Why did Julian Assange receive an Interpol Red Notice, but Gaddafi only an Orange? Tess Lawrence investigates the murky world of Interpol exclusively for Independent Australia asking some troubling questions and uncovering some startling facts. Why was Julian Assange – who has not yet been charged — given the most severe Red Notice by Interpol, when brutal dictator Muammar Gaddafi only received an Orange Notice?
This appeal is reprinted from the website of the Maritime Union of Australia. You can also support the appeal launched by Europe solidaire sans frontières (Europe in Solidarity Without Borders). * * * Japanese dockworkers, seafarers hit hard by tsunami March 15 Tens of thousands of people have been rocked by earthquake, engulfed by tsunami and now, in the port of Sendai, consumed by fire.
The desperate nuclear emergency at three Japanese nuclear reactors is growing worse by the day. One of the three stricken reactors at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant is now close to complete meltdown. Should this happen, molten uranium fuel may burn through the containment vessels, leading to a catastrophic release of radiation over the surrounding area.
Benji Marshall, one of the most high-profile players in rugby league, was charged with assault after an altercation in the early hours of March 5. Earlier that evening, he hosted a charity function on March 4 for the Children’s Cancer Institute of Australia at which about $250,000 was raised. Afterwards, the West Tigers player went out with his girlfriend for a few drinks, but was reported to not have been drunk. They later went to a Sydney McDonald’s store.
Roger Waters, best known as a member of British band Pink Floyd, released the statement below on February 25 — explaining his decision to support the international “boycott, divestment and sanctions” campaign targeting Israel. It is reprinted from Alternativenews.org. * * * In 1980, a song I wrote, “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2”, was banned by the government of South Africa because it was being used by Black South African children to advocate their right to equal education. That apartheid government imposed a cultural blockade, so to speak, on certain songs — including mine.
Sequences to freedom is a book of short poems written in February by Iranian poet Ali Abdolrezaei that has been translated into English by Abol Froushan. Abdolrezaei, from Gilan province, is now a refugee living in London. Abdolrezaei said: “I never thought that one day I would write purely political poetry, but the inhuman atrocity dealt by the Iranian regime nowadays is so beyond proportion that it is politics that is writing these poems.” Below are two of the translated poems published in Sequences to Freedom. * * *
Libya It is good to witness the expressions of concern and empathy for the Libyans by so many people and governments around the world. The Libyan people need our support against the regimes brutality. People should be urging diplomatic, political and economic action by the international community. Even some limited military action to carry out humanitarian or peacekeeping roles under the UN control or other appropriate alliance, with suitable Arab or other independent leadership would be okay. But this should be restricted and temporary.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed into law a bill that bans collective bargaining by most of the state’s public sector workers right on March 11. High school students in the capital, Madison, walked out of school in protest the same day — the second straight day of student strikes in the city. TheUptake.org said that day that students across the country walked out of classes in response to a call from Madison students for a national strike.
Two hundred people rallied outside the Queensland parliament on March 5 to oppose plans by coal seam gas company QGC to expand its operations near the town of Tara, 300 kilometres west of Brisbane. Friends of the Earth campaigner Drew Hutton chaired the rally. Other speakers included Tara resident Scott Collins as well as campaigners and farmers from the Lock The Gate Alliance — a national campaign to keep coal seam gas companies off private land.
Householders and small businesses who were victims of the floods that hit Brisbane in January are considering a legal challenge against insurance companies “using region-wide hydrology reports to deny thousands of flood-related claims”, the March 10 Courier Mail said. Insurers NRMA, CGU and Comminsure have used the reports to claim many policyholders were subject to riverine flooding, which is not covered by most insurance policies, rather than stormwater or flash-flooding.
The following statement, initiated by the Illawarra Socialist Alliance, seeks to build a community consensus against racism and for solidarity and social justice. It has been signed by: Gordon Bradbery, independent candidate for the seat of Wollongong; Dr Munir Hussain, Chairman, Omar Mosque; Illawarra Greens; and Illawarra Socialist Alliance. *** Take a stand against racism We condemn the recent comments made by ministers and members of the Liberal Party, whose actions aim to divide the community based on racial and religious grounds.
Thousands of protesters took to the streets across Iraq on March 4, defying a curfew and repression to demand democracy and economic justice, the March 5 Los Angeles Times said. The protests followed the February 25 “Day of Rage”, in which demonstrations occurred in at least 17 separate cities and towns. At least nine protests were killed by security forces, the February 26 Sydney Morning Herald said. See also:: Big stakes in Bahrain, Saudi protests
Media reports paint Alice Springs as being in the midst of an out-of-control crime wave. Action for Alice, a group of local business owners, has produced a commercial for Imparja television. The ad calls for a law and order push to end the alleged crime wave, which it blames on Aboriginal youth. The level of hysteria reached a new pitch in an article by Nicolas Rothwell in the February 19 Australian. Rothwell claimed that Alice Springs was plagued by rampaging young Aboriginal people, fuelled by alcohol.
Australia’s most famous racist and one-time MP Pauline Hanson won the attention of big business media at the March 10 ballot draw for the NSW Legislative Council elections. However, more significant than Hanson, is the attempt by conservative forces to replicate the right-wing populist US Tea Party movement in Australia. This push is headed by right-wing politicians and media shock jocks, and aims to mobilise people on a populist and racist agenda. Last August, a website called the TEA Party in Australia was launched. TEA stands for Taxed Enough Already, the website says.
About 150 people rallied in Sydney on March 6 to call for an end to the persecution of WikiLeaks. The protest was organised by the Support WikiLeaks Coalition. The rally also called for the release from jail of US private Bradley Manning. For nine months, Manning has been held in isolation in US military prisons for allegedly leaking more than 250,000 US diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks. On March 2, the US army laid new charges against Manning, including the capital offence of “aiding the enemy”. If convicted, Manning could face the death penalty.
The Tasmanian environmental campaign group Still Wild Still Threatened has called on Tasmania’s Labor/Greens coalition government to back down on its plan to build the Brighton Bypass and agree to demands from Aboriginal activists to change the bypass route. Still Wild Still Threatened spokesperson Lily Leahy said on March 1 that the group “stands in solidarity with the Aboriginal community in opposing this plan as it will destroy the artefacts and unique values of a 40,000 year-old site.