The reason we're thanking Eric Abetz

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They don't understand that you can't silence a people-powered movement. 

Senator Abetz has just directed another Government body to investigate GetUp. 

This time it's the Australian Securities and Investments Commission being called in to do his dirty work. And as always, his attack dogs at The Australian weren't far behind, echoing Abetz's call for a probe on page 2 of the paper.1 

This Government isn't very good at the important things — like creating a fair tax system, or saving the Great Barrier Reef from dying at the hands of coal and gas giants. But they are exceptional at attacking their critics, and attempting to silence us with investigations, red tape and raids. 

They're trying to stop our political action by mounting up the distractions and legal costs. We must show Senator Abetz and other hard right MPs that we won't be investigated into silence. 

Will you chip in $12 to our legal defence fund and show Senator Abetz that every time he attacks us, he only makes us stronger? With every donation, we'll send an email to Senator Abetz, thanking him for his contribution to GetUp. 

ASIC should do its job and rigorously regulate Australian companies. But this frivolous call for ASIC to probe GetUp — to look into some outdated drafting and an accidentally blank last page in our lodged Constitution — is the latest in a long run of Government-instigated investigations and proposed legislation designed to hobble critics and detractors. 

We've seen it in the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission's investigation of 350.org2, and in a federal police raid on the Australian Workers Union, with the media tipped off to catch it all on camera.3 

We've seen it with the Government's attempt, through its Advocacy Gag Bill, to hobble charities' fundraising, by making mum and dad donors sign statutory declarations.4 

And of course, we've seen it in Senator Abetz and other hard right MPs leaning on the Australian Electoral Commission to investigate — for a third time — whether or not GetUp is an 'associated entity'. It seems no other organisation has been investigated twice, let alone three times.5 

It's an abuse of Government power, straight out of the Trump playbook, and we can't let it become the norm in Australia. 

Chip in $12 to show Senator Abetz that every time he attacks us, he only makes us stronger. 

Every dollar you chip in will go straight to our legal defence fund, because even though these investigations are politicised and unfounded, we must spend money on solicitors, barristers — and potentially court costs — to defend ourselves. 

We know that when we come together, we're more powerful than anything they can throw at us. We rallied to stop the worst elements of the Advocacy Gag Bill, and a key parliamentary committee recommended these elements be removed. 

The Government is struggling to get its regressive tax schemes through the parliament, and the Adani mega-mine remains unbuilt. None of this would've been possible without GetUp members coming together and raising our voices. 

Chip in $12 and let every donation today be a message of defiance to Senator Abetz and all those who would silence our democratic voices. 

In determination, 
Paul — for the GetUp team 

References: 
[1] Abetz asks ASIC to investigate GetUp!, The Australian, 4 June 2018 
[2] Charity faces loss of tax perks for anti-coal campaign, The Australian Financial Review, 6 December 2017 
[3] AFP raids: What's behind the investigation over AWU donations to GetUp, Labor?, ABC News, 26 October 2017 
[4] Crackdown on donations would destroy activist groups, GetUp says, The Guardian, 29 January 2018 
[5] Cth Senate Estimates, Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee, 24 May 2018 
 
GetUp! Australia :
PO Box A105, Sydney South, NSW, 1235, Australia Wide
GetUp! Australia
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