Thursday, June 18, 2009

To blog or not to blog? That is the question.

A blow for Blogger's privacy.

ANONYMOUS bloggers — from public service whistleblowers to incendiary political commentators — will no longer be able to operate from the anonymity of cyberspace under a landmark ruling handed down by the British High Court. The case, brought before the court by The Times newspaper, sets a precedent in the wake of an attempt by a British police officer, who wrote a highly successful "insider" blog called NightJack, to try to keep his identity secret when a newspaper reporter guessed who he was.

The detective constable, Richard Horton, works with the Lancashire force and had used inside information on controversial cases, including genuine prosecutions, to comment on policing tactics and the application of the law. His writings urged readers not only to mistrust politicians and the legal system but also police officers.He was awarded the prestigious Orwell Prize for political writing as his blog, which was attracting an estimated 500,000 readers a week, sparked public debate about cases, although he changed names and details to protect victims and officers.
But according to the High Court, blogging is essentially "a public activity" and the police officer could not have a "reasonable expectation" to anonymity as it is not a private activity. The judge, Mr Justice Eady, added that even if the officer could have claimed he had a right to anonymity, he would still have ruled against him on grounds of public interest.

Continue reading here.

This is bad news for those who wish to anonymously publish the truth about corruption within the Government or Corporate sector. I totally disagree with the lawmakers decision, the public has a right to freedom of expression as well as expose the lies of those in authority. Although, the following case I totally support the right for the Government to determine the bloggers true identity.

A Missouri mom was indicted for her alleged role in the death of a teen who killed herself over a failed Internet romance that turned out to be a hoax. federal indictment accuses Lori Drew, 49, of O'Fallon, Missouri, of using the social networking Web site to pose as a 16-year-old boy and feign romantic interest in the girl. The girl, Megan Meier, committed suicide after her online love interest spurned her, according to prosecutors, telling her the world would be a better place without her. Drew faces up to 20 years in prison on charges of conspiracy and accessing protected computers to obtain information to inflict emotional distress.
The indictment, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, accuses Drew and others of registering on MySpace as "Josh Evans" and using the account to lure Meier into an an online romance.

Continue reading here

What is the difference between these two cases? I'm not a lawyer, but the intent of the two cases is completely different. (Intent is important for determining the difference between manslaughter which is an accident, to murder which was intended). In the first case, the blogger is trying to fight corruption and educate the general public. His intent is educational, while the second case is clearly for viscous purposes.

Bloggers have a right to anonymity until their blogs or writings are for harmful intent. The problem of course is where to draw the line on "harmful intent" and drawing a line between comments on a blog (including hate speech) and the right to offend people, and a crusade to cause grievous emotional harm to an individual, also known as cyber bullying and cyberstalking.

I totally support the rights of free speech to include hate speech and the right to offend others. However, I draw a line at cyber bullying and cyber stalking. Thank fully, I am no longer being cyber stalked. For anyone who is suffering from cyber stalking, here are a few useful links.

Have you been cyber stalked? Or know of someone who has? Drop us an email or leave a comment.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Christian Anarchy

Christianity and Anarchism: A Primer
by Keith Hebden

It is necessary to state exactly what is, and what is not, meant by anarchy. There are overlapping schools of thought within the history of anarchy which must be identified and evaluated before moving to a theologically, politically, appropriate model of Christian anarchism. If liberation theology begins with an evaluation of context, moving to reflection from a scriptural perspective by the poor, the appropriate tools for evaluating context are needed.

Anarchism is not…
Anarchy does not mean mindless destruction, or social chaos, as some media would have it. In fact, Anarchic theory can give greater importance to social organisation than state-promoting theories such as democratic liberalism, or Marxism because anarchism assumes human potential to self-organise. Anarchism is not a theory of how the world should work – there is no utopia, no ideology to fall into line with, no line to meekly tow.

Anarchism can be…
The literal meaning of the word anarchy is “without ruler”. Anarchist theory points to rulers as the source of all social impotence with an umbrella of factors that deify rulers and contend with the freedom of humankind.
The stumbling block for many critics is the inherent negativity of a theory that defines itself by what it is not. But then science works of much the same theory. From Francis Bacon to the present time Science has been the practice of disproving, not proving, theories on the world around. Every question is a negative if it seeks to challenge or explore the exactness of a given ‘truth’. Anarchism is a question - a ‘What if?’ – if it’s a science then it seeks to disprove the overarching modern theory that statehood is good. Do we really need someone in charge to tell us what to do?

A Seed Beneath the Snow
Colin Ward: “An anarchist society, a society which organises itself without authority, is always in existence; like a seed beneath the snow.” One of the ways unions protest, when the don't want to go for a total strike, is through “Work to rule”. Rather than refusing to work they refused to take initiative, be creative, take personal authority, or make the letter of the law work in practice. Think about jobs you've had: what percentage of what you do on a daily basis is down to freedom and initiative, rather than coercion? When do you work best – when you are forced and automated, or when you choose and challenge?

Colin Ward, an unusual thing in anarchism – a utopian – makes a statement that resonates with the Christian hope that the Kingdom of God, which is among us, will one day arrive. In fact, the former makes sense of the latter if Jesus' good news was freedom from the Law of Sin and death then we are indeed free, but we often act in obedience to it anyway, out of fear or complacency. Very often this is all Christian anarchism is: the illumination of theology with a new tool, a new way of thinking.

Christian Anarchism
A workable form of anarchism must go beyond the selfishness of Individualism thus avoiding western pietistic soteriology (be holy, be saved from sin) and rejecting nihilism (destructive and
unaccountable). However, it must not fall into the impersonal restrictions of Collectivism that would oppress the individual and favour vocal conservatism. A useful model of anarchism follows that utilitarian ethics are inappropriate to this model. It must be as practical in its approach to property as Mutualist anarchism is and as committed to the rejection of the free-market as is Communism. It must also reject the violent anti-intellectualism of anarcho-syndicalism, while celebrating the non-literate societies as empowered regardless of formal education.

None of the atheistic forms of anarchism are entirely satisfactory because they leave a vacuum of power that is certain to be filled by a human, group, or interpretable contract (the judiciary). Anarchism appears far better at assessing what is unjust about society than devising a realistic theory of social justice. Therefore a sixth school of thought is required, one which includes both the supernatural and the natural Powers in an integrated worldview. If there is a future ideal for anarchists it is of a society that has gone from being structured and reified, to organic and free to constantly evolve. Theological anarchism is the consistent return to empiricism, especially of the oppressed, as the foundation for reading and retelling the text.

This model would envisage a society in which rules, the ‘Law’, are replaced by covenants of action and consequence. It is no less utopian and unrealistic than the gospel theme of the 'Kingdom of God’. Christian theology, in the western and liberationist traditions, is fully conversant with the impractical and improbable vision of society under God’s just reign. Christian anarchism addresses the contradiction inherent in anarchic praxis and illuminates Christian Liberationism. It is a form of anarchism that does not allow for the oppression of humans or their exaltation above one another:

“there is but one Lord” (1 Cor. 8:6). Such a proposition shifts away from the theological justifications of any form of nationalism, patriotism, or sense of belonging beyond that of those with whom the Christian has an actual relationship.

Dave Andrews, who set up anarchic Christian communities in Delhi and Australia, defines Christian Anarchy, or Christi-Anarchy, in a way that has striking parallels with both Anarchism and Liberation theology.

A lifestyle that is characterized by the radical, non-violent, sacrificial compassion of Jesus the Christ. A way of life distinguish by commitment to love and to justice; marginalized and disadvantaged; so as to enable them to realize their potential, as men and women made in
the image of God; through self-directed, other-oriented intentional groups and organizations.

Andrew puts emphasis the community – the intentional group, namely the group who are marginalized and seek justice; his is a liberationist (without the violence that has been heavily critiqued in many of the motifs of liberation theology).

Assumptions of Christian Anarchism
The list below is almost entirely taken from Vernard Ellers’ “Christian Anarchy”: Anarchy is a Process

1. For Christians, "anarchy" is never an end and goal in itself. The dying-off of Power (or our dying to Power) is of value only as a making of room for the Power of God.
The State Cannot Save us

2. Christian anarchists have no opinion as to whether secular society would be better off with anarchy than it is with all its present hierarchies. But they agree that the present system is not working: the state cannot save us and should not be looked to for salvation.
Secular anarchism is missing something

3. Anarchy is not a viable option for secular society. Ellul: "Political authority and organization are necessities of social life but nothing more than necessities. They are constantly tempted to take the place of God" (Anarchism, p.22).
The Powers need us more than we need them

4. It is not the Powers that we must fight but our dependence on them. Revolutionists fall into this trap in their intention of using good Powers to oppose and displace the bad ones.
All the Powers are not the same

5. Christian anarchists do not hold that the Powers, by nature, are "of the devil." Such absolutist, damning talk is rather the mark of revolutionists concerned to make an enemy Power look as bad as possible in the process of making their own Power look good. No, for Christian anarchists the problem with the Powers is, rather, that they are "of the human"--i.e., they are creaturely, weak, ineffectual.
All the Powers are the same.

6. A Power is a Power. None is as good as it thinks it is or gives itself out to be, and there is no guarantee that even a good one will stay good. The particular Brethren turf within Penn's arky is now a Philadelphia slum. Ellul once criticised Christian revolutionists for their inability to see any moral distinction between the Powers of the U.S. government and those of Hitler and Stalin. Christian Anarchy does allow room for the relative moral distinctions. Although the Ellul maybe wrong about the U.S.!
Christian Anarchism is not violent

7. Christian Anarchism is not about revolution. To undertake a fight against evil on its own terms (to pit power against power) is the first step in becoming like the evil one opposes. Violence can be ill defined, so here’s a suggestion: Violence is the use or threat of force to control the Other.

You can read the rest of the article by Keith Hebden here.

He is part of the United Kingdom Jesus Radicals, and their website can be found here

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Australian Anarchist News

Check out the article on the Global Financial Crisis written by journalism students Bonita Silva and Donna Yan from the University of Technology, Sydney.

Will the Global Economic Crisis (GEC) facilitate social change? And do the recent ‘Group of 20’ (G20) protests reflect a rise in anarchism? Donna Yan and
Bonita Silva investigate.

As 20 of the most powerful leaders of the industrial world converged in the white-topped ExCel Conference Centre in London, thousands of people with banners in hand took to the streets of the capital in a two-day mass protest, driven by mounting discontent.

The friction between protesters and police reached its pinnacle when the Royal Bank of Scotland was reportedly stormed and the death of local London man, Ian Tomlinson, was revealed in the media. All the while, the shadow of the financial crisis loomed overhead.

Read the rest of the article here.

Barnaby Joyce is bucking trends in Australian Parliament by his latest advertising campaign, keep Australia Australian. Makes sense to me, not only is having a Government that does not represent the people bad enough, having a Government that is owned by overseas interests is much much worse.

Australian's have the right to own our own sources of wealth, but what makes this deal worse is that those mines belong to the indigenous people. When sold to China the Australian Aboriginies will get even more of a raw deal, they will get nothing. We should keep the ownership of Australian assets locally. NO MORE ECONOMIC GLOBALISATION!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Calling all Anarchists!

It's been a while since I've updated my blog, and will be something I have to consider in the very near future.

In the meantime, a callout to all Australian Anarchists - Interviews are wanted for the University of Technology Sydney, Vertigo Magazine. They are asking questions about how Anarchists feel about the dreaded Global Financial Crisis.

Here's the email I was sent.

I am one of the editors of Vertigo, the official publication of the University of Technology, Sydney Australia. In light of the G20 protest in London, we are currently running a piece on whether the global financial crisis (GFC) will be the catalyst for a rise in anarchism or act as the catalyst for change envisioned by the movement. Considering the work you do on your blog 'Anarchy Downunder', we were wondering if you would be willing to take a few minutes and comment on how anarchists interpret the GFC and what it means for the movement. The piece is also going to cover issues such as the way in which anarchism is perceived in the public sphere and government attitudes. We would really appreciate it if you could get back to us as soon as possible as we are on a tight deadline. Also, would it be okay for us to quote sections of your blog for the article? You will be credited for anything we use. Please feel free to visit our website at

If you're an anarchist and you'd like to speak to the media on behalf of the 'anarchist community', please contact Donna Yan at

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Austrasia, the new Republic of China

Australia is quickly following China's lead to implement Internet Censorship under the guise of protecting the children (my personal favourite).

“Censorship is quite an industry in China. Every village has spies to watch neighbors; the mail and the poster boards are watched, say expat Chinese. It is said (by dissidents) that China has 40,000 Web police hard at work just in Beijing, looking over the shoulders of Web users and composing lists of banned words that cause a Web search to freeze up or a site to automatically be blocked.”

The Australian government originally stated that the Internet Filter would be an opt out filter for porn, but like the proverbial frog in the boiling water, the Australian government has changed its mind.

"The government has declared it will not let internet users opt out of the proposed national internet filter. The plan was first created as a way to combat child pornography and adult content, but could be extended to include controversial websites on euthanasia or anorexia".

Now, the government is going to block websites it deems unwanted, without actually explaining what unwanted content is.

"AUSTRALIA'S mandatory net filter is being primed to block 10,000 websites as part of a blacklist of unspecified "unwanted content". Some 1300 websites have already been identified by the Australian Communications and Media Authority."

Get involved in opposing the internet filter with No Clean Feed and Civil Liberties groups


Friday, October 17, 2008

Victoria Police Spying on Activists!

VICTORIA Police's secret intelligence unit has infiltrated Melbourne's activist and community groups for two years to gather information on protests against the Iraq War, Japanese whaling and a weapons exhibition. Reigniting civil liberties concerns about police spying, an officer from the police Security Intelligence Group has infiltrated groups such as Animal Liberation Victoria, Stop the War Coalition, Unity for Peace and Socialist Alternative. The officer, who posed as a vegan, left-wing activist, has also had close contact with representatives of church and student groups involved in anti-war demonstrations. So successful was his operation that the organising committee for this year's Palm Sunday peace march in Melbourne appointed him its minute-taker at meetings.

The Palm Sunday event, held each March since 2003, has been attended by tens of thousands of Victorians opposed to the Iraq War. It is organised and endorsed by a variety of groups across the community, including churches, students, unions and doctors. The officer, whose identity The Age has chosen not to publish, also took part in an illegal raid on a battery hen farm in June and travelled with a socialist group to the APEC summit in Sydney last year to attend the "Stop Bush" protest against the US President. The officer's most recent work was with activists planning to disrupt a major arms fair in Adelaide next month. The Asia Pacific Defence and Security Exhibition was cancelled last month after police briefings warned of violent protests. Continued...

The State will go to any lengths to maintain its power and control over its citizens.

Monday, September 29, 2008

To err is human, to hate divine?

Well, it seems that this anarchist has pissed off some rather unsavoury licorice all sorts.

A newly popped up blog designed presumably for no other reason than to expunge their hatred of what they consider to be an invalid form of anarchism, has the audacity to state that free speech does not include hate speech, whilst at the same time describing me as an uneducated buffoon incapable of stringing a sentence together. Hypocrisy anyone?

But then, I suppose free speech doesn't become hate speech when you disagree with the other person and believe yourself to have the moral high ground?! Right guys. I couldn't care less what you call me, but the fact is, you've offended me, and by your definition, that's hate speech and it's oppressive. So either you lot aren't anarchists, or you agree with me, and hate speech does in fact include the RIGHT to offend another human being.

Further to their accusations that I am not a true anarchist, they request any personal information about me to be sent to someone I believed to be a true Anarchist and comrade (with whom I did not necessary agree with on everything, but supported on my blog anyway), @ndy, or Slack Bastard.

You accuse me of hate speech (whichby your definition) is coercive and removes the freedom of others, and yet at the same time, you request my personal information so that you may take away my privacy. Something, which I believe is totally unethical and un-anarchist in nature. A behaviour, which I would expect the State to engage in, not fellow political activists.

Perhaps that is my punishment for such thought crimes and thinking outside the square?

As for the rumours of my location - sure, I'm in Melbourne, I've been to protests in Melbourne, which have been documented on my blog. I haven't been to a climate change one, and had I, you can be sure I would have posted pics and a report accordingly. Shit happens, and I haven't kept up my blog for yonks. I haven't done any political activism, or even been posting regularly on the blog. Work's been HELL!

Am I at La Trobe? I sure was. I even ran in the elections, and I've even had some stuff published from the blog in the La Trobe magazine. The great thing about La Trobe (not just that it's an activist hub in Melbourne), but it's also got free internet access. If you're an anarchist, or just on the cheap, the library offers free internet, and no need for a student login. So head on over, I'm a cheap skate, they're open till 10pm on weeknights!

As for me being called a woman... well, I've been called worse :-)

So please, slander me with your hate speech all you want, but don't turn around and hypocritically tell a Neo Nazi that they are bigoted, hate filled people. At least a Nazi admits what they are.