Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Leftists and Muslims try to prevent people from hearing Wilders
Video at link
A large group of angry protesters has scuffled with people attending a Melbourne speech by controversial Dutch MP Geert Wilders.
There were verbal exchanges on Monday evening as about 200 protesters wrestled with those trying to access the venue at Somerton, in the city's north.
The demonstrators took guests' tickets and pushed them to the ground.
"What are you doing? This is a democratic society. We're allowed to go in there," one guest told the protesters.
Mounted police then moved in, forming a line to try to stop the scuffles.
"We do not want this to be an issue of confrontation and we ask you to accept the rights of all the other members of the community," one policeman said. "If you do not move aside, we will be using force."
Most of the protesters, who chanted "racism, no way, we're going to fight it all the way", then moved on.
The group Students for Palestine organised the protest, and say demonstrators did not come looking for trouble.
"We were just standing there while actually, a number of people were charging at us, are hurting us," the group's Yasmin Shamsil said.
"There are actually people in here with bloody noses and these are all the demonstrators who are just peacefully trying to raise awareness of the fact that we oppose Islamophobia and all the things that Geert Wilders and the people who come to Geert Wilders' event preach."
The far-right politician's Australian speaking tour has been sponsored by a group called the Q Society, which is against multiculturalism.
Andrew Horwood from the Q Society blamed political correctness for the trouble.
"I think it's very sad that we've got to this stage with the cloak of political correctness that's descended on this land," he said.
"That it's hard for an organisation like this, a group of volunteers, to get places where we can freely speak and discuss something that concerns the future of this country."
Security inside the function centre was tight for Mr Wilders, who told an enthusiastic audience large-scale immigration by Muslims threatened the fabric of Australian life.
"I'm also here to warn Australia about the true nature of Islam," he said. "It's not just a religion, as so many people mistakenly think. It's primarily a dangerous and totalitarian ideology.
"And I'm also here to warn you what is happening in my native country, the Netherlands, that that might soon happen in Australia too if you fail to be vigilant."
Mr Wilders will press on to other speaking engagements across Australia, and no doubt more protests.
Abbott rejects Wilders's views on Islam as not applicable to Australia
Despite the evidence above that Islam is just as intolerant as Wilders says it is
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders is "substantially" wrong in his views on Islam, arguing there is not much Australia can learn from the Netherlands on the issue of multicultural integration.
Mr Wilders is in Australia as part of a speaking tour organised by the Q Society, which warns against the "Islamisation" of the country.
Mr Abbott says Mr Wilders is free to "say his piece", but says Australia's experience of multiculturalism is different from the Netherlands.
"Obviously he's entitled to his viewpoint, but I think that the Muslims in this country see themselves rightly as fair dinkum, dinky-di Australians, just as the Catholics and the Jews and the Protestants and the atheists," Mr Abbott told Fairfax radio.
"We see ourselves as Australians. "We don't like to divide ourselves on the basis of race, of faith, of colour, of class, of gender. "That's one of the great strengths of our country. "We are always conscious of what we have in common, rather than the things that divide us."
Mr Abbott was yesterday forced to defended the Coalition against accusations it was being "radicalised" by extreme right-wing political influences from the United States Tea Party movement.
Treasurer Wayne Swan used a speech to the Australian Workers' Union national conference yesterday to argue that the Coalition had "imported all the very worst aggressive negativity and reckless disregard for responsible economics from the Tea Party".
Mr Abbott responded by saying that the Coalition would always practice politics with an "Australian accent".
"We don't import our politics from overseas, we don't import our personnel from overseas," he added, in a thinly veiled reference to Prime Minister Julia Gillard's director of communications John McTernan, who is Scottish.
Racist "child protection" in W.A.
An Aboriginal baby was removed from his foster carer who he had spent the first seven months of his life with because she was non-indigenous.
Not only was the child removed from her care but according to the woman, he was placed in a home judged by the Department of Child Protection to be "inappropriate."
The case of a woman who wanted to be known only as "Audrey" and baby "Robert" was highlighted on Radio 6PR this morning.
Robert came to Audrey as a nine-week-old baby who had been born three months premature.
"There were drugs and alcohol involved with the parents, and also domestic abuse," Audrey said.
After caring for Robert for more about seven months, Audrey - who has been a foster carer for more than three years, taking children in on a short-term basis - was asked if she would be willing to take Robert on as part of a fulltime arrangement.
She said as a foster carer, she knew that a permanent arrangement still meant that the child could one day be reunited with his birth parents but was willing to take him on, which could have been an 18-year commitment.
At the same time, she knew that the DCP was assessing members of Robert's family as possible placements as well.
"Those were deemed inappropriate," she said.
"There was a placement that they were also looking at where an elder sibling of his resides, that was also deemed inappropriate because there were too many children in that foster home already."
She said five days after agreeing to take Robert on permanently, everything changed.
"I was notified that an indigenous elder had stepped in and that Robert was to be removed from my care, and two weeks later he was gone."
Audrey said she was told that she was no longer considered an acceptable full time carer for Robert as she was not indigenous.
"For me, the concern was Robert was very attached to me, he had bonded, he was healthy, he was thriving, and there was actually no need to remove him from my care."
She said Robert was then placed with his sibling in the home that was originally deemed inappropriate.
"Robert is now in a family where there are seven other foster children under the age of eight."
Audrey said the family has their own children as well as foster children.
"The last time I saw Robert, his health had deteriorated, there were several things brought up with his case worker that were noted, several conditions that he did not experience in my care, but he's still in that placement despite the health concerns," she said.
"After only a week in his new placement, he had severe nappy rash to the point where his bottom was bleeding.
"He had pale coloured stools, he had an ear infection, he was very untidily dressed."
She said never had these issues when in her care.
Audrey was concerned that the DCP had judged that an inappropriate indigenous placement was better than an appropriate non-indigenous placement.
"I was told by case workers that this was just what it was like for indigenous children in care and that I just needed to accept that," she said.
Audrey said she could not accept this situation.
"I don't think that's right for any children, they all deserve the same nurturing, love respect, they are children first and foremost and it's not acceptable that they are put in placements that their care is compromised," she said.
Audrey said that speaking out may result in her not being able to care for children in the future but was hoping that DCP would keep her on.
Aboriginal children make up about 45 per cent of all children in foster care in WA.
While Aboriginal people only make up 3.8 per cent of WA's population 1867 of the 3927 children in care in WA at the end of 2012 were Aboriginal.
According to the DCP's website, the department tries wherever possible to place Aboriginal children within their families and local communities to "safeguard their identities."
"In some cases it may be necessary to place children with families that are not of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, therefore we are always looking for more Aboriginal people from metropolitan, regional, rural or remote locations who may be interested in becoming foster carers."
Australian Green party leader has a tantrum
Greens leader Christine Milne says her party's agreement with Labor is effectively over, citing a string of Government policies including its refusal to redesign the mining tax.
In a speech to the National Press Club in Canberra, Senator Milne says it has become clear that Labor no longer has the "courage or the will" to work with the Greens on a shared national agenda.
"Labor has effectively ended its agreement with the Greens," Senator Milne told the audience.
"Well so be it. But we will not allow Labor's failure to uphold the spirit of our agreement to advance the interests of Tony Abbott.
"We will not walk away from the undertakings we gave not only to the Prime Minister, but to the people of Australia, and that was to deliver confidence and supply until the Parliament rises for the election. "The Greens will not add to the instability that Labor creates every day for itself."
While her announcement will add to the air of instability that often surrounds the minority Government, Senator Milne's decision to guarantee confidence and to continue passing budget bills means the current parliament will continue until the election, due on September 14.
A spokesman for Prime Minister Julia Gillard has released a one-line statement in response to Senator Milne's speech.
"This is a matter for Christine Milne and the Greens. We will always be the party that puts jobs, growth and work first."
Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan says the Greens have opposed several pieces of Government legislation over the past couple of years, and he does not think the decision will affect how Parliament operates.
He told reporters at the Australian Workers' Union national conference on the Gold Coast that Senator Milne's decision highlights the fundamental differences between the two parties.
"The Greens want to abolish the mining industry. That's right over on the fringe," he said. "The Labor Party and the Greens are cut from a different cloth. We don't pander to special interests on our left or on the right."
Fellow Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese believes Senator Milne's speech was fuelled by internal disunity within the Greens.
"We know that Christine Milne, since Bob Brown left the leadership of the Greens, has been under siege from the extreme elements of the Greens political party, led by Lee Rhiannon from New South Wales," he said.
Powerful union figure Paul Howes, who has publicly urged Labor to distance itself from the Greens, has also played down the end of the formal alliance.
"So what? I mean, the Greens haven't been supporting a whole range of Labor's initiatives in the Parliament," he told reporters at the Australian Workers' Union national conference on the Gold Coast. "There are numerous pieces of legislation in the Senate and in the House that the Greens have voted against. "Frankly, if Christine Milne wants to rip up an agreement? Excellent."
Liberal Senator Eric Abetz says despite Senator Milne's speech, the Greens will continue to prop up the Labor government through their guarantee of confidence and supply.
"Senator Milne's diatribe at the National Press Club today adds to the chaos surrounding this Government, but in reality nothing has changed," Senator Abetz said in a statement.
"The Greens have worked out how toxic the Labor brand is and are trying to distance themselves from it."
After the 2010 election, the then-Greens leader Bob Brown signed an agreement with Ms Gillard which helped Labor remain in office.
But the relationship between the two parties has been strained by a string of policy disagreements, most recently the push by the Greens to overhaul the mining tax following revelations it raised just $126 million in its first six months.
And Senator Milne fired another broadside at Environment Minister Tony Burke, describing his decision to reject a proposal to list Tasmania's Tarkine wilderness on the National Heritage register as "pathetic". "Minister Burke sold out the Tarkine to mining interests at the behest of New South Wales right [faction], Paul Howes."
"Only the Greens are standing up for the Tarkine - the largest tract of temperate rainforest left in Australia."
In March last year tensions between Labor and the Greens spilled over after Ms Gillard's described them as a "party of protest" which rejects the "moral imperative to a strong economy".
"The Greens will never embrace Labor's delight at sharing the values of every day Australians, in our cities, suburbs, towns and bush, who day after day do the right thing, leading purposeful and dignified lives, driven by love of family and nation," Ms Gillard said at the time.
Former Senator Bob Brown fired back, accusing the Prime Minister of "unfortunate and gratuitous" insults against the Greens which will "come back to bite her".