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Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 03:14 pm
Former human shield Donna Mulhearn, now safely back in Australia, nonetheless finds herself in another country:
It was when the young policeman started twisting the wrist of the old man lying on the ground that I started asking the question yesterday: am I in another country?
Or maybe it was before then, when the police officer in charge told the small group of demonstrators outside John Howard’s Sydney office that they weren’t allowed to carry flags as they walked from Phillip Street to Martin Place. Not allowed to carry flags?
Since now apparently. Ten years of John Howard’s reign has left us with a culture of violence, rampant racism, and a police state where gentle old demonstrators are being injured by police and the public not allowed to carry flags!
John Pilger will be pleased; he hates flags.
For a group armed with only a megaphone and a man in a John Howard mask doing some street theatre, the police response was excessive.
Word on the street is they weren’t police but a rival street theatre outfit. Sydney could be headed for a repeat of the vicious Mime Wars that tore this city apart in the 1980s.
As I surveyed the scene my stomach churned …
Street theatre will do that.
… I felt like I was in another country.
The group decided to ignore what seemed like a ridiculous and “un-Australian” order. They would carry the flags and headed off. It was then the police formed a barricade across the footpath to block the group. Police started pushing people to the ground and grabbing the flags.
Imagine the response from certain groups if you’d been carrying cartoons.
This is when the old guy was knocked down. His flag was ripped from his hand and he was held down by several beefy officers, obviously not going anywhere. It was then one young officer grabbed the man’s arm and started twisting it as if he was determined to break his wrist. I was stunned.
Any chance of a name, Donna, so we could check out the story on this “old guy”? Not that we don’t trust you, or anything.
I quickly moved across and politely asked the officer: “Can you stop that? You will break his arm. He’s not going anywhere, so it’s not necessary to hurt him further.” The officer only glared at me in reply and then several surrounded me. One yelled in my face: “who do you think you are?’ placed a hand on each shoulder and gave a God-almighty shove that sent me reeling.
After I found my feet, I could only shake my head in disbelief: I swear I was sure I was in another country.
Pushistan? Shoverania? George W. Push’s United Shoves of AmeriKKKa?
My mate, Jim Dowling, a Christian pacifist recently had a pre-emptive strike against him when he was beaten by police because they suspected he would ask a question at a public meeting.
That’s not how Dowling tells it: “As you probalby know,last Sept 1st I was assaulted by police for merely attending a public debate betweeen my local member Peter Dutton and Terry O’Gorman. Police claim I intended to make a citiens arrrest on Peter Dutton for war crimes, as I had done previously.” (Incidentally, Dowling is also a pal of our old comrade Bryla.) Having found her feet, Mulhearn used them to visit another demonstration at Martin Place:
The army of blue stretched for blocks. I have never seen so many police in my life.
And Howard is a man of the people? He is a man afraid.
Hey, Donna? You’ve got human shield experience. Why not volunteer to protect Howard from eggs, bottles, and semi-human idiot missiles?
It was here I mentioned to a friend how I felt like I was in another country. He sighed loudly and …
… told me to quit the “another country” line. “It didn’t work the first time, Donna,” he said, “and you’ve been beating it into the ground ever since. I know you’re only writing for Webdiary, but get some decent material. Damn!”
Someone told me Stan Zemanek ranted about the anti-Howard demonstration last night: “Why do they bother?” he asked as if on queue.
You know that way people have of speaking when they’re standing in a line.
We bother because someone has to say that this is not normal. Throwing frightened, fleeing refugees into detention, invading countries we have no conflict with, allowing bosses to sack workers without reason, police thinking it’s their duty to injure old men.
This is what happens in other countries.
Actually, much worse things happen in other countries. Particularly in Iraq, where frightened, fleeing Kurds were gassed; Kuwait was invaded; and police thought it their duty to execute old (and young) men.
And when the US, Britain, and Australia intervened, Donna Mulhearn tried to stop them.
(Via Harry Heidelberg)