UPDATE 15 Nov: Ciaron O’Reilly arrested at G20
UPDATE 13 Nov: Ciaron O’Reilly becomes third person to be banned from the G20 after saying he will ‘shirtfront’ Obama. PM Tony Abbott’s promise to shirtfront Putin at the G20 hasn’t got him on the prohibited list. Double standards?
PRESS RELEASE 11 November 2014: Veteran Brisbane Activist to confront/shirtfront Obama over Persecution of Queenslander Assange
Ciaron O’Reilly began his activist journey under Joh Bjelke Petersen in the banned street marches of Brisbane in the 1970s. It is a journey that has seen him held in U.S. prisons for the 1991 disabling of a B52 Bomber in upstate New York, acquitted in an Irish courtroom for $2.5 million damage to a U.S. war plane en route to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and last year arrested in London while blockading the limousine of U.S. Vice-President John Kerry.
“It is outrageous that U.S. President Obama would visit the home state of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange while a U.S. Grand Jury continues its relentless pursuit of our fellow Queenslander. Obama should immediately stop the persecution of Julian Assange and free imprisoned military whistleblower Chelsea Manning who is serving 35 years for exposing U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It feels like I have come full circle to return to a Brisbane that is being transformed into a police state to provide a gated community for the rich and powerful. The G20 is a criminal conspiracy to fine-tune how the rich and powerful will continue the exploitation of and war on the poor. In 2000, we shut down the World Economic Forum in Melbourne with nonviolent blockading. It was the Victorian police who had the monopoly on violence as they chose to assault people rather than arrest and charge them. Brisbane has a long history of nonviolent resistance contributing to achieving peace, justice and human rights. Anyone exercising nonviolent civil disobedience this week against the G20 should be respected and supported.
I was at the G20 demonstrations in London in 2009 where the police killed Ian Tomlinson, a tragic example of what we can expect when over hyped, tooled up and bored police officers are let loose to exercise state violence on the people, the same dangerous mix evident in Brisbane this week. Mr. Tomlinson was not even part of the protests against the G20; he was making his way home from work and just happened to be passing the demonstration when he was attacked and killed.
For further interview, phone Ciaron O’Reilly: +61 (0)42 395 0154.
Photo: Ciaron O’Reilly protesting during President Obama’s visit to Ireland, 2011 [Link]
Photo & report: Ciaron O’Reilly arrested blockading U.S. V.P. John Kerry London, 2013 [Link]
Wikipedia: The Killing of Ian Tomlinson at G20 2009, London [Link]
Slideshow: Bio of Brisbane activist Ciaron O’Reilly [Link]