SPEECH AT "STOP THE WAR COALITION" RALLY, CITY WALK FOUNTAIN, CANBERRA CITY, 12.30 pm SUNDAY 6 NOVEMBER 2005 - Tony Kevin.
TK: Several hundred people gathered in Canberra City on 5 November 2005 as part of a nationwide series of weekend rallies on the themes: Defend Civil Liberties, Defend Muslims, Troops out of Iraq.
I spoke along with Neil Mudford (National Tertiary Education Union), Mohammed Berjaoui (Canberra Islamic Society), Wayne Berry (ACT ALP Member of Legislative Assembly), Deb Foskey (ACT Greens MLA), and Rick Kuhn (ACT NOW):
What I have to say today is simple:
1. We have no reason to trust John Howard, given his record for deceit and gross abuse of human rights.
2. John Howard and his cronies created the climate of fear and anxiety we live in in Australia today.
The first point is self-evident.
On the second point: It's nonsense to say, as Howard says, that our invasion of Iraq in 2003 made no difference. It made all the difference.
Howard and Ruddock say that our help to the people of East Timor evoked Islamic anger. That is a lie. There were passing references to Australia somewhere in a Bin Laden speech in 2000. It would have been a forgotten footnote in history. [ And lost just like Bin Laden?]
When Australia joined the invasion of Afghanistan after the [false flag] September 11 2001, Taliban and Al Qaeda hardly noticed we were there. Some idiot Australian journalist jumped up and down at a press conference in Pakistan, begging the Taliban Foreign Minister to please threaten us too. Finally, out of politeness, he agreed.
Still none of this meant anything much, until our criminal invasion of Iraq in March 2003. The Australian people knew this was a turning point, which is why a million of us marched to try and stop it. We failed, because Howard doesn't give a fig for democracy. To him, we were just "the mob".
Howard says that because the Bali bombings in October 2002 preceded the Iraq invasion, this proves the invasion made no difference. That is nonsense too: because it was well known long before October 2002 that Howard intended to take Australian troops into Iraq. He'd been speculating about this since early 2002, and in July senior ADF officers were already in the US helping General Tommy Franks draft the battle plan. It was all over the press during 2002.
[And Bali was a CIA assisted false flag operation and a call to arms for Iraq.]
Why don't our media recall this factual history now? Why don't they call Howard's lies on this ?
So, at every step of the way, the little Crusader trumpeted and ramped up his hostility to the Islamic world. And he took Australia with him, into dangerous places. Howard is the greatest threat to our peace and security in Australia today - with Beazley bobbing along obediently behind him.
These two men are agents provocateurs - they are agents of provocation. Everything they have said since the [false flag] London bombings these past six months is calculated to distress, to humiliate, to threaten, and to destabilize Australia's vulnerable Islamic communities.
Howard and Beazley just love their new theme of "homegrown terrorists" - "people who seem to be pretty much like the rest of us, but deep down hate us". What a guaranteed way to generate fear and prejudice, to rip our society apart. These two men have no civic wisdom and no generosity. They are spoilers.
Let me share a secret with you. Howard and Beazley both profoundly wish an Islamist terrorist event in Australia to happen. Because that is the only thing that might retrospectively "justify" the damage they have already done to our precious civil liberties, their reckless warmongering, their fomenting of community fear and straining of intercommunal harmony, their creation of feelings of exclusion and insecurity in our Australian Muslim communities.
Look at the record: Beazley's contemptible proposal that the state needs new powers to "lock down" neighbourhoods at risk: anyone for the Warsaw Ghetto ? The Lakemba or Coburg ghettoes ?
Howard, sooling two of his nastiest MPs as attack dogs onto helpless Muslim teenage schoolgirls, with their hateful campaign to ban headscarves in state schools. It was only when Petro Georgiou called that nasty proposal for what it was, that Howard hastily backed away, saying "Oh No, it wasn't my view".
We have probably this week passed the point of no return towards a national security police state. One doesn't recognize these thresholds until much later - the Germans found that out in the 1930s - and one looks back and says - "Ah, then was the time we should have made our stand".
Australia passed that point this week when six premiers and then the Parliament agreed to debate a slightly modified version of the terror law. Our Parliament should have heeded Jon Stanhope, Malcolm Fraser, Terry O'Gorman, Alastair Nicholson, and all the other lawyers and former judges who spoke out bravely over the past month.
Our Houses of Parliament should have exercised a conscience vote and thrown out this bad law. Our Parliament failed us this week.
In a few weeks, we will no longer have the protection of law for rights of free expression which we used to take for granted.
I will go to jail, if I have to, under this law: not for anything to do with terrorism, but for accusing this government of being a criminal regime. I've done that for some time now. It will surely count as sedition and sowing disaffection, under this new law ?
If the Howard authorities take no steps to send me to jail, it will prove that we are no longer a society based on law but on the selective, politically convenient application of law. It will prove that they will only prosecute those they choose to prosecute. This is not the rule of law - it is tyranny.
I will go on saying such seditious things as this: That our state's military participation in the illegal invasion of Iraq and in the subsequent criminal destruction of Fallujah, a city of 250,000 people, were criminal acts.
That our state's conduct of the Operation Relex border protection campaign and its covert people smuggling disruption program in Indonesia in 2001 were criminal acts, which may have contributed to large numbers of deaths on SIEV X and other asylum-seeker boats.
That our state's mistreatment of people detained for long periods in Australian camps and in Nauru and Manus were criminal acts. That our state's neglect of its duty of care to Australian holidaymakers in Bali in 2002, in withholding relevant threat intelligence from them, was criminal negligence. [Complicity in a false flag operation by the CIA.]
I will go on saying that John Howard has intimidated or corrupted most of our public institutions - our federal public service, our federal police, our defence force, our big media. A fish rots from the head, and when I observe the operations of the senior executives of these organizations, I smell the rot.
Only our judiciary and a tiny embattled band of courageous MPs and Senators across party lines now stand between Howard and total power.
I will go on saying all these things, because they are true. If saying them sends me to jail, the Australian people may finally see these laws for what they are - Orwellian laws against Thoughtcrimes.
I know I won't be alone in jail; there will be many good Australians there with me.
I say this especially to our Muslim compatriots and friends. These are terrible times for you. But please, do not be goaded by this man. Do not give him and Beazley the vindication of a terrorist event.
Let us wage this fight to restore our multicultural democracy, but always by peaceful means. We may need martyrs to this cause - people like Mandela, Gandhi, Solzhenitsyn - but we must not see any acts of anti-government violence. Howard wants that. We don't.
Decent words and decent values are our weapons. By our courage, we will show the people what a power-hungry and divisive coward this man is.
There are people of decency and courage on both sides of Parliament, and I include here the independent MPs and the Greens and Democrat Senators. We are inspired by them. But the two major parliamentary parties, as parties, have badly let us down last week.
We have to fight for our democracy here now, outside Parliament. It will take real courage - we will be tested as never before. It is down to us now.
By Tony Kevin 6 NOVEMBER 2005
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