Nam si vos omnibus imperitare vultis, sequitur ut omnes servitutem accipiant?
(Tacitus, Annales XII, xxxvii)

17 Nov 2009

Traitors, communists, bashings, and other weird stuff

I've regularly protested against funding of Private schools with taxpayers money. I protested against the Vietnam War, with tens of thousands of other Australians, and we were told we were traitors to Australia. For wearing a Vietnam Moratorium badge I was, walking alone on separate occasions, twice beaten up by Ross "The Skull" May and members of the Australian Nazi Party (REAL nazis, not yer armchair keyboard-tappers), and once by a group of RAN sailors. I protested against the Apartheid South African Springboks Rugby tour in 1971 and was told I wasn't a proper Aussie because I was against Sport (our local God), then spent a night in the cells for my trouble. I protested against the dismissal of the Whitlam government and was told I was a communist, socialist, gay (? -- I've no idea why this was supposed to make me gay) traitor (yet again). I marched against the Pinochet regime in Chile, the Junta in Greece, the illegal and murderous invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq which have destroyed millions of lives. For caring enough to do that, I was told I was supporting terrorism.

In January 2009 I marched against the massacre of civilian Palestinians, especially women and children, in Gaza, and I'm now told I'm anti-Israel and indeed an anti-semite for doing that.

An anti-semite for protesting against the murderous treatment of the most oppressed and abused people on earth. When I marched against war-crimes in Gaza, I was not marching against the state of Israel, but against horrible, large-scale war-crimes. War crimes, past and present, condemned by Richard Goldstone, the world's premier War-Crimes prosecutor (himself Jewish and a Zionist), by the United Nations, Amnesty International, Gush Shalom, Bat Shalom, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Noam Chomsky, Harold Pinter, the huge numbers of Australian aborigines who marched in the Gaza protest (because they have some idea what it's like as indigenous people to be oppressed like this), countless courageous Israeli academics, educators and peace activists like Ann Baltzer and many others. Presumably all these people are anti-semites too.

Those who spray the charge of 'anti-semite' around indiscriminately bring their own cause into disrepute. Call everyone who criticises Israel an anti-semite and how are we to know the REAL anti-semites? The case is well put by Michael Neumann in 'Criticism of Israel'.


Pat said...

With one exception, every time I've been jailed was for protesting...Vietnam War, budget cuts,etc...the longest was for a mass protest that I wonder now how we ever accomplished without e-mail and cell phones...We chained wheelchairs together across major thoroughfares in major cities all over the country at rush hour and marched behind them. Of course they arrested us...but we made, at least, some folks waiting to get home think about what it was like not to be able to get in, through, by or over us.

The first time I was jailed was for carrying a beer from one beach dance pavillion to another...they arrested a bunch of us, put us all in jail and didn't even take our beers away...just a large portion of our beer money for the fine before they let us out to go do it again. : )


RHE said...

I am disappointed in the both of you. No arrests for holding up the stage? Battling the Pinkertons? Knock-down drag-out table-busting chandelier-swinging fights in the Deadwood (or Kalgoorlie) Saloon?

Sad, very sad.

Caratacus said...

Richard, give us a break! No one said they hadn't been arrested for chandelier-swinging in the Kalgoorlie Pub. But hell, we can't list everything! And I'm certainly not going to mention the gerbil incident.

Caratacus said...

Pat, with various other riotously celebrating identities I was thrown in the wagons a couple of times after closing time at The Royal George. Apart from the chandeliers and the gerbil and the protest marches, I've been reasonably law-abiding. The wheelchairs happening sounds bizarro -- I hope you took some shots. My last school had a large disabled unit. The wheelchair kids called themselves The Daleks. I grew very fond of them -- lots of cerebral palsy kids who were really up against it but had amazing spirit.