The main speaker at this week’s vigil was Monash law lecturer Patrick Emerton, supported by members of CRD and Stop the War Coalition.
Kalinda of CRD introduced the speakers and foreshadowed upcoming events, including a nation-wide protest planned for a date in April. She also appealed for people to come forward to help with the organising of the campaign. ‘ … there is a real growing momentum for the campaign .. there are people all around Australia now joining and being involved, and the political climate is shifting …’
Gerard from CRD commented on a recent statement by ‘one of the characters from Guantanamo Bay’ that the Nuremburg trials used hearsay evidence , ‘so what’s the problem?’ He also raised the question of what has happened in the ALP: a year ago CRD were knocked back by Lindsay Tanner when they asked him to address a rally; now they have been asked to help organise a big public meeting ‘with a probable speaker being Lindsay Tanner.’
Main speaker was Patrick Emerton, law lecturer at Monash University, who discussed the legal aspects of the David Hicks case, with special reference to the so-called ‘laws of war’. But he saw the case as primarily a political issue with a legal aspect, and sketched the process by which the principle of the ‘rule of law not men’ had been won. The ‘rule of law’ as it is sometimes called, does not come from nowhere, handed down magically … we have worked hard to get it. It has to come from the bottom, can’t be imposed at gunpoint …
Audio of the speeches by Gerard and Patrick Emerton was posted to Melbourne Indymedia at the time, but may not be accessible, as also a brief video clip. See http://web.archive.org/web/20070322141733/http://melbourne.indymedia.org/news/2007/02/140847_comment.php#140850