3-400 people rallied and marched in Brisbane on October 11 calling for the closure of detention centres at Manus Island and Nauru.
The WikiLeaks Files: The World According to the US Empire Verso, 2015 624 pages, hardback George Orwell said: “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” These are dark times, in which the propaganda of deceit touches all our lives. It is as if political reality has been privatised and illusion legitimised. The information age is a media age. We have politics by media; censorship by media; war by media; retribution by media; diversion by media — a surreal assembly line of clichés and false assumptions.
Video clips from the protest where anti-racist activists outnumbered the far right Islamophobic protesters in a counter rally in Perth on October 10.
Evo Morales. Bolivia is calling for investigations into cables leaked by WikiLeaks that reveal the US had plans in 2008 to topple the left-wing government of President Evo Morales, including potentially backing his assassination. “This requires an in-depth investigation,” said Bolivia's minister of the presidency, Juan Ramon Quintana. “We need to do an investigation to subsequently take decisions with regard to the United States government.”
Russia followed the lead of Western powers on September 30 and began direct military intervention in Syria – using the same form (air strikes) and the same declared enemy, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Russia's campaign, aimed to shore up the beleaguered regime of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, will also target the al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front and other armed groups fighting the dictatorship. Russia's entry into the fray has dramatically heightened tensions between Russia and the West and further complicated the already confused, multi-sided conflict in Syria.
This week Parramatta found itself the shocking scene of terror — the sort of thing you might expect in foreign nations, but which many Australians surely believed would never happen on our streets.
Negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) were finally completed in Atlanta on October 5. Final agreement on the treaty had been delayed for years as negotiating countries tried to protect their own industries while trying to gain market access in others. The TPP was negotiated by countries on the Pacific Rim: the US, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Chile, Brunei, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Vietnam and Japan. These countries represent about 40% of global GDP.
Amir Amirani's documentary film We Are Many — on the huge outpouring of public opposition to the Iraq War in February 2003 — has its Australian premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival on Oct 22 and 24. On Feb 15, 2003, 30 million people marched against the impending US-led war in Iraq. The protesters warned the Iraq invasion would be a disaster and humanitarian catastrophe — and were tragically proven right.
Moreland City Council voted unanimously to divest from fossil fuels on October 7. It is the first Australian council to do so. Socialist Alliance councillor Sue Bolton, who has been working with 350.org and Climate Action Moreland on the campaign, said it was a “tribute to their hard work over almost three years”. Greens councillors have also supported the campaign from the start. “Last night, we crossed the final hurdle and decided to divest. Without the grassroots campaign, councillors would never have done this,” Bolton said.
Talks are continuing in the Fair Work Commission between the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and Hutchison Ports over the sacking of 97 waterside workers on August 6. Meanwhile, community assemblies are being maintained outside the gates of Hutchison terminals at Port Botany and the Port of Brisbane. The company has said it is seeking a new enterprise agreement with the union, and has agreed to pay wages to the sacked workers until at least mid-November.
In our “A World to Win” series, Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance activists speak on issues that affect young people. This week, Emma Fields discusses the right to free, decent housing for all. * * * When the Universal Declaration of Human Rights talks about “standard of living adequate for health and well-being”, it means suitable access to food, clothing, housing and medical care.
Carol Hucker worked in Manus Island Detention Centre as a counsellor for International Health and Medical Services (IHMS) and as a case worker for the Salvation Army from June 2013 to July last year. She has allowed Green Left Weekly to publish her account so that people can become more aware of what is happening on Manus Island. She said: “It is my hope that through this brief account the men on Manus will not be forgotten.” This is the sixth part of a multi-part series and covers February 2014. * * *