Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ark Tribe case proceeds

Adelaide construction worker Ark Tribe fronted the magistrates court on Tuesday June 15, Wednesday June 16 and Friday June 18. He is charged with failing to attend an interrogation by Gillard's "tough cop on the beat" - the notoriously anti-worker Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC). If convicted of failing to dob in his mates who had attended with him a meeting on safety violations on their building site, he faces a mandatory six month jail sentence.

On Tuesday, a crowd of around 500 construction workers and supporters from various other unions formed an arch of honour with union flags and the beautiful rebel flag of Eureka for Ark to march through as he entered the court.
A large tent had been erected opposite the courts and dedicated as the "Ark Tribe Embassy". A Spirit of Eureka banner was hung on the side of the "embassy" with the oath of the Eureka rebels of 1854: "We swear by the Southern cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties".
Taking up the theme of the fight against injustice were international guest speakers Paddy Hill and Gerry Conlon. Hill was convicted as a member of the Birmingham Six in 1975 and sentenced to life imprisonment for alleged involvement in an IRA bombing campaign in England. Conlon was convicted in 1975 as a member of the Guildford Four on similar charges and also sentenced to life imprisonment. Hill was released in 1991 and Conlon in 1989 - both had been framed by the police to secure quick convictions that would serve to intimidate those fighting British imperialism in Ireland.

Ark Tribe's defence lawyers challenged the right of the magistrate to hear the charges on the grounds that the person laying them was not appropriately authorised to do so by the fascist Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).

It took until Friday for the magistrate to reject this line of appeal and declare "game on".

Ark has yet again had his case adjourned - until July.

A smaller crowd of several hundred people (see pictures below) supported Ark as he entered the courts on Friday.

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