Sparrow, Jeff: Internment is so hot right now, but it’s nothing new in Australia

Jeff Sparrow

Internment is so hot right now, but it’s nothing new in Australia‘, Guardian Australia, 10 June 2017

Pauline Hanson and others have discussed the possibility of interning perceived suspicious persons. Sparrow recalls how internment was carried out in Australia during the wars – 7000 German-Australians in World War I, Dunera boys and Indigenous Australians in World War II – as well as the moves against the Communist Party in the early 1950s and ASIO watchlists.

Does anyone really think that revisiting the ad hoc incarcerations associated with the first half of the 20th century will contribute to social harmony? Is it not, in fact, infinitely more likely that a regime of secret tribunals and Guantánamo-style prisons would foster alienation, resentment and a spiral of intensified violence?

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