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Opposition has grown to the Western Australian state government’s compulsory seizure of James Price Point, 60km north of Broome, for a $30 billion gas processing project in the Browse Basin. The Kimberly Land Council (KLC), the Greens and the Wilderness Society have all spoken out against the move. Frank Parriman, the co-chair of the KLC Traditional Owners negotiating committee, accused Woodside, the company that plans to build the project, of orchestrating the takeover.
Free Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani I write to express my disgust at the appalling treatment of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani by the Iranian government. I am a longtime friend and supporter of the Iranian people and their struggle. In the time of the Shah, I wrote letters and articles, spoke at meetings and joined many protests against his repressive regime and supported the resistance. Later, I defended the Iranian Revolution against the attacks of the US, Britain, Israel and other Western powers.
Journalist Jeff McMullen used his speech at the September 8 Building Bridges forum at Parramatta Town Hall to condemn ongoing government support for the NT intervention. He told the 50-strong forum: “The Northern Territory Intervention has been the most damaging policy inflicted on Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people since the policies of the Stolen Generation.
Getting public housing was like a dream come true — an escape from the never-ending cycle of evictions and unscrupulous landlords stealing my bond money. My flat is in a reasonably middle-class suburb, in a building accommodating 13 tenants and a community garden. Unfortunately the dream turned sour.
I am a committee member of the Human Rights Alliance and a trustee of the Deaths in Custody Watch Committee WA. Through my role in both during the past couple of years, I have been stunned by the fact that Australia has one of the world's worst deaths in custody records. There are more non-Aboriginal deaths in custody than Aboriginal deaths. But the rate of Aboriginal deaths in custody is higher than in South Africa during the peak of apartheid.
At a September 7 Green Left Weekly forum, Andrew Bartlett and Ewan Saunders spoke about the possibilities that have opened for the progressive movements since the election. Bartlett was Greens candidate for the seat of Brisbane in the recent federal elections. E Saunders contested the same seat for Socialist Alliance. Bartlett gained 21% of the primary vote, a swing of 10%. He gave an assessment of the voting results.
A special film screening will take place in Petersham, Sydney on September 28 to celebrate the graduation of the first 18 East Timorese students through Cuba's medical training aid program, which began in East Timor in 2003. The event will be presented by Dr Tim Anderson of the University of Sydney, who has followed the journeys of these doctors from the start. He will present his films The Doctors of Tomorrow and The Pacific School of Medicine, as well as footage from the recent graduation ceremony.
On September 8, race and discrimination commissioner Graeme Innes used a forum at the University of NSW Indigenous Law Centre on racism in sport to condemn the racist dog-whistling in the recent federal election. “You only have to look at the race to the bottom that you saw in the recent election on asylum seekers. Don't tell me there's not a racist part in that issue.
September 5-11 was National Body Image and Eating Disorders Awareness Week. “Awareness” about these serious and widespread issues is reasonably high these days. No young person can get through high school without being acutely aware of the pressures on physical appearance and personal image. The Mission Australia 2009 National Survey of Young Australians found that body image was the third-ranked issue of concern. A quarter of respondents (25.5%) said it was a major concern.
The Socialist Alliance national council meeting on September 5, involving 72 members from around the country, grappled with the new and intriguing political situation opened up by the August 21 federal election result. At the time, it was unknown who would form a minority government. But it was already clear that the result presented a challenge and opportunity for the progressive social movements to mobilise to demand a just, equitable and sustainable response to the big problems facing society.
By attacking the Gaza Freedom Flotilla (GFF) in international waters on May 31, Israel intended to deter people from attempting to break the siege of Gaza. However, since the attack, organisers have been inundated with calls and emails from people around the world wanting to join the next flotilla. Coordination for the next fleet has begun and GFF supporters in Australia want to raise $145,000 to send a contingent of 17 people from Australia and send aid as well. People will break the siege of Gaza, not governments.
Palestinian-Iraqi refugees are some of the forgotten victims of the Iraq war. In 1948, Palestinians were forced to flee from Palestine and became refugees. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), around 34,000 Palestinian refugees were living in Iraq when the United States and its allies invaded in 2003. After the invasion, many Palestinians faced harassment, threats of deportation, death threats, abuse by the media, arbitrary detention, torture and murder.
Barangaroo is one of the last waterfront development sites in the City of Sydney. Its controversial redevelopment is starting a brushfire of protests because of the way it is being handled. Once the heart of the docklands, was the birthplace of the bubonic plague in the early 20th century Barangaroo, which led to the takeover of much of the area and its wharves by the government-appointed Sydney Harbour Trust.
One of Australia’s biggest carbon emitters, Bayswater coal-fired power station in the Hunter Valley of NSW, will be the target of this year’s Camp for Climate Action. Over December 1-5, the camp will bring people from around the country to a site near Bayswater, and will culminate in a mass protest against the proposed expansion of the power station.
The following speech was delivered by Jeff McMullen to a September 8 meeting in Parramatta, organised by Reconciliation for Western Sydney. * * * If you are out under the stars tonight, look up. We live in a world of wonder and this is our shimmering moment in the greater scheme of things. The Aboriginal ancestors who walked this land before us developed in their sophisticated knowledge system the concept of custodianship to keep life in balance. It is one of the keys to the strength and resilience of the world’s oldest continuous cultures.

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