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The Refugee Advocacy Group (RAG) was recently formed by high school students in Geelong. The group organised a refugee rights protest in the city on August 13. Green Left Weekly’s Ben Peterson spoke to Max Hill, a year 11 student and founder of RAG. Tell us about RAG and how this all got started Max Hill: Basically, the group came about after [immigration minister Chris] Bowen planned to sign the "Malaysian solution".
You've probably heard it said a dozen times today: "It's like 28 Days Later out there." Every thirty seconds, there's a new riot zone. I've rarely known the capital to be this wound up. It's kicked off in East Ham, then Whitechapel, then Ealing Broadway (really?), then Waltham Forest... It's kicked off in Croydon, then Birmingham, then (just a rumour so far) Bradford... The banlieues (outer-suburbs) of Britain are erupting in mass civil unrest.
I wander in a city with hard games no fun and games no laughing matter (we don’t play we don’t laugh) life Russian roulette inside Russian dolls boxes within boxes within – built-up blocks of land building complexes buildings blocks of flats flats rooms where scattered other boxes food shut in metal plastic so efficient vitamins in boxes spell deficient feasts on screens a distant memory now tinned sofa merry- making sufficient. I take tablets for stimulation for sex and recreation in lovely colour pink and others for sedation
Speaking to CNN en Espanol on July 27, Bolivian President Evo Morales said “When presidents do not submit to the United States government, to its policies, there are coups.” His comments are backed by attempts by the US and Bolivia’s right wing to bring down his government. Recently released WikiLeaks cables prove the US embassy was in close contact with dissident military officers only months before a coup attempt was carried out in September 2008. But the close relationship between the US and Bolivia’s military has a long history. War on drugs
Thousands of West Papuans rallied for independence on August 2, despite attempts by the Indonesian government to scare people away. About 10,000 people protested across Indonesian-occupied West Papua, Radio Australia's Pacific Beat said on August 3. They demanded a referendum on independence from Indonesia. The largest protest took place in the capital Jayapura. Hundreds of heavily armed riot police and soldiers hindered protesters marching from Abepura and Waena who were trying to march into Jayapura, West Papua Media Alerts said on August 2.
The Israeli ambassador to Spain, Raphael Schutz, has just finished his term in Madrid. In an op-ed in Israeli paper Haaretz’s Hebrew edition, he summarised what he termed as a very dismal stay and seemed genuinely relieved to leave. This kind of complaint now seems to be the standard farewell letter of all Israeli ambassadors in western Europe.
The Most Dangerous Man in the World By Andrew Fowler Melbourne University Press, 2011 271 pages, $32.99 (pb) Underground By Suelette Drefus & Julian Assange William Heinemann, 2011 479 pages, $24.95 (pb) WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy By David Leigh & Luke Harding Guardianbooks, 2011 340 pages, $24.95 (pb)
In early August, £500 billion was wiped off the value of the largest British companies. The United States stock market fell by the largest amount since the early days of the financial crisis in 2008. The panic has now spread to Asian markets. On August 5, British markets continued to slide. The banks, locus of the 2008 calamity, have been worst affected. Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group and RBS stopped trading in their shares after prices collapsed.
On my first day in Cuba, in 1967, I waited in a bus queue that was really a conga line. Ahead of me were two large, funny females resplendent in frills of blinding yellow; one of them had an especially long bongo under her arm. When the bus arrived, painted in Cuba's colours for its inaugural service, they announced that the gringo had not long arrived from London and was therefore personally responsible for this breach in the United States' blockade. It was an honour I could not refuse.
At least 15 people were killed on August 5 by security forces cracking down on protests in cities and towns throughout Syria, the August 6 Gulf News said. Escalating protests and government violence have marked every Friday since the Arab Spring reached Syria in March. But government violence has escalated since the military’s July 31 assault on the city of Hama, whose streets had been under the control of protesters since June.
Green Left Weekly coeditor Stuart Munckton spoke on a panel with independent journalists Wendy Bacon and Antony Loewenstein at an August 2 forum in Sydney. Below is an abridged version of Munckton’s talk, which discussed building alternatives to the corporate media. * * * In some ways the scandal around Rupert Murdoch’s media empire shows the potential crisis of the corporate media in a negative sense.
Friends of Palestine (WA) member Alex Bainbridge wrote the letter of complaint that appears below to the producers of The Bolt Report and Network Ten after a segment on the show tried to link the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israeli apartheid with the racist measures taken against Jewish businesses by the Hitler regime in the 1930s. Bainbridge said the claim was a dishonest attempt by opponents of Palestinian human rights to discredit the BDS movement as public interest and support for BDS continues to increase. * * *
For more news on the global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel, see Electronic Intifada's South African students renew call to boycott Israel Representatives of South Africa’s oldest and largest student bodies in Johannesburg denounced an upcoming visit by a delegation of Israeli officials and propagandists to South African college campuses in an August 3 press conference, ElectronicIntifada.net said on August 5.
The NSW government was evasive for several days on whether it would allow uranium exploration and mining, banned since 1986. This followed the call by federal resources minister Martin Ferguson in May for NSW and Victoria to rethink their uranium mining bans. Premier Barry O’Farrell and resources minister Chris Hartcher finally said on August 5 they would not overturn the uranium mining ban. In mid-June, Hartcher met the chief executive of the Australian Uranium Association Michael Angwin, who is lobbying to overturn the ban, the Sydney Morning Herald said.
Victorian planning minister Matthew Guy has taken control of planning issues at Fitzroy and Richmond housing estates, enraging Yarra Council and tenants. In the July 26 Melbourne Times Weekly, Alana Schetzer: “The Department of Human Services last week informed the council of the decision, which took effect immediately. Mayor Alison Clarke said the council was shocked, adding the decision removed community consultation on future planning applications. The Federal government is due to fund a $113 million redevelopment of the estates.”
Conservation groups have criticised a new deal on Tasmania’s forest industry, saying it will not end the logging of old growth forests, it will hand millions of dollars to the logging industry and will not stop Gunns Ltd’s proposed pulp mill in northern Tasmania going ahead in the face of community opposition.

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