1056

In November 2011, US president Barack Obama announced that the military focus of the US was “pivoting” to the Asia-Pacific region. At the same time, as part of this “pivot”, he announced that US marines were to be stationed in Darwin. Following those announcements, a ripple of discontent spread around the nation. Numerous peace groups, academics, faith-based groups and unions began talking to one another about this “pivot” and the threat it represents.
Reports of physical and sexual violence, including against children, continue to emerge from Australian refugee detention centres in Papua New Guinea and Nauru. Allegations have also emerged that Australian authorities had paid people smugglers to take a boat of asylum seekers away from Australian waters. But the government has continued to respond with secrecy, vilification of critics and increasingly draconian government measures to prevent information coming out.
We are experiencing a crisis of domestic violence in Australia, but not in the sense that it has unexpectedly arrived. In fact, there has always been a domestic violence crisis in Australia. It is a preventable epidemic that has been allowed to flourish in our communities through silence, neglect, a culture that promotes male power and violence and a failure by those in power to act.
The BBC’s Panorama program on May 28 made explosive revelations about British state collusion with paramilitaries in the north of Ireland occupied by Britain. It implicates British authorities in the murder of hundreds of people, and in subsequent cover-ups. The documentary, titled “Britain’s Secret Terror Deals”, detailed the vast scale of British security forces' involvement with illegal paramilitary groups, running thousands of informants and agents. Serial killers
Members of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) covering more than half the public service are planning a series of half-day strikes to attend mass meetings around the country between June 18 and 26. The industrial action is to protect their rights, conditions and pay from federal government attacks.
CR gas was used to quell rioting in Long Kesh jail in October, 1974. Papers from 1976 obtained by the Observer under freedom of information laws show that the use of ‘CR’ or Dibenzoxazepine — a skin irritant 10 times more powerful than other tear gases — was permitted from 1973 to be used on Irish republican prisoners.
The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has written to Prime Minister Tony Abbott stating its complete opposition to the forced closure of remote Aboriginal communities.
For a while in late May, it looked as if negotiations over terms for releasing the last €7.2 billion owed to Greece under its second bailout package with the “Troika” of the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund might have some chance of success. The commentary from the SYRIZA-led Greek government's negotiators and from its creditors was of “fruitful discussions” and “meaningful progress”. Greek government spokespeople even spoke of reaching an agreement “within a week or two”, at the latest by the June 18 meeting of the eurozone finance ministers.
In a David and Goliath struggle that became known as the “Jobs for Women” campaign, 34 mostly migrant, unemployed, working-class women took on Australia’s largest company, Broken Hill Propriety Limited (BHP). In a landmark legal and industrial struggle, they sued BHP’s subsidiary, Australian Iron and Steel (AIS) in Port Kembla for sex discrimination because they refused to employ women. After a long, hard struggle over 14 years, the campaign eventually won damages estimated at up to $9 million for more than 700 women who had applied to work at the steelworks.
Tens of thousands of anti-capitalist, environmental and social justice activists took to the streets and country roads of Bavaria in Germany to protest the Group of Seven (G7) nations summit, which took place on June 7 and 8 in a secluded castle in the German Alps. More than 35,000 demonstrators marched peacefully in the Bavarian capital Munich on June 4. They protested the destructive policies of the G7 industrialised nations — climate change, militarisation and NATO expansion in Europe, economic austerity and poverty, democracy-destroying free trade deals and more.
BRISBANE Join us at a rally to welcome refugees on Saturday June 20 at 11am. King George Square. Ph Paul 3392 3843. Email. DARWIN Watch a film: A Fierce Green Fire - the battle for a living planet on Thursday July 2 at 6pm, refreshments available from 5.30pm. Darwin Museum and Art Gallery Theatrette: Conacher St, Fannie Bay. $10/$5 Phone Peter: 0429 694 083 Hosted by Green Left Weekly and the Socialist Alliance. GEELONG
Community still opposes pulp mill Friends of the Tamar Valley and Pulp the Mill have responded to news that “at least one binding offer for the [Gunns pulp mill] licence from overseas” has been received, saying community opposition to the pulp mill is just as strong now as when the project was first proposed more than ten years ago.
Tom Morello. A new US-based record label for “rebel music”has been launched by Rage Against Machine guitarist Tom Morello, who also performs as solo act the Night Watchman, Rolling Stone reported on June 4.
Platypus numbers recovering in Melbourne Platypus populations in Melbourne's suburbs and urban fringe are showing signs of recovery, five years after being devastated by drought, the ABC said on June 2.
The corruption scandal that has hit FIFA, culminating in the recent arrest of seven FIFA officials in Switzerland and the resignation of FIFA president Sepp Blatter, has focused attention on the world’s most powerful football (soccer) body. You have to go back to FIFA's founding to understand the factors that have led to these events. It was formed in 1904 to oversee international competition among various European football associations.
About 200 people attended a meeting on Islamophobia on May 31. The meeting was co-chaired by Steve Jolly, a Socialist Party member and Yarra city councillor, and Monique Toohey, a board member of the Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV). Toohey told the meeting that the harassment of Muslims had made many of them fearful of going out in public. Ghaith Krayem, the president of the ICV, said that under proposed new laws people could be deported by the decision of a minister, based on suspicion, with no right to challenge claims made by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.

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