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<nettime> Moral Intimidation
ben moretti on Fri, 25 Jan 2002 09:23:23 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Moral Intimidation

Help. That is all I can say. The Australian government is running
concentration camps in the desert where people are being detained for
arriving without papers.  I feel so helpless, like so many people of
conscience here. The conservative Liberal-National Coalition has won the
election by manipulating racist sentiment.  People in these camps are on
hunger strikes and are mutilating themselves including STITCHING THEIR LIPS

Now PM Howard is saying the detainees are subjecting Australians to "moral
intimidation" by protesting so desparately. What is this? A bizarre
contradictory phrase - if I am doing something wrong to you, and you
object, is that moral intimidation?  I don't think so.

A friend of mine has written about the immigration minister Phillip Ruddock:


Worse still was Herr Ruddock's appearance on the 7.30 Report last night. He
frightens me. 

He said that refugees that arrive with the appropriate documents are
processed in around 14 weeks. Aside from the laughable idea of escaping
from a oppressive regime with documents showing you're a legitimate
minority, it shocked me that e seemed to think 14 weeks was acceptable. The
whole document thing reminds me of those officious German officers you see
in WW2 movies: "Vere are your papers?!". 

And indeed, speaking of Nazis, apart from Dachau, the majority of
concentration camps were based in occupied Poland where the German
population wouldn't see what was going on. Woomera. I mean really, point to
it on a map if you can.  The secrecy surrounding these centres is
disturbing. I think Mr. & Mrs. Joe Average-Fuckwit are quite happy with
that - they don't want to know what's happening there, because knowing
would mean having to act, having to admit that these people are human, and
are suffering. In fact there's a letter in today's Advertiser to that
effect, Mrs Smedley-Vommit defends the Government's secrecy surrounding
these "centres". (Centre - it's such a nice word, like recreation centre,
or swimming centre.) People, there is evil in our midst. 

A government which fails to act on such a clear moral issue has ceased to
be legitimate. 


I have to agree. Note that South Australia is again the compliant State to
do the Federal Government's dirty work. We have a history of this arse
licking behaviour - atomic bomb tests for the Brits in the 50s, Uranium
mines, rocket testing ranges, US satellite tracking stations, concentration
camps for Italian and German immigrants during WW2, military research
facilities and now this.

In despair,

Ben Moretti

[This is the print version of story http://www.abc.net.au/news/2002/01/item20020125080108_1.htm]

Fri, Jan 25 2002 1:12 PM AEDT
PM claims detainees are morally intimidating Australians

The Prime Minister says protesting asylum seekers at the Woomera Detention
Centre are trying to morally intimidate Australians. 

Mr Howard has all but accused the parents of children involved in lip
sewing protests of child abuse.

Speaking for the first time this year about the Woomera protests, Mr Howard
has told Southern Cross Radio there is evidence children were forced to
take part in lip sewing protests. 

"The children in the proper positive care of their parents don't sew their
lips together do they?"

South Australian authorities are investigating whether there has been any
incidence of child abuse. 

He says a proposal by welfare groups to house asylum seekers would only
encourage more to enter Australia and the Government will not abandon its
mandatory detention policy. 

"People are engaging in self harm, it is being done to morally intimidate the
Australian people and the Government into changing a policy," he said.

"I mean that is the objective, this is moral intimidation."

ben moretti 
mailto:bmoretti {AT} chariot.net.au

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