21 June 2008

Aboriginal Control of Aboriginal Affairs

The numbers today were very small – tiny, really, when you consider that the vast majority of those involved in the protest in Sydney were non-indigenous, in a city where there are 10s of thousands of indigenous people.

We think it is significant and worth reporting that Aboriginal people march under a banner demanding not only formal equality before the law, but sovereignty. Of course, such an objective can never be achieved fully without the agency of Aboriginal people in general, not just a tiny conscious minority.

6 June 2008

Henson case precedents

Well, the police have given up charging artist Bill Henson with anything. They never charged him in fact, never arrested him. Rather all they did was to barge into his exhibition and confiscate his work pending a charge, which is now not forthcoming, so the pictures will be returned.

No one is being charged because there is no case to be made. I.e. no law was broken in showing the pictures.

In this case, one wonders how it was possible for the police to move in to prevent the pictures being shown. The police furnish the answer that they had three complaints from the public. Moreover, they say that they would have acted on the basis of only one such complaint.

This is a truly extraordinary and completely unbelievable claim. If I phoned the police and complained that I, as I often am, am offended by some sexist piece of advertising, would the police move in to confiscate the offending hoarding? Or would they rather tell me to piss off? I presume rather heavily that the latter would be the case. Perhaps some kind of experimentation is called for. . .