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Censorship of Award winning Artist Abdul Abdullah's anti-war exhibits 'All Let Us Rejoice' & 'We Are Young & Free' December 2019 Mackay Artspace

RBL made this Right to Information request to Mackay Regional Council

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From: RBL

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Mackay Regional Council (MRC):

I, and all Australians, should strenuously object to the unwarranted, ignorant Anti-Intellectualism Censorship of Abdul Abdullah's anti-war exhibits. These formed part of a larger Exhibition with other well respected Australian artists at Mackay Artspace. I understand MRC, Mayor Greg Williamson claim that MRC Censorship came after interference by Federal MP George Christensen, your own MRC Councillor Martin Bella & some persons from local RSL Branch. I understand that due to their interference, incitement of hatred against an innocent artist, Death Threats resulted to Abdullah and some Mackay Artspace employees.

Provide:

1. Documentation e.g. Petition, letters, emails submitted to MRC by Christensen and/or Bella and/or members of local RSL Branch formally requesting MRC to stop Abdullah being able to freely exhibit his work in a democracy. Reasons they provided. Either written or verbal. So that MRC/Mayor saw fit to censor Abdullah's work. In fact the entire Exhibition was "corrupted" as consequence of Abdullah's work not being displayed. If MRC does not have written documentation from the perpetrators, then it should supply its written record of verbal communications with all or any of the perpetrators.

2. Documentation informing on the qualifications of MRC Councillor Bella and other members of your Council in the Art field that MRC relied on for this Censorship. Also any qualifications or expertise in the Art field that MRC is aware of, or were provided, by Christensen and members of local RSL Branch. Written evidence of qualified, academic opinion sought from experts and practitioners in the Art Field by MRC as to the standard and content of Abdullah's exhibits. Also evidence of written or verbal expert opinion from Artspace Director and Staff.

3. Documentation containing legal advice that MRC sought and was provided that informed Censorship of an Award winning Australian Artist in a democracy was appropriate.

4. Documentation containing contact with Mackay Police and/or Queensland Police Service regarding Death Threats that informs Censorship was advice of Police. As opposed to Police upholding the democratic rights of Abdullah and Exhibition attendees and dealing with the perpetrators i.e. Christensen, Bella, members of local RSL and those they incited to violence/Death Threats. Perpetrators set upon innocent victim Abdullah and, in that, incited members of Mackay community and/or Others to threaten Abdullah and Artspace staff.

Note: I would like it noted by MRC/Mayor Greg Williamson. It is common knowledge across Australia that Christensen is a bully and has form in inciting hatred, resulting in Death Threats to innocent people. Mackay Police and Queensland Police Service are well aware of one infamous incident where Christensen, using a gun from SSAA Mackay Branch Inc. Q17 Gun Club, where he was, after gifting that Gun Club $.5M in 2018, incited hatred amongst his Facebook followers against innocent people. Christensen posted a photo of himself, pointing this gun, with the words "gotta ask yourself, do you feel lucky, greenie punks?". That resulted in Death Threats to a rival MP Sarah Hanson-Young and Ben Penninges. Police Reports. Then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull demanded Christensen take his violent Post down. Christensen did, and immediately posted up a different inflammatory Post. As you will know, prior to the 2019 Election, the car of another rival Labor candidate Belinda Hassan suffered an arson attack. More Police Reports. Christensen has 55,000+ Facebook followers alone. Bella has 1,600+ and 3,873 friends. They are using Social Media to incite hatred. I want to be safe in my community. As I'm sure do other Mackay residents who don't support bullies. Rolling over to bullies and thugs by MRC and Police, like the perpetrators whom I am now seeking #FOI disclosure on, DOES NOT keep us safe. Rolling over teaches them that they can abuse and offend without censure or accountability. Very Dangerous.

RBL

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From: Jeanne Ronald
Mackay Regional Council


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Jeanne Ronald | Senior Governance Officer | Governance and Safety | Mackay Regional Council
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