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Officially Leonora is not a detention centre for refugees but an “alternative place of detention”. Between January 21-23, the Refugee Rights Action Network’s second “Caravan of Compassion” made the 1660km round trip from Perth to Leonora. Caravan participant and Resistance member Zebedee Parkes describes his weekend trip to the remotely located concentration camp. * * *
All those scenes from Cairo of mass demonstrations look like the perfect expression of the big society. So we can only assume British PM David Cameron wants us to try something similar here. It would certainly encourage more people to take an interest in politics. Instead of complaining that kids show no interest in the political process when they are asked to study details of local government boundary changes, teachers could say: "Today we're going to find out how new governments are formed" and get the class to stand on a tank in Trafalgar Square. * * *
After as many as 2 million people took over Tahrir Square and the streets of Cairo, with millions more across Egypt, on February 1 to demand on end to the US-backed dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak, the regime responded with a violent assault on protesters continuing to occupy the square. Below are two eyewitness reports from US-based progressive media outlet on the events. See also:
List of protests in support of Egyptian democracy movement, against Western support for regime Melbourne: Friday February 4, 5.30pm State Library to march to the Parliament House Brisbane: Friday February 4, 5pm Brisbane Square (top of Queen St mall, outside Casino) Adelaide: Speakout: Friday February 4 2.30PM Parliament House North Tce Adelaide Rally: Saturday February 12, 11am
International Socialist Review editor Ahmed Shawki reports from Cairo on the latest mass protests against Hosni Mubarak--and what the future holds for Egypt's uprising. This was first posted on February 2 at www.socialistworker.org . More coverage:
Based on Psalm 137 By the waterholes of Mother Country we slung down our yidakis, and cut our bodies and drugged our minds in grief, as we remembered the dreamtime. And the settlers demanded from us a corroboree performance and a jail sentence, mutual obligation and a souvenir boomerang for the gift shop. How could we dance and perform sacred traditions for their markets? We have become aliens and inmates, invisible in this eternal land.
reported on January 29 that new protests had erupted in the Middle Eastern nation of Yemen, which sits at the bottom of the Arab peninnsular, demanding an end to the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The site reported on January 28 that thousands had also taken to the streets in anti-government protests in Jordan, with people angry over price rises and unemployment. On January 29, AlJazeera.net wrote on Yemen:
SYDNEY — "As we speak, Egypt is on fire," Arab community activist Omar Mostafa told about 50 people who attended a snap protest rally in support of the recent democracy protests in Egypt at Town Hall Square on January 29. "People are burning police stations and offices of the ruling party," he said. "[Egyptian dictator] Hosni Mubarak will go; it's just a matter of when. Democracy will win in Egypt." The crowd chanted: "Down, down Mubarak! Free Eqypt! Free, free the Arab world! Free Palestine! Free Iraq! Free Lebanon! Free Tunisia! Global Intifada! World Intifada!"
Hopes & Prospects By Noam Chomsky Haymarket Books, 2010 US$16 www.hopesandprospects.org Noam Chomsky requires little by way of introduction. Eminent professor of linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Chomsky has been one of the world’s leading public intellectuals for the past 50 years. His advocacy and activism for countless causes, and his many books, have long been a source of courage and inspiration for those fighting for a more just, democratic and peaceful world.
Green Left Weekly is a cash-strapped, independent media outlet. We’re committed to exposing the ills of the profits-first system and pointing to a democratic socialist alternative. We survive solely on the generosity of our supporters and subscribers. One way to help support the work of GLW is to leave a gift or bequest in your will. This would help us immeasurably in our efforts to support campaigns for social justice and ecological sustainability, and to continue giving a “voice to the voiceless”.
Sadaullah Wazir, a 17-year-old Pakistani man, is suing the CIA over an alleged US drone strike on his village of Machi Khe in September 2009, in which he lost his legs. Three of his relatives were killed in the attack, CBSNews.com said on December 23. The article reported that Wazir said the drone strike hit a group of men chatting outdoors in the Wazir family compound as the day’s fasting for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan came to an end.
On January 3, 170 cleaners and security guards at Hongik University in Seoul were sacked for forming a union and demanding better conditions. The workers formed a union on December 1 and demanded decent working conditions. Since their sacking, the workers have held a sit-in protest at the university campus — eating and sleeping on the cold, hard floors of the Munheon Building. Hongik University is South Korea’s most famous university for visual arts. Many graduates are showing their support for the workers through their art work.
In a move that took most people by surprise, Tasmanian Labor Premier David Bartlett resigned on January 23. Deputy premier Lara Giddings was sworn in the next day as the first female premier of the state. Giddings will also keep her position as Treasurer. Bartlett announced his decision with a message on his Facebook page that said: “To all my Facebook friends and contributors. I have decided to step down as premier and leader of the Labor Party.” He said his reason was that he wanted more time to be a better father to his children.
Anger has erupted in West Papua at the light sentences handed to three Indonesian soldiers responsible for torturing two West Papuans. The soldiers received between eight and 10 months' jail for “insubordination” rather than the more serious charge of torture, The Australian said on January 24. They will be allowed to continue their military careers.
They are calling it Obama’s PATCO. US President Barack Obama is proposing a two-year wage freeze for 2 million federal workers. When then-president Ronald Reagan fired 13,000 striking Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) members in August 1981, he sent a signal to other employers that it was open season on unions. Now, local and state governments will use the president’s position to justify their own layoffs and wage freezes. Private industry will do the same.

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