“In all of the mainstream media analysis of WikiLeaks' recent release of Detainee Assessment Briefs (DABs) from Guantanamo, relating to almost all of the 779 prisoners who have been held at the prison over the last nine years and four months,” Andy Worthington wrote in a may 11 TruthOut.org article, “one group of prisoners has so far been overlooked: the Yemenis.”
The editor-in-chief of whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, told the Belfast Telegraph that the United States was working behind the scenes to put WikiLeaks and himself out of business. He said: “The United States has brought out to the public an extremely aggressive response. In private, it is also doing other things. “That response has been the most aggressive response to an international publisher ever.” See also:
The deal to restructure the collapsing timber industry in Tasmania is struggling to make headway. Logging continues in old-growth forests at the same time as sawmills and woodchip mills close and more workers lose their jobs. Anti-logging protests are being held weekly outside the premier’s office in Hobart, and the talks between environment and industry groups continue despite a key player pulling out in frustration. The Wilderness Society (TWS) suspended its involvement in the Tasmanian Forest Agreement on May 18, citing a failure of leadership from state and federal governments.
About 40 people joined a “flash mob” action in the Myer Centre, Queen Street Mall, on June 3 to protest Seacret, as an Israeli company operating in Australia. Seacret is a cosmetics firm that uses minerals from the Dead Sea, which is part of the Palestinian territory stolen by Israel over decades of invasion and oppression. Participants in the flash mob occupied tables in the food court at Myers and chanted a song, beginning with the refrain, “We will boycott Israel! We will boycott Israel!” They then trooped through the centre, chanting, “Free, free Palestine!”
More than 60 people rallied outside parliament house on June 2 in support of rights for homeless people. This was the largest of three protests organised since the issue was raised in state parliament in April in relation to the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). Police minister Rob Johnson said on April 7 that homeless people would have to “sleep somewhere else'', implying they would be swept from the streets during CHOGM.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Codrington wind farm in Victoria’s southwest, the state’s first. On May 18, planning minister Matthew Guy announced approval for the latest, the three-turbine Chepstowe wind farm near Ballarat. But Victoria’s wind industry is threatened by the policies of the state’s new Liberal government. The government came to power with promises to ensure no-go zones for wind farms in the Macedon ranges, Bellarine and Mornington peninsulas, and the Great Ocean Road. These are some of the best areas in the state for wind farms.
There's a huge anti-capitalist movement rocking Spain. If you're on Twitter the hashtag to follow is #spanishrevolution. We at Green Left Weekly have enthusiastically covered the events and the protesters known as “the indignants”. The movement has exploded into the streets; the central squares of cities and towns across the country have been taken over by a people crying out “the system is the problem”.
The Australian government has received heavy criticism in recent weeks for its inhumane treatment of refugees, in particular its “swap” deal with Malaysia and its mandatory detention policy. Federal Greens MP Adam Bandt and independent MP Andrew Wilkie moved a parliamentary motion on May 30 condemning the plan to send 800 asylum seekers to Malaysia.
Members of climate action group NoPlanetB.org blocked the haulage of coal from Xstrata’s West Wallsend underground mine for several hours on May 30. A climber was suspended in a tunnel entrance on a haul road, used for transferring coal to the port of Newcastle. Others stood in front of trucks. The group sought to raise its concern about the demands from the coal industry, including Xstrata, that pollution from coalmines be exempt from the federal government’s proposed carbon tax.
Forty years after the first equal pay test case, the gap between male and female wages continues to widen. Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, released on May 20, 2010, put the pay gap (as of February 2010) at 18%. Women on average now earn $239.30 a week less than men. The pay gap increased 0.5% over the past quarter (from 17.5%) and 1.5% over the past year (from 16.5%). The gap is now at its highest level since August 1994. This pay gap means, on average, Australian women have to work an extra 66 days to earn the same as men.
More than 3000 people turned out to Austinmer beach in the Illawarra on May 29 to form a “STOP COAL SEAM GAS!” human sign. Three helicopters, each from a big media outlet, circled above the cheering and waving crowd to film the historic event. Check out all the pictures and media coverage by visiting Stop CSG Illawarra's website: stop-csg-illawarra.org. A big team of more than 40 volunteers from Stop CSG Illawarra helped make the day such a success.
Three hundred teachers from across NSW rallied outside NSW Parliament House in Macquarie St on June 4. They were joined by members of the Public Service Association, the Fire Brigade Employees Union, the NSW Nurses Federation and other unionists. The teachers left a session of the New South Wales Teachers Federation (NSWTF) council to protest the Liberal government’s plan to strip away conditions and limit wage rises of public sector workers. At the rally, the NSWTF councillors declared their support for other public sector workers and the unions NSW campaign against the changes.
In the land of desperate excuses, coal seam gas is king. The new boom industry of the Queensland and New South Wales hinterlands contaminates ground and surface waters, while taking rich farmland out of food production. But at least, its promoters argue, coal seam gas (CSG) is a weak hitter among sources of greenhouse pollution. When burnt in modern power plants, the story goes, CSG can be as much as 70% “cleaner” than coal.
Members of various activist groups joined a roadside anti-privatisation protest in Booragoon, Western Australia on June 3. The groups responded to the call by the “In Public Hands” campaign group to campaign for public ownership of the soon-to-be-built Fiona Stanley Hospital. Protesters held placards reading “Don’t privatise our hospitals” and “Honk if you support anti-privatisation”, which received plenty of responses from passers-by.
Corporate media outlets claim Peru’s mining boom is doing wonders for the country’s economy, creating opportunities and making everybody richer. Quite a few Peruvians, mostly situated in the bubble-world of Lima’s wealthy areas, have been drinking the neoliberal kool-aid. Someone must have forgotten to tell those troublesome recalcitrants out in the provinces that the despoliation of their lands is good for them.
The Stop the War coalition Sydney released the statement below on June 2. * * * “We will be there seeing the mission through” — Australian troops will stay in Afghanistan until the “job” is done. This was the response of Prime Minister Julia Gillard to the May 23 death of Sergeant Brett Wood, aged 32. It is the standard response of Australian governments to casualties in the Afghanistan war. The same response was given following the deaths seven days later of Lieutenant Marcus Case, 27, and Lance Corporal Andrew Jones, 25.


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