Australia

The refugee deal struck between the Australian and Malaysian governments will put vulnerable, desperate refugees in great danger. Under the agreement, the Gillard Labor government will deport to Malaysia 800 asylum seekers that arrive in Australia by boat. Malaysia has not signed the United Nations Refugee Convention. The deportations will be automatic. Men, women, children — the government has promised it will make no exceptions. They will be deemed unworthy of protection, regardless of their circumstances. See also:
Laura’s* mother was in Dara’a in southern Syria when the military attacked youths who had graffitied anti-government slogans in mid March. Only when she had arrived back in Sydney did she tell her family about what she’d seen of the attacks on unarmed protesters, which sparked the wave of anti-government protests across Syria.
Australia’s first national rally of intersex, sex and/or gender diverse (ISGD) people saw 180 participants gather on the lawns of parliament house, Canberra, on May 11. Two buses of ISGD people and allies travelled from Sydney. A bus arrived from Melbourne and 10 activists flew from Brisbane to attend the important action, undeterred by the cold, windy weather.
To every complex problem there is a simplistic response, which is usually wrong. For instance, to the challenge of generating all of Australia’s electricity from renewable energy, the deniers repeatedly utter the simplistic myth that renewable energy is intermittent and therefore cannot generate base-load (that is, 24-hour) power. However, detailed computer simulations, backed up with actual experience with wind power overseas, show that the scoffers are wrong.
Below is a letter from a 17 year old Afghani man, who has been held in a Darwin detention centre for more than a year. * * * The refugee has a question. Best regards to Australia, the country in which people, all human beings, are equal; and all people from different ethnics, cultures and languages have the same rights. Australia is one of the most civilised countries in the world. All people are literate. People work according to their expertness.
Left Flank, May 3 — Marrickville Council may have backed off supporting the Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign but by highlighting the plight of the Palestinians, the Council’s initiative in this area, and the pro-BDS stance of the NSW Greens, has ensured that this will only be the beginning of the debate, not least of all within the Greens themselves.
A dozen activists gathered at Carousel shopping centre on May 2 as part of a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) action against cosmetics company Seacret. Friends of Palestine WA (FOPWA) called the action in support of the international BDS campaign called for by Palestinian civil society. The aim is to place pressure on Israel to adhere to international law and to end the illegal occupation of Palestine. This pressure can be created by such actions as boycotting Israeli products.
Refugees held inside Darwin’s Northern Immigration Detention Centre told members of the Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network on May 3 of two recent suicide attempts by inmates. The network has also received two letters from detainees. One of these letters, from a Rohingyan man held in detention for 18 months, is reprinted verbatim below.
After running a Google news search on Marrickville+BDS on April 18, I spent a half hour looking at just under 30 articles published over the past seven days on Marrickville council’s position of support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. I looked at every result published by a major news website (news.com.au, the Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, The Age, ABC) and omitted articles that contained duplicate AAP copy.
"No uranium mining," "No nuclear industry," and "No nuclear waste dump," were the themes of the annual Rally for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament, held in Brisbane on Palm Sunday, April 17. The rally and march attracted about 200 people.

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