Tim Dobson

“We will not be silenced,” shouts an Egyptian protester in one of the many videos posted on YouTube of the uprising against the Hosni Mubarak dictatorship that began on January 25. “Whether you are a Muslim, whether you are a Christian or whether you are an atheist, you will demand your goddamn rights! And we will have our rights, one way or another, we will never be silenced!” This statement sums up the immense change sweeping Egypt. This change is driven by a powerful mass movement that put millions of people on the streets across Egypt on February 4.
The Israeli government agreed “in principle” on November 17 to withdraw from the northern part of Ghajar, a village in the occupied Golan Heights. The village was conquered by Israel in 1967, during the six-day war. In 2000, Ghajar was split in two. The northern part was to be controlled by Lebanon, the southern part by Israel. The southern part of Ghajar was deemed by the United Nations (UN) to be a part of the Golan Heights, Syrian territory occupied by Israel since 1967.
There has been a lot of discussion about the problems within Australia’s national A-League football (“soccer”) competition, with some even fearing that it is on the verge of collapse. Maybe that won’t happen, but there are signs that things aren’t looking good. In September, Newcastle Jets became the latest club to be provided with an emergency loan. The league’s governing body, Football Federation Australia (FFA) agreed to provide short term financial assistance so the club could pay its players.
"When I was 15, I remember going to parties and being really uncomfortable when someone put on porn. Porn told me how, as a woman, I needed to look, act and experience sex; and that people found women being treated this way funny or arousing rather than frightening." — Anonymous. Porn reflects ideas about what is considered explicit and arousing. But the meaning of "porn" is altered by historic, cultural and economic contexts.
The signing of the much-anticipated “Forest peace deal”, an agreed statement of principles between some conservation groups and the timber industry, was announced on October 19. Most of the statement of principles had already been leaked. Still up in the air was the two last minute demands made by the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania. These concerned recognition of already existing supply contracts from publicly owned native forests and the use of forests for wood-fired power station.
Beginning in April, so-called peace talks have taken place between some conservation groups and timber industry stakeholders about the future of the Tasmanian timber industry. Both sides have painted the talks as a once in a lifetime opportunity to “end the forest wars”. Environment Tasmania (ET) director Phill Pullinger told the May 13 Australian: “We've had 30 years of worsening trench warfare in Tassie over forests and now is the time and the opportunity to essentially solve the forest conflict — and solve it properly.”
The October 3-14 Commonwealth Games being held in Delhi have proven a disaster for India’s poor — economically and socially. Even before the games opened, 47 workers had died working on sites linked to the games, MSNBC.com said on September 23. The September 23 Financial Times said working conditions were so bad that the People’s Union for Democratic Rights and other labour rights’ activists “filed a lawsuit in Delhi high court this year, claiming that workers on games sites faced unsafe conditions and rampant violation of a wide range of labour laws and standards.
When I heard about the strike that was planned by Italian Football players in Serie A league on September 25 and 26 (but has been postponed), I wondered what familiar refrains would be used to attack it. The inevitable “millionaires complaining about their conditions” line was put by Yahoo Sports football blogger Brooks Peck in a September 12 piece. Peck’s article mocks the idea that the “rights” of “lavishly paid” players are being violated: “This is Cambodian sweatshop type stuff.”
Into the Woods: The Battle for Tasmania’s Forests by Anna Krien, BlackInc, 2010, 304 pages, $29.95 REVIEW BY TIM DOBSON “I was the premier of Tasmania but these bastards were infinitely more powerful than me. You’ve no idea how powerful they are. I couldn’t move. For God’s sake, keep fighting them. That’s why I’m ringing you, they have to be stopped.” Two weeks before his death, former Tasmanian Labor premier Jim Bacon, said these words in a phone call to well-known anti-pulp mill campaigner and ABC TV’s Gardening Australia host Peter Cundall.
One week after Israel massacred peace activists on the high seas, the United Nations Security Council decided to implement sanctions — not against Israel, but rather Iran. Iran’s nuclear program, which was the reason for the sanctions, doesn’t include nuclear weapons nor the capacity to produce them. The resolution adopted by the Security Council, with 12 votes for, two votes against and one abstention, imposes new restrictions on trade with Iran, as well as an expanded arms embargo.

Pages

Subscribe to Tim Dobson