Media Release 26 November 2015
Minister for Gulags to burn at Eureka Dawn
A cardboard effigy of the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton MP, will burn at the Ballarat Eureka Stockade Memorial next Eureka Dawn 3 December.
Over the past six years, effigy burning has become an integral and flamboyant part of the annual 3 December Eureka remembrance, part of the Reclaim the Radical Spirit of the Eureka Rebellion program organised by Dr Joe Toscano, medical practitioner, broadcaster on Melbourne community radio 3CR and Australia's best known anarchist.
Dr Joe's Reclaim program is far and away the best attended, most visible and best known of the on-the-day and on-the-site Eureka commemorations.
"Each year as Eureka season approaches, a conversation takes place amongst Eureka lovers asking: who is this season's most notable oppressor of our rights and liberties?" said effigy maker and long time peace activist, Graeme Dunstan of Peacebus.com. "We ask 3CR listeners for example: who is the face of tyranny in this time?"
"So many to choose from, of course. Many suggested ex PM Abbott but being an ex disqualified him and Immigration Minister Dutton got our tyrant of the year award," said Mr Dunstan, sculptor of cardboard.
"Before becoming the Liberal member for Dickson, Peter Dutton was a drug war cop in Brisbane and this is probably where he learned his contemptuous and bullying ways. In 2008 he was the only front bencher to abstain when new Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologised to the Stolen Generations. ".
"Dutton came to the Ministry for Immigration and Border Protection from a year as Minister for Health where, for his attempts to force the introduction of a GP co-payment, he was overwhelmingly ranked as the worst health minister in 35 years by a poll run by Australian Doctor magazine.
"Now he presides over a string of detention centres, $1 billion per year corporate gulags, where refugees are punished for daring to come by boat in pursuit of asylum. Stripped of rights under Australian law, rape, beatings and murder are their fare; lies and denials Dutton's unvarying, tough-jawed response.
"As Minister for Immigration Dutton militarised customs and immigration with the creation of the Australian Border Force with powers to carry arms, detain people and gather intelligence and not just in Australia. But Border Force became Border Farce when its first proposed "profiling" patrol of the Melbourne CBD was met with outrage by a FaceBook gathered flash mob last June. Eureka spirit!
"Border Force retreated and Minister Dutton toughed out the crisis by denying all knowledge and responsibility.
"Burning Peter Dutton in effigy is our way of saying his disdain for our rights and liberties are not forgot," Mr Dunstan said.
The Peter Duncan effigy as a work in progress will be on display
2 pm Monday 30 November 2014
at the Eureka Stockade Memorial
cnr Stawell and Eureka Streets Ballarat
FaceBook event > Reclaim the Radical Spirit of the Eureka Rebellion 2015
Graeme Dunstan Peacebus.com 0407 951 688
Dr Joe Toscano, Anarchist Media Institute, 0439 395 489
Reclaim the Radical Spirit of the Eureka Rebellion poster and program downloadable pdf
The 2014 Eureka Dawn effigy was Major General Duncan Lewis, head of ASIO. Here a report.