The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network released the statement below on July 24. *** “The growing crisis in Australia’s detention centre shows the government must reconsider its detention policy and pursue more humane approaches to asylum seekers as a matter of urgency”, Carl O’Connor from the Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network said today. His comments came as 10 refugees from Iran and Afghanistan staged a rooftop protest at Darwin’s Northern Immigration Detention Centre (NIDC).
Stop CSG Illawarra released the statement below on July 23. The group campaigns for a Royal Commission into all impacts of coal seam gas mining; a moratorium on coal seam gas mining until the outcome of the Royal Commission; and a ban on fracking. * * * On July 21, the O’Farrell NSW government announced changes to coal seam gas rules.
More than 100 loyalists (supporters of British rule) were involved in a serious mob assault at a “peaceline” in the mid-Ulster town of Portadown in Northern Ireland on July 15, throwing bricks, bottles, paint-bombs, fireworks and at least one blast bomb. The mid-Ulster Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) has been widely blamed for the assault, the latest in a series of large-scale attacks it has mounted over the “marching season” (when the Protestant Orange Order holds provocative anti-Catholic marches).
The six Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) members detained under the Malaysian government's emergency ordinance since June 25, have been deprived of all creature comforts. They are locked up in 2-by-2.5 metre cells, in solitary confinement. The lights are on in the cells day and night and one-way mirrors ensure there is no privacy.
Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj, a federal member of Malaysia's parliament, is one of six activsts from the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) being held without trial since June 25. The arrests, under Malaysia's draconian Internal Security Act, were part of a crackdown ahead of the 50,000-strong march through Kuala Lumpar on July 9 for democracy. Protest letters still are urgently needed to be sent to be Malaysian government. Please visit here for details of where they can be sent. See also:
It was a Palestinian legislator who made the most telling comment to the Israeli parliament last week as it passed the boycott law, which outlaws calls to boycott Israel or its settlements in the occupied territories. Ahmed Tibi asked: “What is a peace activist or Palestinian allowed to do to oppose the occupation? Is there anything you agree to?”
Speaking in response to new figures released by the Department of Finance, Sinn Fein Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said the total European Union/International Monetary Fund (EU/IMF) profit on loans to Ireland will exceed €13 billion. The figures were released in response to a parliamentary question submitted by Doherty. He said: “Last week Minister for Finance Michael Noonan admitted that the total profit being made by our European partners from the 3% surcharge on [the Irish bailout] loans would be at least €9 billion.
The Cage By Gordon Weiss Picador, 2011 The Cage tells the horrifying story of the final months of the war in Sri Lanka, which ended with the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009. Gordon Weiss, the former United Nations spokesperson in Sri Lanka, says the war ended in a "bloodbath", including the "wholesale bombardment by government forces of unarmed civilians".
The Women's World Cup proved to be a sparkling oasis amid the most arid section of the sports calendar. The football tournament provided a series of non-stop thrills, culminating with Japan's heart-palpitating final victory against the US, winning 3-1 on penalty kicks after extra time finished with the game tied at 2-2. Star US player Abby Wambach is no doubt hurting, but I hope the forward with the skull of steel realizes that she was absolutely correct when she said before the final: "It's gonna be awesome."
Stieg Larsson’s hard-hitting novel, titled Man som hatar kvinnor ("Men who hate women") in Swedish, was titled The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo<.em> in English translation — possibly a subtle indication of the publisher’s discomfort with the strong women’s liberation message contained in it.
The Grammy awards have long been the kind of thing that one simply has to deal with if you're going to approach music under capitalism. It comes wrapped in all the elitism, commerce and segregation that necessarily has to accompany the music industry, but it's still something of a great salt lake for any artist — even those who are the most socially conscious — if they want to navigate the most treacherous waters of their craft. Like any money-making venture, it can be just as susceptible to public pressure as it is to the forces of the market.
In Scoop, Evelyn Waugh’s brilliant satire on the press, there is the moment when Lord Copper, owner of the Daily Beast, meets his new special war correspondent, William Boot, in truth an authority on wild flowers and birdsong. A confused Boot is brought to his lordship’s presence by Mr Salter, The Beast’s foreign editor. “Is Mr. Boot all set for his trip?” “Up to a point, Lord Copper.” Copper briefed Boot as follows: “A few sharp victories, some conspicuous acts of personal bravery on the Patriot side and a colourful entry into the capital.
National Union of Journalists general secretary Michelle Stanistreet has drawn a direct link between compulsory redundancies at the BBC and the malign influence of Rupert Murdoch on the government. She told pickets in London on July 15: "These cuts and job losses have been brought about directly by a decision to freeze the licence fee for the next six years. "This was a shabby deal done by BBC management and the government behind closed doors last autumn, with no democratic scrutiny or transparent discussion.
Hone Harawira, an elected member of New Zealand parliament for the newly formed Mana Party, caused a stir on July 14 when he refused to swear allegiance to the English queen in order to take his seat. Instead, Harawiri swore allegiance, in Maori, to Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the 1840 treaty between Maori tribes and Britain that recognised Maori ownership of their lands.) Stuff.co.nz said that day that parliamentary speaker Lockwood Smith refused to swear Harawira in as an MP on the grounds his affirmation was not legal.
About 1000 people took part in the Enough Campaign's protest against European Union/International Monetary Fund austerity program in Dublin on July 16. The campaign is supported by People Before Profit Alliance parliamentarians Richard Boyd Barrett and Joan Collins, the Unite Trade Union, the Waterford Trades Council, the Spectacle of Defiance, the Socialist Workers Party, the People’s Movement, Afri and several independent members of parliament.
With no less than 10 inquiries occurring simultaneously, a few things have become clear about the criminal behaviour of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. One is that News of the World journalists bugging phones, including those of missing children and the families of murder victims, is just the tip of the iceberg. See also: Build the people-powered media! John Pilger: Amid scandal, acrid smell of business as usual