Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Palestinian exhibition axed after police visit

THE decision by a Sydney library to dump an exhibition about Palestinian refugees after a visit by counter-terrorism police the night before it opened has been criticised as an act of censorship.

Leichhardt municipal library was to launch the Al-Nakba pictorial exhibition last Friday. A local community group, Friends of Hebron, had developed the display of photos, poems and articles over eight months.

"We set up the exhibition at the library on Thursday night and the librarian … approved the exhibition, and said that it could be seen by children and other people who enter the library," said Carole Lawson, a Friends of Hebron member.

But that night, shortly before the library closed at 8pm, officers from the police counter-terrorism operations arrived at the library.

A police spokesman said the officers were from the operations' community contact unit and had come only to "say hi" to Friends of Hebron members. "They went to introduce themselves just to let them know who they are and what they are about. [Speaking with community groups] is part of their charter," he said. "When they got there the librarian was the only one there … they just had a quick chat to the librarian."

But Ms Lawson said: "They wanted to put the fear of god into the library staff and wanted the staff to feel threatened."

The librarian, Marilyn Taylor, would not speak publicly. But the Mayor of Leichhardt, Carolyn Allen, confirmed Ms Taylor later contacted her boss, the council's director of corporate services, David Marshall, on Thursday evening to discuss the exhibit.

They arranged a meeting for the next morning, and a decision was made to cancel the exhibition at about 9.30am.

Ms Lawson was informed of the decision later that morning. "It's the censorship of Palestine - apparently the anti-terrorism squad decides what we can see on the public walls of a library," she said.

The president of the Australian Council for Civil Liberties, Terry O'Gorman, said it was clear the police visit on the eve of the exhibition had influenced the council's decision. "The terrorism unit's explanation [of coming to introduce themselves] is unacceptable," he said. "The fact that they turn up as a display is being mounted is entitled to be interpreted as a threat."

Cr Allen maintains the decision was made by the council and the library, and not influenced by police. The council had decided last year that exhibitions such as Al-Nakba would need to be assessed by a panel of councillors to ensure they were not divisive, she said. This had not happened earlier with Al-Nakba because of a "a breakdown of managerial process".

But Mr O'Gorman criticised the library for being "too-ready [with] self-censorship". .

Shane McArdle, a council spokesman present when the decision to cancel was made, said some photo captions were deemed capable of causing anxiety and "undue angst".

But Ms Lawson said there was nothing alarming in the exhibition and that it merely highlighted the plight of many Palestinian refugees in Hebron, about 30 kilometres south of Jerusalem.

"The exhibition was taken down because it was about Palestine, the dispossession of Palestinians and what's going on in Hebron," she said.

She said the group would now look to hold the exhibition at another venue, promoting it as "the exhibition the council didn't want you to see".


An extra 500 federal cops to fight crime
An extra 500 Australian Federal Police (AFP) positions will be created over the next five years to fight domestic and transnational crime. The federal budget contains an additional $191.9 million to fund the positions. "These officers will be directed to build the AFP's capacity to tackle organised and transnational crime, particularly in the areas of high-tech crime, drug trafficking, major fraud, money laundering and combating terrorism," the budget papers said. The fight against terrorism will not just be one fought through arrests and investigations.

[Also the usual? Like political scapegoating? draconian laws? Attacking Iraq and Afghanistan? Or by being compromised over Palestine and Lebanon?]

The AFP plans to establish Islamic liaison teams in each Australian capital city during the next financial year to "facilitate communication and relationship-building activities", the papers said. On the wider theme of regional security, the budget offers $80.1 million in direct assistance to Australia's Pacific neighbours to help the island nations create better police forces [colonialism?]

And the AFP will receive $47 million to help put more police on the ground in Afghanistan to fight the opium trade at the centre of the war-torn nation's economy [Because of pre-emtive strikes by NATO waging illegal and degrading war and crimes against humanity to steal and move Middle Eastern oil resources and build oil and gas pipelines.]

"Through increasing AFP numbers and supporting our international friends in their policing efforts, Australia is pulling its weight in the fight against terrorism in a statement and transnational crime," Home Affairs Minister Bob Debus said.

[Mainly because of our Pre-emptive strikes produced because of Australia's very bad foreign policy invading countries in the Middle East with illegal and degrading war crimes against humanity.

The budget also offered an extra $16 million over four years to beef up the examination of containers at four ports: Launceston, Darwin, Townsville and Newcastle.


ASIO, police don't trust each other, report finds
A LACK of trust between the Australian Federal Police and ASIO has hindered co-operation between the anti-terrorism agencies, a report commissioned after the collapsed prosecution of the Sydney doctor Izhar ul-Haque has found.

Secret policemen's bill: $7.5m
Mr McClelland separately ruled out compensating or apologising to the Sydney medical student Izhar Ul-Haque, who a Supreme Court judge said had been kidnapped by ASIO officers. The conduct of ASIO in the case of Mr ul-Haque, who was cleared of terrorism charges, is being reviewed by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Ian Carnell.

Tough police powers outlive APEC
CONTROVERSIAL powers granted to NSW police during last year's APEC summit are likely to be made permanent - or at least available to police for any special event - under a proposal to be taken to state cabinet.

Push for overhaul of laws on terrorism
Anti-terrorism laws are just 'state sanctioned terrorism' aimed at 'innocent people' and using them as 'scapegoats' for Australia's 'alleged war on terror'. These laws were meant to project 'fear' in the community that we somehow need to be protected so that the government can wage war on innocent people for resources around the world unchallenged.

In 1998, Dick Cheney, now US vice-president but then chief executive of a major oil services company, remarked: "I cannot think of a time when we have had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian." But the oil and gas there is worthless until it is moved. The only route which makes both political and economic sense is through Afghanistan.

Unknown News
"News that's not known, or not known enough."

-- IN IRAQ --

and 90,000 SERIOUSLY INJURED Aug. 2003

and 1,414,723 SERIOUSLY INJURED June 2007

and 50,677 SERIOUSLY INJURED June 2007

and 861 SERIOUSLY INJURED June 2007

and 288 SERIOUSLY INJURED June 2007

and 452 SERIOUSLY INJURED June 2007


and 25,761 SERIOUSLY INJURED July 2004

and 6,273 SERIOUSLY INJURED July 2004

and 1,026 SERIOUSLY INJURED Jan. 2007

and 834 SERIOUSLY INJURED June 2007


Loyal troops farewell an old campaigner
Comrades in arms [war criminals] Tony Blair (ret.) and George Bush (about to ret.) stood shoulder-to-shoulder last night to honour John Howard (ret.).[co offenders for crimes against humanity.]

Prosecute War Criminal John Howard
To: International Criminal Court
We, the undersigned, called for the indictment and prosecution of John Winston Howard (currently Australian Prime Minister) for acts of terrorism and war crimes.

EXCLUSIVE: Fmr. Military Intelligence Officer Reveals US Listed Palestine Hotel in Baghdad as Target Prior to Killing of Two Journalists in 2003 Last month marked the fifth anniversary of the US military shelling of the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad. The attack killed two journalists: Reuters cameraman Taras Protsyuk and Jose Couso, a cameraman for the Spanish television network Telecinco. The Pentagon has called the killings accidental, but in this broadcast exclusive Army Sgt. Adrienne Kinne (Ret.) reveals she saw secret US military documents that listed the hotel as a possible target. Kinne also discloses that she was personally ordered to eavesdrop on Americans working for news organizations and NGOs in Iraq.

No comments: