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Blurring line between terrorism and civil protest

Scott Parkin Affair: Ruddock, DIMIA deliberately blur line between terrorism and civil protest

Media Release
Sunday September 11 2005 11:30am WST
For Immediate Release
No Embargoes

"The arrest of US teacher and Peace activist Scott Parkin, followed by his "holding incommunicado" - presumably in Court lock-up facility on the corner of Williams and Lonsdale Streets in Melbourne - constitutes a scandal and a deliberate undermining of democratic accountability by the Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock and the Department of Immigration," WA Human Rights Lobby and Action group Project SafeCom said this morning, in a statement endorsed by advocate Mr Ian Rintoul of NSW Refugee Action Collective.

"US Peace activist and teacher Mr Parkin was this week "invited" to come in to ASIO for a voluntary interview, and he declined the invitation in a peaceful manner, stating he did not need the help of ASIO, but his visa was revoked and he was arrested shortly thereafter," said spokesman Jack H Smit.

"It is abundantly clear to us why Mr Parkin was arrested and detained - without any court intervention - and that is because he conducted a protest in front of the US Corporate giant Haliburton."

"Minister Ruddock acts hand-in-glove with the Prime Minister, and he has mobilized the DIMIA and the new terrorist laws, because the Bosom Friend of the Howard Administration, Mr George Bush, has his private and biased corporate allies in Haliburton once again questioned."

"This scandal should be discussed this week when Parliament sits, and the ALP should together with the Greens and Democrats expose the use of terror as a cloak to stifle citizens' dissent in Australia.

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"Mr Parkin is a well-known peace activist, who simply protests against the stacking of American interests in Iraq, and who, like millions of people in the US and Australia, wants an end to the global dominance of the US and its corporate giants, and he wants an end to the horrors of the slaughter in Iraq: he should immediately be released from the illegal imprisonment - smartly orchestrated to become legal by the Attorney-General and DIMIA - that has been forced upon him by Australian authorities."

"The only threat Mr Parkin represents, is a threat against the neo-conservative government dominance of the USA and of the Howard government. It is a scandal that the Attorney-General stoops to these new lows under the cloak of security and terrorism in the handling of Mr Parkin's case. September eleven thus has deteriorated to become a memory of politicians using the Twin Towers drama as an excuse to intimidate citizens and their legitimate protests."

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