Australian First Nation children are tortured and abused at Don Dale Detention Centre, Australia’s Abu Ghraib

By Ken Canning
Asia-Pacific Research, July 26, 2016
Green Left Weekly 26 July 2016

The following article from Australia is a sharp rebuke of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm B. Turnbull by an Aborigine candidate of the Australian Senate that rightly criticizes his government for doing nothing to stop the torture and widespread abuse of children and juveniles at the Don Dale Detention Centre that was exposed by investigative journalist Caro Meldrum-Hanna on Australian national television on July 25, 2016. The indigenous or Aborigine Australian community repeatedly demanded that the Australian government take legal action. Reports about Aborigine or First Nation children and juveniles, which are the bulk of the detention wards in the Northern Territory, being brutalized were frequently made without meaningful consequences.

Leaks from Don Dale Detention Centre show children being forcefully stripped naked, hog tied like cattle, carried by the neck, knocked down, and thrown by facility staff. Prison guards systematically de-humanized and humiliated children and juveniles with insults, beatings, and gassing in what amounts to nothing short of unjust abuse of authority and criminal acts. Prior to the leaked footage aired by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Four Corners program that explicitly shows children and juveniles being abused and tortured by guards, current and past Australian governments were well aware of what was happening at the youth detention centre for approximately two  to five years. These governments, however, refused to take any action. Only when the broader general public became aware of the horrific crimes at Don Dale Dentention Centre did the Australian government feign outrage and pledge to take action by saying that it would establish a royal commission of inquiry. This is utter hypocrisy and dishonesty on the part of the federal government of Australia, which has been motivated by the self-interest of saving face.

Along with the long history of the Australian state to abuse vulnerable peoples, the racist attitudes that serve to justify the marginalization of the Aborigine of Australia are deeply entrenched in Australian society and have enabled what has happened in Don Dale Detention Centre. The victims were not seen or respected as being equals. Instead the victims were viewed as lesser people by virtue of their socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds. Essentially they were treated as non-people that could be abused with impunity. This is why Don Dale Detention Centre should be viewed as nothing short of being Australia’s own Abu Ghraib. The Iraqis that were tortured by the US military in Abu Ghraib were also viewed as non-people by the US personnel stationed there, which for the US perpetrators excused the violation of the rights of their Iraqi victims. Moreover, the comparison between Abu Ghraib and Don Dale is especially fitting since many of the wards at Don Dale are children and juveniles from Australian indigenous communities, which are a dispossessed people that have been driven off their ancestral lands by the colonial process that established Australia.

 Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Asia-Pacific Research Editor, 26 July 2016.

Dylan Voller, a thirteen-year old boy, being strangled at  Don Dale Detention Centre.

Dylan, age seventeen, is seen above and below being tied to a chair in adult prison.

Malcolm Turnbull has called for a Royal Commission after seeing on ABC’s Four Corners the brutality that has been happening under both his government and the previous Labor government.

He said this evidence had not been brought forth at previous inquiries. Not good enough Turnbull!

People have been screaming for the past five years about the Don Dale detention centre and your government and the Labor government have chosen to ignore this pure evil. You not only ignored it, you let it fester.

You either knew and thus are complicit, or you did not know and are simply not fit to govern. You cannot get out of this one with a slippery smile, Turnbull.

A Royal Commission? What a joke! You have all the evidence you need; it shocked a whole nation. Predominantly First Nations children are being brutalised by a system you let continue in your pretence of ignorance.

The evidence is there. Sack everyone in Corrective Services in the Northern Territory. Those who did not actually do anything would have known of these practices and allowed it to happen.

Sack the NT government and while you are at it, sweep the federal parliament of the rubbish currently holding seats of power who sat by and watched while our kids were being tortured.

This is an international disgrace and this country should be dragged before the United Nations and stripped of its powers. The Australian government had its racist intervention into the NT so maybe its time for an international intervention into Australia?

Put simply the Coalition and Labor have lost the ability to govern.

Ken Canning is a First Nations activist who was a Senate candidate for the Socialist Alliance in the July 2 elections.

To read a past report about abuse at Don Dale Detention Centre please click here

The original source of this article is Green Left Weekly

Copyright © Ken Canning, Green Left Weekly, 2016

http://www.asia-pacificresearch.com/australias-abu-ghraib-australian-government-complicit-in-torture-of-children-at-don-dale-detention-centre/5538149

 

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Joint U.S.-Australian military exercise is “preparing for a war with China”, says Greens leader

Global Research, July 15, 2015

Acting Greens leader, Senator Scott Ludlam, made statements last week that are noteworthy not only for their content, but for the fact that they generated absolutely no controversy or debate within the Australian media and political establishment.

Ludlam was a speaker at the national conference of the recently established Independent Peace and Activist Network (IPAN), held in Brisbane on July 9. IPAN is a coalition of pseudo-left groupings and individuals that advance pacifist and nationalist opposition to the US-Australia alliance and US bases and military activity in the country. Among the issues IPAN discussed was the large-scale, joint US-Australian “Talisman Sabre” military exercise currently taking place across northern Australia.

Speaking after the event with reporters, Ludlam made off-the-cuff remarks that Talisman Sabre was training for “expeditionary wars and invasions.” Most significantly, he stated: “I don’t think we should be preparing for a war with China … I don’t think we should be participating in that kind of provocation.”

It is difficult to think of more newsworthy comments by a public political figure. The acting leader of the third largest parliamentary party, and the Greens foreign affairs spokesman, asserted that Australia, as part of its alliance with the United States, is “preparing for a war with China.”

An Australian Associated Press stringer filed a story on his remarks within hours. The online Guardian and Murdoch media’s news.com.au posted it. Ludlam then posted a link to the Guardian story on his Facebook page, with the text, “our dress rehearsal for world war three.”

And that is where any public reference to Ludlam’s remarks ended. The television news and the major newspapers did not report them. No member of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Liberal-National coalition government was asked about them. The Labor opposition said nothing. The Greens themselves did not issue a press release about Talisman Sabre and Ludlam has not repeated his statements since.

The explanation for the silence is that what Ludlam said is true and the Australian establishment does not want it discussed. As the WSWS explained in its July 7 article, “Japan joins US-Australian rehearsal for conflict with China,” Talisman Sabre is a “large-scale dress rehearsal for a military confrontation with China in the Asia-Pacific region.” Over 33,000 American, Australian and New Zealand troops, and a small contingent of Japanese personnel, are practising naval assaults and amphibious landings within the context of sharp tensions over the provocative US allegations that China is threatening “freedom of navigation” in the South China Sea.

Under the auspices of the US “pivot to Asia” since 2011, Australia is fully integrated into the American strategic plans for war on China. Northern and western Australian airbases and ports are regularly visited by the American military. US Marines are based in Darwin. The Australian military is treated by the Pentagon as an adjunct to its own forces, trained to operate as part of larger US units. Such is the integration that if the US goes to war in the Asia-Pacific, Australia will immediately be involved.

The scope of exercises like Talisman Sabre reflect military calculations that the US is planning for war sooner rather than later, when China could be in a stronger position to oppose an onslaught by the US and its allies like Japan and Australia.

Ludlam’s posture of concern over the war danger is belied by the record of the Greens. They have loyally assisted the former Labor and current conservative governments block any broad public debate about the preparations for a confrontation with China. In parliament, they do not raise any opposition to the US alliance or the military integration taking place as part of the pivot.

Ludlam, as the Greens foreign affairs spokesman, has played a key role in suppressing critical information about the ever-expanding US military activity in Australia. In November 2013, Ludlam asked questions in the Senate foreign affairs committee about plans for greater “rotation” through northern Australian airbases by US aircraft. He obtained an effective admission from senior military commander Air Marshal Mark Binskin that US aircraft, such as B-52 bombers, would neither confirm nor deny whether they were carrying nuclear weapons when operating from Australia.

Following the admission that Australia might be hosting nuclear-armed long-range bombers, behind-the-backs of the population, Ludlam made no attempt to make an issue of it on the floor of the Senate. Likewise, he did not use parliament to condemn Talisman Sabre as a “dress rehearsal for World War Three.”

Ludlam epitomises the cynical manner in which a section of the Greens occasionally pose as “left” and “anti-war” to select audiences, while at all times serving the interests of the Australian ruling class. No less than the rest of the official political establishment, the Greens have worked to keep the working class in the dark and prevent an anti-war movement developing that challenges the militarist agenda of US and Australian imperialism.

The Greens are assisted in their duplicity by the social types that make up organisations like IPAN. A number of the figures who are active in the network are current or former members of the Stalinist Communist Party of Australia (CPA), Socialist Alliance or the fraudulent “left” of the Australian Labor Party. Hostile to the fight by the Socialist Equality Party to develop an anti-war movement in the working class on an internationalist and socialist perspective, IPAN has been established to try and channel opposition to militarism into politically harmless protests and reactionary Australian nationalism.

The “IPAN Statement” asserts that the US alliance has “put our independence at risk” and calls for Australia to have an “independent foreign policy.” Such demagogy, which implies that Australia’s alignment with the US is simply because politicians are Washington’s lapdogs, is intended to obscure that the danger of war arises from the breakdown of global capitalism. It reflects the standpoint of a faction of the Australian corporate elite who believe that supporting the reckless US attempt to reverse its economic decline by military means will end in disaster and undermine Australian capitalism’s substantial economic ties with China, which is now the country’s largest trading partner.

The dominant factions of the Australian ruling class, however, are prepared to tie their fate to US imperialism. Both the government and Labor opposition are committed to the US “pivot to Asia” against China. This political bipartisanship flows from calculations that Australian imperialist interests—strategic influence in the South Pacific, major investments in Wall Street and the prospect of greater market share in Asia and China in particular—are best served by ensuring the US retains its dominant position in the Asia-Pacific and globally.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/australian-greens-senator-talks-of-war-with-china/5462536