Alex Salmon

Based upon Marcia and Thomas Mitchell's 2008 book The Spy Who Tried to Stop a War, director Gavin Hood  shows how Gunn leaked an email exposing the fact that the US government was eavesdropping on other countries in order to win United Nations approval in the lead up to its March 2003 invasion of Iraq. Reviewed by Alex Salmon.

"Art is a weapon in the People's fight" declared an advert for a 1940 production of the play Women by the left-wing Workers Art Guild (WAG) that was active in Perth from 1935 to 1942.

Losing Santhia: Life & Loss in the Struggle for Tamil Eelam
By Ben Hillier
Interventions, 2019
150 pages

In 2009, the Sri Lankan military launched a genocidal offensive against the island's Tamil population on a stretch of sand in Mullivaikal, in the island's north-east.

Claiming its offensive was to rescue civilians, the Sri Lankan military carried out an indiscriminate bombing offensive against Tamil civilians that killed tens of thousands.

After centuries under the yoke of English rule, Irish nationalists staged failed uprisings against British rule in 1798, 1803 and 1848. By 1858, Irish freedom fighters formed the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Known as the Fenians, they recruited among Irish soldiers in the British army to overthrow the British authorities.

However by 1867, the Fenian rising was crushed and dozens of their members sentenced to up 15 years in the British penal colony of Western Australia. Once there, they sent to Fremantle Gaol. Known as the "Convict Establishment" or the "Living Tomb", and built by convict labour in the 1850s, the men were subjected to a brutal regime of forced labour and floggings.

On December 9, 1966, the Australian government signed a public agreement with the United States to build what both countries misleadingly called a “Joint Defence Space Research Facility” at Pine Gap, just outside Alice Springs.

Officially, Pine Gap is a collaboration between the Australian Department of Defence and the Pentagon’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency. In reality this conceals the real purpose of Pine Gap as a CIA-run spy base designed to collect signals from US surveillance satellites in geosynchronous orbit over the equator.

Members of the Kashmiri community and supporters rallied for a free Kashmir on September 1.

A rally against the proposed religious exemptions bill was held in Perth on August 24.

Goodes’ story shows that racism is well and truly alive.

While researching Japanese working-class resistance to World War II, Kaye Broadbent discovered in a Japanese university archive Masao Sugiura’s 1964 memoir, detailing the formation and activities of the Shuppanako Kurabu (Print and Publishing Worker’s Club). Based upon Sugiura’s 1981 second edition, the English translation of Against the Storm provides an inspiring account of how Sugiura and his comrades were able to organise and sustain links between workers, despite increasing wartime repression by the Japanese military regime.

A new activist group, Unnamed, has been formed in Perth and is aiming to get people active around climate change, writes Alex Salmon.

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