NSW Police May Soon Get Wide Reaching Powers

nojusticejustus

There’s the good old saying there is no justice there is just us.

And it’s going to ring more true in NSW with this new piece of legislation is described as ‘one of the most horrifying attacks on ordinary people’s rights, and most sinister overreaches of police power the state has seen’ by Techly mag.

We in Queensland should be worried because it might just slip over the border if it proves to be successful.

Indeed measures introduced in the United Kingdom through the Serious Crimes Act 2007 (recently expanded to Scotland), have ‘influenced‘ the NSW Bill.

The legislation will give police the power to cut off your internet, terminate your employment, tell you who can associate with, and where you can go if they think you have some association with a “serious” crime.

The NSW Bar association says ‘ The potential for interference in the liberties of citizens of New South Wales and their day to day lives is extreme.’

THE NSW GOVERNMENT WANTS TO GIVE POLICE DRACONIAN NEW POWERS AND YOU SHOULD BE TERRIFIED

CRIMES (SERIOUS CRIME PREVENTION ORDERS) BILL 2016 – NSW Bar Association

NSW crime prevention orders an attack on individual freedoms, rule of law: Bar Association

 

Indigenous Australia knows the cynicism exposed by Michael Brown’s killing in Ferguson

By Larissa Behrendt an academic, writer, film maker and Indigenous advocate

After a Missouri grand jury declined to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown, prosecuting attorney Bob McCulloch said that the decision was based upon physical and scientific evidence, not “public outcry or political expediency”.

This call for objectivity does little in a situation where autopsies show Wilson had shot Brown at least six times, twice in the head. McCulloch seemed to compromise his own objectivity by blaming social and news media for beating up a story, rather than acknowledging that when a young person is shot by law enforcement, people expect a level of accountability.

Watching the events in Ferguson unfold raises similar questions about Australia’s own legal system. The parallel is immediately drawn with the failure to secure a conviction in the case of 36-year-old Cameron Mulrunji Doomadgee, who died in a Palm Island lockup over 10 years ago.

Mulrunji was picked up for singing “Who let the dogs out” at a police officer, Chris Hurley, who drove past him in the street. He was charged with public nuisance. He had been in police custody for only an hour when he died. An autopsy revealed four broken ribs, which had ruptured his liver and spleen.

Hurley was indicted for assault and manslaughter but acquitted in 2007. He is the only person ever charged over a death in custody of an Aboriginal person in Australia.

Emotions overflowed after Doomadgee’s death in custody. A riot broke out on Palm Island. It was, like in Ferguson, as much a protest against a single act of injustice as against a system that seemed riddled with it. No police officer was ever successfully prosecuted for Doomadgee’s death, but several Aboriginal men, including Palm Island spokesperson Lex Wotton, were successfully prosecuted for the ensuing riots and received a seven year prison sentence.

Would it have been realistic to expect this outcome on Palm Island? The Ferguson grand jury’s decision certainly seems to have been anticipated on social media, reflecting the persistence of deep cynicism about the criminal justice system.

Anyone who has lived in the US – or even visited – will notice that poverty is racialised. 15.1% of Americans live in poverty; of that 28.4% were black and 26.6% were Hispanic. The events in Ferguson are perhaps a way of highlighting that the election of Barack Obama has done little or nothing to change the US’s deeply ingrained cultures of exclusion, marginalisation and stereotyping.

Obama’s response to the eruption of a new wave of violence, and the broader disappointment and anger about the grand jury decision, showed his own understanding of the perceptions of bias in the legal system. His call to respect the rule of law was accompanied by pleas for calm and constructive protest; then-Queensland premier Peter Beattie struck a similar tone after Hurley was acquitted, urging Queenslanders “to accept the decision of the court without question.”

 A rally in Brisbane following the police murder of Mulrinji Doomadgee 2004

Obama also admitted that there were legitimate grounds for mistrust of the police, including that white police officers are seen to get away with killing young black men, while young black men seem to have no problem getting locked up. According to US Department of Justice figures from 2009, African Americans make up 40% of the US male prison population.

These patterns are replicated in Australia. Between 2000 and 2013, the adult Indigenous imprisonment rate increased by 57%, while the non-Indigenous rate did not show significant change. The rate of juvenile detention sits at about 24 times that of non-Indigenous youth. Indigenous people make up just 3% of the Australian population.

There are dozens of instances where Aboriginal people are killed in custody. The 1987 Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody investigated 99 of them. Since then, 340 Indigenous people have died in custody.

Some of these have been high profile. In 2008, respected Elder Mr Ward died in the back of a paddy wagon, after being driven 400km across the WA desert. He had been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

More recently, 22-year-old woman Ms Dhu died in police custody in the South Hedland police station while she was being held in police custody to “pay down” around $1,000 in unpaid fines.

These deaths accumulate to cause a similar level of distrust with a legal system, particularly in the way it administers justice. Other than the unsuccessful prosecution of Chris Hurley, not a single charge has been laid, not a single person held to account. To return to McCulloch, is the long-term failure of African Americans and Indigenous Australians by their legal systems not also an “objective” reality?

While there is much talk about why violence occurs in this context, it also raises the more profound and long-reaching question: what will we do to fix a system where cynicism is rife and racial bias seems to abound? How do we change a conversation when there is suspicion that the system is stacked against the marginalised, and the powerful are defensive about being critiqued.

If there is a shining answer to this problem, it’s the Aboriginal community of Redfern. Riots erupted there in 2004 when TJ Hickey, a 17-year old Aboriginal man, was killed. After police chased him in their car while he was riding his bike, he was impaled on a fence. Hickey’s death sparked an emotional response from a community that had long been targeted by the police. Violence broke out and was eventually beaten back by police with fire hoses; law enforcement were castigated by the Sydney Morning Herald for their poor preparation.

Perhaps nothing was unusual about the situation in Redfern. What was unusual was the longer-term response. Police command changed and the new officer in charge, Commander Luke Freudenstein, built a relationship with the local community. A range of programs to build self-esteem in young people, particularly young men, were a success. As a result of this grassroots effort, the community transformed and far fewer young Indigenous men were arbitrarily picked up by the police, to end up in the lockup.

The lesson isn’t that good can come from civil unrest, so much as that change really is possible, if we address the issues that lead to outbursts of emotion and violence.

As the events in Ferguson unfold, it’s clear that their community is a microcosm of the deep-seated issues in the US. Ferguson is perhaps also a sign of what happens anywhere that key institutions, like the criminal justice system, are unreflective about their own entrenched biases – biases that colour outcomes when justice is what we need most.

Originally posted at Guardian Australia.

Cairns Safe from Granny with Anti G20 Stickers and Spray Chalk Offenders

The G20 Finance Ministers Meeting will be held in Cairns next weekend September 20 & 21.

At the meeting will be delegates and staff  from 24 countries and 12 international organisations.

A sixty year old grandmother has had her house raided by 4 police officers who were searching for …. stickers.

They confiscated her phone, dug through her rubbish and searched her car.

On a quest to find anti G20 stickers which read ‘G20 benefits the 1%’.

Because stickers such as these pose such a threat to the smooth running of the finance meeting photocopy shops have been advised to not print anti-G20 materials.

Office Works has reportedly complied.

Rest assured that it’s not just stickers the police are protecting Cairns from but also SPRAY CHALK.

Aleta Kathleen Tulk and co-offender Adam Mark Brooker pleaded guilty to wilful damage in the Cairns Magistrates Court after using spray chalk to write “G20 benefits the 1%” on a path at the northern end of the Esplanade on July 24.

They were given a $400 3 month good behavior bond each for the graffiti which was removed easily by community service workers.

Ms Tulk was quoted in the Cairns Post as saying

“We wanted to make a statement because, you know what, we’re fed up.

“I even tested it before on my own driveway to make sure it would wash off.”

“I’ve been told to behave for the next three months so I’ll probably keep it to a minimum, I’m not going to do anything outrageous.

“(But) ultimately in the end that’s who I am and I’ll continue to speak out about it. I just won’t do it with chalk on the pavement.”

G20 authorities claim they are taking a “business as usual” approach to the Finance Ministers’ meeting.

However 60 year old grandmother’s are waking up to their house being raided, photocopy shops are being told to censor what people can copy and  an additional 700 police are steadily arriving in Cairns over the next week.

Cairns 2014 Live Visit Do As We Say

G20 Badge

Here’s some images you can make into posters or stickers. They do not mention the G20 so you’ll have no problem distributing them. (Thanks to Emma Goldman from Sydney’s Black Rose Anarchist Bookshop)

Private PropertyHung ParliamentFree Trade vs Mutual Aid

 

Systems of Control

Listen Online

Download from Radio4all

This week on Tweet Back Radio which airs on 4ZZZ before The Anarchy Show the crew asked the question – who do the police serve?

So we continued this discussion into the beginning of the show and our discussion is included in this episode of Autonomous Action Radio.

Following this Peter reviews Thomas Kineally’s book Shame and the Captives which centres around another system of control – the army.

We also take a look at the ‘black bloc’ tactic with The Stimulator in the latest episode of It’s the End of the World as we Know it and I feel fine!!

And the coal industry

Music

99 Posse – Rigurgito Antifascista info
Fugees – The Score info
The Saints – Securty City info
The Pogues – The Band Played Waltzing Matilda info
The Great Shame – Police State

NYPD Happy Snaps Unlikely

In a move which shows how disconnected public relations staff can be from reality, the New York police department Twitter account posted this suggestion –

“Do you have a photo w/ a member of the NYPD? Tweet us & tag it #myNYPD. It may be featured on our Facebook,” the department posted on its NYPD News Twitter feed, hoping to fuel a feel-good, low-cost public relations campaign.

As could easily have been predicted given the history of the NYPD instead of feel good images, images of police brutality filled the Twitter profile.

Images and tweets of many arrests went viral, including  an officer pulling the hair of a handcuffed young black woman and another of the bloodied face of an 84-year-old stopped for jaywalking.

One image showing police after striking a protester brought the remark “Here the #NYPD engages with its community members, changing hearts and minds one baton at a time.”

Also largely criticized was the unpopular “stop and frisk” policy, which  unfairly targets minority youth.

NYPDs ‘finest’ moments include –

1999 – 4 officers shoot Amadou Diallo a total of 41 times outside his apartment

2006 – 3 men shot at a total of 51 times by plain clothes and undercover police. Sean Bell was killed the morning before his wedding

2012 – Cop fatally shoots unarmed black teen in front of his grandmother and 6-year-old brother in their Bronx home.

2012 – unarmed Noel Polanco fatally shot by officer after being pulled over while driving home.

More information on NYPD murders here.

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nypd23n-2-web nypd-three

 

 

 

 

FOOD NOT COPS

On this weeks shows we continue on with the Anarchist/Activist Alphabet and we’re still looking at F … F is a fucking good letter and I keep thinking of topics starting with F so we’re stuck on F…  Feminsm, Freedom, Fire, File Sharing, and Five Finger Discount which was the topic of the last show. F can also be for Food Not Bombs and the closely related topic Freeganism… so that’s what we’re going to be looking at later in the show but first of all the latest sedition of It’s the End of the World as We Know it and I feel Fine!

LISTEN HERE

Download from Radio4all

1. Police don’t like F words. Police don’t like the word Fuck either… well they use it themselves but they generally don’t like it when a member of the public uses it near them… however a Queensland man who was arrested for telling an officer to fuck off had his case dismissed by a magistrate who says “It’s not the most polite way of speaking but those who walk the beat would be quiet immune to the words.”

2. It’s the End of the World as we Know it and I feel Fine!

Abolish the Police

3. F is for Food Not Bombs and Freeganism

4. Wave interviewed the man behind the Formidable Vegetable Sound System… Charlie Mgee who developed what is said to be the world’s first permaculture concept album which has now turned into a stage show and is traveling the world….

MUSIC

Bedding Music: Welcome Clarity -Unisonic Ascension

Combat Wombat Police Brutality

Police by J Scribe and VersaKylie 

Police State by The Great Shame

The Chumbawamba ABCs of Anarchism comes from Pop Defect Radios Tribute to them.

Look Around by Formidable Vegetable Sound System.

Formidable Vegetable Sound System