Monday, February 13, 2006

Darwin the Bear and other tales

Sarah Stephen, Sydney

Early on the morning of December 1, Refugee Action Coalition activist Mark Gouldkamp got a knock on his door. He opened it to find eight Australian Federal Police officers and immigration department officials.

The AFP officers had a warrant to search his home. They summonsed him to appear in court on a charge of "making a false statement in the course of supporting an application for an Australian passport", that is, helping asylum seekers to obtain false passports so they could leave Australia and avoid being deported by finding a country that could offer them asylum.

"The Howard government is attempting to go on the offensive after winning an election that had nothing to do with refugees", Goudkamp told Green Left Weekly two days after the raid. "They've been tightening the screws on those held in detention, detaining more kids, attempting to deport people back to torture, and now they think they can get away with harassing refugee activists."
Gouldkamp is one of four people who have been served notices to appear at the Downing Centre Local Court on January 11 asked to enter a plea for the same offence, conviction for which carries a maximum penalty of two years' jail or a $5000 fine. The fifth person will appear at the Parramatta Local Court on January 12.

On the same day as the Sydney raid, a dozen AFP and immigration department officers raided refugee-rights activist Ian Rintoul's house in Brisbane, spending almost eight hours searching through his belongings, and taking away at least 50 bags of literature. They also searched his Sydney house. Rintoul has not been charged.

According to Gouldkamp, the pretext for these police raids was the escape of some 50 asylum seekers from the Woomera detention centre in March and June 2002.

"Many of the Woomera escapees were told they weren't refugees, yet many in similar circumstances who remained in detention have since been found to be refugees", he said. "It's criminal they were ever locked up in the first place and it's understandable why anyone with a heart would do whatever it takes to support these people, whether or not it is against the law."

At the time of the escapes, an editorial in the July 1 Canberra Times pointed to the morally just cause of those who assisted the escapees. "Those involved in helping organise escapes, and later in sheltering those who have escaped, are clearly and knowingly breaking the law", it said. "But they do not see that they are doing anything wrong, even in breaking the law. A higher moral issue is involved, and for most the thought of jail or other punishment is hardly likely to deter. That they are acting, as they and many others would see it, unselfishly clearly separates their civil disobedience from ordinary criminal conduct."
Citing the latest charges, the corporate media is working to portray refugee-rights activists as "criminals" involved in a "passport racket". Articles in the corporate press have carried headlines such as "Police crack fake passport racket" and "Homes raided in forgery probe".

The Refugee Action Coalition is planning a campaign in defence of the activists. If you would like to get involved, make a donation or offer your support, phone Sarah on [check the website].

Mr. Goudkamp, who has been invited to speak by the Catholic Social Justice Commission at rallies such as the “REFUGEES… AND THE POLITICS OF FEAR” would not be unknown to our next person of interest Mark Copland. Mr. Copland, the Darling Downs head of the Rural Australians for Refuges and the Head of the Catholic Social Justice Commission in Toowoomba is well known to White Patriots in Queensland.

Mark Copland.

The following is an open letter Mark Copland wrote before he came to our attention.

Mark Copland in Toowoomba, Queensland

Dear Messrs Ruddock, Howard, Beazley and Sciacca,

Our family visited one of your immigration detention centres late in September. We had a wonderful afternoon sharing food and stories while our children played together in the visitors yard surrounded by razor wire. We were vigilant for terrorists but all we saw were children and families looking for peace. It was a little dangerous as we were worried that our oldest son might kick the soccer ball over the wire and set off the alarms.

Following this visit it has been quite hard for us to explain to our children why these people were imprisoned like this. As I sat down with my blonde haired and blue eyed extremely cute toddler last week and began to read him one of our favourite books, Paddington Bear by Michael Bond I hit upon a great idea. Like all stories, it has not kept up with the current political climate, and I thought that if I rewrote part of the book for our children they might be better able to understand our treatment of asylum seekers in Australia.

Darwin the Bear

Mr. and Mrs White first met Darwin at a port in Northern Australia. In fact it was how he came to have such an unusual name, because Darwin was the name of the port.

The Whites were waiting to meet their daughter, Judy, when Mr. White noticed something small and furry half hidden behind some bicycles. It looks like a bear, he said. A bear? repeated Mrs White. At Port Darwin? Don't be silly Henry. There can't be!

But Mr. White was right. It was sitting on an old leather suitcase marked WANTED ON VOYAGE, and as they drew near it stood up and politely raised its hat.

Good afternoon, it said. May I help you? That's very kind of you, said Mr. White, but as a matter of fact we were wondering if we could help you? You're a very small bear to be all alone at a port, said Mrs White. Where are you from?
The bear looked around carefully before replying. Darkest Afghanistan. I'm not really supposed to be here at all. I'm a stowaway.

You don't mean to say you've come all the way from Afghanistan by yourself? exclaimed Mrs White. Whatever did you do for food?
Unlocking the suitcase with a small key, the bear took out an almost empty glass jar. I ate marmalade, it said. Bears like marmalade.
Mrs White took a closer look at the label around the bears neck. It said quite simply, Please look after this Bear. Thank you.

Oh Henry! she cried, We can't just leave him here, he could do anything - he's a queue jumper.
A queue jumper? repeated Mr. White nervously. We must report him to the authorities immediately. His children seemed a little sad but understood once he explained the importance of protecting Australias borders.

Obviously nobody cared for him if they sent him here with a sign around his neck like that, declared Jonathan, one of the White children. Yeah and how did he get the money the come all this way? questioned Judy, Jonathans sister. He should have joined the line with all the other little bears.

But I'm a brown bear and I heard that you mainly like blue bears in Australia, said Darwin. I couldn't find a line in Afghanistan and then when I did in another country it wasn't moving.

That's not true, said Mr. White. Why just last week Australia said that we would take in at least forty little bears. Now you've broken our rules and must go to jail until we work out if you really are a bear. Then if we do think you are a bear we're not going to help you. Little queue jumping bears have to look after themselves.

Darwin looked really sad when he heard this. He had once heard that Australia was a great place for all sorts of little bears to live and what if there was no marmalade in jail?

For a brief moment the White family looked into the eyes of Darwin the bear. He really did look just like one of the little bears that they had at home and there was always room for another bear. But then they remembered that it was unAustralian to help little brown bears and besides, there were big fines for doing this.
As Darwin was handcuffed and taken away to jail the Whites knew that they were doing the right thing. But strangely and mysteriously it never felt quite right.

ends

Some of your members of Parliament might have children, so please feel free to use this story to explain your policies in a meaningful way. I would also appreciate it if you could pass my suggestion onto Mr. Kemp, Education Minister. Books like Paddington Bear must be taken out of primary school libraries. I fear that they are encouraging our children to think dangerous thoughts about illegal immigration.

This sort of malicious and hate filled propaganda is not unknown to Queensland Patriots. Mr. Copland has a tendency to over-dramatise anything that does not match up to his Marxists ideals.

Since June this year Mr. Copland and Mathew DARP Henderson HAU have actively slandered the White Pride Coalition of Australia. After the Toowoomba Chronicle printed a story about the WPCA handing out Pro White Literature claiming White Women to be an endangered species, Copland and Henderson have given interviews to various media sources claiming that these people are Nazis, Skin Heads and many other false claims to silence any opposition to their Marxist cause. Copland, while abusing his privileged position in the Catholic Church, has written articles given interviews making outrageous and unproven claims against the WPCA.

A certain comment made by Mathew Henderson-Hau of FDB fame early in July concerning the Darling Downs has come to this author’s attention. “Toowoomba is full of armchair racists who all need to be reeducated”. This leaves the reader to speculate as to what exactly they mean by Re Educate. Could it be that Mark Copland, Dr Casey and Mathew Henderson-Hau are conspiring to push their own agenda? That the WPCA in QLD need to be defamed maligned and slandered to do this?

The depth of infiltration into government, religious and community organisations by Anarchist, Marxist and Left Wing Greens is a troubling sign to all Patriotic Australians.

These people are lying to the community on a regular basis. Sections of The News Print media report the lies from the Left as if it is stated fact. The real, every day Australian has no way of learning the truth. And when they do find a voice they are cut down in an instant by the likes of all we have just spoken about.