Peter Boyle

Protesters at Lynas' AGM

In the dead of night on November 22, 100 containers of concentrated rare earth ore mined in Western Australia began to be transported, under heavy police escort, through the port of Kuantan to a new refinery built by Australian company Lynas.

BHP used to be called “The Big Australian”. It is now BHP Billiton — a global corporation, the largest mining company in the world and the largest Australian headquartered corporation by market capitalisation. Its CEO Marius Kloppers is described as being one of "the top 20 most powerful people in business worldwide".
An action was organised by the Refugee Action Coalition on November 23 to protest the re-opening of the Australian immigration detention camps in Manus Is (PNG) and Nauru. It was held outside the office of Tanya Plibersek, the federal minister for health, in Sydney. A letter of protest was delivered at the end of the action. Photos by Peter Boyle.
It is an extraordinary thing for thousands of ordinary people to mob an inauguration ceremony for a new governor of Jakarta. Yet this is exactly what happened on October 15, according to the progressive Indonesian publication Berdikari Online. It reported that thousands of people ― among them many from Jakarta's urban poor communities ― braved the scorching heat to welcome the incoming governor Joko Widodo (better known as Jokowi) and his deputy Basuki Tjahaja Purnama.
“The explosion of the rig was a disaster that resulted from BP’s culture of privileging profit over prudence,” said US federal assistant attorney general Lanny A. Breuer at a recent press conference. He was announcing that the company had agreed to pay $4.5 billion to settle criminal charges from the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. BP also plead guilty to 11 counts of manslaughter and three other lesser charges.
Abdel Jabbar Madouri has been a militant in Tunisia from his early secondary school days. He was jailed three times (in 1987, 1993 and 2002) because of his political activism. After every arrest, he was tortured, then sentenced to more than 12 years in jail. Madouri spent four years living underground during the Ben Ali regime, which was overthrown in January last year -- sparking the “Arab Spring”. He was also deprived of the right to work or to obtain a passport.
Israel has launched a fresh full-scale war on the besieged people of Gaza. The Palestine In My Eyes website is detailed the names and ages of those killed in Israel's latest bombardment. As of the morning of November 20, 108 Palestinians were listed as killed.
The High Court of Malaysia lifted a two-month suspension on November 8 of a temporary operating licence granted to the Australian company Lynas Corporation to operate a controversial rare earths refinery near the city of Kuantan in Malaysia. Angry residents and environmental activists now plan to bring their objection to Australia when Lynas holds its shareholders' annual general meeting at the luxury Sofitel Hotel in Sydney on November 20. Eighteen activists will travel to Sydney to take part in the protest and speak to concerned Australians, politicians and the media.
More than 300 people packed out the Leichhardt Town Hall on November 10 for the Green Left Weekly annual dinner in Sydney with guest speaker Christine Assange. “I've come here tonight not just to support Julian but also to support Green Left Weekly," said Assange. “We need you guys to keep having the guts to tell the truth!”
One of the sneering jokes passed around business circles after mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto announced they would not pay a cent this quarter under the Gillard government’s pathetic mining tax was that the government would have collected a fat cheque had it levied a super profits tax on the big banks instead.

"Are we there yet... in the race to rock bottom on refugee rights?" asked Dianne Hiles from Children Out of Detention (ChilOut) at a November 8 protest in Sydney against the detention of asylum seekers by the Australian on Nauru Island.

This rally and march on October 31 to protest moves by the Sydney University administration to weaken the Koori Centre has already won some ground.