Friday, April 29, 2005

UK report shows Iraq war illegal: former defence chief

Ruling Class Lord Goldsmith said a final UN resolution may be needed, that hard evidence of Iraqi non-compliance may have been required, and the UK could face sanction by international courts.

Former Australian defence force chief Ruling Class Peter Gration says a secret British report on the war in Iraq is further evidence the conflict was legally and morally unsound.

War criminal and one of the co-offenders Ruling Class British Prime Minister Tony Blair has released previously secret legal advice showing his Attorney-General, Ruling Class Lord Peter Goldsmith, had initial reservations about the war.

Ruling Class Lord Goldsmith said a final UN resolution may be needed, that hard evidence of Iraqi non-compliance may have been required, and the UK could face sanction by international courts.

[I see then why the questions? Like 'may be needed? Are needed! Hard evidence may have been required? Hard evidence is required! And the Coalition of the Killing should be tried for war crimes, occupation, and genocide of Afghanistan and iraq, forthwith!!!]

Ruling Class General Gration says they were valid concerns.

"There was very eminent British legal opinion before the war started that the war was illegal," he said.

"The grounds on which that opinion were given haven't changed so I'm not at all surprised to hear that.

"The fact that it was unprovoked aggression against another country I think made it morally quite dubious."

By End the Occupation posted 29 April 05


300,000 Iraqis protest occupation and genocide
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Chanting "Death to America" and burning effigies of President Bush and Saddam Hussein, tens of thousands of Iraqis flooded central Baghdad on Saturday in what police called the largest anti-American protest since the fall of Baghdad, the capital, exactly two years ago.

Annan calls for human rights agency revamp!
The commission has been harshly criticised recently by human rights groups claiming it has become less of a body for upholding human rights, and more of a haven for violators.

Attacks kill 21 two years after Iraq invasion
IRAQ: At least 21 people were killed on Sunday in attacks mainly targeting US/Iraqi security forces on the two-year anniversary of the US-led illegal and degrading war on of Iraq.

Wolfowitz's World Bank nomination worries Oxfam
The head of Oxfam in Australia has raised concerns about the nomination of US Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz as the next head of the World Bank.

It seems the United States of America (The World Watchdog) is dictating and practising double-standards --- a unique law for America and another set of laws for all other countries.

Two years after the invasion of Iraq, there is more opposition to the war in the US, in the coalition countries, and all over the world than ever before.

Returning veterans of Iraq/Afghanistan
In the last two years, nearly one million U.S. service-members have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Regardless of how you may feel about the war, most of us agree that those service-members deserve the best possible care and treatment our country can provide.

The Veil of Freedom
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Two years after the invasion of Iraq and just weeks before the country's first free election, [occupation, US puppet gov't] "Amina" began wearing a headscarf for the first time in her life. Her father insisted upon it.

Iraqi women eye Islamic law
BAGHDAD - Covered in layers of flowing black fabric that extend to the tips of her gloved hands, Jenan al-Ubaedy knows her first priority as one of some 90 women who will sit in the national assembly: implementing Islamic law.

IRAQ: Shiite and Sunnis to unite against occupation?
Iraq: "I call on all religious and political powers that pushed towards the elections and took part in them to issue an official statement calling for a timetable for the withdrawal of the occupation forces from Iraq", Moqtada al Sadr, the popular young Iraqi Shiite cleric who last year led an armed rebellion against the US-led occupation, declared on February 4.

Democracy, Iraqi style
"In a darkened hall, candidates for Iraq's main Shia party sit listening to a turbaned cleric speaking into a microphone. They are being told how to campaign for the election without getting killed.

Violence continues ahead of Iraq Shoe Sale
Pre-Shoe Sale violence in Iraq is showing no signs of abating with the deaths today of two American militants following on from yesterday's killing of 22 US/Iraqi militants.

US transport company pulls out of Iraq
A large American transport company has become the first contractor to pull out of Iraq because of the continuing violence.

Rumsfeld's war, torture and occupation ideology!
War criminal Donald Rumsfeld faced critical questioning at a Washington media conference, after the announcement that it was a suicide bomber who caused the blast inside a US military base in Mosul yesterday, killing 22 people including 14 illegal militants.

Annan admits to a tough year
United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan admits he has had his worst year at the United Nations and he is looking forward to it being over.

Iraq sale to be contested by 100 buyers
A hundred buyers, blocs and independents will contest Iraq's first shoe sale, in decades, on January 30, the George Dubya Bushit - Iraqi Sales Commission (GDB/ISC) said.

Fallujah refugees in desperate need of aid: UN
More than 200,000 people who fled Fallujah ahead of the US attack have yet to return and many are in desperate need of aid, with temperatures in Iraq heading towards freezing, a new UN emergency report says.

UN panel proposes criteria for legitimate military action
With countries still bitterly divided over the war in Iraq, a high-level panel appointed by the United Nations has recommended a five-step guideline to determine when to use military action.

Indonesians rally against Fallujah assault
About 8,000 Indonesian Muslims have staged a peaceful rally against a major US-led assault on Iraq's rebel city of Fallujah, which has claimed 2,000 lives.

UK politicians launch Blair impeachment bid
Parliamentarians and celebrity campaigners have launched a bid to impeach UK Prime Minister Tony Blair for "gross misconduct" over his justification for the Iraq war.

'This One's Faking He's Dead' 'He's Dead Now'
Fallujah: Video shows US soldier killing wounded insurgent in cold blood
by Andrew Buncombe in Washington.

US: Very superstitious? Writing's on the wall!
The US military says it has discovered close to 20 torture sites in the course of its massive attack against the resistance in the Iraqi city of Fallujah?

World Vision Aust pulls out of Iraq
The organisation says the country has simply become too dangerous and its decision to leave was made before the apparent murder of Care Australia's Iraq director Margaret Hassan.

US Senator slams !!! 'dysfunctional, rogue' CIA
Influential US Republican Senator John McCain blasted the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as a "dysfunctional" and "rogue" organisation that needs to be reformed.

Civilian death toll to rise in Fallujah
The attack on the Iraqi city of Fallujah has taken its toll on Iraqi civilians no doubt including children and young babies. Iraqi's have witnessed civilian casualties. Yesterday during the assault on the main hospital nurses and patients were blindfolded after the US/Iraq militia stormed the main hospital and took control.

Illusionary demons blamed for US led Attack Iraq, Fallujah
In the name of an illusionary figure thought up by US militants suggests that Al Qaeda's? ally "Abu Musab al-Zarqawi" has called on Muslims to take up arms against their US enemy as American militia attacked the Iraqi city of Fallujah? Just a coincidence or just good timing?

Full-scale attack on Fallujah begins
Correspondents say radio traffic heard at a US militant's staging post just outside Fallujah indicates US/Iraqi militia have moved at least four blocks into Fallujah, and are still advancing.

US/Iraqi militants storm Fallujah hospital
United States troops and US/Iraqi militia have seized the main hospital in the Iraqi city of Fallujah without a fight, according to a pool reporter travelling [in-bed] with the troops. Those in hospital beds did not resist they were too sick and the doctor kept on operating regardless.

US warplanes and artillery attack Fallujah!
Journalists [in-bed] with the US military say warplanes fired at suspected resistance targets around Fallujah as night fell on Sunday, while artillery shells pounded a nearby town.

State of emergency: Allawi 'killer of saints'
The US puppet, Iyad Allawi otherwise known as "Sock" killer of saints has declared a state of emergency for 60 days to quell violent resistance gripping the country ahead of January's shoe sale.

US Empire Votes For Pre-Emptive War!!!
United States President George Dubya Bushit has been re-elected, winning four more years to press his war on liberty after a bitter campaign against Democrat John Kerry that focused on the US empire's role as - imperialists - initiating pre-emptive war - on the sovereign nation of Iraq - without the United Nations approval and in direct contravention of International law.

Saddam's family dismiss lawyer
The family of deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has dismissed the head of his defence team. Other team members had accused the lawyer, Mohammad Rashdan, of acting without consulting them.

Who's counting the dead in Fallujah? CARE?
In distress: CARE says it is deeply concerned about the wellbeing of Mrs Hassan. But who's counting the dead in Fallujah?

Iraqi civilian deaths put at 100,000
Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed in violence since the US-led invasion last year, according to public health experts who estimate there were 100,000 "excess deaths" in 18 months.

Unknown News Update - 2009
More than 103 times as many people have been killed in these wars and occupations than in all terrorist attacks in the world from 1993-2004. About 241 times as many people have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq than in the ghastly attacks of September 11, 2001.

Bushite group threatens civil liberties in Iraq
Allegedly a group led by George W Bushite has forced freedom fighters to threaten to behead a Japanese hostage it said worked with Japanese forces in Iraq if Tokyo does not withdraw its forces from the country within 48 hours.

US secretly moved prisoners out of Iraq for questioning: report
The CIA has secretly transferred detainees out of Iraq for interrogation after asking the US Justice Department to write a memo justifying the practice, which violates the Geneva Conventions.

Weapons inspectors missed WMD in Iraq
An Iraqi minister has said United Nations nuclear inspectors are welcome to return in response to concerns of an "apparent systematic dismantlement" of Saddam Hussein's once-vigorous nuclear program.

US accused of breaching international law
The United States is violating international law by holding prisoners in its war on terror incommunicado and in secret hiding places, Human Rights Watch said in a report to be published on Tuesday calling for an end to such practices.

Allies 'planned' Iraq war despite denials
The United States, Australia and Britain started to plan the invasion of Iraq months before the conflict, according to a report Wednesday quoting a leaked Pentagon document.

UN warns of Iraqi malnutrition
One in four Iraqis are dependent on food rations to survive and many of them have to sell what little food they have for basic necessities like medicine and clothes, the UN World Food Program (WFP) said.

Jordan's king doubts Iraqi elections possible
Iraq is far too unsafe to hold elections as scheduled in January and extremists would do well in the poll if Baghdad tried to hold it, Jordan's King Abdullah said in an interview. Excluding troubled areas from the nationwide poll would only isolate Iraq's Sunnis and create deeper divisions in the country, he said.

Annan tells world leaders to respect law
United Nations (UN) secretary-general Kofi Annan has made an impassioned plea to bring about the rule of law across the globe today. Mr Annan told world leaders to respect international law at home and abroad.

The 'coalition of the killing's' complicities - the US, Britain and Australia - have insisted that their countries' military action in Iraq was legal after they have committed war crimes against humanity.

Iraq war illegal, says Annan
United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan says the United States decision to invade Iraq in March 2003 was "illegal". Australia was a key supporter of the war on Iraq and sent troops to join the United States-led invasion last year.

Bush team 'knew of abuse' at Guantanamo
Evidence of prisoner abuse and possible war crimes at Guantanamo Bay reached the highest levels of the Bush administration as early as autumn 2002, but Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary, chose to do nothing about it, according to a new investigation.

Journalists ordered to leave Najaf as fighting continues
Journalists have been kicked out of Najaf as clashes flared in the Iraqi city, prompting speculation that a major United States-led assault on enemy Shiite fighters was imminent.

Enemy Mortars attack opening of Iraqi summit
US Enemies have fired mortars at a meeting where Iraqi puppet government leaders met to pick an interim national assembly, killing at least two people.

Iraqi Women in the Occupation Prisons As Material and Means of Violations It is important to say at the beginning that there are many psychological, social and cultural obstacles for Iraqi women to talk openly about what they actually went through inside the occupation prisons.

Ancient Babylon ruined by foreign troops: Iraqi minister
Iraq: Foreign forces in Iraq have caused severe damage to the site of ancient Babylon, one of the world's most renowned archaeological treasures, and need to leave the area as soon as possible, Iraq's Culture Minister Mofeed al-Jazaeri said.

Whatcha Gonna Do, When They Come For You? Bad boy!
Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was a threat and sought to possess weapons of mass destruction, United States President George W Bush reaffirmed when asked why no such weapons had been discovered in Iraq.

Saddam trial US propaganda
Saddam Hussein's trial will play an important part in the US election no doubt and for that to work at its potential just put a "women" behind it "She called the trials". Then add some "cleansing" like she's just doing the dishes and then some "reconciliation" by slaying Hussein during a US election. Now you can go and tell everyone you're reversing the trauma but really you're killing two birds with one Saddam.

'Social Services cheats' may face election next time around

The Federal fascist HoWARd Government is attacking the poor and underprivileged again (on all fronts - now including social services, disabled, single mothers, Medicare rebate and IVF treatment.

Meanwhile the NSW State government is attacking public housing tenants like they have no just deserts for waiting 10 years to get there?

What is going on? Is it a crime to be poor or do they want the poor to be more likely than not to be criminals?

Suspending The Social Dollar

The fascist HoWARd government is considering suspending social services payments of some long-term unemployed people, who 'it believes' are not genuinely seeking work?

Meanwhile they're prepared to spend more on military hardware, and support for the illegal and degrading war in Iraq by spending an additional 100 Million a year on sending more troops to help occupy a foreign sovereign nation on the other side of the world.

Warming up no doubt to cast a wide net over the single mothers and disability support pensioners who it will be alleged - down the track no doubt - that they won't work because they could not find a job.

Welfare changes in next month's Budget are expected to include plans to give Job Network employment agencies "the power" to "decide if" jobseekers are meeting their obligations in finding work?

Nothing like a bit more power to a government employee who incidentally is only there to serve the public. That's why they're payed by the taxpayers, who incidentally include the dole recipients when they have to deduct the GST, the $500 Medicare rebate on top of tax for their bad habits like gambling, cigarettes, petrol, and the like.

Next they'll be going into your homes and waking you up with a detailed job list that they've prepared for you?

The question is do they happen to have a detailed list of employment to choose from?

Or are job seekers just expected to find their own non-existing jobs when there aren't any that they're suited to, because they're unskilled?

So if you can't find a job that doesn't exist they'll be Suspending Dole Payments. So how are these people going to survive? Commit a crime so the government can build more jails to provide income for regional areas, where there is no work unless you want to be a prison guard.

But here's the catch

If you have a criminal record you can't get a job working as a prison guard, so you'll just have to go without, ask for handouts from welfare agencies or commit crime in order to survive.

The fascists won't send you to the closest prison either you'll be taken to the farthest prison away from anyone you know so you lose your social contacts.

Job Network employment agencies the power to decide?

Some people could be forced to spend more hours in work for the dole programs even if they're low paid and meaningless, and could face on-the-spot suspensions of their benefits for failing to attend interviews.

Lets see $10.00 a day working for the dole less lunch and fairs and then add the on-the-spot suspensions that leaves you without a living wage? Make sense?

Makes sense to a fascist federal government. Why not just call it a crime not to find work and take them off to prison? It might save them from committing a crime?

At least they'll get a bed and three below average meals a day in prison, as long as they can fight! The benefits there could be that that way there wont be a victim either!

Then again some of them may buckle under the pressure and sign up to join the armed forces? As long as they agree with going to battle into an illegal and degrading war. This is part of their strategy no doubt!

Work Force Participation Minister?

Peter Dutton says tougher action on dole cheats is needed?

"It's support from the taxpayer through a difficult time in somebody's life, but it is not a way of life because you don't want to find a job or you don't want to engage in work," he said.

"That's not what the future will provide for those people who are doing the wrong thing."

Mr Dutton says the Government wants to encourage jobseekers to utilise the services made available to them to help them find a job.

"It's not a big stick approach," he said.

"We need to say to those people that mutual obligation is about taxpayers providing you with support and you doing the right thing."

What trying to survive without a living wage? What condition do you think that these people will turn up for a job interview looking like?

Certainly not their best presentation no doubt!

'Government Shirking responsibility'

However, the Federal Opposition has accused the Government of shirking its own responsibilities with the plans.

Labor's work place participation spokeswoman, Penny Wong, says handing Centrelink's problems to the private sector is unacceptable.

"If there are people who are not doing the right thing they should be dealt with but what the Government is doing is shirking its responsibility by handballing control of payments to the private sector," she said.

"If the Government's compliance regime is not working, the Government should pick it up."

The Salvation Army's Employment Plus spokesman, John Dalziel, says the issue of why people give up looking for a job needs to be tackled.

He says Employment Plus deals with a small percentage of people who are dispirited and despondent because they have been trying unsuccessfully for an extended period of time to get a job.

"When we work with them about their feelings of alienation they then will be persuaded to go for jobs that have some potential of them getting," he said.

By Shut Down the War Machine 29 April 05


Single parents deserve a living wage and not persecution

Being a single parent is hard work. It means a lot of responsibility. But you are not paid properly to do this work. You are paid way below what is recognised as the poverty line. StandUp! Believes that looking after a child is a job and should be paid for like any other job.

Labor sees problems in welfare proposals
The Federal Opposition says proposed changes to Australia's welfare system are a cost-cutting measure and will leave disability and sole parent pensioners worse off.

Dismantle the war machine, slash taxes, privatisation and keep social services The Centre for Independent Studies report says the flat-rate income tax of 10 per cent would ensure most Australians could afford to pay for essential services such as health and education, instead of relying on welfare [social service] payments.

Costello to force single mums to look for work?
SINGLE mothers would be forced to look for work once their children reached school age, under a draconian welfare package outlined last night by fascist Pastor Peter Costello to bolster funds to spend on military hardware and the ongoing illegal and degrading war in Iraq.

The HoWARd Government is simply robbing the disabled blind
KERRY O'BRIEN: Federal cabinet adjourned today still undecided about the final formula for what has become politically one of the toughest reform challenges the Government will face this term. For the past two decades, the disability support pension has been one of the fastest growing welfare payments [social security payments.]

Encouragement is the key to social-services-to-work programs
Corporate Welfare! I think we should start with Ingeus Company. Telling us what we already know for $$$$!

Peter Saunders shake-up is long overdue: Welfare Not Warfare
Peter Saunders: Many DSP claimants are older men with limited skills who have had difficulty finding work?

Welfare Reform for Warfare Expenditure?
John Howard: "Self-evidently we would have liked the major combat to have gone differently ... [but] coalition withdrawal or defeat is unimaginable."

Govt plots post-July strategy?
Fascist Prime Minister insists he is not on a mission to punish welfare recipients [social services.]

HoWARd 'determined' to make the disabled woRK?
The Federal Government is considering a system of "coercion" and incentive to force the disabled to work. But what happened to 6 billion-budget surpluses? Why do they need to force disabled people to work? Do they need more money and less disabled people? Or do would they rather spend the money on WAR?

Opposition pension claims valid
The Federal Governments secret agenda to cut pensions, including the disability and single parent payments while spending billions on military hardware is just too much for most disabled people to accept.

Thousands march for disability protest
"We are not prepared to go back to the dark ages. This has to be reversed," Mr Preston said. "We are hoping that the community sees that we shouldn't be taking money from people with disabilities. These people have had it tough all their lives (and) there is already more unmet need than we can cope with."

Howard's Job Network Bailout
Up to 670,000 people on disability support pensions will be encouraged to sign up to the Job Network under a radical new plan to get disabled people off welfare and into work.

THE HILLSONG'S ARE ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF ' NEO-LIBERALISM' Only a bent mind would envisage the possibility or think of the concept that a '2nd Neo-Liberal 'front' promoted by the right and posing as a Church would enter politics under the flag of "Family First Party".

Costello, Howard's Disciple

JOHN HOWARD AND PETER Costello lost their vision for Australia from the time they were elected and embarked on a vision for the neo-Liberals.

Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel?
Well praise the Lord the light is Hell bent here on Peter Costello, treasurer of the Howard Government who now has his own "flock" of onward Christian Soldiers.

Corporate Welfare

Corporate welfare or how to steal social services?
Ever wondered why there are so many homeless, why we need a 10 pc GST, lack of services for mental disability, still paying off the Olympics, poor public transport planning etc etc etc?


Work for the dole is legal slavery
Work for the dole was originally sold to us by Howard as a warm and fuzzy light work project. We would be working for nothing but we would be enjoying giving back something to the community, so it was reckoned.

Peter Costello commended this result in his budget speech. Even if we were to believe this figure it still means more than half a million living at a level much lower than that is recognised as poverty.

Mark Latham's, token gestures for older unemployed
StandUp appreciates the fact that Mark Latham is concerned about older unemployed people. His specialist job network proposal aimed at older people might provide a bit of assistance.

Work for the dole failure for two thirds
THE Un-Australian: " MORE than a third of the people who completed the Howard Government's work-for-the-dole programs last year were in jobs or studying within three months of finishing.

Work for the dole? $10.00?
StandUp! Wishes to draw your attention to a serious attack on all of us--work for the dole. We were assured that unemployed would not be forced to work in areas where employed workers would normally be employed. This has shown to be a lie! Under work for the dole, unemployed have been forced to carry out; concreting, tiling, landscaping, repairs, renovation, painting, gardening, nurses and teachers aid work.

A major independent study commissioned by the Government and released today under Freedom of Information by The Australian newspaper indicates that the 'Work for the Dole' program actually reduces the job prospects of unemployed people.

Youth welfare system unfair: ACOSS
The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) is warning urgent action is needed to fix youth poverty and disincentives for the unemployed to improve their job prospects.

Bringing up children Can we afford it?
Peter Costello expects us to carry out our patriotic duty by going home and having more children. But for most people it is a struggle to bring up one child let alone two or three.

Federal Budget: Tax cuts for the rich!
For the Howard government, unemployed people are not even worth thinking about.

Private job network agency blues
Can you trust a private job network agency? No you can't! A friend of ours is registered at MTC Marrickville.

Indigenous Social Justice Association Djadi Dugarang

Centrelink puts the screws on prison debt
A 1999 study by the Brisbane Prisoners Legal Service revealed that on leaving prisoners had an average debt of $14,031. Almost one in five had a debt to Centrelink while in prison. This debt arose as a result inability to cancel things such as leases, Social Security payments, utilities and telephones.

Democrats approve tougher welfare penalties: But how does that pan out?
There used to be an old saying in Australia" if your hungry steal a sheep and leave the pelt on the fence.

Six weeks, six months, six years: inmates have little chance of making fresh start Even prisoners who serve short sentences are likely to suffer long-term consequences, including increased rates of homelessness and unemployment.

Military Spending

Howard: We as a nation have got to invest heavily in defence?
Fascist Prime Minister John HoWARd has indicated the Government will make major changes to work place laws, cut disability support forcing the disabled to work and increase his defence commitment.

Hill primed for war!
Australian Caretaker Defence Minister Robert Hill has announced a multi-million dollar upgrade of the Pearce Air Force base in Western Australia. Hill says $87 million would be spent on a major upgrade of the base, which is Australia's main flying training facility.

Troop deployment not a deepening of effort: Hill
Deploying an extra 30 troops to Iraq was not a deepening of Australia's involvement because they were being sent to protect those already there, Defence Minister Robert Hill said yesterday.

Auditor Generals damning defence report
The Defence Department computer system upgrade has cost Australia tens of millions of dollars in a gigantic bungle, according to the Federal Opposition. The Commonwealth auditor-general has issued a damning report into the project.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Chomsky signs on for justice

Noam Chomsky has signed the Justice for Jack campaign petition which calls on the Australian Attorney General Philip Ruddock and Director of Public Prosecutions to "drop any charges reliant on records of interviews conducted under duress without the presence of a lawyer."

In a short statement he said, "The actions of the Australian government in pursuing suggest that they are willing to trample on basic civil and human rights in the name of the 'war on terror'. Australians should be alarmed."

For five months in 2003, Jack Thomas was held in a Pakistan military prison where he was tortured by the CIA and the Pakistan Secret Service. Jack was returned to Australia without being charged. Seventeen months later he was arrested on November 18, 2004 by Australian Federal Police and charged with receiving funds from a terrorist organisation, providing support to a terrorist organisation and traveling on a false passport.

Jack was held for three months in solitary confinement in Barwon Prison, near Gellong Victoria in conditions that Liberty Victoria say were in breach of his human rights. Fortunately, Jack was released on bail on February 15. Since his re-incarceration, Jack has been receiving treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and depressive anxiety.

Jack's family and the justice for Jack campaign believe that the case against Jack is a political exercise of the Australian government who are desperate to set precedents and make examples of people, regardless of whether they pose an actual threat to society, in their so-called "war on terror".

If convicted Jack faces a possible sentence of 55 years and it would set a precedent which may see others deprived of their right a lawyer or charged using evidence obtained under torture.

To protect these rights, we are seeking the broadest possible support for our campaign, so if you are concerned about the erosion of our civil liberties and the political victimisation of people like my brother Jack, download the petition from our website and send them in to:

Justice for Jack Campaign, c/- 1/ 85 Paisley St , Footscray 3011 VIC, Australia.

Court should be told Gov't using 'Jack'!

A Melbourne court should have been told a man accused of working for Al Qaeda is being used by the fascist Australian Government as a pawn in their leverage to win support for their illegal and degrading activities.

By Les Thomas posted 28 April 05


If he'd been given his passport he'd be a free man
A Sydney man [scapegoat in the Coalition of the Killings resource wars in the Middle East] has been found not guilty of preparing for a terrorist attack on a Commonwealth building [ruling class propaganda.]

Trial by unrelated video clips
Should alleged terrorist suspects [scapegoats for the resource wars in the Middle East] be shown on television side-by side-'terrorist training camp film clips' gathered by the government and media archives to give the wrong impression of accused people facing trial?

Accused Australian Citizen 'denied passport in 2002'?
AN AUSTRALIAN CITIZEN who was refused a passport by DFAT in mid-2002 became frustrated at the government for treating him differently.

Court should be told Gov't using 'Jack'!
A Melbourne court should have been told a man accused of working for Al Qaeda is being used by the fascist Australian Government as a pawn in their leverage to win support for their illegal and degrading activities.

Noble Cause Torture?
AUSTRALIA: The Labor Party has decided not to support a Senate inquiry into new allegations made by Mamdouh Habib that the Australian Government cooperated with Egyptian intelligence authorities who he insists tortured him.

New account adds weight to interrogation claims
Australia/Cuba/Iraq: The fascist Federal Government is under further pressure today because Australians were involved in the interrogation of tortured Iraqi prisoners.

Australian senate accused govt of war crimes
Did you hear the one about David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib having a Barbeque in Afghanistan with Bin Laden? Yeah it was reported on Channel Seven's Sunrise this morning! But they don't know if it was a sheep or a goat, but sources say it was most likely a goat.

DPP to appeal innocent man's bail
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) will seek to have an innocent Melbourne man Joseph 'Jack' Thomas, returned to isolation in custody?

Fascist Australian Govt torture exposed
The fascist Federal Government has been exposed for the torture of Australian Mamdouh Habib and the US Government's allegations against him (if they were true) would have been made under duress.

Innocent witch verballed by federal fascists!
Shame on the federal fascists. The wicked old witch is dead! A Melbourne Magistrates Court has heard that a 31-year-old innocent Victorian man was facing terrorism charges?

Lawyer blames police for Habib break-in
John HoWARd, Alexander Downer, Phillip Ruddock, Robert Hill, to name just a few....HOW DO YOU PLEAD?

No reason for Habib to sell story: Beazley?
Federal Agreement Leader Kim Beazley is a well-paid loser. A loser who supposed to be defending our democratic rights by standing up to the HoWARd Government's fascism.

Australia: a presumption of guilt......
KAREN PERCY: Two of Australia's leading barristers have seized on the return of Guantanamo Bay detainee, Mamdouh Habib, to launch an unprecedented attack on the Federal Attorney General, Philip Ruddock.

Aust Community criticises Govt for 'crimes'!
Australia: The Law Council of Australia is warning that the Federal Government must learn from its mistakes over Guantanamo Bay? Now that's a mistake!

Australian Govt Guilty of Crimes: Community
Australia: The community says federal fascists who allowed the torture of its citizenry including Mamdouh Habib may be arrested when the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal address the War Crimes Indictment set out by the community.

What they did to Habib
Mamdouh Habib was the victim of atrocities fit for a concentration camp, including being tied to the ground while a prostitute menstruated on him, his lawyer said yesterday.

Australian Federal Government complicity in war crimes
Complaint to Australian law officers about Australian Federal Government complicity in war crimes.

There is no justification for torture
In the weeks since the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison were revealed, evidence continues to seep out of similar mistreatment of prisoners in other US military detention centers in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay.

Howard rejects spy agency overhaul
Prime Minister John Howard has played down the need for a major overhaul of Australia's spy agencies as a result of an inquiry by former intelligence officer Phillip Flood.

Fascist Australian Govt torture exposed
The fascist Federal Government has been exposed for the torture of Australian Mamdouh Habib and the US Government's allegations against him (if they were true) would have been made under duress.

Innocent witch verballed by federal fascists!
Shame on the federal fascists. The wicked old witch is dead! A Melbourne Magistrates Court has heard that a 31-year-old innocent Victorian man was facing terrorism charges?

Innocent Victorian man held in custody for Xmas?!
Lawyers have argued the case against Mr Thomas was weak and based on a statement he made in Pakistan without a lawyer present and therefore unlawful.

Innocent Melbourne man makes second bail bid
Rubish, just plain propaganda, fear-mongering, draconian nonsence from the HoWARd goverment's war agenda stink tank.

MPs to review spy agency powers
Australian spy agency ASIO'S controversial powers to detain and question suspected terrorists [scapegoats for HoWARd's resource wars] will be re-examined by a parliamentary committee. Parliament passed the new counter-terrorism powers in July last year.

Goulburn Jail breaches UN standards
NSW: Greens MP Lee Rhiannon has called on Justice Minister John Hatzistergos to bring Goulburn Jail's Maximum Security Wing into line with United Nations standards, after a prison inmate's covert survey of his fellow inmates revealed problems with rehabilitation programs and basic amenities.

Lodhi toilet paper: crap!
He is facing nine charges and is accused of planning a major terrorist attack on Sydney defence sites and the electricity grid using downloads off the internet and having 100 rolls of toilet paper to wipe his arse after low level bombs and farts.

Brain injury for suspicion 'inhumane'
Faheem Khalid Lodhi refused bail by a Sydney court and remanded until June in hell at the (HARM-U) High Risk Management Unit at Goulburn. While he is in there he will receive a brain injury and is likely to self-harm due to the gross violation of living standards.

Ul-Haque 'the man who wants to become a doctor'
The taskforce is investigating French man Willie Brigitte, who was tipped back home for a visa breach. Allegedly the Un-Australian Newspaper claimed he also attended training camps before his six-month stay in Sydney. Police have not alleged Mr Ul-Haque knew Brigitte. The Un-Australian just mentioned it because they are 'you guessed it' up John Howard's butt and they like the USA want 'you guessed it' our Federal Government. Well Yankee go home!

Daily Terror rolled-over for Howard's war games
The DAILY TERROR is suspected of being the source of the news this morning that Willie Brigitte is a terrorist and that Sydney faces a bomb attack.

Ruddock foreshadows new terrorism laws
The new laws will allow police to access emails and mobile phone SMS messages, enable wider use of surveillance devices, and protect sensitive national security information during terrorism trials.

Community seeks more power to interrogate ASIO suspects
Greens Senator Bob Brown does not think increased police powers are necessary. "We have enormous powers for surveillance, apprehension or punishment of people who are engaged in or intending to engage in or thinking about being engaged in terrorist acts in this country," he said.

Greens warn of 'politicised' terror trials
AUSTRALIA/CUBA?: The Australian Greens say they are concerned that new anti-terrorism laws being debated in the Senate allow for the "political black-banning" of defence lawyers at terrorism trials.

Lawyer claims Al Qaeda suspect's evidence tainted!
Before returning to Australia last year, Thomas was arrested and held in custody for five months by Pakistani authorities before being released without charge.

Man terrorised by ASIO remanded in 'AA' isolation!
A Victorian man has been remanded in custody after being charged with terrorism offences, including having links to Al Qaeda?

Melbourne man charged over ASIO links
ASIO a know Australian terrorist organization is verballing the community again...about allegations that a man, while living overseas, received funds from Al Qaeda and had close association with the members of the terrorist group.

A court has been told Joseph Thomas is a sleeper? ZZZ! Melbourne Australia: A court has been told that Osama bin Laden asked a Melbourne man to become a "sleeper" in Australia before undertaking activities for the Al Qaeda network? Munchkins: "Ding Dong! The Witch is dead. Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch! Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead."

AFP: The unlikely CRIMINAL
It was born of a bombing and it made its name after a far more devastating act of terrorism. But for most of the 25 years in between, little was known about the Australian Federal Police force or the work it did.

Mamdouh Habib: Taunted and Tortured!
Four Corners [Walls]: Terrorist - or Taunted by the Australian Defence Force who sacked him as a cleaning contractor? Who is Mamdouh Habib? And why was he harassed by the Australian Federal Police? Then tagged and labelled as a spy? Why was he vilified by the community? When he fled to Pakistan how did he end up being tortured in Egypt? And how did he end up at Guantanamo prison camp reserved for the men America calls "the worst of the worst.

He was an undercover agent for the blues
He was my journalist, he was working undercover. The fellow knew all of the moves.... He really had me romping, bare footing stomping. He just kept igniting my fuse....

Up there Khasali: Innocent man new bail laws
The New South Wales Supreme Court has asked innocent man Bilal Khazal to increase to amount of surety offered, before the bail is formally continued.

Young men terrorised, tortured, and threatened with charges for no crime by Australia mate the lucky country. Lucky if you're not used for Howard's FEDERAL ELECTION and George Dubya's WAR ON LIBERTY! Who shot liberty? IGNORANCE!

Keelty foresees more terrorism
Australian Federal Police (AFP) Commissioner Mick Keelty says terrorist groups will continue to find new ways to threaten countries.

Islamic movement denies links to Al Qaeda
The Islamic Youth Movement has denied having any links to Al Qaeda and says it is considering legal action against the Four Corners program. In a statement released early this morning, the group rejects allegations it is helping coordinate any kind of terrorist network inside Australia and says it is being unfairly targeted.

2nd Renaissance -10 The War on Witches [150]
In 1484, Pope Innocent VIII issued a Papal Bull that became the rationale for establishing the Inquisition in Germany. The following excerpt from the Bull sets out the official view of the danger of witches to the community. The Bull and this this passage provided the sole excuse for the torture and cruel executions that were, ultimately, to be the fate of up to fifty percent of the population of some villages.

The master of the dog whistle

UK: I was a Democrat senator living in Brisbane in 1992 when Lynton Crosby first came to public attention. Now Michael Howard's campaign director, at that time he was the state director of the Liberal (ie conservative) party in Australia. In that position he authorised one of the most ruthless law and order (crime and race) campaigns of Australian politics.

In one advertisement to which he put his name, a direct link was drawn between the fatal stabbing of a young woman and what the Liberals asserted was the Labor party's failure to act on "soft" sentencing since taking power in 1989. The ads said that the Labor party had "the blood of the victim on their hands". (The "dog whistle" was that the man who committed the murder was an Aborigine.)

There was a huge public backlash, but a clear pattern of behaviour, still discernible today, had been established: do whatever you consider you need to without concern for the consequences on the vulnerable and the innocent. As a result of Crosby's judgment the Liberal party did badly in that election; under his stewardship the Liberal party of Queensland lost more than half of its normal donations. Furthermore, in the 1998 election, with Crosby as federal campaign director, the Liberals' share of the vote fell from 38.7% to 33.9% and the number of seats held fell from 75 to 64.

Many Australians watching the current campaign in the UK are wondering how low Crosby will go.

For a start, he's employing the same script as in the Australian election of 2001. He suggested that Australia was being "invaded" by illegal refugees and asylum seekers who were said to have direct links with terrorism. Worse still, they threw their own children overboard (dog whistle - what sort of immoral, inferior people must they be?) in an attempt to force authorities to allow them to land. That's what the defence minister and others continued to say at every opportunity until election day, despite attempts by naval personnel to correct the "children overboard" misrepresentation. The conservative coalition, trailing in the polls prior to this, was re-elected handsomely.

Of course one year later when a Senate committee unearthed evidence that ministers and their ministerial staff had consciously failed to pass on to the prime minister naval concerns about the veracity of the claims, Australia's Mr Howard told the electors to "move on".

In 2001 I was seeking re-election to an outer Brisbane seat as a Labor candidate, having won this second most marginal constituency in the nation by 176 votes in 1998. In both campaigns I experienced first-hand the "under the radar" Crosby tactics.

While the Westminster village has been preoccupied with the big picture of national issues, Crosby will have been orchestrating campaigns of personal attacks and innuendo in marginal constituencies: that the Labour sitting member is not a local, that they are more interested in seeking a place on the front bench, that they are soft on crime/ immigration/abortion.

His Australian colleague, pollster Mark Textor, will be providing the results of nightly polls in crucial marginals. (Textor paid £34,000 in damages to a female Labor candidate for push polling in a Canberra byelection in 1995, wherein telephone canvassers suggested to voters that she supported abortions at 36 weeks.) You get the picture?

And in the background of the national campaign Crosby will have been conducting a war of attrition against the public broadcaster, claiming bias and unbalanced coverage. An Australian newspaper freedom of information request revealed that, during the 2001 campaign, 75% of all complaints from all political parties to the public broadcaster, the ABC, had come from Crosby. BBC take note! And constituents, even those with unlisted numbers, should prepare themselves for automated message calls from Michael Howard. Ask him where he got your number!

Having improved my vote by 6% prior to the focus on asylum seekers, I still lost my seat in 2001, but thanks to my Scottish grandparents I've been fortunate to have lived and worked in the UK for two years now. Crosby's tactics represent a truly serious threat to the civility and robustness of British democracy and the way most politics is conducted in this country. It may be all downwards from here on. A "colonial" legacy of the worst kind!

The Archbishop of Canterbury is right to caution us about negative campaigning. Campaigns ought to be about leadership and values to aspire to. Those who choose to exploit the vulnerable, to play the race card, to give voice to our basest instincts, fail the test of moral leadership.

As that hero of conservatives Ayn Rand says, "The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction you give it."

- Cheryl Kernot was leader of the Australian Democrats and a senator for Queensland, 1990-1997, and the Labor member for Dickson and shadow minister for employment and training, 1998-2001; she has recently been the director of learning at the London School for Social Entrepreneurs.

By Cheryl Kernot posted 28 April 05


Judges reveal anger over curbs on power!
UK: Senior judges fear that a succession of recent laws pushed through by the government could fetter their ability to administer justice and to act as a check on the executive.

Threat of terrorism overblown, says Kirby
The High Court judge Michael Kirby has urged Australia's security chiefs and judges not to exaggerate the risk of terrorism, saying that more people die of AIDS every day than were killed in the World Trade Centre in the September 11 [US false flag] attacks.

Guantanamo guards blinded prisoner: lawyer
UK/CUBA: British permanent resident detained at the US camp for terrorism suspects [scapegoats] in Guantanamo Bay was blinded in one eye following an assault by guards, his lawyer says.

Britain 'sliding into police state'
The home secretary, Charles Clarke, is transforming Britain into a police state, one of the country's former leading anti-terrorist police chiefs [false flag police chiefs] said yesterday.

Safeguards demanded for DNA database
Privacy safeguards are required to combat the intrusive effects of the police DNA database, it has been claimed.

London police may moor prison ship on Thames
UK: The London police are holding discussions about possibly mooring a prison ship on the River Thames in a bid to ease pressure on the spiralling prisoner population.

UK solitary confinement
UK: Segregation units are prisons within prisons - the places where the most unchecked brutality is meted out to prisoners. In recent years conditions in high security segregation units have deteriorated, and the use of long-term segregation as a control mechanism has increased.

UK politicians launch Blair impeachment bid
Parliamentarians and celebrity campaigners have launched a bid to impeach UK Prime Minister Tony Blair for "gross misconduct" over his justification for the Iraq war.

Blunkett's Quest, but is he on drugs?
The legislation is expected to introduce a new definition of "possession" of an illegal drug, making it an offence to have a certain amount in the bloodstream. This is likely to prove controversial - not least because some drugs, such as cannabis, can remain in the bloodstream for weeks.

Mentally ill face 'Asbo' measures
UK: People with mental health problems living in the community could be banned from leaving their homes under proposals to reform mental health law, a legal expert has warned.

UK court rules to use evidence obtained by torture
Britain's Court of Appeal has ruled that evidence obtained by torture can be examined in criminal proceedings.

law and order days over, says Blair
UK: Tony Blair will today make the provocative claim that Labour's new five-year crime plan heralds "the end of the 1960s liberal consensus on law and order" by putting the values of the law-abiding majority at the centre of the criminal justice system.

Blair's comments reflect badly on Australia says Hicks lawyer
The Adelaide-based lawyer representing accused Taliban fighter David Hicks says the latest comments by the British Prime Minister Tony Blair on United States military tribunals reflect badly on Australia.

PM, Carr attacked as judge pulls plug
In November 2002, as chairman of the International Commission of Jurists, he told a Senate inquiry "it is patently clear" that proposed anti-terrorism legislation "is aimed at Muslims". His submission said the new laws would be "subverting [liberty] more effectively than terrorism could ever do".

Terror suspect tells of 'torture' that led to death wish
'Give me an injection and I will be dead' : After several months of legal action, the Guardian has won the right to interview foreign nationals being held without charge on suspicion of terrorist involvement. Audrey Gillan goes inside Broadmoor high security hospital and talks to Mahmoud Abu Rideh about being locked up with no prospect of release and why he has tried to kill himself.

Belmarsh detainees consider suicide, says freed man
UK: The first of the Muslim detainees released from Belmarsh high security prison after being held on suspicion of terrorism has told the Guardian his fellow prisoners are suffering such severe mental problems that they constantly consider suicide.

Blunkett charges miscarriage of justice victims 'food and lodgings'
UK: We locked you up in jail for 25 years and you were innocent all along? That'll be £80,000 please.

England tops the EU in imprisonment
England and Wales jail more offenders per capita than any other European, Union country, according to new figures.

Blunkett to extend long arm of the law
UK: Sweeping changes to police powers were proposed by the government yesterday, with officers in England and Wales to be permitted to arrest suspects for any offence, rather than only those which attract prison sentences.

England tops the EU in imprisonment
England and Wales jail more offenders per capita than any other European, Union country, according to new figures.

Britain ponders new terrorism laws?
The British Government is considering introducing new legislation that it claims would make it easier to convict suspected terrorists.

Charles guilty as sin? Or Lying-in-state?
Prince Charles and his sons William and Harry are said to be devastated by the decision of Royal Coroner Michael Burgess to seek a Scotland Yard investigation into the death of Princess Diana when it is clear as the nose on your face that Charles is guilty as sin?

Suicides and unrest have soared, admits Home Office
UK:The already overcrowded prison population is set to go on rising and will top 80,000 within the next three years, a senior Home Office civil servant warned yesterday.

No need for new terrorism laws: DPP
The New South Wales Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has rejected the idea of new laws against terrorism in Australia.

Here come de Judge - Time to Leave [266]
There have always been examples of rulings and interpretations that have supported the saying "The law is an ass". This is increasingly the case, because even the best intentioned judges are now facing an avalanche of new technologies and social change. But, it is no good making excuses for the judiciary and continuing to accept their strange interpretations. We must recognise that not only judges but the whole legal system will struggle more and more. In the end the whole system will become a farce. This is the way empires end.

It is up to ordinary people to raise the level of debate about the undemocratic surveillance practices of the many faceless and unaccountable agents who make daily intrusions on individual privacy, and about the apologists and propagandists for the War nn Terror who applaud every new attack on human rights and freedoms as "prudent" or "necessary". If there is no discussion of reverse surveillance in the national media, create it on the streets on a citizen to citizen basis. If nobody is talking about the outrageous assaults on privacy and human rights embodied in the new antiterrorist acts forced through US, UK and Australian legislatures, start talking about it to your neighbours and friends.

2nd Renaissance -15 The Rabbits And The Wolves [180]
Historically, there have been periods when legal distinctions between animals and humans have been blurred. For instance, in medieval Europe, in the 14th and 15th centuries, numerous trials and executions of animals occurred. One source identifies 34 recorded instances of pigs having been tried and cruelly put to death. Besides pigs; rats, chickens, goats, and bees were similarly tried. Some of the pigs were fully dressed in human clothes at the time they were, inevitably, found guilty. In one case a vicar excommunicated a flock of sparrows that infested his church. All this happened despite the theological stance that animals had no soul, and no morals or conscience. They could not really be guilty of transgressing the Rule of Law.

ICOPA XI International Conference on Penal Abolition

We are excited to announce that ICOPA X1, the eleventh International Conference on Penal Abolition will happen in Tasmania, Australia from February 9 - 11,2006. Please pass this onto all networks.

Previous conferences have happened in 1983 Toronto Canada, 1985 Amsterdam Netherlands, 1987 Montreal Canada, 1989 Poland, 1991 Indiana USA, 1993 Costa Rica, 1995 Spain, 1997 Auckland NZ, 2000 Toronto Canada, and 2002 Lagos, Nigeria.

Justice Action has accepted the responsibility to coordinate this conference, and will be working with others around the world to ensure that it is an historic, inclusive and accessible event. We want prisoner and exprisoner involvement to be a feature. Let those most affected be heard and let us share their future!

Each ICOPA asks these questions:

What is wrong?
What are we doing?
What can we do?

The agenda and the form of the conference is now open. Please email us proposals and pass to others this notice. Some suggestions for strands are:

* The Politics of Imprisonment

Northern Ireland, Palestine and the Middle East, (Post) Colonial Justice Nigeria and West Africa, South Africa: ANC, Brazil, USA, Canada.

* Contemporary Forms of Penal Custom

Human Rights & Imprisonment: a Global Perspective, International trends, Imprisonment of Women, Marginalisation and Political Dissent in the USA,
Refugee and Immigration Prisons, Prisons under Occupation.

* Post Carceral Resettlement

Organising Inside: Prisoners' resistance and the Outside Community, Writing and Art as Resistance, Barriers to Reintegration, Surveillance, Organising in the Community - Exprisoners' Organisations, Convict Criminology.

* Action Now

Proposals for the future.

We will be linking with the ANZSOC criminology conference happening from 7-9th of February 2006 in Tasmania. They haven't finalised the program yet, but do plan to have four plenary sessions around the theme of Human Rights:

'Prisoners and Human Rights'
'Refugees and Human Rights'
'State Crime and Human Rights'
'Terrorism, Racism and Human Rights'

Tasmania is an ideal place to discuss punishment. It used to be called Van Dieman's Land, and was the place where most of the original convicts were sent from England from 1788 until the 1850's. It was the ultimate as a penal colony, was almost entirely a prison, and changed its name to avoid the historic shame. It had penal settlements where convicts were tortured - all well documented. And the convict responses are very special learning experiences, still valid today.

Robert Hughes book "The Fatal Shore" ISBN 0 099 45915 9 is well worth the read.

From the Internet:

Transport cost from Sydney/Tasmania return Aus$220 USA/Syd ret Aus$1600


Justice Action
65 Bellevue St, Glebe, NSW 2037, Australia
P.O. Box 386, Broadway, NSW 2007, Australia
voice: 612-9660 9111 fax: 612-9660 9100

Please log into the Justice Action Web site, designed and sponsored by Breakout Design & Print, exercising good corporate citizenship:


1983 - ICOPA 1, the First International Conference on Prison Abolition took place in Toronto, Canada. It was organized by grassroots prison rights activists, prison abolitionist academics, ex-prisoners, Quakers and interested community members. A resolution was passed to make ICOPA a bi-annual event.

1985 - ICOPA 11 was held in Amsterdam and was organized by mainly academics and European scholars.

1987 - ICOPA III was organized by a prison abolitionist group in Montreal, Canada. This conference marked a huge change in the abolitionist movement. Participants and conference organizers decided that a goal to abolish the prison was not sufficient. The real problem was the penal mindset which allowed the prison to exist; thus, to abolish the prison without abolishing the penal mentality and penal structure would only open us up to more oppression. As a result of this realization, the International Conference on Prison Abolition transformed to become the International Conference on Penal Abolition.

1989 - ICOPA IV was held in Poland during a time of political upheaval (iron curtain had not fallen yet) and great oppression. This conference was small but very successful in its showing of bravery and true human commitment to this movement.

1991 - ICOPA V was held in Indiana, USA. This conference focused on Native/Aboriginal Justice and racism in the American Justice System.

1993 - ICOPA VI was held in Costa Rica. This is considered to be among the most successful conferences because it included many scholars, activists, ex-prisoners and government officials who were taking the movement and its ideas seriously.

1995 - ICOPA VII was held in Spain. This conference was not very focused on abolition and thus received many complaints and criticisms from its participants

1997 - ICOPA VIII was held in Auckland, New Zealand. This conference was a good opportunity to learn about Maori Justice and Alternative Justice models based on Maori traditions.

2000 - ICOPA IX was held in Toronto, Canada. Returning to the city it was born in, this conference focused on Transformative Justice and the Corporate Agenda's role in Criminal Justice.

2002 - ICOPA X in Lagos, Nigeria. It was the first one in Africa. The theme: Transformative Justice and Practical Alternative to the Penal System..

ICOPA History

The Movement to Abolish Prisons is as old as prisons themselves. In the 19th century, voices like Thomas Buxton of the British Parliament and Victor Hugo of France condemned the prison system and retributive justice. In 1976 Gilbert Cantor, a former editor of the Philadelphia Bar magazine, wrote in that prestigious magazine: "If our entire criminal justice apparentus were simply closed down...there would probably be a decrease in the amount of behaviour now labeled 'criminal'. The time has come to abolish the game of crime and punishment, and to substitute a paradigm of resitutition and responsibility. The goal is the civilization of our treatment of offenders."

Justice Action - ICOPA

Justice Action is a community-based organisation of criminal justice activists. We are prisoners, academics, victims of crime, ex-prisoners.

Updated 11 April 2009

ICOPA X1: Listen! You Tube

The documentary addresses penal abolition as a concept and issues surrounding that policy. It presents the 11th International Conference on Penal Abolition held in Tasmania, Australia over the 9-11th February 2006.

By Justice Action 28 April 05


Ex-Prisoner Locked Out of Prison
The NSW Department of Corrective Services (DCS) has revealed a policy which bans ex-prisoners from entering prisons.

Justice Action: Access to our community
NSW: Justice Action went to the NSW Supreme Court before the last Federal election on the constitutional right for prisoners to receive information for their vote. The government avoided the hearing by bringing prisoners' mobile polling booths forward. We pursued it after the election. This is the report.

All the World's a Prison: History
Hamlet: [...] what have you, my good friends, deserved at the hands of fortune, that she sends you to prison thither?
Guildenstern: Prison, my lord!
Hamlet: Denmark's a prison.
Rosencrantz: Then the world is one.
Hamlet: A goodly one; in which there are many confines, wards and dungeons.[1]

State of the Prison System
US: According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 2.3 million men and women are now behind bars in the United States. Yes, the country that touts itself as the "land of the free" and the champion of freedom around the world incarcerates a higher percentage of its people than any other country.

For death row inmates in Indonesia, execution usually comes on a deserted beach or remote jungle at the hands of a paramilitary firing squad. And, it rarely comes fast.

US incarceration rate climbs
The US penal system, the world's largest, maintained its steady growth in 2004, the US Department of Justice reported.The latest official half-yearly figures found the nation's prison and jail population at 2,131,180 in the middle of last year, an increase of 2.3 per cent over 2003.

Three-Strikes law mandatory sentencing
US: First of all, this is not about a simple baseball game. This is about the most important thing of all, the game of life. The Three-Strikes law (mandatory sentencing for three felony convictions) came into being through fear, manipulation and, yes, full-blown prejudice.

CUBA: A letter to Amnesty USA
I write as an Australian prisoners' rights campaigner who has been watching Amnesty's interventions over the arrests and jailing of several dozen "dissidents" in Cuba over the past two years. I have also visited Cuba on two occasions.

Unlock the Box:
Unlock the Box is a product of many years of struggle to shut down the Security Housing Units in California. During this time, the United Front to Abolish the SHU was created as a forum to coordinate the actions of everyone involved in this campaign.

Baxter,'akin to the time in Nazi Germany'
I went to Baxter this Easter just past, and became more aware that this time is akin to the time in Nazi Germany when the concentration camps were being set up.

Decade after inspector left in disgust, report tells of filth
UK: Dirty, mice-infested cells, high levels of self-harm, and widespread bullying over drugs and medications were just some of the damning findings of a report into conditions at Holloway, Britain's largest women's prison.

Overhaul Department of Justice: Reform Group
WA: The Prison Reform Group of WA is calling for a complete overhaul of the Department of Justice following recent events which have compromised its integrity, placing prison staff, prisoners, their families and the community, at risk. We call for the Minister to publicly apologise for last week's debacle which has seen the public badly let down by the Department of Justice yet again.

Breakthrough in prison revolt
Philippines: The Un-Australian: "NEGOTIATORS last night made a breakthrough in the 12-hour standoff with al-Qa'ida-linked militants?, (suspected and imprisoned people) who staged an escape attempt from a Philippines prison that left six people dead."

Control order flaws exposed
UK: First interview with ex-detainee reveals a regime that leaves him in despair : Ex-detainee exposes flaws in terror control orders.

14,500 children in NSW go to bed each night with a parent in prison!

CIA defends terror suspect transfers?
Suspected terrorists [scapegoats for the Coalition of the Killings's resource wars in the Middle East] in US custody have been transferred to third countries for the past 20 years, CIA director Porter Goss told the US Senate armed services committee.

Craig Annesley: Miscarriage of Justice
The reason for this article is because a Secretary at the Council for Civil Liberties stated to me that they haven't got the funding to help me with a false imprisonment case which happened February 97 - and in February 2005, it will be 7 years after the incident which will mean I will be too late to bring a civil case to court?

Noble Cause Torture?
AUSTRALIA: The Labor Party has decided not to support a Senate inquiry into new allegations made by Mamdouh Habib that the Australian Government cooperated with Egyptian intelligence authorities who he insists tortured him.

Most women 'should not be jailed'
Women make up 6% of the prison population in England and Wales. Imprisonment of women should be "virtually abolished", a prison reform group has said.

Detention Centres, Solitary Confinement
On Friday night the NSW Council for Civil Liberties awarded Sydney solicitor John Marsden honorary life membership. Julian Burnside was invited to make the speech in Marsden's honour. In the course of his speech, Burnside referred to the unregulated use of solitary confinement in Australia's immigration detention centres, criticising it as inhumane and also as unlawful.

He Did Time, So He's Unfit to Do Hair
She has managed to turn life in federal prison into a nifty career move. Her company's stock is soaring, and she has plans for not one but two television shows. It almost makes you wonder why the Enron types are fighting so hard to stay out of jail.

Youth 'murdered for officers' pleasure'
UK: An Asian teenager was murdered by a white racist after they were placed in the same cell as part of a game to fulfil the "perverted pleasure" of prison officers, a public inquiry heard on Friday.

In memory of the late Bob Jewson
Some will remember that Bob was In the Bathurst riot in February 1974 and was a leading member of the Prisoners Action Group now - (JusticeACTION) upon his release. He wrote Stir, the screenplay upon which the film Stir was based. He played a major role in agitating for a Royal Commission into the events at Bathurst, and when the Nagle Commission commenced hearings Bob was to be found every day sitting in court for the duration, following proceedings for the PAG.

Deaths in isolation as prison segregation increases
The use of segregation [solitary confinement] of prisoners as punishment has been increasing recently in Australia, the US, and the UK. Segregation can be used for protection or punishment, but in both cases it results in extreme psychological stress. An indication that segregation is being over-used is the appearance of deaths in custody from suicide of those placed in segregation.

Abu Ghraib, USA
When I first saw the photo, taken at the Abu Ghraib prison, of a hooded and robed figure strung with electrical wiring, I thought of the Sacramento, California, city jail.

On Solitary Confinement
There has been much written about solitary confinement by some of the world's leading psychiatrists, but very little written by victims of solitary themselves. I believe that the 32 years I have spent in solitary qualifies me for the task.

Maoist Internationalist Movement
March 6 -- Protesters took to the streets in cities across the state of California to demand California prisons shut down the Security Housing Units (SHU). Like other control unit prisons across the country, the SHU are prisons within a prison. They are solitary confinement cells where prisoners are locked up 23 hours a day for years at a time. The one hour a day these prisoner sometimes get outside of their cell is spent alone in an exercise pen not much larger than their cell, with no direct sunlight.

From Terrell Unit in Texas to Abu Ghraib Doesn't It Ring a (Prison) Bell If the president wasn't so forthright about his disinterest in the world, it would have been hard to believe him Wednesday when he said the abuse in Abu Ghraib prison "doesn't represent the America I know."

High court keeps alive case of inmates held in solitary
NEW ORLEANS: The nation's highest court refused Monday to kill a lawsuit brought by two prisoners and an ex-inmate at the Louisiana State Penitentiary who spent decades in solitary confinement.

US: The American media reports that thousands of Iranians cheered, whistled and clapped as a serial killer was publicly executed in Iran last week.

US death row numbers don't change policy?
The number of prisoners on death row in the United States appears to be falling, mostly credited to a single Governor who commuted the sentences of all the death row prisoners in his state.

Despite Drop in Crime, an Increase in Inmates
US: The number of inmates in state and federal prisons rose 2.1 percent last year, even as violent crime and property crime fell, according to a study by the Justice Department released yesterday.

How Denying the Vote to Ex-Offenders Undermines Democracy
For starters, hundreds of thousands of people who are still eligible to vote will not do so this year because they will be locked up in local jails, awaiting processing or trials for minor offenses.

DNA Evidence of Bipartisanship
Last week the U.S. Congress passed the Justice for All Act, which includes provisions of the Innocence Protection Act. As of this posting, the legislation has not yet been signed by President Bush. Attached is an analysis of the legislation prepared by the Justice Project.

Our Two Priority Bills sent to White House
US: The 8th National CURE Convention last June lobbied on Capitol Hill the Innocence Protection Act in the Senate and the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act of 2004 in the House. On Sunday, October 10th, Congress passed both bills and sent them to the President to be signed.

US: A Californian man who beheaded a german shepherd dog he had named after his girlfriend, has been sentenced to 25 years to life under California's three-strikes law.

SAVE THE LIFE OF NGUYEN TUONG VAN:A PLEA TO SINGAPORE PRESIDENT On behalf of the Australian Coalition Against Death Penalty (ACADP) and in the spirit of respect for human life, I make a heartfelt plea for clemency, compassion and mercy, to spare and save the young life of Nguyen Tuong Van, currently under sentence of death at Changi Prison in Singapore. Nguyen Tuong Van, is a 23-year-old Australian man of Vietnamese origin. Nguyen was arrested at Changi Airport in December 2002, whilst in transit from Cambodia to Australia. He was later charged and convicted of drug-trafficking. In March 2004 he was sentenced to death for his crime.

A long-standing convention not to extradite people out of Australia if they face the death penalty has been abandoned.

Kids from 3 to 83 years old beat candy labeled "Justice" out of a big Texas-shaped piqata on Aug. 1 as dozens gathered in the Houston City Hall Park to celebrate the 30th birthday of Nanon Williams, an innocent person on Texas death row.

THE LAND OF BIBLES, GUNS, PATRIOTS AND THE 'WORLD ROLE MODEL' FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: The state of Alabama, USA, executed James Barney Hubbard. So what? ... you might say ... America executes prisoners almost every week!

Appealing a Death Sentence Based on Future Danger USA-HOUSTON, June 9 - Texas juries in capital cases must make a prediction. They may impose a death sentence only if they find that the defendant will probably commit more violent acts.

Forensics? In proposing a new death penalty for Massachusetts last month, Governor Mitt Romney offered firm assurance that no innocent people would be executed: Convictions, he said, will be based on science.

Restorative Justice Practices
Restorative Justice Practices of Native American, First Nation and Other Indigenous People of North America: Part One BY LAURA MIRSKY.

The Two Million Signature Campaign
We are shooting for over 2,000,000 signatures on the LERA petition! That is one signature for every person incarcerated in the United States!

US Prison system ending love affair with incarceration?
After 25 years of explosive growth in the U.S. prison system, is this country finally ending its love affair with incarceration? Perhaps, but as in any abusive relationship, breaking up will be hard to do.

Is Prison Obsolete?
Is Prison Obsolete Brisbane Australia 27th, 28th & 29th November 2003

Notebook of a Prison Abolitionist
In his autobiography, Frederick Douglass recalls how as a slave he would occasionally hear of the "abolitionists." He did not know the full meaning of the word at first, but he heard it used in ways that he found appealing. He heard about it when a slave ran away or killed his master. He heard about it when a barn was set on fire or a slave committed an act his master thought wrong. For Douglass, these utterances and reports were "spoken of as the fruit of abolition." He adds, "Hearing the word in this connection very often, I set about learning what it meant."

Critical Resistance - Sydney
Just a reminder message about the meeting this Wednesday, if any of you are able to come down after BBA meeting. Apologies about the clash of days, definitely not intended. It seems great minds think alike!

2nd Renaissance - Beyond Industrial Capitalism and Nation States Some Practicalities Of Emptying The Prisons [287] Given the importance that prisons and punishment have in maintaining control of increasingly restless populations, the task of achieving the release of the people in the jails and the closure of those institutions, seems daunting. But it is so vital to the 2nd Renaissance that we must find ways to do it.