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.
“Coal is really dirty. Gas is pretty dirty too. It's a bit cleaner than coal,” said City of Sydney CEO Monica Barone as she explained the plan to move to gas-powered energy production at a packed community meeting at St Peters Town Hall organised by Sydney Residents Against Coal Seam Gas (SRACGS) on April 13. Barone agreed that we need to move to a low carbon economy, but said moving to a zero carbon economy, such as the plan set out by Beyond Zero Emissions, would be “enormous”.
A life dedicated to creative non-violent resistance against the Israeli occupation of Palestine was cut short when Juliano Mer-Khamis was shot dead by unknown masked gunman in the West Bank town of Jenin on April 4. Mer-Khamis was an Israeli citizen, born to a Jewish mother and a Palestinian Christian father. In 2009, Mer-Khamis told Israeli army radio: “I am 100% Palestinian and 100% Jewish.” At the time of his death, Mer-Khamis was just 52-years-old. He was a father and a husband.
Writing in the aftermath of the several high profile WikiLeaks publications including the Collateral Murder video and the Afghanistan and Iraq War Logs, News Corporation journalist Brad Norington set out on a crusade against online media, and more specifically, against WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.
See the activist calendar for details of screenings in your city. John Pilger’s latest film, The War You Don’t See, looks at the power wielded by journalists reporting conflict. It examines the responsibility of the media in justifying and supporting the wars our governments wage. Pilger asks: “What is the role of the media in rapacious wars like Iraq and Afghanistan and how are the crimes of war reported and justified? “Those whose job it is to keep the record straight ought to be the voice of people, not power.”
The Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh is under increased pressure to step down after the defection in recent days of key tribal leaders, government ministers, diplomats and army units. The defectors have pledged support for anti-government protesters. Tens of thousands of people marched in the capital, Sana’a, on March 25 to demand Saleh step down, AlJazeera.net said that day. However, the article said Saleh gave a defiant speech to supporters, insisting he would only hand over power “to capable, responsible hands”.
“As rain poured down last night, I thought I can’t possibly go this morning, but then I got on WLCentral this morning and Daniel Ellsberg has been arrested in his 80s outside the White House, so we can brave a little rain!” These were the thoughts of one local activist at a Sydney rally in support of alleged WikiLeaks whistleblower Bradley Manning on March 20. The rally was part of an international day of action called by Bradleymanning.org and Courage to Resist.
“We have intelligence that your government has been exchanging information with foreign powers about Australian citizens working for WikiLeaks,” Julian Assange told Prime Minister Julia Gillard in his video question as part of ABC's Q&A on March 14. Assange's question came after Gillard had said: “I can respect whistleblowing if your motivation is to right wrong.” But she said she did not see any “moral purpose ... at the centre of WikiLeaks”. Gillard said she didn't have a “great deal of respect” for Assange and described his motivation as “sort of anarchic”.
“Ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid” is how one US official described the treatment of alleged WikiLeaks whistleblower Bradley Manning. Manning, a private in the US army, has been held in solitary confinement for nine months at Quantico Marine Corps Brig while awaiting a pre-trial hearing. Breaking government ranks, spokesperson for the US State Department PJ Crowley criticized on March 10 the reported mistreatment of Manning. This mistreatment has included Manning being forced to strip and remain naked in his cell.
From the cramped prison cell that has become his home, 23-year-old Army Private Bradley Manning is cut off from the world. He has had no opportunity to share his side of what could be the biggest whistleblowing story the world has seen. What we do know of the alleged US war crimes whistleblower comes from the authority of friends and family — or from Adrian Lamo, the man who reported Manning to US authorities for allegedly leaking classified military documents to WikiLeaks.