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Byron Shire
May 9, 2021

Miffed at Tamara

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Jo Faith, Sunrise Beach

I recently read, with more alarm, in The Echo that ‘green’ Cr Michael Lyon was miffed that Upper House Green MP Tamara Smith had entered the debate with insightful research re the Bypass.

Indeed, I attended a meeting many months ago when the despairing Butler St community was assured by Tamara that it was time ‘to return to the drawing board’ and address the many contradictions that existed in the Bypass DA approval. Michael suggested, words to the effect, that Tamara should concentrate ‘on the forests’ and not get involved in the debates over the Bypass ‘patch’.

This statement struck me as a breath away from the sexist maxims of the old crusty patriachs who burped and seethed when socially conscious women spoke out and were reminded by these male relics to ‘get back to the kitchen’. What is happening in Council? We had the mayor demanding that the former mayor Jan Barham ‘be quiet’ or the rightful democratic taxes-paid-for structure, ie the Council Chamber meeting would be closed! Why are these young male ‘green’ representatives, somewhat bloated with hubris, attacking green women? All of these people have been placed in the superior role of governance. What flows from this fact is the vital role of superior responsibilities. This is aided by higher principles that govern democratic free speech.

Frontline protectors, such as the Quakers before them and anti-war protesters can give testimony in court on points of conscience as conscientious objectors, under Article 9 of the European Convention of Human Rights (Right to Freedom on Conscience), until new precedents are established in court.

This subsequently paves the legal way for Extinction Rebellion protectors, citizens of conscience in structurally challenged democracies such as local Byron citizens and other members of civil society to give rightful voice to power. Furthermore, the advance of modern science outstrips the level of education and conscience of the neo-liberal political class as we attempt to save sentient beings/eco-systems on a threatened planet. This is the Sixth Great Extinction and yet capital will develop greater technologies of repression. Let us be reminded of the plight of Julian Assange the bravest Australian ever.

I ask Council representatives to take stock of this useless neo-liberal sexist warfare and respect universal rights and rightful gender free speech. Avoid ‘Ditch the Witch’ narratives and find a green way to work and walk with the community of conscientious objectors… who can see ecocide all around them. Heartfelt thanks to all the hard work of Earth protectors.

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  1. There is so much here that could be discussed it is difficult to know where to start. An obvious comment is that Tamara Smith is the member for the electorate of Ballina in the Legislative Assembly, not the upper house, though as such she is legitimatly concerned with issues around the bypass. I thought though your hagiographic description of Assange deserved the closest attention as it is an all too common view. Regardless of any US material that Assange published that might be considered whistlblower material, he published a large volume of material that Australia had properly shared with the US. I reviewed all the material from the overseas posts when and where I had worked. I knew the issues and most of the writers of the material that was properly classified as confidential and secret material, because its release could harm our national interest. How can we live without conflict in a region like ours if our overseas staff cannot give frank assessments of corrupt, venal ministers and officials, and their impact on their countries’,economies, welfare and environment? does not give them a licence to commit crimes that have nothing good about them. The secrecy of diplomatic commutation is one of the cornerstones of keeping our world safe. On the count of those cables I read Assange should face criminal prosecution in the US. The Australian material he released is part of a much larger lot of material shared by countries with the US, but the based on the Australian material I read he is a vain individual who was a traitor to our country for the sake of international fame and adulation from ignorant people who do not understand the importance of international diplomacy.

  2. Umm, isn’t this about a snail ?
    A very amazing, precious, rare, wonderful snail.
    Move the road to go around the snail … it’s not that difficult to do, and it’s a very special snail.


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