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Pope Benedict XVI is reported to be on the verge of authorising the return of the Latin Tridentine mass. This would open the way for some of the most extreme clerical reactionaries and anti-Semites to rejoin the Catholic Church.
On October 2, the Sydney-based Edmund Rice Centre (ERC) released its Deported to Danger II report, examining the fate of people whose claims for asylum in Australia were rejected. The report found that 39 of the 41 were deported to danger. Two have been welcomed in New Zealand.
Political censorship With media diversity under attack and the right to dissent under threat by the Howard government, dissenting alternatives such as GLW become even more important — or so you would think. Not so for a majority at the
One of the first things I usually do on a Saturday morning is read the “Number Crunch” column in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Weekend magazine. I find the assorted collection of interesting statistics irresistible.
The trial of four activists who inspected the top secret US-Australia spy base at Pine Gap for terrorist activity began on October 4. Jim Dowling, Adele Goldie, Bryan Law (Cairns) and Donna Mulhearn, members of Christians Against ALL Terrorism (CAAT), face charges under the Commonwealth Crimes Act and the Defence (Special Undertakings) Act (DSU) 1952. If found guilty they face seven years’ prison.
Gary Meyerhoff, long-time activist and founder of the Network Against Prohibition (NAP), died from an AIDS-related illness on October 7. A tireless campaigner for the rights all those who slipped through society’s cracks, Meyerhoff was an optimist and not afraid to push the limits. He organised around issues and with sections of society that other activists usually put in the too-hard basket.
Australia has the most concentrated media ownership in the Western world. Nonetheless, the new media bill passed by the Senate on October 12 will further relax ownership regulation and allow the media barons to operate in two out of three media sectors — print, radio and television.
On October 10, 60 people attended a public meeting at which the keynote speaker, historian Henry Reynolds, spoke about the ongoing oppression of Indigenous Australians.
Forums about the occupation of Palestine, film screenings, mock Israeli checkpoints and protest actions were held on university campuses in NSW as part of a week of solidarity with Palestine on October 9-13.
The federal government last week pushed through its new cross-media ownership laws, ensuring greater concentration of media ownership and a loss of diversity in Australia’s media. The following article by Christian Downie, published on Online Opinion (<http://www.onlineopinion.com.au>) provides some background to the debate over the media laws.
Thirty people protested outside the US consulate on October 13 calling for justice for five Cubans unfairly imprisoned in the United States. The Cuban Five helped expose the activities of US-based terrorists planning attacks on Cuba, for which they were imprisoned, even while known terrorists in Miami walk free. Cuba solidarity activist Tim Anderson told the crowd that the Cuban government is not going to let the case rest until justice is achieved.
The annual Queerspace student conference held at the Australian National University on October 6-8 was attended by 40 students from Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Wollongong, Newcastle and Perth. The conference launched the national Queer Activist Network (QAN) for youth and students.