855

On September 27, the Australian Director of Military Prosecutions announced that charges were being laid against three soldiers from Australia’s Special Operations Task Group in Afghanistan.

The charges were over the February 12, 2009, killing of two adults and four children near the village of Sarmorghab in Oruzgan province.

The fight against the dumping of toxic waste off the coast of Madang in Papua New Guinea suffered a setback when a court injunction against the Ramu nickel mine, which is building a pipe to dump its waste into the ocean, was reversed.

The injunction was dropped after the three remaining plaintiffs pulled out of the case against the US$1.4 billion Chinese-owned mine, the September 24 Sydney Morning Herald said.

Over October 29-31, Palestinian solidarity activists from around Australia and the world will meet for the first national boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) conference.

The call for a global boycott campaign against Israel was first launched in July 2005. It has become a big part of the movement against the occupation of Palestine.

Pakistan blocked a vital supply route for US-led troops in Afghanistan on September 30. The move was in apparent retaliation for an alleged cross-border NATO helicopter strike that killed three Pakistani frontier troops, The British Morning Star said that day.

The blockade appeared to be a big escalation in tensions between Pakistan and the United States.

A permanent stoppage of supply lorries would place huge strains on NATO and damage the already faltering counter-insurgency campaign in Afghanistan.

The abridged statement below was released by the South African Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC) on September 29.

* * *

After a huge mobilisation by South African academics, the senate of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) voted today “not to continue a long-standing relationship with Ben Gurion University (BGU) in Israel in its present form and has set conditions for the relationship to continue”.

One of the greatest living exponents of Peruvian musica criolla (creole music), Eva Ayllon, performed at the Sydney Opera House on September 25. Finding my seat, I felt as if I’d walked into an exuberant family gathering full of animated conversation, laughter, waving and group photography.

Secret documents disclosed in Britain’s High Court revealed former British prime minister Tony Blair was warned in the weeks after US forces began rounding up terrorism suspects that British nationals held by the US in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay were being tortured, the Guardian said on September 30.

A January 22, 2002 note from Blair in which he expressed concern about the treatment of British citizens being held by the US appeared, among heavily censored MI5 and foreign office documents, in court hearings in which British citizens are suing the government, MI5 and MI6.

Chanting “Free chickens, caged workers”, on September 24 more than 100 community members and trade unionists protested against the treatment of Sudanese immigrant Anyuon Mabior.

Anyuon was sacked by Lilydale Free Range Chicken, in Wingfield, for complaining about a racist email. The National Union of Workers (NUW) has lodged an unfair dismissal claim through Fair Work Australia on Anyuon’s behalf, and will also seek a time and wages inspection.

The 2006 Jana Andolan (“People’s Movement”), which shut down Nepal and overthrew the 240-year-old Shah monarchy, was widely hailed as the birth of a new era of democracy.

For the first time, the people of Nepal were able to elect a constituent assembly in 2008, giving the mass of Nepalis an unprecedented say in the future of their country.

In a qualitative escalation, the government of President Barack Obama has for the first time used the “war on terror” against socialists in the United States. On September 24, the FBI conducted a series of coordinated early-morning raids at homes and offices in Minneapolis, Chicago, Michigan and North Carolina.

The political police seized computers, passports, books, documents, cell phones, photos, financial records, diaries, maps and other materials. In one case, children’s artwork was confiscated.

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