Iniyan and Ravi (names have been changed to protect their identities) are Tamil asylum seekers currently imprisoned at Villawood detention centre. Both detainees use art to show the oppression of Tamils in their homeland of Sri Lanka. In May 2009, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam were defeated by the Sri Lankan army. Though the war is ended the persecution of Tamils continues. Iniyan and Ravi fled for their lives as they were being hunted by Sri Lankan government forces and paramilitaries, for suspicion of supporting the LTTE.
Socialist Alliance statement, December 7. Defend Wikileaks and Julian Assange! Australia should break the military alliance with US! “The Australian government should defend and support Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange, and their efforts to expose the lies, duplicities and outright crimes of the US government and its allies”, said Peter Boyle, national convener of the Socialist Alliance. “We condemn the Australian government for collaborating with the American government in hunting Julian Assange down.
John Pilger was interviewed by ABC Radio Australia on December 3 & 6. December 3 interview December 6 interview Pilger’s latest documentary The War You Don’T See, on the role of the media to be released soon, will also feature an interview with Assange. Visit www.johnpilger.com for more information.
Despite efforts by teachers, the Australian Education Union (AEU) leadership prevented a motion in support of Melbourne’s only Aboriginal school from being put to the AEU state council. A speaker from the College was also denied the opportunity to address AEU Council. AEU councilor Mary Merkenich said she was disappointed that AEU councilors didn’t get a chance to hear that the Ballerrt Mooroop College in Glenroy is under threat and why its school community has been organising a community sit-in in the school gymnasium.
Laurel Walker and Vanna Lockwood, teachers at St Peters Community Preschool, are involved in the Independent Education Union's campaign for pay parity for early childhood teachers. Lockwood told Green Left Weekly: "Current scientific research on the development of the brain advocates the importance of a child's early years. Four-year university trained teachers are choosing not to work in early childhood because of the low pay and low status of the profession.
A magistrate at the Geelong Magistrates Court dismissed the charges against nine peace activists on November 29. The activists had blocked the road to Swan Island Defence Training Facility in Queenscliff on June 16. The activists — Jessica Morrison, Julie Moyle, Trent Hawkins, Mitch Cherry, Tom Beattie, Shane Anderson, Dave Fagg, Ellen McNaught, Leesl Wegner — were charged with hindering police and obstructing a road. On June 16, the court dismissed charges against four activists who entered the base in March and shut off equipment.
Public displays of sexual desire, sex and agency are almost synonymous with the broad Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) rights movement. Positive displays of queer sexuality challenge narrow and dominant ideas about "acceptable" sex and sexuality. They play an important role in the struggle for democratic rights and against persecution; and in exploring sexual pleasure and desire. Sections of the women's liberation movement investigate and promote women's sexuality and sexual pleasure for similar reasons.
I do not support women being forced to wear the burqa. I see it as one manifestation of the myriad of ways women are oppressed in this patriarchal society. But I want to make it clear that I do not support a ban on the wearing of a burqa. Banning the wearing of a burqa would simply mean that the person who wears it — voluntarily or otherwise — is criminalised. It would not, as some female supporters of the ban argue, help women extricate themselves from patriarchal control over their lives.
One of the features of advances in military technology is that an increasing proportion of those killed in wars are civilians, not combatants. During the 20th century, airstrikes became the preferred form of warfare by technologically well-resourced superpowers. This led to civilians becoming the majority of those killed in wars worldwide. In the first decade of the new century, new developments in military technology have raised the possibility for powerful countries of increasingly dispensing with combatants entirely.
The Socialist Alternative Michael Lebowitz Monthly Review Press, 2010 pp 192; US$15.95 The onset of the global economic crisis in mid 2008, symbolised by the collapse of some of Wall Street’s most iconic companies, led to soaring sales of Karl Marx’s seminal work Das Kapital, as many sought explanations to the tumultuous events unfolding. Although written more than 100 years ago, this devastating and insightful dissection of how capital functions is still a powerful tool for people looking to understand and change the world.
Sydney is the “sex capital” of Australia, said an article in the November 12 Daily Telegraph, which called the city the “Amsterdam of the South Pacific”. The article reported recent figures from the Government Interagency Brothels Taskforce that showed 271 legal brothels in the state, as well as claims that “the industry is being infiltrated by organised crime”. The figures, which were labelled “shocking”, were blamed on “dysfunctional planning laws and legislation” by one figure quoted.