Leslie Richmond

In October 2007, with the federal election looming, and global warming generating a lot of tepid air in parliaments around the country, a diverse group of people in Adelaide established the Eco-socialist Network to attempt to generate more serious discussion of environmental issues. Green Left Weekly’s Leslie Richmond spoke to John Rice, activist, socialist, Greens member and one of the initiators of the network.

As the federal government’s Northern Territory intervention grinds on with an escalating price-tag and concomitant obfuscation from politicians and bureaucrats about its actual implementation, we are beginning to see media reports — especially from the rampantly pro-intervention Rupert Murdoch stable — of support for the measures from the affected communities. While most of these refer to “whitefella” bureaucrats or store managers, the most cherished, obviously, have been apparent endorsements from Indigenous people as each new phase is rolled out. Most recently, we’ve seen the same pattern as welfare quarantining has started to come into effect in some communities.

Those who claim that Australia is not a land of deep and abiding racism live in a fairy tale. This willful denial of reality is abetted by the commercial media, self-serving politicians, bureaucrats and capitalists of all stripes — those whose interests are served by maintaining the divisions of racism while convincing us that no such divisions exist.

On May 3, Adelaide lost one of its strongest defenders of human and Indigenous rights with the death of Aunty Veronica Brodie, a widely respected and loved elder of the Kaurna and Ngarrindjeri peoples of South Australia. On May 11, more than 500 people attempted to crowd into the small Centennial Park Cemetery chapel to farewell her. To accommodate the hundreds of people who had travelled from around Australia to pay their respects, chapel staff took the remarkable decision to broadcast the commemorative service over the PA throughout the foyer and hallways.

Terry Hicks, the father of Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks, spoke to Green Left Weekly's Leslie Richmond about the implications of the new US Military Commission Act.

Imagine If: A Handbook for ActivistsBy Joy Noble and Fiona VerityWakefield Press, 200656 pages, $9.95

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