Unionists and ALP should oppose Scott Parkin’s deportation.

(Originally published in now abandond Livejournal blog, Sept 2005)
Anyone who wants to make history, especially anyone who wants to make Howard history, should be very, very nervous about the deportation of Scott Parkin. The community activist, teacher and airline employee is an expert on the power, wealth and greed of US Vice-President Dick Cheney’s favourite corporation Halliburton. Parkin was on a tourist visa in Australia giving workshops on non-violent methods of resistance. Howard had lied a few days earlier that no one opposing the war on Iraq need worry that the new police powers pushed through parliament would target them. They were only to prevent terrorism. It took less than a fortnight for the laws to be used against a person campaigning against the Iraq war.

In his cunning way Howard is testing the electorate, and softening Australians up. He tells Kim Beazley the secret intelligence, presumably gathered by an ASIO agent infiltrating Greenpeace or some other campaign. It will blow the ASIO agent’s cover if the “evidence” against Parkin is made public. Parkin may well have been explaining peaceful tactics for disrupting Halliburton. Beazley buys the deportation and the secrecy of the reasons for it according to Marian Wilkinson and David Marr in SMH of 18 Sept. . That is, Beazley accepts the violation of standard civil liberties, the very freedoms that “terrorism” is meant to threaten. He shows just how pathetic and useless the Federal Opposition is.

Union campaigns often need to disrupt commercial operations in some way to have any chance of winning. Parkin’s deportation signals danger for the union movement and any one in it who discusses or proposes to take effective action against an employer.


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