ASIO’s Surveillance of Brian Medlin
Throughout the 1960s and 70s, thousands of South Australian protesters took to the streets, publicly demanding social justice and an end to what they regarded as the unwarranted and imperial ventures of the western world. In Adelaide, authorities noted what they saw as the use of a ‘Paris-style’ charge at demonstrations, with participants marching ten abreast with linked arms. At Flinders University, students threatened to burn a dog to death as part of an anti-Vietnam War demonstration. In Adelaide, the man who more than any other personified the Moratorium movement was Flinders University philosopher Brian Medlin, who advocated for a peaceful end to Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War. As his former student John Schumann has pointed out, an enduring image of that time is of Brian Medlin, ‘the long-haired professor of philosophy, spread-eagled between two policemen, being dragged from the front of the anti-war march in the September of 1970’.