Today is the first sitting of the Australian Federal Parliament. I chose to go to listen to Parliament. I left my bag in the car as I didn’t want to have to queue for a locker as I knew Parliament would be busy.
I came through security smiling and happily chatting with security guards. I saw two interesting policemen with the same high police hats you would see in the series Matlock Police (only those my age would remember). I was intrigued. I smiled at the policeman admiring his hat. He said it was for ceremonial purposes. I was being friendly. Then he asked me for ID. I didn’t have it as I didn’t want a bag in Parliament. Just wanted to walk freely without queues. Then he told me I had to leave my own parliament. I was shocked. I have been to Parliament many times and never been asked for ID at random. No-one else was asked. The Parliament is freedom of speech, questions and it represents ‘we the people’.
I had caused no protest, I had not acted in any way to catalyse suspicion. My crime was being friendly to a policeman who changed my day. He didn’t ask anyone else for ID. Just because I wanted a friendly chat and admired him. He became annoyed at my questions. I told him this is freedom of speech and I am asking questions as I don’t understand. My car was 1 km away I knew I’d miss Question Time. He was not kind to me. He made me feel like I had done something wrong. Others going through security watched. I told them with a raised voice I am being kicked out of Parliament without an ID. He told another officer to make sure I don’t come without an ID. I said I am a person of my word. It was embarrassing and humiliating. I presented no risk. I had no bag to conceal anything. There was no problem in reality.
I questioned why? I asked what is the law? Some man in a suit with his mask (can’t recognise his face) said some law in 1988, possibly the Parliamentary Precinct Act. Not sure. I couldn’t find anything about illegality of entering parliament freely without having a ID. He did comment security had discretion. Does this mean they can block anyone from Parliament because someone says so with no crime, no protest just because someone doesn’t agree with a person. Parliament is about debate and freedom of speech. It is not about suppression or vilification (bullying).
As I walked with Parliament behind me I asked other police what they thought? Was it illegal for me to go to Parliament without ID? Some said if they say it is law then it is law. Others said they didn’t know. Another few police said that there were protests, as if a threat, when they were young people protesting climate, singing and peaceful. Yet the undercurrent was this was somehow a threat not a democratic right. I reminded them of that. I felt we were in different worlds. The world of control versus the world of democratic freedom to move freely without interference. I reminded the policeman that protest is legal and I don’t feel threatened by freedom of speech. I had seen a policeman with his hand on his gun, I smiled at this man to break the tension and convey peace and order and he didn’t smile back. He was tense following around 20 protestors, mostly young people who were not engaging in violence. His hand on his gun made him look threatening not the protestors. I said to another policeman hands are for hugging not guns. I told him I was into conflict resolution. He agreed it is better to dialogue. I said there are so many misunderstandings because we don’t face our fear. I relayed the problem to another man who seemed to think that there could be risks. I said Australia is a safe country, people are friendly here. Surely they pick up problems through security scanning? There are camera’s everywhere. It is not Beirut.
I kept walking talked to another Australian, I asked him what he thought about a person not causing any problem being denied entry to Parliament which represents ‘we the people’. He mentioned risks. I said where does all these lead? Is this totalitarian tiptoe? He said he felt positive for the future. I said I share his feeling, I feel positive but we may lose our democracy. I spoke to another person asking again what she thought. She was a former teacher. She wasn’t sure what to say but I could feel her empathy. She wished me good luck as I explore this right to access my own parliament.
Below is the Police Oath of Office. I was curious about their allegiance.
OATH OF OFFICE – POLICE OFFICER
I……………………DO SWEAR – THAT – I WILL WELL AND TRULY SERVE – OUR SOVEREIGN LADY THE QUEEN – AS A POLICE OFFICER WITHOUT FAVOUR OR AFFECTION – MALICE OR ILL-WILL – UNTIL I AM LEGALLY DISCHARGED – THAT I WILL SEE AND CAUSE – HER MAJESTY’S PEACE TO BE KEPT AND PRESERVED – AND THAT – I WILL PREVENT TO THE BEST OF MY POWER – ALL OFFENCES AGAINST THAT PEACE – AND THAT – WHILE I CONTINUE TO BE A POLICE OFFICER – I WILL – TO THE BEST OF MY SKILL AND KNOWLEDGE – DISCHARGE ALL THE DUTIES THEREOF – FAITHFULLY – ACCORDING TO LAW.
SO HELP ME GOD.
The police role is about preserving peace it is not about control according to the oath of office. The police officer disrupted the peace he did not preserve it by denying a democratic right to enter the people’s parliament. That action would cause tension as it hurts the other person. He ejected a person from the parliament. I am a peaceful person I was not committing any offence against the peace as my life is dedicated to peace.
I see our world is changing. I will always support democracy even if others don’t. Even if the community believes the world is dangerous when it is clearly not (on balance) in Australia. We are a friendly people. We are non violent by and large, it seems foreign interests are causing the violence. I am awakening to the division that has been created in my name. I do have a right to enter my parliament without a bag and without ID. I am a danger to no-one. However, if truth is the enemy some will see me that way. That is not my issue it is theirs. I will prevent offences against the peace as my oath from this day forth.
I contemplated if we do not live our democracy we will lose it.
I send peace to the policeman who threw me out of my own Parliament on the first sitting of the Albanese Government. Is this an omen?
For a moment I was very happy to see him and it became sad when he used the moment to enforce control not peace when he made the identification of myself a illegal activity when most Australian’s would regard this action as unlawful and open for questions. I have committed no crime or disturbance. Yet I am denied access to the people’s house. Is that a sign of the times?
I forgive his intolerance and unkindness to me. (letting go of anger)
I ask him: how would he feel if he was in my shoes? (building understanding)
I ask other police wto contemplate what democracy means is it preserving the peace or enforcement of order? What is the difference?
I ask police what sort of world do they wish for their children? What if their child is in the protest? What if their child is refused entry? (empathy)
What if those creating a 24/7 real time surveillance state are foreign entities engaged in crimes against humanity?
Does an ID make the world safe? Or does it make us targetable if we disagree?
Do I have the right to freely walk into my parliament without being accosted and out of my freedom state I do not have ID? What of the homeless? Most don’t have ID? What of those who fall through the gaps are they denied access? Does this Advance Australia Fair?
Is it better to feel safe or be fair?
When we are unfair, is this safe?
What is your vote?______________________________________________________________________________
Below I have felt to post Jane Elliott’s video it is essential viewing for those who seek to preserve the Peace. Today I am discriminated on the basis of ID, tomorrow it could be vaccine status, the next day it could be a medical diagnosis of non compliance (disagree). These subtle discriminations create ‘them or us’ this can build towards greater injustices (powerlessness) and discrimination. Powerlessness is when there is a power imbalance. This happens when an authority has more power than the one directed. What it does is reinforce powerlessness. It is human nature to rebalance power, as this is the true health and safety encoded into humanity. It is why we survived millions of years. We had meetings, peace treaties, councils, forums, parliaments to restore the power of the people to ensure the peace.
Should we enforce more laws or train people in anti-discrimination (peace) behaviours. The only way to change discrimination is to give children and adults and experience of how it feels to be the one persecuted, even mildly. It is still discrimination. I was asked ID but no-one else was. Why?
I produced a program called REAL HOPES. It utilised Jane Elliott’s work to teach children about discrimination and peaceful values. It was successful in schools and there were breakthroughs, however it was not supported by the education system as it didn’t have a evidence base due to myself being without resources. It had real promise for the future of children.