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The statement below was released by the Sydney Refugee Action Coalition on September 20.

VILLAWOOD IN CHAOS AFTER SUICIDE AS HUNGER STRIKES AND PROTESTS CONTINUE

The suicide of a Fijian man facing deportation from the Villawood detention centre this morning has thrown the detention centre into chaos.

The Fijian man died after throwing himself from the roof of a building in stage 2 of the detention centre.

Thailand Troubles said on September 19 that a motorcade of 150 vehicles made their way from Bangkok to Chiangmai for a rally of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), popularly known as the Red Shirts, that was expected to draw 10,000.

A growing crowd of Red Shirts gathered since morning around Ratchaprasong Intersection, the site of the April-May mass protest camp of Red Shirts that was bloodily repressed by the military on May 19.

artRiot
September 11-26
Upstairs at the Annandale Hotel,
17 Parramatta Rd, Annandale, Sydney

Sydney is currently swathed in artist run spaces and ecologically concerned art. The Museum of Contemporary Art’s latest show, In the Balance — Art for a Changing World, is just one of a range of recent exhibitions that explore climate change and community involvement in solutions.

It’s in this context that artRiot has emerged. artRiot is a new art collective comprised of Sydney and Newcastle artists whose mandate is to combine art and activism.

On September 2, direct talks began between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority with the US government acting as mediator.

US President Barack Obama has declared the success of these “peace talks” to be a main foreign policy goal of the last two years of his term.

But whatever their outcome, the talks cannot end the conflict because both sides are not evenly represented. The mediator, the US, is the major financial, political and military sponsor of one of the parties to the conflict, Israel.

The statement published below was released by the Thai Red Australia Group for Democracy. You can add your name to it here.

* * *

Four years ago on September 19, the Thai people were concerned about a very damaging coup that toppled an elected government and resulted in the political and economic crisis that persists today.

This historical event was followed this year, on April 10 and May 19, by two tragic massacres. The Thai military shot down pro-democracy activists in the streets of Bangkok.

Despite several symbolic gestures by state and national governments, no real plan has been put forward to reduce chronic inequality in Aboriginal Australia.

As part of a deal to set up a minority government, the federal ALP has agreed to a referendum to change the constitution so that it recognises Aboriginal people. On September 8, the NSW parliament passed legislation doing the same for the NSW constitution.

Fresh claims have emerged that an Indonesian “counter-terrorism” unit that receives Australian funding and training has perpetrated human rights abuses against independence campaigners in Maluku and West Papua.

Seventy-five people staged a noisy rally in Vancouver on September 11 in support of 492 Tamil asylum seekers who landed on Canada’s west coast in August. The rally was organised by the Vancouver chapter of No One Is Illegal.

The rally was held outside the Burnaby Youth Detention Center where many of the 63 women and 49 children who were on board the MV Sun Sea were held. (Burnaby is a suburb of Vancouver). Noisemakers and loud music were deployed to send a message to the asylum seekers that they have strong support in Canada for their claim for refugee status.

On September 10, the players of the Serie A — Italy's top football league — declared they would strike on September 25 and 26.

AC Milan defender Massimo Oddo, speaking on behalf of the Italian Players' Association (AIC) and the captains of all 20 Serie A clubs, made the declaration as a dispute over the renewal of the collective agreement for the game's top players intensifies.

Serie A is trying to replace the old collective contract — which ran out on June 30 — with one that strips players’ rights in order to maximise profits for football clubs and their owners.

Chiang Mai, in Thailand’s north, is considered to be a stronghold of the pro-democracy Red Shirt movement the popular name for the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship — UDD).

On August 29, 21-year-old local Red Shirt activist “James” Krissada Klaharn and his girlfriend Nongnuch Kampor were driving home at about 1.15am after a long day selling popular stickers at a roadside stall, when the killers struck.

A vehicle with its headlights off pulled alongside and sprayed their cars with bullets. Krissada was hit in the legs, abdomen and shoulder.

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