My interests and concerns include (but are not limited to):
– the thickening web of wider police powers, increasing surveillance and greater secrecy in the name of security and anti-terrorism;
– the rising tide of attacks on independent journalism and investigative reporting, particularly attacks on the ABC which is the only truly independent major source of news and information not compromised by commercial or political affiliations;
– the use (threatened or possible) of anti-terrorism laws and enforcement agencies against peope involved in civil dissent and protests;
– the prosecution of and secret proceedings against the courageous whistle-blower who exposed the Australian government’s disgraceful spying against Timor L’Este;
– racial profiling (particularly of young men) in Aboriginal, migrant and other minority groups, and the high incarceration rate of Aborgines in particular;
– mistreatment of refugees and asylum seekers in apparent contravention of our international legal obligations;
– attacks on civil society including charitable organisations and other community groups engaged in advocacy in the form of ATO investigations and withdrawal of their charitable status in retaliation for their advocacy campaigns.
I’m not sure that I have particular skills that other members of CLA don’t already have in abundance. I sometimes write letters that get published in the newspapers and send submissions to Members of Parliament and parliamentary enquiries, but I don’t know if they have any effect. I just hope that if others write letters and send submissions the numbers alone will make the authorities take notice of our concerns.
With best wishes,