Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ferguson spy skit has point of serious protest

If you haven't seen Quit Coal's very amusing short video about Tuesday's action against Martin Ferguson's spy-on-the protesters campaign, it's a must-see, with a very funny punchline about a certain fictional cat.

Unfortunately, the video is also a perfect illustration of the misuse of public resources not to fend off a threat, but to defend and perpetuate one - the Member for Batman himself, resources and energy minister, Martin Ferguson.

That's right - Ferguson is the threat we need to worry about as he works to expand exploitation of the fossil fuels that - burnt here, or exported then burnt - threaten to wipe out any carbon emissions savings from a carbon tax and clean energy development.

In the terms the Batman MP might use, there was no threat from the protesters, who dressed as spies to deliver a "secret" dossier about the coal barons. Ferguson knew there would be no violence or unlawful activity, just an inconvenient point to be made about his contribution to disastrous climate change. Unfortunately, he's the real face of the Gillard Labor Government on climate.

The assembled Australian Federal Police must also have known of the lack of any non-imaginary threat, and yet there they were, perhaps as genuine but unrelated threats elsewhere went unaddressed - witness the parallels between this action and Robert Doyle's nonsense with police attendance at various Occupy sites around the city while real crimes elsewhere just had to go unprosecuted.

The point Ferguson was really making is that he thinks he has the power to not hear directly from protesters, those among the 99% championed by Occupy Melbourne, and of course in this case from the ranks of the worthy activists of Quit Coal and Friends of the Earth.

In that sense, the video's use of the theme music from Get Smart was very appropriate. I can hear Ferguson grumpily pronouncing, "I didn't hear you", and - when the protesters ask "What part didn't you hear" - Ferguson replying, "The part after you said, 'Now listen carefully, Martin'".

If you'd like to contribute to the effort to improve Martin's hearing, please come to the second of this week's three actions, Occupy Melbourne's Say No to NOSIC* protest, at Ferguson's 159 High Street Preston electorate office (Google Map) on Thursday 12 January from 4.30pm, or meet at the City Square at 3.30pm to proceed there together by tram.

Further details are available on the Facebook page for the event.

After that, Friday is National Check In With Martin Ferguson Day, in which you let Martin know what you've been up to in the way of public interest activism to help the Government save money on spies by cutting out the middle-man (sorry, NOSIC*).

*NOSIC is the private intelligence-gathering firm spying on climate protesters for the Government.

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