Thursday, September 15, 2005

Peace activist deported

Well, Scott Parkinson was deported from Australia this morning. No-one seems to have been given any official reason yet. Probably because he is a pacifist and Howard thought he'd make an easy scape-goat in the absence of any other.

In a statement released by the organisation, Mr Parkin said he was "still baffled" as to why ASIO had given him an adverse security assessment.

"I find this entire experience incomprehensible and am still baffled as to why my visa has been cancelled," he said.

Mr Parkin, who had participated in protests against the Forbes CEO Conference in Sydney last month and was due to deliver a workshop on non-violent protests when he was detained, rejected Government assertions he was involved in violent political activity.

"I am a student of mass social movements in the tradition of Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King jnr and I think that these movements have shown us the way to achieve positive social change," said Mr Parkin.

He said he hoped Australians in the US would not be treated as he had been in Australia.

"I hope that when Australians visit the US that they are allowed to voice their criticism of government and corporate policy without fear of reprisal, and that they are freely allowed to participate in peaceful protest."

AAP reports: Peace protesters gathered at Melbourne Airport early today waving signs saying "Thanks for your non-violence, Scott" and "Peace is the Word".

A supporter, Iain Murray, said it was ludicrous that Mr Parkin was considered a threat to Australia.

"The only threat that Scott could represent is a threat of embarrassment and exposure of a government that has supported the war on Iraq," Mr Murray told reporters.

Jano Gibson for the SMH read it all.

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