6/ Banner <3 outside #MITA #stopdep action. Trying to prevent deportation of #asylumseekers to Nauru

 

 

Image: @r0adsideservice [9/6/15]

 

 

 

 

‏@r0adsideservice:  3/ Signs at #MITA deportation action. "End mandatory detention now". ...   

 

 

 

‏@r0adsideservice: 5/ Keepin warm, holding the line @ #MITA detention center, tryin 2 prevent forced removal of 20 ppl to Nauru ...  

 

 

 

 

 

Planned burn scheduled at Hinze Dam from Tuesday 9 June 2015:

 

Seqwater has scheduled a planned burn along the western section of Hinze Dam (near the Western boat ramp) from Tuesday 9 June 2015, subject to weather conditions and other unforeseen delays.

Planned or prescribed burns reduce fuel hazard levels to help mitigate the risks of wildfires and manage biodiversity.

The Western Boat Ramp Access Road will be closed and a section of Nerang-Murwillumbah Road will be reduced to one lane of traffic, for the duration of the burn.

 Traffic control will be in place, and we will re-open Western Boat Ramp Access Road when it is safe to do so.

Smoke hazard signage will be in place, at various locations, during and after the burn period to warn motorists and dam visitors.

Please drive safely, observe signage and follow the direction of traffic control and Seqwater staff on site. For more information, please email communications@seqwater.com.au

 

 

 

 

Gold Coast residents are desperate for journalism and basic news info about their region.

 

ABC gives them this --->  The ABC has announced a joint venture with Dreamworld on the Gold Coast to launch ABC KIDS World, featuring Giggle and Hoot, The Wiggles, Play School and Bananas in Pyjamas in "a new funpark to bring the ABC KIDS brand to life and extend the experience".  ... [The Age - 8/6/15]

 

 

 

 

 

US base shipped live anthrax to 19 states plus D.C.: Pentagon [Reuters – 8/6/15]

 

 



Video shows officers kill Boston terror suspect [CNN – 8/6/15]




A man accused of plotting a suicide bomb attack at a Wichita, Kansas, airport in 2013 pleaded guilty on Monday in U.S. District Court to a charge of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. ... [Reuters - 8/6/15]





 

 

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has become such a powerful symbol of government overreach that federal prosecutors in a terror case in Chicago are asking the judge to forbid defense attorneys from even mentioning his name during trial, for fear that it would lead the jury to disregard their evidence.

The upcoming trial is of Adel Daoud, a slow-witted Chicagoland teenager caught in yet another FBI terror sting aimed at someone vulnerable to manipulation.

An undercover federal agent provided Daoud with a fake car bomb parked outside a downtown Chicago bar, and then let him push the detonator. ... [The Intercept - 4/6/15]

 

 

 

Policing in Victoria 'moving back to the dark ages' with anti-terrorism measures, former police chiefs warn in open letter



ABC [9/6/15]:

 

 

... The letter also criticised police leadership for moving towards larger police stations.

"This siege mentality will force police members to a further disconnection from the community," the letter read.

"A basic policing tool is the gathering of information which can only occur through engagement with the community.

"Without it policing becomes ineffective and crime and social disorder flourishes.

"The fundamentals of good policing are being increasingly unheeded."

Mr Glare said withdrawal of policing programs aimed at youth engagement, such as the Police in Schools program, was a prime example of where the force had gone wrong.

"It was getting to young people before they get into trouble, teaching them not only do they have rights, but they have corresponding obligations and responsibilities, and teaching them to consider the consequences of their actions before they did something rather than having to deal with problems afterwards," he said.

"That was a very strong program doing a lot of good, and in the view of myself and my colleagues, it needs to be reintroduced."

The letter called for "an urgent independent review" of policing policy in the state.

 

 

 

 

Queensland coroner clears men in fatal citizen's arrest

Yahoo [9/6/15]:


Queensland's coroner has cleared those involved in a deadly citizen's arrest but criticised the prolonged use of force and recommended police consider regular first aid training.

Cairns man Neville Royston Reading died in November 2013 after he was held down by several men for eight minutes and bound with cable ties after a domestic assault.

An inquest into the 37-year-old's death was held in April.

On Tuesday, Queensland Coroner Terry Ryan said Mr Reading died as a result of cardiac dysrhythmia during restraint against a background of significant alcohol intoxication and valvular heart disease.

Mr Ryan said the initial restraint was not unreasonable and that Mr Reading's death would not have been foreseeable.

However, the continued use of force to keep the heavily intoxicated electrician pinned to the ground after he'd been immobilised with cable ties was deemed unnecessary.

"Two of the persons involved in the restraint had previously undergone first aid training," Mr Ryan said in findings delivered in Brisbane.

"Those persons should have placed him in the recovery position."

Mr Reading had been drinking for almost 24 hours without sleep when he became violent towards his partner and her friend at a Bentley Park house.

The violence spilled into the yard where several local men intervened, drawn by yelling and screaming.

Responding police initially handcuffed Mr Reading before placing him in the recovery position and calling paramedics when they recognised his deteriorating condition.

Mr Ryan found the two constables who arrived first acted professionally and diligently but noted that neither had current first aid qualifications.

He recommended Queensland's police commissioner consider including CPR and other first aid skills in annual training for all officers.

"Not only would they be able to confidently and appropriately respond to requests for help by members of the community but also those of their fellow officers if required," Mr Ryan said.

 



 

 

Boys charged with driving offences in the usual Brisbane suburbs

 

 

 

Brisbane Times [9/6/15]:

 

A 12-year-old allegedly driving a reported stolen car swerved to avoid a random breath testing site in Logan, police say.

The Kingston boy was charged with attempting to avoid an RBT site in Rochdale South after he was arrested along with a 13-year-old male passenger on Friday night.

Police say the pair were in a stolen car that contained stolen items from a Newmarket house.

"Around 11pm the vehicle the boys were allegedly travelling in swerved into a driveway near the RBT site on Rochedale Road before officers arrested the boys on foot," police said in a statement.

Both have been charged with unlawful use of a motor vehicle and will face court under provisions of the Youth Justice Act.

In a separate incident, police charged a 14-year-old Kingston boy after he was stopped allegedly driving a stolen vehicle in Slacks Creek.

Police charged him with unlawful use of a motor vehicle, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, unlicensed driving and failing to stop.

Springwood Police said they completed more than 5000 random breath tests during the Queen's Birthday Weekend in Daisy Hill, Rochedale South, Slacks Creek and Springwood.

More than 45 people were charged for a variety of offences, including drink driving, unlicensed driving and other traffic infringements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Specific strategies are needed to address the disproportionate suicide rate of indigenous youth, Queensland's coroner has recommended.

Coroner Terry Ryan made the recommendation on Tuesday when he delivered his findings of an inquest into the deaths of two 16-year-old boys who were among six young people to take their own lives in Mackay in 2007 and 2008. … [Yahoo - 9/6/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17-year-old killed in police pursuit car crash, Keperra [ABC - 6/6/15]

 

 

 

 

Ambulance Victoria reviews elderly woman's death

 

 

 

Nine MSN [9/6/15]:


Ambulance Victoria is investigating how a 78-year-old woman bled to death while waiting for an ambulance.

Paramedics were first called to Altona at 1.22am on Friday but her condition was assessed as non-critical and an ambulance didn't arrive until 3.16am.

The woman was still alive when paramedics arrived and broke into the home, but she died a short time later.

Acting Chief Operations Officer Mick Stephenson says both Ambulance Victoria and the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority are reviewing the case.

"We have spoken to the family and will continue to make ourselves available to help them as best we can and keep them updated on our review," he said in a statement on Wednesday.



 

 

 

 

The "Mr Fix-It" who failed to fix Queensland Health's broken payroll system has been appointed as head of the department on his merits, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk insists.

Michael Walsh, who was deputy director-general of health when the payroll system went live in 2010, was named as the new director-general on Friday.

He was dubbed "Mr Fix-It" when the Bligh government appointed him to repair the payroll system, but he resigned months later without solving the costly debacle. ... [Yahoo - 9/6/15]

 

 


 

 

 

Thanks for numbering every box and putting the LNP last! Queensland government media release pretends Gladstone port master plan will protect Great Barrier Reef [Minister for State Development Media Release – 8/6/15]

 

 

 



On World Day, UN urges global resolve to ‘appreciate, protect and restore’ Earth’s oceans [Media Release – 8/6/15]

 

 

 

 

Tar sands protest draws thousands to streets of St. Paul, Minnesota [West Central Tribune – 7/6/15]

 

 

 

 

East Timor resumes oil and gas treaty case at International Court of Justice [Economic Times – 5/6/15]

 

 

 


Ex-Labor MP Tim Mulherin turns lobbyist for $1.98b project [Daily Mercury – 9/6/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

... Melhem had survived adverse findings last year when the commission likened his use of a union slush fund to that of a "political boss" dispensing largesse in return for favours.

But it was when he was recently accused of cheating low-paid workers by keeping them on Work Choices agreements for financial and political gain that lost him the support of former allies.

Labor MPs and union leaders might seek to pass off the dark arts of factional politics as the cost of doing business.

But even they won't stoop to defending a union leader allegedly ripping off vulnerable employees by leaving them under a workplace regime they have demonised for a decade.  ... [Cesar Melhem's demise hurts Bill Shorten  - Australian Financial Review - 9/6/15]


 

 



FIFA World Cup bidding: Frank Lowy says he had no part in payment to Jack Warner [Sydney Morning Herald [9/6/15]

 

 

 



Ex-West Coast Eagle Daniel Kerr pleads guilty, whisked away by police

 

 

 

WA Today [9/6/15]:

 


Former West Coast Eagle Daniel Kerr has been led away from Perth Magistrates Court by plain-clothes police - shortly after he pleaded guilty to an amended charge on Tuesday afternoon.

Kerr's lawyer successfully argued for a charge of endangering life - stemming from a November incident at a Glendalough home - to be downgraded a charge of to threatening to unlawfully harm.

The veteran of 220 AFL games and two-time Brownlow Medal runner-up pleaded guilty and was scheduled to appear in court again on July 6.

But on exiting the court, Kerr was met by plain-clothes police, who took him away in a car.

A police spokesperson would not confirm if Kerr had been taken into custody.

The 31-year-old spent five nights in Hakea Prison after he was arrested in November for allegedly splashing petrol around a Glendalough home and trying to light a fire.

His parents Roger and Roxanne paid his $5000 bail.

...

 

 

 

 

... However, as soon as he exited court, he was met by two plain clothes detectives, who immediately told the former Eagle they wanted to question him about a separate matter.

The West Australian understands that to be in connection with a violence restraining order that Mr Kerr has been issued in the past. ... [West Australian - 9/6/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A newly engaged NSW couple who plunged from a cruise ship, never to be seen again, were captured on CCTV arguing in the hours before their apparent deaths.

Paramedic Paul Rossington, 30, jumped nearly 20 metres into the Tasman Sea after his girlfriend, Kristen Schroder, 26, apparently slipped from a fifth-level balcony on the Carnival Spirit on May 8, 2013, a coronial inquest in Sydney heard today.

But before the incident, the pair were captured on the ship’s CCTV, apparently bickering as Mr Rossington played a pokie machine. ... [Nine MSN - 9/6/15]





 


Queensland police seek extradition of murder case suspect in Serbia [ABC – 9/6/15]

 

 

 



 

19 injured with 3 critical after ute crashes into cafe, causes gas explosion in Ravenshoe [ABC - 9/6/15]



 



Man hospitalised following Biggera Waters crash



MYGC [9/6/15]:


A motorcycle rider is in hospital after crashing his bike in Biggera Waters this morning.

Emergency services were called to Harbour Quays Drive around 6am following reports of an accident.

A 29-year-old man was taken to Gold Coast University Hospital with a leg injury.

The accident had caused delays in the area but they have since cleared.

 

 



Coombabah house damaged in suspicious fire

Brisbane Times [9/6/15]:

 

A man has been charged with arson following a house fire on the Gold Coast on Monday night.

Fire crews were called to a house fire on Sidney Nolan Drive in Coombabah, near Runaway Bay, about 9.30pm.

Police allege a 42-year-old Coombabah man set fire to the residence, which was unoccupied when the fire started.

No one was injured.

The man will front Southport Magistrates Court on Tuesday.



Attempted armed robbery, New Farm



QPS Media [9/6/15]:


Police have charged a man following an attempted armed robbery that occurred last night at New Farm.

At about 9.00pm a man entered a business on Welsby Street where police will allege he produced a knife and demanded money.

The console operator activated an alarm and the man fled the premises without any cash.

The console operator was not injured during the incident.

Police patrols located a 23-year-old Fortitude Valley man who has been charged with one count of attempted armed robbery.

He is due to appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court today.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.

 


 

Update: Armed robbery charge, Durack



QPS Media [9/6/15]:


Police have charged a man following the alleged armed robbery of a service station in Durack last night.

Police will allege that at about 11.15pm the man entered a business on Rosemary Street, allegedly producing a hammer and demanding money.

The console operator complied with the demands and the man fled the premises with an amount of cash.

The console operator was not physically injured during the incident.

An 18-year-old Inala man has been charged with one count each of armed robbery, entering a premises with intent to commit an indictable offence and possess utensils.

He is due to appear in the Richlands Magistrates Court on July 2.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.



 

 

 

 

Prisoners likely to be charged for climbing on roof of Wolston Correctional Centre in Brisbane [ABC – 9/6/15]

 

 

 

 

Jury Sworn In at Wallis Trial



Byline [8/6/15]:


After months of delay, the trial of Neil Wallis, one of Fleet Street's longest serving executives, finally got under way at the Central Criminal Court in London today.

In a dark wood-panneled courtroom, Judge John Saunders told members of the public reporting for jury service that the case centred around allegations of phone hacking at the News of the World.

Previous phone hacking trials had been "accompanied by a significant amount of publicity," the judge said. He stressed that jurors should try the case on the evidence they heard in court alone.

Mr Wallis, 64, from London, is charged with conspiring to hack phones while deputy editor of the News of the World between January 2003 and August 2006.

Proceedings began shortly after 10am, when Mr Justice Saunders asked the usher to call 35 members of the public reporting for a fortnight's jury service into Court 4 of the Old Bailey.

The judge explained that the case was scheduled to last for four weeks, adding that those with a legitimate reason such as childcare commitments or student exams would be excused from sitting on it.

The court clerk called out the name of each potential juror. Eleven indicated to Mr Justice Saunders that they should be excused for one or more of the reasons he had given.

The judge told the 24 who remained that they would be asked to fill in a questionnaire about their knowledge of phone hacking and the News of the World.

Knowing about phone hacking at the News of the World would not itself disqualify anyone from hearing the case, Mr Justice Saunders said, but he added he did not want anyone with "specialist knowledge."

The two dozen potential jurors were invited back into court in the afternoon and 12 were sworn in as members of the jury.

Mr Wallis stood in the dock as the charge was read out: that between 29 January 2003 and 9 August 2006, he conspired with Andy Coulson, Jules Stenson, Greg Miskiw, James Weatherup, Neville Thurbeck, Dan Evans, Ian Edmondson, Glenn Mulcaire, and other persons unknown to intercept communications in the course of their transmission without lawful authority, namely mobile phone voicemails.

Addressing the jurors, Mr Justice Saunders said it was essential that they ignored any publicity during the case, because they alone would be best qualified to try the case, on the evidence they hear.

They should not look up any newspaper back copies, or do internet searches on Google or Yahoo, or post anything on Facebook, about the case. In other cases where such instructions ignored, jurors had been taken to court and jailed, he warned.

At 2.45pm the case was adjourned for the day.

Julian Christopher QC is expected to open the Crown's case tomorrow.

Neil Saunders represents Mr Wallis.


 

 

THE QUEENSLAND MEDIA ARE CENSORING THIS STORY ABOUT A QUEENSLAND MAN WHO IS BEING ILLEGALLY DETAINED

 

 

All Australians should be concerned their liberty could be extinguished.

 



WA Today [9/6/15]:


The lawyer for a 39-year-old man who has been locked up in a detention centre outside of Perth for days despite being an Indigenous Australian has labelled the mix-up as 'scandalous'.

Refugee Rights Action Network spokeswoman Sally Thompson said Mr David has been illegally detained in the Northam Immigration Detention Centre since Friday, after going to Centrelink last week to get funding for some classes.

"They questioned the validity of his passport and when he voluntarily went in to the passport office to sort it out, immigration detained him," she said.

"They insisted he was an Indian man and showed him a picture of an adolescent Indian they said was a picture of him as a child...a man they claim arrived in Australia over 30 years ago.

"He is being detained under that name at Yongah Hill."

She said it was the second time immigration had detained Mr David after confusing him with the same Indian man more than five years ago after he attended a Centrelink Office.

Ms Thompson said at that time he was detained for several days at the Perth Immigration Detention Centre and released with an apology.

"The staff at the WA South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council confirm they know the man as an Indigenous and member of the stolen generation," she said.

"He is recognised by them as a Torres Strait Islander man that hails from Eddie Mabo's country, the Murray Islands in the Torres Strait. He says he spent much of his life in missions, including Davenport Mission outside of Port Augusta."

South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council community development officer Michelle Nelson-Cox told Radio 6PR on Tuesday morning Mr David's case was not uncommon.

She said she couldn't understand why the Department of Immigration thought his passport was fake because she had seen the document with her own eyes.

"We find this bizarre as this young fellow was in possession of an Australian passport since early last year," she said.

"On receiving his passport he brought it in to us and showed us with pride and glee, because he's saying he finally had some closure in his traumatic life."

Ms Nelson-Cox said the council had not been told by the Immigration Department when Mr David would be released.

"We hope they exhaust all avenues around his identify and do some research and investigation through his Murray Islands origins," she said.

"I said they should do DNA testing with some of the clan groups over there - that's one way you can identify he's of indigenous origin."

Mr David's lawyer George Newhouse from Shine Lawyers said he had written to the Australian government solicitor demanding Eddie David be released from the Yongah Hill Immigration Detention Centre by 5pm Tuesday.

If Mr David was not released by that time, Mr Newhouse said he would take the matter to the High Court.

"He is being falsely imprisoned - I think this is scandalous," he told Fairfax Media.

Mr Newhouse was the lawyer for Cornelia Rau - a mentally ill woman who was detained for 10 months in a Brisbane jail and Baxter detention centre in 2005 before her identity was discovered.

Mr Newhouse said he couldn't believe another Australian citizen was being detained without having the chance to proof his identity before a judge.

"All Australians should be concerned their liberty could be extinguished," he said.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection said it had undertaken a thorough investigation and was fully satisfied that Mr David is an unlawful non-citizen.

"As part of this investigation, the Local Aboriginal Council did not affirm his claims to be Aboriginal," a department spokeswoman said.

As part of the investigation, the Department used fingerprint analysis and facial recognition comparisons.

The Department also contacted the Local Aboriginal Council, who did not affirm his claims to be Aboriginal.

People who have exhausted all outstanding avenues to remain in Australia and have no lawful basis to remain are expected to depart.

The Refugee Rights Action Network said the department did not contact any of the missions he claims to have lived in.



 

 

 

 

Someone's knockin' at the door

Somebody's ringin' the bell

Someone's knockin' at the door

Somebody's ringin' the bell

Do me a favour, open the door and let 'em in …


'Let 'Em In', Wings [1976]




Refugees, activists demand end to US family detention centres [teleSUR – 8/6/15]:



Hundreds of undocumented migrant families are being held in sub-standard detention facilities while awaiting trials as they flee Central American violence.

Pressure is mounting on U.S. immigration officials to release undocumented migrant mothers and children and make the system more humane as it was revealed recently that at least 600 families were being held in detention centers, while a teenage mother attempted suicide after being denied parole.

The government has thrown millions of dollars at two large detention centers in response to the tens of thousands of migrant families who crossed the Rio Grande into Texas last summer.

The great majority were from Central America, fleeing violence and terrible living standards. Now thousands are being held without parole as they await trial, including 1,300 mothers and children.

Activists are now calling on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to improve conditions and allow at least children out of detention.

"Neither the ICE nor the private owners of its family detention centers are capable of providing the levels of care for vulnerable people like pregnant mothers that are even marginally acceptable by any humane, legal, moral or American standard," Migrant Rights Activist Rachel Gore Freed told the LA Times, after visiting the Karnes City, Texas, detention center.

The woman who tried to kill herself earlier in June, 19-year-old Lilian Yamileth from Honduras, had been detained since October after crossing the Mexican border illegally.

The mother of a four-year-old told officials that the child’s father threatened to kill her, and that she had received rape threats. She was found with her wrists cut, and ICE told investigators that the detainee "had a surface-level abrasion" on her wrist and that it was "a non-life threatening injury."

"The individual was evaluated by medical professionals onsite who confirmed that the minor injury was not life-threatening, but that the help of specialized mental health care providers was appropriate," ICE spokesman Richard Rocha told Huffington Post.

"ICE takes the health, safety, and welfare of those in our care very seriously. ICE is closely monitoring the situation and continues to investigate the circumstances."

A court case is underway where the plaintiff claims the current system contravenes an 18-year-old settlement, Flores vs. Meese, which rules that migrant children must be released or housed in the “least restrictive environment.”

California District Judge Dolly Gee made a preliminary ruling that unlicensed centers, like the ones in Karnes City and Dilley, both in Texas, cannot house migrant mothers and children.

Meanwhile, in May 136 Democrat members of Congress petitioned Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to desist from detaining families.

"We cannot continue to hear reports of serious harm to children in custody and do nothing about it," they said. "Detaining mothers and children in jail-like settings is not the answer."

ICE has responded, pledging to improve its facilities while Judge Gee’s ruling is confirmed.

“We are moving in the direction of closing these centers down,” said Jonathan Ryan, executive director of the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, according to the Associated Press.

Last year, immigration services came under fire for housing the a number of unaccompanied children crossing illegally into Texas in a converted warehouse, which Democratic Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar called a “humanitarian crisis.”


 

 

 

Papua New Guinea immigration officers charged with assault on refugee exiled on Manus Island [Guardian - 9/6/15]:

 

 

... The officials allegedly told Sakhravi “this is our country” and threatened to kill him before making him run ahead of their car.

After a while they allegedly beat him again then drove him to the accommodation where his pleas to be taken to hospital were refused. ...

 



Expert told not to mention mental harm [SBS – 9/6/15]:

 

 

Medical staff treating asylum seekers on Nauru were told to withhold details of psychological effects of living in detention from mental health reports, a psychiatrist claims.

Peter Young, who had responsibility for the mental health of asylum seekers in all Australian-run detention centres from 2011 to 2014, says the immigration department told doctors it didn't want to hear about mental harm caused by being detained.

"We were repeatedly told ... it was unacceptable to put in reports to the department that people's mental health had been harmed by being in detention in Nauru," he told a Senate committee investigating allegations of abuse at the facility.

Dr Young, who has previously accused the department of covering up allegations of sexual abuse at the Australian-run centre on Nauru, said he refused to change his reports on that advice.

His staff frequently complained their care was being undermined by pushback from the immigration department, he said.

He blames in part the "overriding concern" of protecting the institution for abuse at the facility and claims medical recommendations were frequently not accepted and delayed.

He claimed the department told him medical recommendations to evacuate asylum seekers to Australia for treatment would "undermine" the offshore detention policy and allow access to lawyers.

Further, following the fatal riots at the facility in 2013, department officials said mainland evacuations for treatment would not be approved "anytime soon" even if the asylum seeker had no involvement in the violence, Dr Young told the committee.

"That was quite appalling when we knew we had a number of people on waiting lists," he said, adding he was told all asylum seekers were responsible for the riots because they were all there.

He also detailed a meeting when immigration department officials advised him to warn his staff not to give evidence to a recent Human Rights Commission inquiry which uncovered allegations of abuse.

Dr Young is the former director of mental health services for International Health and Mental Services, a private contractor employed by the immigration department.

The Department of Border Protection and Immigration will give evidence before the inquiry later on Tuesday.

 

 



Australian firm bribed Nauru government ministers for special deal: AFP [Canberra Times – 8/6/15]:

 

 

... Documents obtained under freedom-of-information laws by Fairfax Media reveal that in 2013, AFP investigators running an Operation codenamed Zurzach uncovered strong evidence that senior Nauruan politicians had been bribed by a Gold Coast mining company, Getax.

It is understood the alleged bribery involved payments and inducements made via Asian bank accounts as part of suspected efforts by Getax to obtain political backing for its phosphate mining operations. ...



 


Emergency Action: Stop Forced Transfers of Families and Babies to Nauru

 

 Refugee Action Collective (Victoria):


Jun 9 at 6:00pm to Jun 10


MITA, Camp Road, Broadmeadows



This is a public callout from the Refugee Action Collective to everyone who can possibly make it to attend an overnight vigil outside the Broadmeadows Detention Centre tonight (MITA), from 6pm, in order to try and halt the forced transfer of 20 vulnerable asylum seekers back to the hellhole detention camp on Nauru.

The group is largely made up of families and includes 10 children (2 babies) and a pregnant woman.

All were flown here for medical treatment, and all have health issues ranging from physical to serious mental health conditions.

It appears that they are likely to be moved in the early hours of Wednesday morning, though we could receive different information at any time.

So distressed are these asylum seekers that within the last two days there have been three suicide attempts and one heart attack.

These asylum seekers absolutely do not want to be returned to Nauru, where even according to the government's own Moss Report they face horrific conditions, rape, sexual and physical abuse, and drunken attacks by guards.

The asylum seekers have expressed their appreciation for those who are standing in solidarity with them and who are trying to halt their return to Nauru.

Any and all supporters of refugee rights are welcome and encouraged to attend this important action.

Even if you are unable to stay overnight, even an hour of your participation helps in building a fightback against this forced removal and against the government's hideous refugee policies more broadly.

...

 

 

 

 

Nazis ----> Police use tear gas to clear Paris refugees camp [France 24 - 8/6/15]:


Several dozen migrants living in a makeshift camp in northern Paris were driven out Monday by French security forces, who used teargas to disperse activists and politicians who had come to support the migrants.

The undocumented migrants, who had been living in a camp outside the Vaclav-Havel library on rue Pajol in Paris’ 18th arrondissement, were driven out by French gendarmes and riot squads in an afternoon raid.

Officials herded migrants onto a bus, which left the working class neighbourhood in the north of Paris, shortly after 4pm, bound for an unknown destination. According to a police source quoted by AFP, 84 people were evacuated from the scene. Activists told FRANCE 24 that several migrants had been released by Monday evening.

About 40 activists and elected officials wearing scarves in the colour of the French flag were also at the scene to show their support for the refugees. The security forces used teargas to disperse the gathering, also arresting several activists.

The national secretary of the Communist Party, Pierre Laurent, said on Twitter that he was “revolted” by Prime Minister Manuel Valls’ choice to “send security forces against the refugees at Pajol”.

Some migrants had been sleeping on rue Pajol at night, while others just came during the day to take advantage of food and clothes offered by several organisations who had set up shop there.

Most of the migrants said they had come to rue Pajol after police dismantled a camp near La Chapelle, in the same neighbourhood, on June 5. Almost 350 people, mostly Sudanese and Eritreans had been living there in squalid conditions, which FRANCE 24 witnessed when our journalist visited the camp before its closure to speak to migrants. The police were criticised for using unnecessary force during the evacuation.

Associations and numerous elected officials from the left criticised the lack of accommodation provided for the migrants expelled from La Chapelle, despite the fact that the authorities had pledged to find shelter for each of them, whether or not they are seeking asylum in France.

On Monday, Green party officials at the Paris Municipal Council “solemnly requested [Paris mayor] Anne Hidalgo to open a shelter for [the migrants] starting this evening.”

The La Chapelle evacuation and the one at Pajol on Monday are part of a series of police raids targeting undocumented migrants who have set up camp in northern Paris.

Last Friday, French forces also evacuated several dozen migrants camped outside the nearby Saint-Bernard Church. This church has played a recurrent role in France’s immigration history: in 1996, a group of undocumented migrants, including women and children, sought sanctuary in the church before being forcibly removed by French security forces. The dramatic event created a media storm and pushed the issue of undocumented migrants into the French public conscience.

 

 

 

978 Afghan civilians killed, nearly 2,000 wounded in first 4 months of 2015

 

 

Khaama [8/6/15]:

 

The UN Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan Mark Bowden has said the conflict in Afghanistan is resulting in thousands of people being killed or wounded, forcing families to leave their homes and seek refuge in neighbouring communities.

Speaking at the Second Independent Media and Civil Society Forum in Kabul, Bowden, said “As of 30 April, 1,989 Afghans were injured as a result of the conflict and 978 Afghan civilians killed, throughout the country.”

He also noted that the number of wounded at the Emergency Hospital in Kabul illustrates the devastating impact of the conflict.

The doctors there told me that they are seeing a 50 per cent i

ncrease in the number of civilians injured this year compared to the same period last year,” he noted.

He also added that the intensifying conflict in 2015 is taxing humanitarian capacities.

“At this period of increased need, it is particularly disturbing to note that humanitarian aid workers are increasingly becoming targets themselves,” Bowden said.

He called attention to the crucial role civil society plays in holding non-state actors accountable for their actions.

“It is through its engagement with the media that civil society can advocate more strongly about the conflict and the resulting humanitarian situation,” he stressed.

“The relationship between civil society, media and humanitarian action is strong.”

The remarks by Bowden comes as the Taliban-led insurgency have been rampant since the group announced its summer offensive earlier last month.

The group has staged numerous deadly attacks across the country including capital Kabul which left scores of people dead or wounded.

 

 

 

 

5 policemen shot dead by comrades in Kandahar province [Khaama - 9/6/15]

 

 

 

 

 

The families of an anti-Al-Qaeda cleric and a police officer killed in a US drone strike in Yemen in 2012, have filed a lawsuit in Washington, DC, seeking an official apology and acknowledgement that innocent civilians were mistakenly killed.

Faisal Ali Jaber, an engineer, who lost a brother-in-law Salem and his nephew Waleed in a drone strike, has filed the lawsuit. He is asking the District Court to declare the attack by the unmanned aircraft unlawful.

The international human rights group Reprieve is giving Ali Jaber assistance.  ... [RT - 9/6/15]

 

 

 

 

United States, “allies” continue bombing Iraq and Syria



US Department of Defense [8/6/15]:

U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of the latest strikes, which took place between 8 a.m. yesterday and 8 a.m. today, local time, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Airstrikes in Syria

Bomber, attack and fighter aircraft conducted seven airstrikes in Syria:

-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, two airstrikes struck two ISIL crude oil collection points.

-- Near Kobani, five airstrikes struck one large and two small ISIL tactical units, destroying seven ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL vehicles and an ISIL improvised explosive device facility.

Airstrikes in Iraq

Attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 14 airstrikes in Iraq, approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense:

-- Near Baghdadi, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units, destroying an ISIL tanker and an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Beiji, three airstrikes destroyed two ISIL staging positions and seven ISIL vehicles.

-- Near Hit, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL checkpoint.

-- Near Makhmur, one airstrike struck two ISIL mortar firing positions.

-- Near Mosul, three airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL staging area, destroying two ISIL vehicles.

-- Near Sinjar, two airstrikes struck an ISIL mortar system, destroying two ISIL buildings, an ISIL rocket-propelled grenade and an ISIL heavy machine gun.

-- Near Tal Afar, two airstrikes struck an ISIL mortar firing position, destroying an ISIL tunnel entrance.

...

 

 

 




US-led airstrikes kill family in Syria: activists [Daily Star – 8/6/15]

 

 

 

Crisis-torn Iraq, one of the world’s most severe emergencies, is on the verge of collapse because of a lack of funding could force the closure of more than half the relief operations in the country over the coming weeks, the top United Nations humanitarian official there has warned. ... [UN Media Release - 8/6/15]

 

 



Britain to send 125 more troops to Iraq [Ahram – 7/6/15]

 

 

 

 



At least six civilians, including women and children, have been killed in fresh Saudi airstrikes on Yemen’s northwestern province of Saada.

According to local sources, Saudi fighter jets targeted Sahar district in Saada on Monday. Sa’adah has been one of the hardest hit locations since Riyadh launched its military campaign against Yemen on March 26. … [Albawaba - 8/6/15]

 

 



Fighting in Yemen continues to take toll on civilians, with 20 million needing urgent assistance [UN Media Release - 8/6/15]

 

 

 

 

 

The Eritrean government may have committed crimes against humanity and was responsible for systematic and gross human rights abuses on a "scope and scale seldom witnessed elsewhere", a year-long United Nations inquiry has found. ... [Al Jazeera - 8/6/15]


 

 

 

 

Police go on rampage in PNG Highlands

 

 

 

RNZI [9/6/15]:



More than 300 villagers in Enga are homeless after uniformed policemen from the Western Highlands Province in Papua New Guinea went on rampage in their village destroying private and state property.

Enga police confirmed more than 150 police personnel were involved and they torched 10 houses, seven trade stores and destroyed local food on display at the Tautau market.

Enga Provincial Commander Superintendent George Kakas who was in Port Moresby said he ordered a full investigation to incident and a report would be made available to Highlands regional police chief Chief Superintendent Terry Tei for further action.


 

 

 

Police in PNG yet to investigate brutal murder of mother [RNZI - 8/6/15]

 

 

 

 

 

As part of the ongoing partnership between the Australian Federal Police, Queensland Police Service and the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, 12 PNG police officers have arrived in North Queensland as part of the “Makim Senis” police placement program.  “Makim Senis” in the project title is Tok Pisin for making change or an improvement.  ... [QPS Media -13/2/15]

 

 

 



Identity project registration progressing [PNG Loop – 5/6/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 31st of May will be declared as a day of prayer for the Pomio Open electorate, according to newly elected member Elias Kapavore in honour of the God of Israel and in recognition of his election date.  ... [PNG Loop - 4/6/15]

 


 

PNG Loop [21/6/14]:

 

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said he was proud of the way 25 young men sent for security training in Israel were delighting their trainers.

The 25 – 10 PNG Defence Force soldiers and 15 policemen – are undergoing specialised anti-terrorism, anti-crime, and close protection training at the IMI Academy For Advanced Security and Anti Terror Training outside Tel Aviv.

They left for Israel on June 7 and will return on July 9 equipped with skill and knowledge imparted to them by former soldiers of the Israeli army.

This program was made possible through an agreement signed between Prime Minister O’Neill and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu during an official visit to the Holy Land in 2013.

...

 

 

 

 

Sour grapes and no remorse whatsoever after 1,000s of refugees have been tortured in Australia's gulag archipelago ---->  Former senior policy adviser Caz Coleman says Australia’s offshore detention centres have failed and warns ‘closing the door’ is not going to fix the crisis ... [Guardian  - 9/6/15]

 

 

There WILL be justice. And anyone associated with the detention, torture, refoulement and exile of refugees will be on the receiving end.

 

 

 

 

 

Recent Allegations relating to Conditions and Circumstances at the Regional Processing Centre in Nauru [Senate Hearing – 9/6/15]

 

 



Slippery slope:  Indigenous Australian detained in WA immigration concentration camp



ABC [9/6/15]:



A man being held in Western Australia's Yongah Hill Immigration Detention Centre says he is an Indigenous Australian and not a visa overstayer or asylum seeker.

Eddie David, 39, has been held in the centre since Friday.

He said he was born on Murray Island in the Torres Strait, and his claim was backed up by a WA Aboriginal land council.

Mr David told the ABC he was sent to Yongah Hill, near Northam, 97 kilometres north-east of Perth, after being told his passport was fake.

He said he had been mistaken for someone else, possibly a Fijian man of a similar age.

"I'm not a refugee and I'm not an immigrant," Mr David said from Yongah Hill.

"I am Aboriginal, I am an Australian citizen, born and bred of this land.

"I shouldn't be in this detention centre. If it was a fraud, they should have put me in the cell, in the lock-up, in the jail, not a detention centre."

The Department of Immigration and Border Patrol is adamant Mr David is not Australian.

"The department detained an individual claiming to be an Australian citizen, following a thorough investigation by which the department was fully satisfied that he is an unlawful non-citizen," it said in a statement.

"As part of this investigation, the Local Aboriginal Council did not affirm his claims to be Aboriginal."

However, the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council said its cultural advisor Kevin Fitzgerald signed a document affirming Mr David's Aboriginality when he applied for a passport.

Council community development officer Michelle Nelson-Cox also met Mr David and is convinced he is Aboriginal.

She said it was a major concern he was detained at Yongah Hill.

"We wouldn't be so optimistic to sign off on any documentation [if] we thought there was some doubt around his origins," Ms Nelson-Cox said.

"We were satisfied that he met all the criteria, and all the processes and protocols around sustaining that identity."

Ms Nelson-Cox said Mr David displayed knowledge of Aboriginal cultural protocols and knowledge about a mission in South Australia he claimed to have spent time at.

"The knowledge around this individual's upbringing and around his physique and some of the men's business that they discussed," she said.

"He was accepted on the grounds that he met the cultural values and cultural protocols."

Mr David said he had spent many years living on the streets, homeless and alcoholic in NSW and elsewhere, and had come to Western Australia several years ago.

He had wanted to access Centrelink benefits but was told he did not have sufficient identity papers.

He said he applied for a passport with the help of the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council, which he said he received in March.

But when he took it to Centrelink, they told him it was fake.

He said immigration officers then came looking for him through his part-time employer, bricklayer Daryl Rogers.

Mr David decided to go to the immigration office on Friday, where he said he was detained and sent to Yongah Hill.

Mr Rogers is sure Mr David is Indigenous.

"I worked with Eddie over the last 12-18 months," Mr Rogers said.

"He is Aboriginal. I think it's a mistaken identity."

Mr Rogers had spoken to immigration officers.

"I got a phone call from immigration on speaker phone saying, 'We've got Eddie David here. we think he's a Fijian. They said some name, which I don't know."

Mr David was at a loss to understand what was happening to him.

"But these detainees are helping me," Mr David said.

"They're shocked that there's an Aboriginal Australian in a detention centre.

"They say, 'This is your land, you should be out there, not in here'. It's a mistaken identity, I think it's just a facial mistaken of identity."

Australian permanent resident Cornelia Rau was mistaken for a visa overstayer and unlawfully detained in immigration detention for 10 months between 2004 and 2005.

 

 

 

 

The Greens have renewed their call to end Australia's live export trade following the latest exposure of the failure of federal government regulations to stop extreme animal cruelty in overseas abattoirs.

"The recent Animals Australia investigation reveals barbaric acts inflicted on cattle in a major Israeli abattoir, approved to operate under Australia's Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System," Senator Lee Rhiannon, Greens animal welfare spokesperson said. ... [Greens Media Release - 9/6/15]

 

 



India, Australia and the Rohingyas



The Hindu [9/6/15]:

 

 

In May, the Thai police found dozens of bodies in an abandoned jungle camp in southern Thailand, which was used regularly to smuggle Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Myanmar. Later that month, around 139 suspected migrant graves were found, according to the Malaysian police, in a smuggler’s camp in Malaysia. Despite the escalating Rohingya crisis, India, which is making concerted efforts to build a strong relationship with Myanmar, and Australia, where the migrants are fleeing by boat, are not doing enough; only tentative temporary solutions are being proposed.

Since coming to office in 2013, the Tony Abbott government has been turning back boats carrying migrants from Indonesia, and has also refused settlement to earlier migrants who had arrived by boat. The recent crisis has exposed Australia’s deeply flawed immigration policy. Instead of addressing the root causes of people fleeing persecution, it only worsens the regional climate for asylum seekers.

Australia’s policy has given neighbouring states the licence to take tough measures of their own. In a summit in Bangkok, the Myanmar delegation cited Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s argument that the “boat people” are not fleeing persecution in Myanmar but are, in fact, “economic migrants”. Unsurprisingly, Mr. Abbott has said he will not rebuke any government for turning back boats carrying asylum seekers.

The result of this is that thousands of starving men, women and children have been stranded for months at sea on fragile vessels.

The crisis shows that people facing persecution will flee borders, regardless of exogenous factors. This is most certainly true for the Rohingyas, an estimated 1 million of whom are stateless. According to the United Nations, 120,000 of them have been forced to flee Myanmar in the last three years. The Rohingyas, who have lived in poverty in Western Myanmar for decades, have no freedom of movement, access to healthcare facilities or education, and their right to vote was revoked earlier this year. Even to marry, they require permission from the authorities. In recent years, they have been subject to violence from nationalist groups. While ‘pull factors’ may change their destination, risking life at sea for a better life will always remain attractive. An effective policy would recognise this fact, and attempt to fix the problem at its source.

Instead, the Australian government is cutting resources aimed at stabilising the situation in Myanmar. In May, $28 million was cut from the aid to Myanmar programme. Two weeks later, in response to the crisis, the government committed $11 million in aid for international agencies around Rakhine State. This suggests an unwillingness to commit to a long-term regional solution. We must, therefore, conclude that this is a policy for a domestic audience, not a solution for reducing human trafficking regionally or saving lives globally on humanitarian grounds.

 

[Australia slashes $55m in aid to Myanmar, development fund says - The Age – 8/6/15]

 

[Australia gives Myanmar an additional $5 million to help with their ongoing genocide in Rakhine State - Protected and unaccountable Immigration and Foreign Minister joint media release - 29/5/15]

 

 

India has been trying to build a strong relationship with Myanmar in recent years, both on the economic and strategic fronts, by seeking to enhance connectivity through the Northeastern States. In addition, India has also been assisting Myanmar with capacity building in areas such as English language training and Information Technology. Further, under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme, 500 slots have been reserved for Myanmar nationals with the goal of strengthening human resource capacity. All these steps send out a clear message: that India would like to play a constructive role in Mynamar’s transition to a robust democracy.

What India can do

But New Delhi does not want to be seen as interfering in the Rohingya crisis, especially as the ties between both nations were strained for a long time, after New Delhi suspended relations when the military junta took over in Myanmar. During this period, China made tremendous inroads. It was only in the 1990s that India re-established links with Myanmar. Yet, it is surprising to see that not a single statement has been made by the Indian leadership in the context of the Rohingya crisis.

This, despite the current government playing a constructive role in other crises such as the Yemen civil war, where it helped evacuate citizens from a number of countries including Pakistan, and the Nepal earthquake, where it sent relief supplies and assisted in rescue operations. In fact, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has, on more than one occasion, referred to the Indian ethos of tolerance and commitment to closer links with the outside world. He said at the United Nations General Assembly, for instance, that ‘Vasudhaiva Katumbakam’ — the whole world is one family — is India’s philosophy.

Beyond platitudes, what role can India play in this crisis? First, it can contribute to the rescue efforts of the International Organization for Migration, which has already collected $I million for rescue efforts. Second, it can express displeasure against the atrocities on the Rohingya community, especially since it believes in democracy, liberalism and pluralism. An unstable Myanmar is likely to have strong security implications for India.

The country cannot afford to have an ostrich-like approach towards this growing crisis and nor can Australia.

Both will feel the long-term repercussions.

(Tridivesh Singh Maini is a senior research associate with The Jindal School of International Affairs, OP Jindal Global University, Sonepat. He was a public policy scholar from November 2013 to March 2014 with The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy. James T. Davies is a PhD candidate at the University of New South Wales.)


 

 

UNHCR says time running out for stranded boat people; urges South East Asian governments to act



UNHCR Media Release [19/5/15]:



The UN refugee agency on Tuesday warned that time was running out for thousands of people in distress at sea and urged governments in the South-east Asia region to urgently rescue and disembark these vulnerable people.

"We estimate that nearly 4,000 people from Myanmar and Bangladesh remain stranded at sea with dwindling supplies on board. This includes some 2,000 men, women and children stranded on at least five boats near the Myanmar-Bangladesh coasts for more than 40 days. Unconfirmed reports suggest the number could be higher," UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards told journalists in Geneva on Tuesday.

In Myanmar, several hundred people have abandoned their journeys and returned to Rakhine state after paying smugglers on board an average of 200,000 to 300,000 kyat (US$182-US$273) each for re-entry. Their reports of food shortages, dehydration and violence on board are consistent with reports from arrivals in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Since the weekend there have been no new reports of landings elsewhere in the region. In the last nine days, a total of 1,396 people have landed in Indonesia, 1,107 in Malaysia and 106 in southern Thailand.

Edwards said that in Indonesia's Aceh province, where UNHCR is registering Rohingya arrivals at Langsa, survivors have spoken of being abandoned by the crew and left adrift for days until approached by authorities whom they were unable to identify.

These officials provided food and water before pushing their boat away.

"As supplies ran low, a fight broke out between passengers, resulting in deaths and people being thrown overboard. UNHCR cannot verify these claims, but has sought medical attention for the wounded among this group," the spokesman said.

In Malaysia, some arrivals currently in detention in Kedah state told UNHCR they were kidnapped or lured by false promises to board the smugglers' boats. They knew of other passengers who died at sea as a result of beatings by the crew, starvation and illness.

Given such accounts, as well as disembarking such boats, UNHCR has sought – with the governments in South-east Asia – urgent medical attention, assistance and protection. Those who have returned to Myanmar should be not be punished for irregular departure.

 

 

 

MOAS calls to save lives of Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants stranded at sea [Media Release – 20/5/15]

 

 

 

 

Australia's protected, unaccountable Foreign Minister rewards "good" refugees who stay where they are with football boots [Hyundai A-League - 8/6/15]:

 

 

 

Barefoot to Boots, an Australian initiative to provide football boots, shirts and balls to refugees, can provide joy and improve health and safety for those living in refugee camps, its creators said today ahead of their trip later this month.

Supported by Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop, Barefoot to Boots will kick off on June 20 when a five-person team leaves for Kakuma Refugee Camp in north-western Kenya.

Australian and Adelaide United star Awer Mabil and his older brother Awer Bul, fellow United player Osama Malik, former diplomat Rachael West and businessman Ian Smith have formed Barefoot to Boots with the backing of Qantas, FFA, UNHCR, UNICEF Australia and the Australian Government. ...

 

 

 

Australia: Where champions of marriage equality evict the homeless

 

 

Altmedia [27/6/13]:


Key figures in the Occupy Sydney movement have vowed that the group’s camp in Martin Place will prevail despite the City of Sydney Council voting to remove it.

Amidst heated scenes at Town Hall on Monday night, all councillors except Greens Councillor Irene Doutney and Labor Councillor Linda Scott voted to ask police to remove the camp, after Liberal Councillor Christine Forster put forward a motion calling for its dispersal.

The decision puts a cloud over Occupy Sydney’s 18-month presence at the corner of Martin Place and Elizabeth St, where it provides meals and support to homeless people around the clock.

But prominent Occupy Sydney participant Lance Priestley said the initiative, which is part of the global Occupy movement against social and economic inequality, would continue no matter what.

“They can take every last person and piece of equipment out of Martin Place and we’ll be back within an hour,” said Mr Priestley.

“Obviously, Council has been less than observant of the global Occupy movement. They have failed to understand that when you try to shut us down, you’re pouring petrol on a fire.”

Mr Priestley opined that Council did not have the legal right to evict Occupy Sydney, and said the City would require an injunction.

“They have no powers to request police to assist them in removing us without a court order.

“And if they do that, we’ll be slapping them with a suit and a court case immediately. We’ve already got the suit prepared.”

Ms Doutney expressed disappointment at Council’s decision, saying Occupy Sydney performed a vital service.

“[Occupy Sydney is] a 24/7 resource and food kitchen. On Saturday, night Occupy fed 300 people. They used 1,300 kilograms of crowd-sourced food,” she said.

Ms Doutney said that unlike some mainstream charities, Occupy Sydney was unobtrusive and should be allowed to stay.

“They have a rule not to approach people, only those who approach them or show interest. This is in contrast to the charity groups that wave people down in the street,” she said.

Ms Scott also criticised her colleagues’ decision, saying freedom of expression was paramount.

“I want to live in a city where everyone is treated equally, where people can express themselves – not a police state,” she said.

But Ms Forster labelled the Occupy Sydney camp an eyesore which must be removed.

“The site, which comprises structures where some protestors have been sleeping, has been an eyesore in one of the City’s premier business and tourist precincts since October 2011,” she said.

Living Sydney Councillor Angela Vithoulkas said while she had sympathy for Occupy Sydney’s plight, it was time for the group to move on.

“This matter was determined by the High Court and the City was awarded costs,” she added.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore abstained from commenting directly on Occupy Sydney on Monday night.

Mr Priestley accused the Lord Mayor of sitting on the fence.

“She doesn’t want to support us but she doesn’t want to criticise us because it might alienate her progressive vote,” he said.

“She’s sitting on the fence – and what she’ll find is when you straddle the fence for too long, you end up with sore balls.”

   

 

 

 

 

9 June 2015

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