Stephen Langford

In reviewing this important - but not self-important - book by Lindy Nolan, I can hardly do better than start by quoting Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, Northern Territory Australian of the Year in 2015 and Amatjere Elder, from the backcover of the book: “Such deep and fearless truth.”

I was one of the “pro-Palestinian hecklers” that faced off against Alan Dershowitz at the Darling Harbour Convention Centre on February 25.

I heckled because there was no freedom of speech in that United Israel Appeal (UIA) propaganda event. The issues of the stealing of Palestinian land and the killing of Palestinian people were not addressed. I have strong Jewish connections as well as Palestinian friends, some of whom were demonstrating outside, together with the valiant Jews Against the Occupation.

Refugee rights activist Stephen Langford was at Waverley Court on June 29 facing charges for writing "Omid" on the electorate office of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Omid Masoumali was a young asylum seeker detained in Nauru who died after he set himself on fire.

After an initial hearing, the case was adjourned to July 27. Langford made this speech outside the court.

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When I heard that Omid Masoumali had set fire to himself on Nauru on April 27, had to wait 26 hours to be airlifted out, during which time he had no pain relief, and then died in Brisbane, it was too much. Suddenly the activism we were engaging in seemed very inadequate.

It was standing room only as more than 250 people packed an auditorium in Sydney, to hear speakers discuss conditions in the Nauru and Manus Island detention centres.

As speaking about conditions in these detention centres has now been criminalised by the federal government's Border Force Act, the three speakers were whistleblowers. Two speakers, who had worked in or visited the detention centres, risk prosecution.

In breaking news, it seems that the Labor Party left cannot agree to oppose a “turn back the boats” policy. So there seems to be no chance that the upcoming national Labor Party Conference in Melbourne on July 24 to 26 will consider opposing the Coalition policy of turning boats back that are attempting to reach this country, so the passengers can claim asylum, a human right.

The Bring Back Asha campaign continues to grow. A snap rally at Sydney Town Hall on June 30, hosted by the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, had 300 demonstrators making a sea of white balloons and placards, listening to speakers condemning the return of baby Asha (not her real name) and her parents to the immigration detention centre on Nauru.

Melbourne rally to return baby Asha on June 25. Photo ASRC/Facebook

The campaign to bring back baby "Asha" (not her real name) from Nauru is gaining momentum. The five-month-old baby girl, her mother and father were forcibly transported from Melbourne's detention centre to Darwin detention centre and then to Nauru in early June.

Thirty refugee rights activists rallied outside Commonwealth offices in Sydney, to coincide with the June 17 presentation of a 65,000 strong petition to the Federal Parliament in Canberra, calling for the immediate closure of Manus Island and Nauru detention centres.

The petition is here and can still be signed.

Nicole Judge, Manus Island detention centre whistleblower, and Ian Rintoul of the Refugee Action Coalition (RAC) spoke at the rally.

Congratulations on the launch of Green Left TV in Sydney on July 7. With the filming of the second Green Left Report in front of a live audience, it was a night to remember.

Let’s hope that this is the start of something big. Community media needs our support to make it grow.

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