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Membership Solidarity: Let My Austin Go

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it has recently come to my attention that a member of IOPS, Austin Mackell, in his activities as a journalist in Egypt is facing what is clearly a bullshit charge in an attempt to suppress freedom of press. Austin has posted in the Australia blog to appeal to foreign minister Bob Carr as he is currently stuck.

his blog:
http://www.iopsociety.org/australia/blog/the-problem-with-bob-j-carr

more info here:
http://www.interfacejournal.net/2012/05/statement-on-austin-mackell-ailya-alwi-and-others/

speaking on:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfFvEVdXCFw

you can pressure Bob Carr here:
http://aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Contact_Senator_or_Member?MPID=wx4

you can sign this petition:
http://www.change.org/petitions/australian-prime-minister-act-on-austin-mackell-s-matter-now-freeaustin

i ask, in solidarity, that we of IOPS help.

and i ask for input on:

1. in the above petition there is a question or comment section. what is a good statement to send?

2. what are other ways to apply pressure?

3. do you have some words to or questions for austin?


SOLIDARITY

Discussion 24 Comments

  • Gregory VanGaya 2nd Jul 2012

    Hmm, I was in the midst of setting up a Skype call with him to talk about representative democracy and coordinator class analysis (He's not pareconista, I don't think he understands the parecon methodology at all) I don't know who we can contact. Maybe we need to all email DemocracyNow! and the Australian Foreign Affairs ministry.

    Australian Embassy Cairo: 202 2770 6600
    DemocracyNow! messaging: http://www.democracynow.org/contact/

  • Alex of... 2nd Jul 2012

    as far as i understand, it's quite okay to not be a pareconista to be down with IOPS. not sure what i understand or don't as all that goes myself.

    thanks for the other contact thoughts. i'm not looking for much out of this post but a hope that if we are dedicated to creating a better world, we can start by standing by members in need. a matter of kinship and solidarity. and write on austin's post if not here. contact carr and put on some pressure. words for that anyone?

    here is a recent article. maybe austin has some updates if everything is safe at the moment.

    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/carr-urged-to-help-aussie-journo-in-egypt-20120626-210wp.html

  • Alex of... 2nd Jul 2012

    "I wish [foreign minister] Bob Carr would take a more active interest in the case. He hasn't responded to any of my friends, family or supporters. Even through the union, I was only able to get what looked like a form letter from him saying they can't interfere with the Egyptian legal process.



    On the other hand, the motion introduced by Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon to the Senate was passed calling on the Australian government to ensure due process was followed.



    From the beginning, the arrest was an act of political thuggery, not a matter of law and order. The Australian government should speak out on that, as it should have for all of the human rights abuses committed by the Egyptian forces and all of the remnants of the old regime." -Austin



    thought this might help others form a message.



    http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/51241

  • Peter Lach-Newinsky 3rd Jul 2012

    Alex, thanks for reposting this issue in the international section. The link to Foreign Minister Carr's contact (above) we have both posted DOES work for me, and I urge all IOPS camerados to URGENTLY use it. I suggest just a brief comment saying you would like to draw his attention to Austin's case and ask why the Australian government has done nothing to help him in this trumped up case by the Egyptian military. Pressure on Carr is what Austin himself recommends and is probably the best we can do at this stage.

    • Alex of... 3rd Jul 2012

      damn. i just get an error page after hitting send, and i'm not sure if that is a problem with the selection of another country. i have asked another aussie to try as that might shed some light. i have filled out the required fields and tried on multiple browsers. i could fake an aussie address but that don't make sense. perhaps a non-native can tell me if they are experiencing the same problem too. any body trying?

      i wrote based on what i read (but not sent yet):

      "I have recently read allegations against Australian journalist Austin Mackell. I urge you to follow through on requests by the Greens Party to ensure due process for his case. This is a matter of human rights that cannot be rubber stamped and ignored under political agenda. Intervene immediately."

  • 3rd Jul 2012

    I checked contacts for bob Carr Alex and members of federal parliament have only these contact pages, for this purpose at any rate. Emails from within Australia appear to have gotten through.

    But signing the petition is good. Better if this issue of emails could be sorted - will try follow up when I get home, if not too late.

    Can't see as much use in contacting embassy in Egypt as foreign minister here at home. There are some really disgusting double standards at play re these issues (geo political games of powerful nations, and the activities of nationals who should ALL be represented and defended equally).

    As for referring to Austin's position regarding parecon Gregory - I've no idea the relevance, either to the foundational vision of iops, which is all we are expected to align to in this interim organisation, or the situation for Austin at this point in time. But then, this seems to be a running theme in many discussions. It reads as a caveat, though text is notorious for losing nuanced meaning and intention of the author.

    None the less, organisation iops may be, with specific instructions that it not be used as a networking platform - instructions I'm happy to ignore, for such purposes as this. It seems like the right thing to do, no?

  • LedSuit ' 3rd Jul 2012

    Alex are you ticking the 'not in australia' box next to postcode? I missed it when checking.

  • Paulo Rodriguez 3rd Jul 2012

    Signed. Called the Embassy of Australia in Belgium but they were LESS THAN HELPFUL. I was requested to contact the Embassy of Australia in Egypt, worth a shot.

    • Alex of... 3rd Jul 2012

      thanks paulo. i've adjusted the original post to include both the petition and the link to Bob Carr. did you happen to try the Bob Carr contact as well? if so, did you it work fine for you?

      "less than helpful" ...i can imagine

  • Gregory VanGaya 3rd Jul 2012

    No, I was just saying. He's in a bad position, and if there is anything we can do, we should be doing it. I'm well studied, my whole life, in political-economy, and parecon is the only rational basis we have for hope so far, so I hold it in high enough regard to note who understands it (at least) and who doesn't.

    Seriously, call me ( skype: redresonant ) sometime and I can explain the inter-locking logic of parecon, how elegant it is. If you have doubts or some things seem wrong to you about it, call me. It's not the easiest methodology to understand, it is relatively simple, but it is a whole new way of thinking and it would mean a whole new culture for how to think and act even.

    • Alex of... 3rd Jul 2012

      did the Carr contact form work for you? or did you use it? what words did you send if so?

  • LedSuit ' 4th Jul 2012

    Email for australin embassy in Egypt

    cairo.austremb@dfat.gov.au

    Adress for embasssy

    http://www.egypt.embassy.gov.au/caro/home.html

    • LedSuit ' 5th Jul 2012

      Received this from aust embassy, from Simon Harrison, Second Secretary and Consul,

      Thank you for your email about Mr Austin Mackell. The Ambassador has asked me to reply on his behalf. The Ambassador has met with senior Egyptian officials in order to clarify Mr Mackell's legal situation and seek expedited handling of the investigation. The most recent of these representations occurred yesterday (4 July). Senator Carr has also formally raised the issue with his Egyptian counterpart. Consular staff from the Embassy have remained in close and regular contact with Mr Mackell.

    • Alex of... 5th Jul 2012

      thanks for that James! have also emailed austin in wonder if things are moving as they say. haven't seen him get back here, so hope all is well.

    • Alex of... 7th Jul 2012

      heard from austin. family has come to egypt to offer support. things hectic. (hope that's okay to share austin). he may get a chance to share more.

  • Paulo Rodriguez 7th Jul 2012

    @Alex: Nope, I didn't use the Bob Carr link since I am not an Aussie citizen, but willing to give it a try!

  • Paulo Rodriguez 7th Jul 2012

    @Alex Lewis: Reply from site:



    "Your message has been forwarded to the Senator/Member and a copy has also been sent to the email address you supplied on the form.



    Thank you for your time."

    So yes, site works just fine for me.

  • 13th Jul 2012

    Hi all.

    I just want to say how grateful I am to Alex for posting this and to all of you for your interest.

    I am sorry I haven't been participating in the discussion (and other discussions around IOPS) more over the last week or two, the reason for this is actually a nice one; my family arrived in Cairo a week or two ago and I have been living offline, spending time with them. They will be flying out tomorrow, which will be sad but will mean I have more time to be back on IOPS (which has been a wonderful project for me to be involved in to take my mind of the case, and do something productive with what would otherwise likely be dead time, waiting for a decision to be made).


    Thanks again,

    Yours in solidiversity,

    Austin.

    • Alex of... 17th Jul 2012

      glad to hear, as well the "good noises" toward an outcome. would seem making some noise can work, even if only part of the process toward a better way of life in the long run.

      yours back atcha

  • 2nd Sep 2012

    Hey guys!

    It's over. We won. Alex can take down the page now.

    Huge thanks to everyone for their support.

    Here is a piece i penned on the whole thing:
    http://newmatilda.com/2012/08/30/austin-mackells-egypt-ordeal-ends

    Regards,

    A