Open Letter to Maribyrnong Mayor Martin Zakharov

gender bigotry declaration

In Maribyrnong, the “thoughts, ideas and opinions” of “mothers, daughters and sisters” are “heard and respected”. My thoughts, ideas and opinions got me arrested by the police. Is this misandry? Why wasn’t my goal of a better relationship with Indonesia which I have worked towards in unique ways for 3 decades “celebrated and supported” as opposed to what happened in 2016?

 

Dear Mayor,

Thank you for your honesty in acknowledging that the police actions initiated against me from within the ALP and Maribyrnong City Council in 2016 were unnecessary and unfair.

It has broken me to be arrested as a result of trying to talk about ways I wanted to help Australia have a better relationship with Indonesia.

The resulting PTSD leaves me unable to get income and I am resigned to death because fairness for me in modern Australia looks impossible.

While I am still alive, please attempt to publicly address all the following unanswered questions ASAP.

I direct them to you, an elected representative I know, not some bureaucrat incapable of caring about me.

I do this as early in your term as Mayor as I can. My PTSD stopped me writing this last week.

I ask these questions of you because of the human decency which I, as a midwife, believe you may have inherited from your mum, Senator Olive Zakharov.

I sought answers to the first three questions in an open letter published on November 8th 2017. That’s how long it took me to recover enough from the trauma of July 2016 to be able to write publicly about it.

  1. With respect to the 2016 action against me, what are the implications for democracy when an elected representative can be up for reelection and facing the possibility of a formal complaint from a citizen voting in that round of elections and then Personal Safety laws are used by the police to threaten that voter with jail if he mentions the candidate online or contacts her?
  2. How did Personal Safety legislation and police intervention come to be a substitute for a complaints process at local government level?
  3. Why is it that in discussions with police, I was never allowed to see the full argumentation for the charges against me and the evidence for the “personal safety” concerns which were allegedly justified by my conduct, the sending of electronic communications when I lobbied an ALP politician?

Unanswered questions to Daniel Andrews from the 8th of February, 2018 redirected now to you:

  1. Premier Andrews has boasted that Victoria is the most “progressive” state in Australia. Is pre-election police protection of an ALP candidate from showing respect for patriotic lobbying what is meant by “progress” here?
  2. Will you, Martin, as the elected head of government in Maribyrnong, unequivocally support gender equality for men?

From an email of 5th March 2018, unanswered by the recipients, your predecessor as Mayor and the Maribyrnong CEO.

  1. How many women in Maribyrnong have been murdered by their partners or been the victims of domestic violence in the past decade and in each of the past five years and what are the equivalent figures for men in Maribyrnong?
  2. How many men have committed suicide in Maribyrnong in the past decade and in each of the past five years and what are the equivalent figures for women in Maribyrnong?
  3. Who makes money from suicide in the City of Maribyrnong?
  4. Does any of this money come to Council?

Democracy, civilised humanity and human rights are life or death for me now.

Your predecessor in 2015, Mayor Nam Quach, wrote that my art: “……. provided a unique expression of Indonesian humanity, history and culture, with the underlying theme of an appreciation for the Indo-Australian relationship. The Bahasa phrases used, referring to ‘kesatuan’ and ‘keragaman’, certainly reflect the strength and unity found within diversity, striking a chord to the spirit and values we share here in the City of Maribyrnong.”

As a fellow independent artist, Martin, you have made a good little contribution to 3 of my 5 art displays at places important to 4 heads of government in Indonesia, art displays where shared Austral-Indonesian history, democracy and human rights were and are vital themes.

Now, instead of us working together for Australia for those values through art, the above questions arising for me from undemocratic Maribyrnong human rights violations from within the ALP against me, must be addressed.

 

Written and authorized by Geoff Fox, Maribyrnong, if that’s what’s necessary this week.

Open Letter to the Prime Minister: AN ATTACK ON DEMOCRACY FROM WITHIN THE ALP IN MARIBYRNONG

 

Prime Minister Turnbull,

In 1986 you said: “The public interest in free speech is not just in truthful speech, in correct speech, in fair speech …… The interest is in the debate.”

My rights to freedom of speech and participation in democratic debate have been denied to me in my home of Maribyrnong by misuse of police services from within the Australian Labor Party (ALP).

Seventy three years ago, in the first week of July, 1945, over thirty thousand Australians, including my father, landed at Balikpapan, Indonesia, in the final major battle of World War Two. 229 died.

In 2015, after a series of successful tree plantings in Indonesia, I lobbied all elected members of the Maribyrnong Council about memorial tree planting and reaching out in friendliness to Indonesia.

Subsequently, I was arrested for the alleged crime of sending two many electronic communications to Councillor (Cr) Sarah Carter of the ALP. Victoria Police treated me as a potential sex criminal till December that year. I now suffer PTSD as a result.

Two open letters about this, the first written to Cr Carter last November and the second to Victorian ALP Premier Daniel Andrews this February remain unanswered. So I now write to you.

As recently as February the 2nd this year, Maribyrnong City Cr Martin Zakharov of the ALP has written to me that the action against me was “unnecessary and unjust”.

I have created art displays in Indonesian places important to four heads of governments. I wanted to share this in Maribyrnong and I was arrested by the police.

In 2015, the mayor of Maribyrnong, Cr Nam Quach, viewed a selection of my art works and wrote, “Thank-you for the opportunity to view your exhibition.

Having spent some time working and living in Indonesia, I can say that I found it to be a deeply rich and fascinating culture which, has been often misrepresented in decades gonepast. My impressions of your artwork was that it provided a unique expression of Indonesian humanity, history and culture, with the underlying theme of an appreciation for the Indo-Australian relationship. The Bahasa phrases used, referring to ‘kesatuan’ and ‘keragaman’, certainly reflect the strength and unity found within diversity, striking a chord to the spirit and values we share here in the City of Maribyrnong.”

Cr Quach’s political career, based on providing an independent alternative to the Australian Labor Party, came to an end some time after he “was picked up and “body slammed” to the floor and kicked, leaving him dazed and nursing a cut lip.” (Herald Sun November 18, 2015) by an angry citizen at a council meeting. I believe this attack may be what another independent Councillor was referring to when warning me not to speak up about my loss of democratic rights. This other independent said; “I know what they can stir up.” I still wonder who “stirred up” the violence which this Indonesia-literate man, Nam Quach, suffered prior to his departure from local government.

 

Prime Minister, can you acknowledge my patriotism better than the ALP and Maribyrnong City Council have done?

I call on you, Prime Minister, based on the civic rights of our British heritage and on the human rights the world declared universal in response to World War Two, to make sure freedom of speech and open debate are protected at all levels of government in Australia.

 

Bill Shorten has ignored what happened to me in Maribyrnong. In his own backyard.

 

Do you care more about our democracy, Mr Turnbull?

sincerely,

Geoff Fox, Jakarta, Indonesia.

3rd of July, 2018

 

MAL T AND JOKOWI with caption