Chris Slee

Defend Medevac protest in Sydney on November 9.

Refugee rights activists rallied across Australia on November 9 to defend the Urgent Medical Treatment Bill (Medevac), which was passed in February.

A popular uprising has broken out in Idlib, a province in the north of Syria, against the reactionary Islamist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), according to Leila al-Shami, a well known Syrian activist and author.

The uprising began in the town of Kafar Takharim, when people refused to pay increased taxes imposed by HTS on goods and services, including bread, electricity and olive oil. They stormed HTS-controlled olive presses and police stations and evicted HTS from their community.

On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. Or, to be more precise, the border guards opened the gates and allowed crowds from East Berlin to cross into the west. People celebrated by climbing onto the wall and dancing.

The fall of the wall was widely seen as a victory for freedom. But things are not that simple.

In the three decades since 1989, new walls have gone up, and existing walls and other barriers to the free movement of people have been strengthened, in many parts of the world.

Australian Council of Trade Union’s president Michele O’Neil told an October 2 forum that the Coalition government’s attacks on refugees is a distraction from its failure to act on low wages, insecure work and climate change.

Venezuelan chargé d’affaires Daniel Gasparri said that his country's problems stem from the economic blockade imposed by the United States.

A new report shows why Tamil refugees fear being sent back to Sri Lanka, and why it is essential to campaign against the Australian government's policy of deporting them or pressuring them to return "voluntarily", writes Chris Slee.

Fifty people rallied outside the Federal Court building on September 18, just before the opening of the appeal by the Tamil family from Biloela, in Queensland, against the government's plan to deport them to Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka has a long history of discrimination against Tamils.  In 1948 Tamil plantation workers were deprived of citizenship.  In 1956 Sinhalese was made the sole official language, denying the Tamil language equal status, writes Chris Slee.

Communities have rallied across the country in support of Tamil refugees Priya and Nades, and their two Australian-born children, who the government wants to deport to Sri Lanka.

The corporate media have been full of complaints and accusations about Chinese influence in Australia. Author Clive Hamilton claims China is carrying out a “silent invasion” that is eroding “Australian sovereignty”, writes Chris Slee.

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