenets of democracy –our right to free speech, to dissent, to march on the streets, to show opposition, to meet together to hear and discuss alternative ideas—simply because they were spooked by the spooks… forgetting of course that the spooks will be too busy using their powers against innocent citizens, to catch the real terrorists.
We can’t help wondering if the “special constables” from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and from other States that you would be seeking next year prior to and during the Commonwealth Games became a bargaining point at the Summit. Or, was it the fear of losing Labor power in the ballot boxes of the States and Territories next time?
We do care about our liberty… a lot, hence our letter.
Signed: Kendall Lovett and Mannie De Saxe, For Lesbian & Gay Solidarity (Melbourne).
To: Prime Minister John Howard, Office of the Prime Minister,
House of Representatives, Parliament House, Canberra A.C.T. 2600.
PERSONAL Wednesday, 19 October 2005.
From: Kendall Lovett and Mannie De Saxe, Lesbian & Gay Solidarity (Melbourne),
PO Box 1675, Preston South, Vic 3072. Email: josken_at_zipworld_com_au .
You have approved the recruiting of 900 additional personnel for ASIO over the next few years. Do you intend to approve similar recruiting for the Australian Federal Police (AFP)? In either case, have you given any thought to the brutalizing effect ASIO/AFP training is likely to have on young recruits? The secrecy of the kind of training they receive must make them feel invincible and above civilian law because there is no accountability in their training except to their teacher.
During a public hearing on the ASIO Bill 2002 in Melbourne at which we were represented, some of the members of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on ASIO, ASIS and DSD admitted that, despite several attempts over the years, they had been unable to find out what kind of interrogation the agencies engage in and how they obtain their information from people. It’s secret! And that is a worry.
It seems to us that you have overstepped the mark this time with the powers you are proposing to give to ASIO and AFP. Thanks to the Chief Minister of the A.C.T. we have been permitted to read the contents of the Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005, against your wishes, on his website. Never-the-less, despite receiving endorsement by State and Territory leaders at the Summit on Terrorism because you allowed ASIO/AFP to scare them into submission, your proposed sweeping new powers for ASIO and AFP apparently have extremely alarmed Muslim Australians.
Petro Georgiou and George Brandis have told the media that safeguards should be expanded against abuse of power in applying all the anti-terrorism laws particularly those involving any of the proposed new ASIO and AFP powers. Georgiou said that laws that were intended to be non-discriminatory might be used in a discriminatory way so care had to be taken to ensure that new laws did not unfairly affect Muslim and Arab Australians.
Not only those who have made Australia multinational but also those of us who have doubted openly that we ever needed any anti-terror laws, say existing crime legislation was ample and sufficient.
We believe you and your ministers by providing ASIO and the federal police force with secret supervision of citizens’ activities on the scale proposed in the Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005 are creating a Police State. There are no safeguards in a Police State!
Kendall Lovett and Mannie De Saxe Lesbian & Gay Solidarity (Melbourne).
Monday, 24 October 2005.
From: Kendall Lovett, 2/12 Murphy Grove, Preston, Victoria 3072
Tel: (03) 9471 4878 Email: josken_at_zipworld_com_au
It’s appalling that the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby in Sydney (SSO, 20 Oct) and the Australian Coalition for Equality in Melbourne (MCV, 21 Oct) can only rage about the fact that the Howard Government recognizes same-sex relationships in the context of “family” in the new anti-terrorism draft legislation.
What about the dangerous threats to our freedoms and democratic rights in the Bill?
Once we are living in a Police State being recognized in a same-sex relationship won’t be of much use to us.
These new terror amendments are a step towards a ticking time bomb to blow us out of our complacent belief that we are still a free society.
Get on to the A.C.T. Chief Minister’s website and read for yourself the 2005 Federal Terrorism Bill, particularly the Sedition proposal before it’s too late and see where we are all headed. The government leaders are behaving with the morality of the gangster. They provide “red herrings” like same-sex relationships to get us side-tracked and miss what they are really after.
Signed: Kendall Lovett
To: Secretary Owen Walsh, Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee,
The Senate, Parliament House, Canberra A.C.T. 2600. Email: LegCon.Sen@aph.gov.au
Wednesday, 9 November 2005.
From: Kendall Lovett and Mannie De Saxe, For Lesbian & Gay Solidarity (Melbourne),
PO Box 1675, Preston South, Vic. 3072. Email: josken_at_zipworld_com_au Tel: (03) 9471 4878
To Inquiry into the provisions of the Anti-Terrorism (No. 2) Bill 2005.
On Tuesday, 8 November 2005, we awoke to the news that nine men had been arrested in Melbourne’s Northern and Western suburbs as well as seven in Sydney’s Western suburbs where one young man had been shot by police and hospitalised.
Details of charges as well as names of those arrested are being suppressed according to the radio report we listened to because the federal police say if made public may hamper further anti-terrorism investigations. However, this did not happen. The arrested men were all named and each charged with being a member of a terrorist organization.
All this has been achieved without using any of these so-called improvements to existing offences which are proposed in this new 2005 Bill. The Federal Attorney-General really must prove his case for the Bill.
Therefore, we consider that our elected representatives who are involved in this Inquiry, and in both Federal Houses as well as in States and Territories parliaments, must now demand from the leaders an explanation of any real need at all for this Bill and its provisions.
Furthermore, we want the Members of this Inquiry to demand that the Federal Government set up an entirely different public inquiry:-
1) To uncover the reasons for the present intent and unrest behind the current world-wide murderous movement that has caused our government to enact anti-terrorism laws;
2) To discover alternatives to anti-terrorism laws;
3) To consider withdrawing Australian troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, closing all detention centres and releasing all asylum seekers immediately, and at the same time providing them with Centrelink support, in an effort to pave the way to re-establishing friendly relations and respect for diverse cultures and opinions.
We are disappointed that no one in any of our parliaments has shown any interest in looking at alternatives to anti-terror legislation as a means to counter the seeming religious violence world-wide.
Many respected commentators like Robert Fisk, Tariq Ali and John Pilger, ignored by our politicians, in research into the situation have documented their findings, some claiming that although appearing to be religious fanaticism it is rather “a response to foreign occupation” (Robert Pape, military historian and University of Chicago professor). Pape goes on to say that modern suicide terrorism is best understood as an extreme strategy for national liberation against democracies with troops that pose an imminent threat to control the territory the terrorists view as their homeland.
It is also necessary to recognise the appalling circumstances forced upon these people in the Middle East and elsewhere. They see no other future for themselves. Fleeing to another country results in incarceration for years and eventual deportation or drawn-out unemployment and misery at the prejudice encountered in the chosen country.
Nevertheless, we think religious incitement does play a part in terrorism. Gays and lesbians have long been victims of incitement to violence from religious bigots be they Christian, Jewish or Islamic. Again, it’s something that is well-documented.
We consider that these proposed violent provisions including control orders, tracking devices, preventative detention, secret captivity (sanctioned kidnapping) and seditious intention offences do not achieve their aim at all. Instead they breed contempt and promote revenge –hardly conducive to harmony in a secularly governed country if that’s what Australia is supposed to be.
We are concerned about the vast range of serious criminal offences that has been introduced since 2001 covering every conceivable participation in, or support for, or resulting in, an act of murder which is called terrorism to engender a special kind of fear –dismay/alarm/anxiety/panic.
The latest measures are unnecessary and obviously designed for use where the intelligence agencies and police cannot produce any evidence of involvement. It leaves citizens open to containment in secret against their will. Surely this is support for a police state.
Objections to specific sections in the Bill
Financing a terrorist
We object to this whole new addition 103.2 (1) and (2) because even if a person is unaware that another person is planning an act which the police may class as terrorism, whether or not it occurs, becomes liable to a penalty of imprisonment for life if that person has made a donation of money directly or indirectly to that other person. Defining the giver as reckless is hardly sufficient reason for such a penalty. There must be a limit to the amount of money donated below which no charge may be laid.
Control orders and preventative detention orders
It seems that there are to be two kinds of Control Orders –an interim one and a confirmed one; and there is to be an additional Preventative Detention Order –a continued preventative detention order and the original also termed Initial --added to which there is a corresponding State Preventative Detention law meaning of a State or Territory particular provision. All very handy to grab people in various areas of Australia regardless of them being involved directly or indirectly with an act that may or may not take place or involved or associated with an organisation the federal police assume is terrorist even if it hasn’t been gazetted as a terrorist organisation.
In view of what happened to the people arrested in Melbourne and Sydney on Tuesday, 8 November 2005, and who were named and appeared in court, were remanded to local prisons until their cases are heard next year, there appears to be little need for any of these additional extreme measures to existing laws. Of course, ASIO and AFP will not be happy but like their US counterparts they will get by wielding the existing powers they already possess.
An interim control order (104.5) placed on an adult can be for as long as 12 months at a time. There are 12 separate Obligations, Prohibitions and Restrictions which are to be placed on an individual. These include (d) wear a tracking device, (e) communicating or associating with specified individuals, (f) using the internet, (h) carrying out specified activities including in respect of work or occupation, (l) requirement to participate in specified counselling and education.
A preventative detention order (105.1) allows a person over 16 to be detained apparently to prevent an imminent terrorist act occurring or preserve evidence of, or relating to, a recent terrorist act. It is meant to last for up to 48 hours under federal legislation and up to 14 days under corresponding state and territory laws –hence the need to have the states and territories agree some weeks ago to the legislation. Could the legislation have been challenged in the federal court on constitutional grounds if the States hadn’t agreed? We object to the whole of Schedule 4 in this Bill because it is wholly unnecessary in view of the arrests made in Melbourne and Sydney on Tuesday, 8 Nov. 2005 on the basis of the previous anti-terrorism legislation and Criminal Code. As for safeguards, there really aren’t any. A sunset provision of 10 years is not acceptable. Review after two years may have been acceptable.
Powers to stop, question and search persons in relation to terrorist acts
These powers in the existing criminal law are sufficient to cover possible terrorist activity. Again we quote the 8 November arrests and that of Jack Thomas and earlier of Jack Roche as examples that prove how unnecessary these additional provisions are. We object to the whole of Schedule 5 as totally unnecessary.
Power to obtain information and documents
Surely this power already exists for Australian Customs Officers so why is it necessary for a separate power to be provided for AFP officers? Again it seems to us that Schedule 6 is equally unnecessary. This power would authorise the AFP officer to obtain on demand information and documents from operators of aircraft and ships which the officer believes on reasonable grounds is relevant to a terrorism matter being investigated. The document may even relate to non-terrorism offences. In that case, though, he must obtain a notice from a federal magistrate. The magistrate has to be satisfied on the balance of probabilities that a person has the relevant documents sought. There are at least 15 confidential items of information covered in documents required from an operator. This surely breaches the privacy and confidentiality of the operator’s business. Failure to comply, or to disclose existence or nature of the notice, are punishable offences.
On the basis of breaching privacy on the AFP officer’s belief on reasonable grounds, we object to the whole of Schedule 6 as unnecessary.
It is of serious concern to us that these new seditious intention charges being proposed are a real threat to our freedom of speech and our freedom to discuss and talk with one another as a group. We use the internet to publish our views. We issue hard copy newsletters as well to express our views on political matters which we believe are wrongly regarded by our governments and we seek to make our views known in the various forms of the media. It seems to us that, for instance, Urging a person to assist the enemy (80.2/7) whether or not a state of war has been declared really means that if we advocate any kind of support for ‘the enemy’ we could be charged with an offence carrying a prison sentence of 7 years, the enemy being defined as individuals or organisations in a state of conflict with Australian forces outside Australia. Proving your support for the enemy was ‘in good faith’ would be mighty difficult if not impossible in the present climate of fear. Such could be said to apply equally to the media in their reporting on security issues like secret detentions of people. We would have the situation where the media and the public are forced to rely on ‘leaked spin of the security agencies.’ We saw this illustrated in the Iraq war when the US forces controlled all the news to come out about the war.
Some Australian commentators say that existing sedition laws have been in place since the fifties without being misused. Oh, really? And, it is not governments that prosecute alleged offenders, but police. We say: the police are the means of executing the laws made by the politicians of the government. When you have had experience with police as so many gays and lesbians have had, you become fully aware of how they use the powers provided by the governments of our time.
If the existing laws are so good and have been used so wisely, why add these new and extreme measures. We don’t believe the laws need updating because of the ‘war on terror’ which is a misnomer anyway. It is a ‘war of revenge’ –a means of forcing other countries to adopt a different lifestyle.
Such measures as those being proposed in Schedule 7 have been used in other countries to suppress political dissent and the power accorded the Attorney-General is far too broad. If these seditious intention proposals are passed into law they surely must cause many humanitarian judges great concern to have to hear and interpret.
We object to the whole of Schedule 7 as unnecessary and unacceptable.
Optical surveillance devices at airports and on board aircraft
These devices are already in use at airports and on board aircraft. There does not appear to be any need for the Attorney-General to regulate and authorise their use with a specific code (74K) to safeguard Commonwealth interests. Far too wide in application, scrap Schedule 8.
Financial transaction reporting
We consider that our objection to Schedule 6 applies to Schedule 9 equally, an invasion of privacy and unnecessary.
We consider the Anti-Terrorism (No.2) Bill 2005 to be completely unnecessary and a threat to freedom of speech. The provisions and powers proposed in this Bill to improve those existing in other laws create and sustain the climate of fear and apprehension in the minds of the citizens of this country. They undermine our freedom of association.
The sunset provisions of ten years are a farce. We consider the government to be cynical about its promise that it will review the Bill next year if it is passed this year.
Equally, we think it has been cynical in its decision to have this Inquiry into the provisions of the Bill because everyone knows that with the help of the Labor Opposition it will be passed through the Senate within the time limit the Government has allowed. Like the Industrial Relations Bill the government will not accept any major amendments to this Bill.
If this Inquiry decides that an inquiry into alternatives to anti-terrorism legislation, as we have suggested in our preamble, is worth recommending to the Federal Government, then we will feel that spending time on this submission hasn’t been altogether a cynical exercise or a waste of time.
Signed: Kendall Lovett and Mannie De Saxe, for Lesbian & Gay Solidarity (Melbourne).
The mind boggles if this is the way they get their spooks!- Australia in October 2006! - but anything is possible these days!
My Australian friends!
Tell your politicians what you think about this! If you are silent, they will think you are a bunch of dummies. (Pass it on and if you have any contacts in the press, let them know)
They will not resist the demands of the USA - they will allow this to happen, if we don't act.
I have no issue with supporting
Australia's defence forces and I fully respect them. The concern I have, is with
the use of depleted uranium. (see below)
Read these articles and you will understand why:
Now read below what David has to say.
Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, HIV (GLTH) Asylum Seekers - Part 1
Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, HIV (GLTH) Asylum Seekers - Part 2
Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, HIV (GLTH) Asylum Seekers - Part 3
LESBIAN & GAY SOLIDARITY PAGE
RED JOS: HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISM
Mannie and Kendall Present: LESBIAN AND GAY SOLIDARITY ACTIVISMS
Mannie's weblogs may be accessed directly by clicking on to the following links
MannieBlog (to December 2005)
Activist Kicks Backs - Blognow archive re-housed - 2005-2009
RED JOS BLOGSPOT (From January 2009 onwards)
This page last updated on 9 JANUARY 2012 and again on 9 NOVEMBER 2016