Tuesday 30 June 2009

An open letter to The Cairns Post editor

  • Andrew Webster
    The Cairns Post

    I'm sorry we couldn't talk earlier today. I'll be set up with proper communication at Yeppoon by Thursday. Meanwhile I feel I must communicate formally with you.

    I have the strongest objection to your newspaper’s description of me today as a “serial pest”, and I’m asking for redress.

    First, the description is wrong. I am a nonviolent political activist in the tradition of Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, and Dorothy Day (founder of the Catholic Worker movement). I don’t know how much you know about these traditions, but I have a degree in political science, and thirty years of praxis in this field.

    Please speak to Inspector Russell Rhodes, or Snr Sgt Chris Hodgeman, or (I think Inspector now ) Andrew Cowie of Cairns Police. You’ll find they appreciate the liaison we do with them around protest, the way we help conserve police resources, and the respectful and honest way we treat ALL police officers and members of the public.

    If you want a judicial statement about my character, and the character of my political protests, go to the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory, and the sentencing statement of Judge Sally Thomas (June 2007) where she finds that I and my friends are acting out of conscience, and with consideration for others. Similarly the Panel of Judges in the NT Court of Criminal Appeal (February 2008) make similar comments in their judgment (in which they acquitted us of the more serious charges brought against us by Philip Ruddock).

    Magistrates in cairns have made similar statements about my involvement in civil disobedience, which they recognise as a legitimate tool of political protest.

    No Police officer, no Magistrate, and no Judge has ever made comment to the effect that I am any kind of nuisance or “pest”.

    If you’d like a character reference about me, speak with Bishop James Foley of Cairns (Catholic Church).

    I do not know where your newspaper has got the idea I’m a pest or nuisance or somehow obnoxious.

    Second the description is clearly intended to damage my reputation and diminish the seriousness with which readers might consider my views.

    There will always be those who disagree with the methods of Nonviolent Direct Action, and it seems there will also always be those who express their displeasure through personal attack and insult. The web comments you publish against me demonstrate this kind of criticism. I’ve tolerated this kind of criticism in the interests of lively debate.

    However I expect a higher standard of writing from journalists, in particular where comments about character are made as part of a news story (as distinct from opinion). The description of me as a “serial pest” without explanation, and without foundation, in a news story is lazy and unprofessional journalism which damages my reputation.

    You failed to give me an opportunity to respond to the allegation made by your journalist (no-one else has made the claim). Your reporting is neither fair nor balanced.

    I cannot state too strongly how offensive I find this labelling of me by your newspaper.

    I must insist that you take steps to correct your error, and your defamatory and unfair publication.

    Please retract the statement that I am a serial pest, and publish an apology with the same prominence as the original article.

    Please let me know what you propose at the earliest opportunity, as I propose to take the matter to the Press Council should you fail to make some genuine redress.

    Yours sincerely,
    Bryan Law


nocturnal congress said...

I thought the comment a bit extreme as well. Bryan Law isn't a bit like Peter Hore who has claimed to be the re-incarnation of Jesus Christ and Nostradamus, disrupted footie matches, the Melbourne Cup etc etc.

Thaddeus said...

I associate "serial pests" with gratuitous nudity and somehow that image doesn't quite fit Bryan Law.
Perhaps we could invite this Mr. Hore to visit Cairns to teach the compost staff just what a real "serial pest" is?

Bryan Outlaw said...

Law says no one regards him as a serial pest.

I do.

Many in the community I have spoken with do.

One need to only read comments on this blog to see that Law is regarded as a SERIAL PEST by many here.

Likewise letters to the editor at the Cairns Post.

Having seen Law with a box of Frosted Flakes, I also regard him as a cereal pest.

Funny that Law decided not to breach the law at the USS Essex demonstation - knowing full well he'd be in breach of his current bail conditions.

Phillip Tm, Cityview said...

Bryan OUTlaw is so last blog season. Time he got a new script writer and a brain transplant.

The read Mr Law has way more supporters on here and in the general community that the contry.

Syd Walker said...

Presumably this term has its origins in 'serial killer'? The idea, I guess, is to connote repetition.

I don't know what The Press Council might think about this (the watchdog you have when you're not really bothered about watching out for big lies). This type of thing may be right up its alley. But I'd have thought the Cairns Post is entitled to brand Bryan a 'pest' if they want. Free speech and all that?

As Bryan is obviously persistent, 'serial pest' will doubtless go down as 'fair comment'. To be blunt, this story has the news value of a chocolate dog in the microwave.

What puzzles me is why Bryan takes offense at what the Cairns Post calls him. What does he expect from News Limited, which is clearly a serial source of war-promoting disinformation?

Is Bryan a serial offense-taker? Or is it a serial publicity stunt?

I might offer the Cairns Post advice on how to really get under Bryan's skin. No need for hyperbole. They should consider calling him a 'white male'.

Kim Jong's Food Taster said...

I'm not aware of Bryan Law stopping or disrupting major sports or social events or causing financial difficulties to someone. A "serial pest" disrupts society and costs the taxpayer, surely? I THINK A FAIR DESCRIPTION OF Bryan would be an "habitual protestor". Frankly I think it very disturbing the way the Cairns Post labels people. Does the editor come from North Korea?

Alison Alloway said...

Alright you boys, you've given me the best laugh in days........

america warships are welcome in cairns said...

Peter Hore is the nom de guerre of Peter Michael Howard (born 1960 in Australia). He is known as a 'serial pest', though he considers himself a political activist
e·ri·al (sîr-l)
1. Of, forming, or arranged in a series.
3. Responsible for a series of usually criminal acts over a period of time.
Definition of pest.
An annoying person or thing; a nuisance.

The Headless Horseman said...

Bryan Law is not a serial pest and I know he cooperates with police and protests within the law. But at the same he is no Martin Luther King either.

america is welcome in cairns said...

Headless I think he looks more like martin luther than gandhi or dorothy day , but then again .

Save our Paper (Peter Wood - Kuranda) said...

I laughed when I read "cairns post journo" Just reassured me of the quality standard of writing at the ComPost,,... NOT!

Anonymous said...

Monthy Ptython reigns!

Alison Alloway said...

Without people like Bryan battling in politics, in the workplace, in the environment, in education, for liberties, rights or for whatever, our democratic progress doesn't just stall, it regresses. If we don't have people like Bryan amongst us, we will get an autocratic dictatorial Government.
Australians are freedom-loving and democratic people. We are not a nation of dead fish going with the flow. Our history reveals there are times when we stand ourselves up and are counted for what we believe in. People like Bryan remind us of that.

american warships welcome in cairns said...

To all the bloggers kissing up to bryan in case he sues you ,I say happy 4th of july to the fine fighting men and women of the u.s.a
currently enjoying the city of cairns. If I knew this was the bryan lawless admiration society I would never subscribed.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Thaddeus said...

"admiration society"? Dear boy, we have all been engaged in a lively (and creative) debate about one of our most cherished democratic freedoms. The right to rock the boat, to stand up, to get involved, to have opinions, to challenge those mugs who are so often elected to Parliament. As someone wrote above, "We are not a nation of dead fish going with the flow....".
Australian democracy is a lively one, and thank God for that!

Bryan Outlaw said...

I agree with Thaddeus that we have the right to "rock the boat", and "challenge those mugs". Clearly however that isn't what Bryan Law does. He instead takes every opportunity to instead have himself become the issue. This is selfish self-aggrandizement and shameless self-promotion of a kind that in fact does damage to the issues being debated. He loves to see himself in the Cairns Post and on the TV news, while at the same time calling these institutions the foulest of names. He calls them up inviting them to cover his self-promotion!

This isn't about the issues. It's about a serial pest. A name that encapsulates completely the wanker that is Bryan Law.

Veritas said...

Bryan Outlaw, it is neo fascists,the likes of you that provide the fertile environment for the Bryan Laws of this world to prosper.

The Greens and others thrive and justify the very need for their existence when the Bryan Outlaws of this world dominate or peddle such extreme right wing venom.

Govern with equality and magnanimity and you remove their oxygen.

Come on Bryan Outlaw remove your vested interest blinkers and earn the respect of your peers.

Thaddeus said...

Anyone who was involved in the fight for civil liberties in Queensland between 1977 to 1979 when the Bjelke-Petersen Government banned street demonstrations, will understand just how precious our right to dissent is, and how easily it can be taken away by those whose ideologies are totalitarian.
I was at some of those marches, where I met my first wife in the back of a paddy wagon after we were both arrested.

Thaddeus said...

Oh memories! I was handcuffed and jammed into this black maria with about a dozen other sweaty, stinking bodies, (ruffians and scoundrels they were from the BLF), when I looked across and saw a GODDESS. A goddess with a magnificient bosom and a face like Bette Midler's. Well, it was like seeing a sunbeam from heaven. Instinctively, I tried to give her my most engaging and debonair smile. Alas all this warm sticky stuff oozed from my mouth down my shirt front and tie. Some police dog had knocked my bottom two teeth out. Damn!
(Caroline said later that I looked like a " wild eyed slavering wolf dripping blood" but that she fell in love all the same.) Ahhh romance, romance....

Pez said...

And Bryan Law should remember that without the US Military, he would not have the freedom to mount the protests he does, or the freedom others have to speak out on this blog.
It has been the US military that has guaranteed these freedoms to countries around the world, over and over again, inlcuding both Australia and Britain in WW2.

Welcome to Cairns to all the Yanks, I say.

Thornton On Spence said...

In a World fixated with CO2 emissions perhaps we should also look at charging Oxygen Depleters and if that was the case then Bryan Law would be broke. I have never considered myself to be Right Wing but like Bryan Outlaw I find Bryan Law to be a serial pest and as it was so eloquently put a wanker.

Thaddeus said...

Thornton On Spence, the wankers of this world are the ones lying in their beds, flopped on their armchairs, squatting on their johns, whatever, doing nothing to try and improve justice, equality, the environment, the arts, or our way of life.
The wankers of this world are the ones who live and pass through their life's existence without contributing a single original thought to the world.
The wankers of this world are the ones sitting on their pile of waste criticising those very few individuals who do go out and try to improve the world.
At least Bryan is trying, whatever he is doing.

KitchenSlut said...

Damn Thaddeus! I am inspired and mostly agree! I particularly find myself increasingly aligned with Bryans thought process and empathies while having no need to support any specific issue. I will not be protesting the Essex!

But otherwise I dont need to and am in with Thaddeus!

Thaddeus said...

Pez, you one eyed ignoramus. Didn't you read my previous postings! Grrr. The freedom to demonstrate in QUEENSLAND was won by the people after one Johannes Bjelke-Petersen declared street protest and gatherings illegal. The "right to march" issue galvanised the Queensland public like never before. Old Joh never dreamed the dead fish would all rise up like jumping salmon when he tried to take away one of our freedoms. Oh, they were wild times...tens of thousands of people crammed into King George Square..800 baton wielding police and up on the roofs of the buildings, police snipers. But, we, the people won! And it was worth a black eye, a busted lip, two missing teeth, bruised ribs, a torn and bloodied shirt, a ruined suit jacket..... . So don't give me that shite about Americans...

KitchenSlut said...

Wow, did you score that day in King George Square Thaddeus? I never have in Bne maybe I should take Blakey with me next time?

I thinks your self justification and glamorisation is just a tad overblown in this instance mate? No sorry, it may have galvanised your own clique but NOT the Qld public like ever before??

You are self deluded if you believe so but believe on if it feels good!

cutting hedge said...

Thaddeus you are my hero NOT !
fearless queenslanders are behind in wages and always have been , you lot never ever have protested with passion, you have protest marches , where the police lead you and stop you at intersections until it suits them ,and control every bit of your marches , I have been in them here , it is more like a girl guide tour of cairns streets , down south they really protest , webb dock ,swanston street, ETC you name it ,we just walk out on the street and really make them take notice , and we strike for weeks/Months ,not bleat like sheep ! So for you to brag about one piddly little protest and two teeth in bne is a joke !
There is a reason you have low pay in qld , and that is because you winge not DO !
Just look at the last election you voted for four morons AGAIN !

Thaddeus said...

cutting edge, do a bit of research on "The Right to March" demonstrations in Brisbane 1977 to 1979. There was not just "one" demonstrations, there were several. They were fiery events with the biggest number of arrests at over 700 in one day.
KitchenSlut..it did "galvanise" Queenslanders out of their slumber. The "Right to March" issue signified the end for the Bjelke-Petersen Government.
Did I score, KitchenSlut? I can still hear the mellifluous tones of the delightful Caroline, "You think you're f..... Che Guevara, comrade?" My word, she was a woman!

Veritas said...

Thaddeus, I do not wish to burst your bubble but I find it necessary to correct your slight over exaggeration.

The street marches correctly occurred 1977/79 but it did not lead to the defeat of the National Party Government. That occurred in 1989. If anything it galvanised the people not only in Brisbane but including regional Queensland to the Coalition.

The Coalition went on to win the 1977 and 1980 election. The 1983 and 1986 election were won outright by Joh and the National Party.

The National Party shot themselves in the foot when they got rid of Joh the way they did, otherwise they would be still in George Street today. Queenslanders had more respect for Joh and what he stood for than his own treacherous party.

Thaddeus said...

Veritas, the issue was the start of the decline of the Bjelke-Petersen Government. Immediately following the "Right to March", tensions between the Lib. and National Parliamentary wings spilled over. Many Libs. Kyburtz/Akers/White/Doumani etc spoke out openly against Bjelke-Petersen. In the following elections, the Coalition's majority was steadily whittled away by the opposition party.

Veritas said...

Thaddeus, yes you are correct in asserting those names. Interesting they were Liberal politicians who were all defeated by National Party candidates in the 1983 election.

Those nominated politician came from Brisbane City, except for Terry White who represented the electorate of Redcliffe.

What ultimately led to the demise of the National Party was the greed that consumed some of the National party members.

It is interesting to note that 10 years elapsed between the Street demonstration and the ultimate demise.

That period of time is the excepted norm for a long term government.

Bryan Law said...

Hi groovers, I've got a new internet connection working now, and tomorrow evening I'll report from beautiful downtown Yeppoon about what's going on with Talisman Sabre.

I was radicalised during the right to march days, and what eventually led to Bjelke-Petersen's downfall was the politicisation/corruption of Police. I rember Commissioner Ray Whitrod resigning rather than accepting political direction, and Terry Lewis being promoted - a case of "If you suppress political dissent, you can collect bribes and stadover with impunity".

The results of this corruption grew more and more obvious, and the metropolitan liberals just couldn't sit still with it. The Courier-Mail even started writing about it, and then 4 Corners did the famous "Moonlight State" story.

Funnily enough I went through some of this history yesterday with a Detective Seargent and Detective Constable from Rockhampton CIB. They did a formal interview with me about a visit I made to the Army Depot at Western St. "Hi! I'm Brigadier Bob Brown, travelling incognito, and I'm here to inspect this facility". It was meant to be a joke.

The detectives decided not to charge me, and we all agreed the military had no sesnse of humour. We also agreed policing is much more honest and professional in Queensland after Fitzgerald.

Crash said...

@Syd, I had this great big long thing going here - then I re-read what ya wrote and nearly fucking choked on my smoke.
Thanks man ... lmfao

White male - nice one.

sums up the whole fucking thread and everyone in it really lol.

Thaddeus said...

Veritas, what is little known is the civil liberties confrontation with the Bjelke-Petersen Government during those years, also fractured the National Party. My ex-wife Caroline was good friends with Bill Gunn's daughter, (who married a Torres Strait Islander man), also friends with Tony Elliott's wife. There was division within the NPA over the issue, and a fracture emerged between the "grazier/farmer" element of NPA and the "white shoe brigade". (To be honest however, I don't know if this fracture existed prior to the "Right to March" issue.) Ultimately, it was the "grazier/farmer" group which brought down the Bjelke-Petersen Government. They were water-shed years in Queensland's political history, and I am proud I was part of it.

Alison Alloway said...

Thanks for your personal insights Thaddeus. Information like that is just not available to the general public. Bill Gunn's daughter was a school teacher, ditto Tony Elliott's wife. I'm deducting your Caroline was at college with them at the same time maybe?

Thaddeus said...

Yes, Alison.