AN AMERICAN environmentalist and peace activist, in Australia to talk about non-violent methods of protest, has been arrested as a security threat.
History teacher Scott Parkin, 35, was arrested by the Australian Federal Police in Melbourne on Saturday as he travelled to a workshop he was conducting on the US peace movement. Last night he was being held at the Melbourne Custody Centre.
An Immigration Department spokesman confirmed he had been arrested on "character grounds" at its request and he would be deported "as soon as practicable".
Whatever you think of his politics, this is a disgrace. It seems fairly transperant because of the government's dislike of Parkin's politics, probably with some pressure from the US. As Julian Burnside pointed out during the day, if he is a genuine security threat (which seems extremely unlikely), how did he get through in the first place, and why did it take so long to arrest him. This is not merely a question of pro- or anti- American attitudes - it is a fundamental question of free speech.
Shame, Amanda, shame.
The DIMIA 'Blokes with Beards' policy claims another victim.