April 14, 2004


Run for your life, Prime Minister! A fat hippie is attempting to arrest you:

A 61-year-old anti-war protester tried to make a citizen's arrest on Prime Minister John Howard today before being wrestled away by security staff.

Mr Howard was leaving a community meeting at the Tweed Heads Bowls Club today where a small group of anti-war protesters had gathered.

Primary school councillor Gareth Smith tried to approach the prime minister but was wrestled away by several of Mr Howard's security staff.

Mr Smith said he represented a Byron Bay group called Oz Peace.

He said he was trying to catch Mr Howard so he could make a citizen's arrest on him over war crimes in Iraq.

Maybe old Gareth should arrest himself for supporting an action that inspired the Bali bombing. He’s a root cause! He angered the Islamists! But people still admire Gareth’s taste in vintage stupidwear:

There was a huge cheer from the crowd when Gareth Smith, a veteran peace and social-justice activist, declared: “We have a fascist government and we have to bring it down!” Showing off his Che Guevara t-shirt, Smith argued that we have to fight to replace xenophobia with solidarity, quoting Che: “If you tremble with indignation at every injustice, then you are a comrade of mine.”

You’ll also need a beard. Almost every one of Gareth’s comrades have beards. It’s all part of the beardy peace-cult deal.

UPDATE. Reader Brendan has personal memories of Gareth’s teaching style.

Posted by Tim Blair at April 14, 2004 06:31 AM

Beards are good. I keep an extra pastrami sandwich in mine for those in between times when I'm feeling a wee bit peckish.

Posted by: Hudson at April 14, 2004 at 06:54 AM

Gareth Smith not only grafittied the outside of Parliament House, he had also previously tried to get inside as the Nuclear Disarmament Party candidate for Fraser (ACT) at the 1987 Federal Election.

At the time of the Election a local radio announcer commented on the curious fact that Gareth's choice of car, seemingly held together with anti-nuclear stickers, was a Renault. Perhaps not so strange now, but recall that at the time the French were still busy working on their 'Force de Frappe' in the South Pacific and just two years earlier they had deep-sixed the Greenpeace protest flagship 'Rainbow Warrior' in Waitemata Harbor, Auckland.

Posted by: 9C at April 14, 2004 at 07:07 AM

It would be great if the peaceniks left our countries and created their own country someplace else. Far far away.... Then we could declare war on them! MUHUWHAHAHAHAHAHA

Posted by: Oktober at April 14, 2004 at 07:15 AM

... quoting Che: “If you tremble with indignation at every injustice, then you are a comrade of mine.”

Well, almost every injustice. Gassing the Kurds at Halabja no longer causes the gray ponytails to tremble with indignation, at least now that Saddam has become the poster boy for Resistance To Empire (the American empire, at any rate).

Ironically, I think it was in either the New Statesman or Soooocialist Wooker that I first read about the atrocities of Saddam's regime, in the 1980s. As David Abramovitch wrote a few months back in the Grauniad, the Iraqi Ba'athists haven't gotten any nicer since then -- the only change is that they went from being (mildly) pro- to (vehemently) anti-US. Their left cred. points score rose astronomically as a result.

Posted by: Uncle Milk at April 14, 2004 at 07:40 AM

I wonder if he knows Che's last quotation:


Posted by: mojo at April 14, 2004 at 08:28 AM

Take another look at those photos (in the "beards" link). Note how annoyed and unhappy they look. These guys are annoyed with everything, including by the looks of it, each other.

Posted by: The Gnu Hunter at April 14, 2004 at 09:05 AM

I don't get it. Why would he be wearing a Cher t-shirt?

Posted by: Steve in Houston at April 14, 2004 at 09:28 AM

John, Dave, and Dennis (the "beards") are definitely party animals. I can't wait for my next trip to Australia so I can look them up and get a bit wild!

Posted by: Polly at April 14, 2004 at 09:42 AM

I object! Beards have absolutely nothing to do with moral turpitude or total idiocy. I have a beard. Richard Pearle has a beard. Condi doesn't, but I won't hold that against her.

Posted by: John Costello at April 14, 2004 at 10:35 AM

What is their problem with weapons in space? Sounds pretty cool to me.

Posted by: Oktober at April 14, 2004 at 10:38 AM

Nice, pandering to big business and corporate marketing with his Che tshirt produced in a sweatshop to fatten the bosses' wallets..

Posted by: Red Engineer at April 14, 2004 at 10:43 AM

"Primary school councillor Gareth Smith.."

That's scary. That's who I would want my kid going to for advise!!

Posted by: Kidd at April 14, 2004 at 12:11 PM

mojo, I believe you misquoted Che. I believe the correct quote was "FUCK, that hur...."

Posted by: Razor at April 14, 2004 at 12:15 PM

Byron Bay. Neutron Bomb. You know it makes sense.

Posted by: Craig Mc at April 14, 2004 at 12:16 PM

A personal reflection:
During my student days in Canberra (I was doing a Bachelor of Education, for God's sake...), I had the unique experience of having Mr Smith as a tutor, for a time.
My strongest memory of his teaching style was his inevitable avoidance of the provision of anything like real content, when ranting about impending nuclear armageddon would so much better fill a tutorial hour.
It's a shock for a mouthy teenage proto-greeny pinko to be confronted by a real live hippy idiot - I remember leaving his classes thinking that nuclear weapons may not be so bad after all, if he and his damn beard would be incinerated by the blast along with everything else. Twat.
"Tremble with indignation at every injustice"?
That sounds like him, alright - or the onset of Lou Gehrig's, take your pick.

Posted by: Brendan at April 14, 2004 at 12:21 PM

If you scan the article in the 'beard' link, you will see he refers to the "Australian premier John Howard". I make a note of always taking people's views seriously when they can't even get basic facts right.

He did manage to go several paragraphs without mentioning the American Chancellor George W Bush however, which is quite an effort for a peacenik.

Posted by: attila at April 14, 2004 at 12:27 PM

If he wants solidarity, have a fundraiser and buy him a ticket to Iran.

Posted by: Sandy P at April 14, 2004 at 12:35 PM

It's OK, they're breeding themselves out. Inner urban lefties are at the very epicentre of the population anti-boom (despite what their endangered-earth ZPG mentors were teaching them in the seventies - idiots!) that is currently afflicting western society.

The beards are an instinctive, subconscious effort to demonstrate testosterone; a last-gasp attempt to encourage females to reproduce with them.

Joy! Lefties an endangered species!

Posted by: ilibcc at April 14, 2004 at 12:46 PM

Check out the pamphlet at the bottom of the "beards" link:

"In the long run, America needs a space-based system to replace its vast aging fighter-bomber and bomber air-fleets and super-aircraft carrier battle groups of which America has several. Until now through air attack, these have been her means of controlling wayward nations. Although requiring an enormous initial outlay to the extent that U.S. social, medical and education expenditure will be severely curtailed, the eventual space system once established will be relatively cheap to maintain. But the gains will be considerable since it will allow the U.S. to intimidate and thus control the rest of the world. This will give her corporations total domination of world trade."

Yes! Total domination!!



Posted by: Joe Geoghegan at April 14, 2004 at 01:09 PM

Surely they meant "counsellor", not "councillor"

Posted by: Robert at April 14, 2004 at 01:46 PM

Razor, the quote was from Cher, to go with the Cher Tshirt: "If you are trembling with excitement, I know you're enjoying the head job"

Posted by: narkynark at April 14, 2004 at 02:39 PM

I wonder if their Che T shirts, vacuous slogans, poor personal hygiene and wholemeal knitted sweaters would stop the Islamo-facists hanging them all from the nearest available lamppost!?

Posted by: Dog at April 14, 2004 at 05:46 PM

Apart from beards I note that all the sitdown protests are taking a terrible personal toll. Perhaps some sit-ups or jogging protests might keep the weight down.

Posted by: Greg at April 14, 2004 at 07:20 PM

hey craig M.C. ixnay on the bomb for byron bay, i have to live here!

Posted by: roscoe.p at April 14, 2004 at 09:09 PM

The silly old fart is heading to Japan to try putting the bag on Koizumi. I doubt if the ninjas in the Japanese security services will be as reasonable in understanding his protest- I'd pay money for footage of the fat cretin copping a couple of shurikens in the scone, then having it lopped off with a katana.
With a bit of luck he's on his way to a bushido bushwack.

Posted by: Habib at April 14, 2004 at 11:12 PM

Mr Smith said he represented a Byron Bay group called Oz Peace.

Not to be confused with the other Byron Bay, favourite hangout of an anti-Israel militant.

Posted by: Andjam at April 14, 2004 at 11:47 PM

Habib..hahaha exactly mate. The Japs would slice and dice this sucker.

Posted by: Dog at April 15, 2004 at 12:08 AM

My apologies to Yehezkel Bohadana - allegedly he's not a Israel-hating militant, he's just a criminal.

Posted by: Andjam at April 16, 2004 at 03:58 AM