The other day I was buying my paper at the shops. I didn't have the right change so I gave the shopkeeper $2, and told him to keep the change.
On the way out I was stopped by two dour-faced men in sunglasses, who asked me a few questions.
Did I know the man whom I had given the $2 to?
Yes, he's the guy I buy my paper from every day.
Was I aware that I had just given him more than the dollar value of the paper?
Well, yes, but-.
I quickly found myself bundled inside a car, then taken to a prison cell, stripped of my clothes and possessions, and told to don dull orange jumpsuit. Questions were fired at me in rapid succession.
Was I aware that I had just given material support to a suspected terrorist?
Is it true that you meet with this man every morning?
Yes, but -
What is your association with this man?
I buy the paper off-
You are buying literary, possibly incendiary material off this man?
They dropped my Sydney Morning Herald on the table in front of me – there was an article mildly critical of the government on the front page.
Sometimes you are given to anger, aren't you Mr J?
No, well, but-
Three days I spent in that cell. My lawyers could tell me nothing, they didn't have all the evidence.
Shouldn't have bought a Fairfax paper.
Finally the charges were laid. Material support to a suspected terrorist. I was shipped to another cell, where I was allowed magazines and a television.
I am alert, but not alarmed. After all, we need to stop terrorists, so in a way this is really good for the nation, it was my own silly fault for repeatedly buying my paper there, I can see how suspicious that looks.
I'll be in court in another three months, I am coping well in detention, I'm even allowed to read the paper again, but I don't want to.