Random thoughts on injustice in the first week of March 2018

On the 1st of march, an old white male judge imposed a 44 year sentence, with a 39 year non-parole period, on a young Muslim man who had, when he was 18 years old, supplied the gun to the 15 year old who shot a police accountant at Parramatta. The prisoner gave an Islamic State salute after the sentencing. Such a long sentence was imposed because the prisoner “had not shown contrition”. Assuming he identifies as a supporter of Islamic State then it is likely he feels that he is acting in support of his brothers who are fighting in the Middle East against regimes Islamic State opposes.

The ideologies behind such a long sentence is firstly the generally held view that whilst our government has the right to go and fight whenever and whoever they choose anywhere in the world that supporters of those whom we murder with guns and bombs, should they fight back, are terrorists. The second obvious ideology is that the police are such a necessary institution in this country that anyone who attacks them deserves a harsher punishment for their crime than would apply had they committed exactly the same criminal act on a civilian. There is also another mechanism at play here and that is the intentional refusal to accept that police forces are seldom a neutral arbitrator – they invariably support non-Indigenous interests over Indigenous ones. Police support capitalist interests over workers ones. Police generally support well placed and powerful interests over the interests of those with little power. In recent times, this last point has, in the case of domestic violence, not been as true as in the past. The other ideology in play here is the idea of “our” racial superiority over the Muslim hordes left over from the crusades.

On Friday, the 2nd March 2018 John Lawrence Senior Counsel said “Aboriginal people never get justice in this country.” He pointed out that there had been virtually “no consequences for those adversely named in the Northern Territory Royal Commission into Youth Detention.” He pointed to many of the senior staff of Corrections still being employed in exactly the same positions as previously. He went on to quote Eugene O’Neill saying “There is no present or future there is only the past happening over and over again – now.” http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/2018/03/bst_20180302_0806.mp3
It is an 8 minute podcast certainly worth a listen.