Tuesday September 4, 2007 12:30pm WST
For Immediate Release
"The continuous smoke and mirrors coming from not only Australia's conservative Prime Minister John Howard - as can be expected from a conservative PM - but also from ALP Opposition leader Kevin Rudd, raising the specter of impending "violent protests" at APEC do not make the notion of sometimes fierce civil dissent an act of violence," WA Rights group Project SafeCom said today, intending to bring forward the debate about any APEC protests.
"Especially Mr Rudd, who claims strong foundations in Christianity and civil dissent where "the State should be jammed in order to protect the State from itself" (in the words of Mr Rudd's 'hero theologian' Dietrich Bonhoeffer) would do well to remember, that the notion of civil dissent is closely linked to the civil rights movement of the USA at the time of the church Minister Dr Martin Luther King, and to the salt marches and protests in India of Ghandi," spokesman Jack H Smit said.
"Kevin Rudd should also remember that the Australian Labor party derives much of its origins in the rise of civil dissent of workers, in street marches and protests. Up till now Kevin Rudd is just doing "a happy me-too" in his continuous dance with the Prime Minister, while he is already on the record of using the vilifying term 'ferals' to describe protesters - including people of senior age and law-abiding people - at the time of the visit to Sydney by Dick Chaney.
"Mr Rudd would also do well to remember that in the last decade churches such as the Uniting Church of Australia have played a central role as participants as well as co-organisers of protests and street marches.
"If Mr Rudd keeps going in this way, he will, together with the Prime Minister, and ably assisted with the NSW Police, develop to become the co-conspirator who will be guilty of criminalising civil dissent in our country, and this will be a blight on his credibility undermining of his own spirituality," Mr Smit concluded.
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]