Wednesday, November 24, 2010

NOT GUILTY!! Ark Tribe and the workers beat the ABCC

Justice was done at the Adelaide Magistrates Court today. After two years of persecution by the building industry watchdog, the ABCC, Ark Tribe is now a free man.

Around four thousand men, women and children turned out to support Ark as he entered the court for the final time. Standing tall on the union built scaffold, before entering the courthouse, Ark Tribe was presented with 2,500 messages of support posted in recent weeks on the Rights on Site website, another example of the widespread support Ark Tribe has received throughout this disgraceful ordeal.

After entering the court to chants of "One Law for All", and "Ark Tribe here to stay", Ark emerged flanked by his lawyer Stephen Dolphin and CFMEU National Secretary Dave Noonan who announced the "not guilty" verdict. Naturally, this was met with a huge victory roar from the massive crowd who then chanted "Workers united will never be defeated!" This is no doubt a victory to saviour and one that not only Ark Tribe, but the whole union movement can be proud of. From day one, the solidarity has been fantastic, a fact that Ark made clear to supporters in a short but emotional thank you speech.

As he moved back into the corner of Victoria Square, now affectionately known as "Ark's Park" workers came from everywhere to congratulate him. There were handshakes and backslaps all round and many took the opportunity to have a photo taken with the man who has courageously challenged and beaten the bosses' attack dogs.

The crowd having disperesed to return to work or celebrate elsewhere, the question still remains, when will the Government abolish this fiercely anti-worker organisation known as the ABCC? Four thousand people can't be wrong, people like Ark Tribe should be congratulated for standing up for workplace safety, not interrogated by a secret police force or dragged through the courts for simply standing up for rights at work.

Well done Ark, you have carried us to victory, but the fight against the ABCC will continue until it has been, to coin a popular phrase, "dead, buried and cremated."

Ark Tribe here to stay, ABCC dead today!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Verdict tomorrow - be there for Ark!

It's been a long wait for Ark Tribe. With court appearances almost into the double figures, adjournment's and the recent postponing of the decision, this bloke has been through hell. But he's handled it with class; always thanking his mates, family, and union comrades for the strong support they've given him throughout this turgid farce.

If it goes to script, Ark will be a free man tomorrow and he can get on with a life that has been put on hold for over two years, all because he had the mettle to stand up to a bully. And the ABCC is the biggest bully in Australia. What other entity can, without justification, summon an individual to an interview and force them to rat on their mates or force them to reveal the content of a union meeting called to address a workplace safety issue? What organisation can remove one's democratic right to silence and access to a lawyer? What other organisation attacks the men and women who build our nation by subjecting them to laws that aren't even used on suspected terrorists? That's the nature of what is now Gillard's ABCC, her "tough cop on the beat".

If Ark walks out of the Adelaide Magistrates Court tomorrow as he should, a free man, it will be a victory to saviour. But is it a victory for democracy? Not in the slightest. The fact that our Government can persecute an honest working man for standing up for basic rights at work, drag him through the courts, and potentially jail him, is an outrage, and quite frankly, more Australians should be protesting.

Thankfully, Ark has had fantastic support from thousands of workers around the country, and you should all be congratulated. As long as working people unite against these fascistic attacks against their brothers and sisters we will defeat those who wish us harm. The ABCC must be abolished. Dare to struggle, dare to win. See you at the courthouse at 8.30am tomorrow!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ark Tribe verdict postponed

Ark Tribe's verdict has been postponed until Tuesday 24th November.

The anxious wait for Ark and his family continues.

This is a man who has faced court more than 7 times, charged with not attending an interview with the Australian Building and Construction Commission.

If you haven't already done so, please send Ark a message of support!

Ark needs to know that thousands of supporters stand by him.

You can send your message here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ark Tribe decision on November 3?

Come to "Ark's Park" (Victoria Square) to support Ark Tribe on November 3 to support Ark; we expect a decision will be handed down or the persecution will continue. Follow this link for more information.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Unyielding willpower

Confronted by unyielding
ABCC Star Chamber pressure
& lily livered ACTU bureaucrats

Ark Tribe's adamantine
willpower is still refusing
to be broken

Monday, September 13, 2010

Ark faces court again...

Stay tuned for an update on today's hearing. Thanks to everyone who turned out today to support Ark at his seventh court appearance.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Who's policing the police?

A question on many people’s lips during the six days of Ark’s trial was : why did the ABCC witnesses enter and leave by the same door reserved for magistrates?

A few questions to those in the know revealed that this practice was highly unusual. A journalist in the court couldn’t remember this ever happening before. In fact, Ark’s Barrister Michael Abbott questioned Magistrate Whittle as to why. The magistrate had no idea and referred Abbott to the Sheriff’s office.

More unusual was the fact that Ark’s team wasn’t afforded the same privilege. Whilst this activity will have no bearing on the case, it nevertheless reflects the special privilege given to the prosecution’s ABCC witnesses as opposed to witnesses in other cases waiting outside the various courts.

It could also leave an impression designed to highlight the charges against Ark Tribe as so serious and heinous that witnesses would require greater levels of protection than witnesses in murder, rape or even terrorist trials. That is the impression the ABCC wants the public to accept.

Throughout Ark’s trial it became clear that the ABCC witnesses think they have the power to do and say anything they want without reasonable justification. It was at times like listening to Rumpole of the Bailey confronting the well versed old copper, fixed in his ways and never allowing his views to be tainted by the facts.

Dave Noonan, National Secretary Construction and General Division CFMEU, tells some of the story:

“In extraordinary evidence this week the community learnt a great deal about the way the ABCC does business. The construction industry Star Chamber is supposed to exhaust all other channels before it uses its big guns (the controversial section 52 orders which compel workers to attend a secret interrogation). But under cross-examination, ABCC Inspector Seamus Flynn admitted that not much had been attempted before the Commission resorted to its extreme coercive powers. All Mr Flynn did before he fired the cannon was to make two quick telephone calls to CFMEU member, Ark Tribe. No letter, no text, no visit - straight to the compulsory secret interrogation. A pattern is emerging of an organisation that may not have operated within its powers and functions under its own legislation. The Commission does not seem to have paid proper attention to making sure it acted even in accordance with the very limited safeguards placed on its unprecedented powers.”

Ark’s team also questioned the ABCC inspectors use of Right of Entry . Under cross examination it was revealed that inspectors may not have the power to serve notices while purporting to use their Right of Entry powers under the Act.
It was also revealed that some documents served to Ark on site had no legal basis, yet the inspector relied on his powers to enter the site.

Had a union official misused his or her Right of Entry power the ABCC inspectorate would be demanding fines and/or removal of the Right of Entry from the official. The ABCC wield their self-appointed powers around like sumo wrestlers on steroids, frantically trying to sort out the construction industry while flexing their muscles to justify their pathetic existence. This mob has no place in a democratic country and must be disbanded.