Not in my name, Tony #100daysofblogging #Day37

Not in my name

Here’s a list of Government policies to which I say, NOT IN MY NAME:

  1. Spending $24bn on high-tech Jet Fighters for use in offensive warfare.
  2. Locking refugees up in prison and wasting years of their lives in ‘processing’
  3. Rolling back billions of dollars worth of Indigenous programs
  4. Allowing rich people to ‘buy’ an Australian Visa
  5. Exempting the WA Government from protected species laws to enable shark cull
  6. Ratcheting up military pressure on China via large US military presence in Australia
  7. Compromising Australia’s universal health care system, Medicare, via ‘co-payments’
  8. Participating in warrant-less mass-surveillance of private online communications
  9. Subsidising the logging of Native Forest in WA to the tune of $20,000,000 per year
  10. Transferring more than $2,000,000,000 of tax-payer money to mining corporations each year via Diesel Fuel Subsidy
  11. Repealing Australia’s renewable energy legislation
  12. Abandoning Australia ‘mining tax’ – it should be strengthened not abandoned

It’s a saying I’m sure you have seen before.

It has a tendency to appear more often when the Liberal Party have a majority in Parliament.

For me the words are reminiscent of the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

I was on St George’s Terrace in Perth outside of the US consulate screaming those exact words the day the bombing began. The day the US military, with the full backing of the Australian Government, “shocked” the world but left none of us in “awe”.

“Shock & Awe” was awful. It intentionally targeted essential civilian infrastructure; communication lines, transport depots, water filtration plants. Despite the fact there was little resistance being put up by Saddam’s no-longer-loyal military.

Millions sat witness, eyes fixed to exploding objects beamed into their living rooms from far across the globe, living vicariously through ’embedded’ journalists in Iraq. I’m pretty sure that’s what sparked one of my favourite Tool lyrics of all time:

“I need to watch things die, from a good safe distance. Vicariously I live, while the whole world dies. You all feel the same so, why can’t we just admit it?” – Maynard James Keenan

I did not sit idle watching. I joined discussions online. I argued with people. I took part in and helped organise rallies. I helped organise a network of school-based anti-war movements. We all said it that day, March 20, 2003. NOT IN MY NAME.

Over the years I’ve seen it pop back up in various contexts, particularly around the Refugee Rights movement, unsurprisingly. I’ve even seen it used in regard to the winding back of Australia’s renewable energy and other environmental legislation.

Both of which are blemishes on Australia’s international relations record.

I don’t think I’ve seen the phrase come out when something appalling happens to Indigenous people. It should.

Unfortunately, all of these things ARE being done in OUR names.

I really wish we had the option of citizen initiated referenda, we could’ve easily stopped the Iraq war. We could probably have established a sensible long-term refugee policy too.

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