Sunday, September 14, 2014

What type of justice are you shopping for? Update...


In response to questions that have followed from yesterday’s post, there are a few things I should add:

  1. That the overly attentive bald fellow in question is not actually any type of friend – I was being sarcastic – deadly funny, I am;
  2. This specific type of interference/harassment routinely coincides with court cases relating to police human rights abuses – not army – and usually where the victim is, or was, Aboriginal;
  3. In the recent past police have been caught and prosecuted for providing intelligence to the local ‘skinhead’  ex-military groups that circumvented their prosecutions for race hate crimes;
  4. Specific notorious police race hate crimes against Aboriginal individuals, which have been successfully prosecuted in the past, have involved men who at that time had the visual appearance of ‘skin heads’, but by the time of their trials, their appearance had been significantly altered;
  5. It appears that at least one of those victims was followed & harassed, and allegedly committed “a violent offence against an ‘off duty’ police officer”, who just happened to be passing the said victim at that time;
  6. Government delays and disinterest in providing details of deaths in custody - in my experience, have related only to those that occurred in police custody (in addition to deaths in police presence and deaths in police lock-ups);
  7. Two of four of those custodial deaths findings were relinquished a few months ago – after several years of repeated enquiries to the coroner’s office;
  8. One finding that has been requested and is outstanding currently, is the death at the Langley Plaza on 2-4-12 at around 2am . This ‘death in police presence’ related to a man who allegedly exited the hotel, through his window, and this allegedly caused his death - after police attended. It is still being investigated, allegedly, and an inquest date has not yet been set;
  9. I am happy to post photos of said overly attentive characters here, detailing their appearance via photos or videos; vehicle registration numbers; and the time and dates of their acts of obsessive fandom in the future;
  10. I am still deadly funny.
If you have any information regarding the death in police presence at the Langley Plaza Hotel on April 2nd 2012 - regardless of which side of the law you are on, please feel free to email me so that info can receive some appropriate ventilation. Deaths and human rights abuses occurring pursuant to contact with police is a matter for the public's knowledge and the public has a right to know about State abuses and possible State abuses.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

What type of justice are you shopping for?

Four stories from yesterday's news inspired this post. Now I have to thank my very special hair impaired friend for going so far out of his way to remind me so clearly yesterday afternoon, to check what cases were going through the courts. Bingo. It was quite a shadowy day, in the big picture of things. I did make a FB post about this yesterday, to acknowledge my follicly challenged fan's efforts, but it lacked detail & I opted for a blogpost instead. 

I need to add at this point, that racism is ugly and vile, and not something I am interested in having here at this blog, or, in my everyday life. Similarly, racists too, are ugly and vile. They are also not something anyone - or any reasonable person, that is - wants in their daily lives. 

Background (for o/s readers):

Pursuant to wars and atrocities some people can react defensively, by becoming racist. It's been this way in Australia in the past. But, two local racist, fascist groups are run by former military service people and it is not an easy climate in which to write about human rights, at times. Additionally, it isn't just former service people - some police, in the past eight years (repeatedly), have also been caught for involvement with local and overseas neo-fascist 'skinhead' groups. Ironically, after violent human rights abuses have been detected previously, suspect officers were relegated to non-field roles - like phone tapping, intelligence gathering and surveillance. Unfathomable.

White supremacist racism was prevalent in mainstream Australian society following WW2, amid the White Australia Policy era - during which, basically, everyone who was not white and middle class were perceived by the government as a threat. It was a horribly broken mentality, that shouldn't have co-existed during Australia's participation in a war against fascism. Government political actions were brutal, usurped the independence of the judiciary, and compromised the nation's justice system forever afterwards.

Government policies before that era, and for quite some time after, dictated the control and isolation of all diverse peoples, including migrants and refugees. The Stolen Generations and the Forgotten Australians were a cruel by-product of that era. The effects still impinge on our democracy's equilibrium, and our justice system today. 

Those racist policies facilitated:
a) economic devastation for TOs (traditional owners) via a sleight of hand that took traditional lands away from Aboriginal nations - communities and families - and gave it to mining developers and pastoralists, and,
b) the gagging of Aboriginal nations from asserting themselves before an independent judiciary, by jailing them for spurious reasons. {This imprisonment included the abduction, indefinite detention, brainwashing, torture and abuse of children in State "care", i.e. the Stolen Generations and Forgotten Australians.}

This mind-boggling clip of an interview with mining magnate Lang Hancock (deceased) was re-discovered via John Pilger's movie Utopia (and a special Magnet hat tip to a wonderful journo Chris Graham who was the Associate Producer of the movie), which has been a huge success. Lang Hancock has an Aboriginal daughter, who lives without access to his vast estate. The clip details his support for government Aboriginal genocide.

Aboriginal people are still jailed for spurious reasons at increasing rates. The government throws its hands up in the air and claims appropriate remedies for its past actions are totally beyond them. The remote lands once appropriated, are now 'shared' with the historic owners, whose health is failing due to poor water quality, poor accommodation, inadequate remote and regional medical care, lack of access to culturally appropriate community-driven education, poor nutrition, and prevalent chronic illnesses, that all prevent empowerment and cause a massive disparity in life expectancy between Aboriginal people and non-indigenous people.

Aboriginal imprisonment rates - or 'Black' imprisonment rates as termed in some other countries, are so high in some parts of Western Australia and the Northern Territory that prisons are now being constructed for the sole purpose of being culturally appropriate for Indigenous people.  Other older prisons in WA have long been termed 'Aboriginal prisons' solely due to the high Aboriginal composition of the prison population, while being culturally, completely inappropriate for those they hold. 19 out of 20 Aboriginal men in the Northern Territory prisons have chronic lifelong ear disease and hearing loss.

Aboriginal justice issues:

Yesterday, A court found that current serving police officer Ben Gartner had been violent and abusive when he assaulted an Aboriginal teen in the 'Sallyport' of Halls Creek police station. Halls Creek is a remote North-West Western Australian town. The judgment spared him jail, reportedly, on the basis that jail time would be bad for his policing career. There is also this report from during the trial

Another incident also came to light yesterday in which Aboriginal children in Moree were removed from their family home by police with automatic weapons. De ja vu? 

The Deaths In custody Watch Committee of WA Chair, Marc Newhouse, spoke publicly of his concern regarding delays in coronial findings relating to deaths in WA custody. As a journalist, repeated enquiries I have made about 4 deaths in custody inquests (involving Aboriginal children and adults), stretching back 7 years in some cases, have continually been buried. Appeals for transparency to both private and public sector agencies, in what is meant to be a mandatory independent public reporting system, have been ignored. 

Ray Jackson of the ISJA in NSW reports that a 24 y/o Aboriginal man in Wollongong, allegedly died in a car crash, subsequent to a police chase. The family await a report and an inquest date.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Another Bloody Sunday

TODAY: Sad news in Pakistan ‪#‎Islamabad‬ where 300 anti-corruption protesters have been hospitalized, the number of dead, unknown. After violently attacking all media present, police released an official order to cease filming and broadcasting the bloodshed of protesters. 
Government spinners have since claimed that the news cover was escalating and perpetuating the protests.
Many of the injured were media workers, and women who were attending the rally or fleeing the area with their children. The hospitals are subsequently overflowing.
It was day 18 of protests against the present PM there, who, opposition supporters claim is corrupt. They alleged that this morning the PM ordered the police assault against protesters, who for the most part have appeared to engage in peaceful civil disobedience for the duration of the action. 
In the days preceding, the army was called in to support public safety. But, protesters this morning complained that when police opened fire the army presence had vanished, leaving protesters and media vulnerable to attacks.
There is no info available on last night's attacks on the Reporters without Borders or International Federation of Journalists websites, but a few days ago they released this statement. These deaths mark a sudden escalation of violence against journalists in a region already widely considered possibly the most dangerous place in the world for media attacks. 
I haven't posted the photos of the #IslamabadMassacre here - many are from other journos so there are copyright issues and some photos of injuries are quite graphic - so if you want to see more of what is going on check my twitter feed. 
The photos of the civil unrest are really amazing work and I'd encourage all my readers to check them out.The journos in Islamabad are amazingly brave to keep producing such insightful work under such terrifying circumstances. My thoughts are with those media workers who have been injured as a result of simply doing their job. #‎JournalismIsNotACrime‬ Pakistan's media has a long history of courageous traditional Fourth Estate reporting, even under duress.
Additionally, be warned, there is now some fairly strange ISIS-styled, islamo-fascist, anti-semitic propaganda creeping through in the twitter talk about the massacre. So, there appears to be a risk that the Pakistanis' efforts to oust their allegedly corrupt PM, may be getting hijacked by external spinners with an agenda. 
In photos circulating on twitter,  the same tear gas canisters seem to have been used in Islamabad (from the same company) as those used in recent incidents & human rights crises, in several places in the world. There's no context or background to those photos, which just keep popping up everywhere on the internet after every skirmish in any country, so it's not possible to know where the pics come from - could be the same ones getting used over and over by the same spin doctors - I just don't know. Have a look and decide for yourselves, if you are interested in that angle of things. 
I'll post some more news, as I get it, on my twitter account (you don't have to sign up for twitter to read it) or @magnetticism

Sunday, August 17, 2014

An Apple a day keeps the tech-heads in pay

So the long-promised education post became an onerous task after the hacking of my computer and iPhone in mid-July - hence the delays. While my iPhone is still working, it is clear that problems remain and they have curbed my indulgence in podcasts (sadly, I am a retro girl - but podcasts are a really time-effective way of catching up on news, latest education materials, & other info)
The incident brought to a head issues that have existed on and off since I commenced using Apple products for my journalism work. Faraday shields are a worthwhile cause, and it is true that removing the sim temporarily, is relatively easy with Apple products.
I think Apple security issues are an important aspect for working journalists. Some would say that I'm shooting myself in the foot here, but TDM's all about education and reform. So... it's important to note that while the functionality of iPhones makes them an awesome, handy device to work with, they can also be a liability to your security. There, I said it. 

Ultimately, this could then have a flow-on effect on other aspects of security, whether you carry an iPhone thereafter or not. Mine had been immediately replaced with an android unit prior to any physical confrontations.
The persistent security issues that are subsequently - now - under my microscope (thanks baddies, for leaving such a lot of invaluable evidence), seem to revolve around cyber exploitation of the same device's IMEI number - like Assange says, "a mobile tracking device, that also has a phone function" (forgive the paraphrasing).
Most people are conditioned to the simple good-guy, bad-guy myth that the mainstream media has, of course, propagated for centuries.

The reality is that security threats can originate from a variety of sources and, increasingly so as time goes on and technology expands. So this type of very basic good-guy, bad-guy myth, may be helpful to the govt for reaffirming a 'developmental' PR-boosting image. However, mainly and more significantly, it obscures the real plethora of risks involved in reporting on important issues that protect the quality of our society's democracy (that is, the 'Fourth Estate' journalism mandate, for all you non-journo readers). The risks come from a wide spectrum of sources, governmental and non-govt.
Plus, most mainstream journos (and others) just don't have access to tech support of the calibre that will ensure their security and privacy. Staff techs may know how to do any number of tasks - play with a graphic or run an anti-virus, but cyber threats can come from people with myriad resources. Intrusions can be every bit as subtle, persistent and penetrating as... investigative journalism. Luckily for me, I have brilliant tech support & learnt very early on from terrific journalism experts, to back everything up in multiple ways.

Despite hackers' malicious intent, they surreptitiously exercise their misconceived idea of entitlement over information. This extends to not just what they as hackers can have, but who else can have it, read it, learn from it, and know it. At the heart of all attacks, is an endeavour to control society. In my case, a great deal of damage, loss & disruption were caused seemingly just to delete two folders of photographs to prevent the public from having free access to those images and the knowledge/power that would have come with them. 

In a global context, the same restrictions are placed on education - who can access knowledge, who can have power and what oppressed groups must serve an elite after being deprived of information and opportunity. 
Almost daily, court reporters diligently catalogue the incidence of data breaches by public officials giving important, private and powerful information to unauthorized parties. Regularly, money is the impetus.

This apparent routine exploitation of the public's confidential data is the tip of the iceburg in view of:
  • The ridiculous numbers of agencies entitled to invade an individual's privacy (as divulged in Senate Estimates 2 years ago - even the most irrelevant of non-govt goups can obtain basic email data and subject lines);
  • Inherent government corruption with limited safeguards; 
  • Terrible public sector and contracted agency recruitment practices;
  • Rapidly advancing communications and social media technologies and
  • Security overload for the average punter, unable to keep up.
= hackers' field day.

Though govt propaganda depicts evolving groups people like Anonymous, as Public Enemy Number 1, not all hackers are socially-minded activists with lofty ideals trying to emancipate society.  The dark net evidences this fact, with ratted webcams, mobile cameras and other surveillance equipment captures, a marketable commodity that few know about - including govt law makers.

Now, about that education post... Where's that back-up...

Monday, August 11, 2014

Quick note

Desperate times call for desperate measures. It would seem that there is not much levity around at the moment, so excuse Junior (gratuitous cat pic to the right).

There are some concerning issues in the news currently and it is hard to blog about upbeat topics when there are such dreadful events suddenly springing up around the globe - ebola outbreaks, war, civil unrest, religious persecution, etc., etc.

It's a gloomy period, for sure. And, I note, that there are many of my readers at present, who are logging in from these very troubled places.

If that's you - I hope that today's post finds you & yours safe and well, and that these troubling times will soon be over.

I'm pulling together a post about education and equality and plan to have that ready over the next two or three days.

I have had a few setbacks over the last couple of months & subsequent delays in posting, with some very persistent persons (I was considering a slightly different 'P' word there) - apparently - endeavouring to delete photos that they no longer want to potentially be in the public domain.

I am speculating about this because the reporting from that very specific period relates to racism-oriented human rights matters - I can only assume which issues were at play and who was behind the hacking & deleting of two folders of photographs from a very narrow window of time. Those of you who read my twitter feed will have read about this some weeks ago. If you want to pick up my daily tweets, you can follow The Daily Magnet @magnetticism

Back up and running, now, anyway. Hooray!

Thanks to those of you who have helped re-build and replace the damaged data and equipment, and to all you readers from all over the world who have hung in there and just keep on visiting and patiently re-reading the archives - new post very soon. Take care.
x Mags.