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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.
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.
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
Nineteen-year-old Michael Delaney died after being run over by a truck in east London on a Saturday night in January 1987. An inquest jury found that he had been a victim of unlawful killing. But nobody has ever been prosecuted. Delaney had been among trade unionists picketing the Rupert Murdoch-owned News International plant at Wapping against the sacking of more than 5000 workers and the de-recognition of unions.
Local residents made clear their opposition to plans for coal seam gas (CSG) drilling in Sydney’s inner-west at a heated public forum held in Leichhardt on Monday 1 August. Dart Energy told the crowd that it intention to drill was no longer immediate, but that exploratory drilling at the site could commence from mid-2012.
Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) members in the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry held one-hour stopwork meetings at 40 sites around Australia on August 4. They are campaigning for a pay rise greater than the 3% a year offered by management. They voted to escalate their action in coming weeks, including work bans from August 11, if the employer does not make an improved pay offer. On August 2, delegates from all Australian Public Service departments rallied outside the Canberra office of the Australian Public Service Commission.
Public opposition has prevented the expansion of coal mining in south-west Victoria. “More than 250 residents gathered in the Deans Marsh town hall last night to question the managing director of Mantle Mining, Ian Kraemer, over the plan to explore for brown coal, south-east of Colac,” the ABC said on July 28. “The company had wanted to explore a 500 square kilometre area in the region. However, residents feared mining would damage the environment and lower property values.”
United States: Land of the 1% “The upper 1 percent of Americans are now taking in nearly a quarter of the nation’s income every year. In terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1 percent control 40 percent. Their lot in life has improved considerably. Twenty-five years ago, the corresponding figures were 12 percent and 33 percent … “One response might be to celebrate the ingenuity and drive that brought good fortune to these people, and to contend that a rising tide lifts all boats. That response would be misguided.
The grassroots campaign for a community driven council in Wollongong is well underway, as the election approaches on September 3. Community Voice is standing a full ticket across all three local wards including Michael Organ, former Greens MP for Cunningham, for mayor. Organ is a local historian and environmental activist. He has been actively involved in campaigns to save Sandon Point and Wollongong's Regent Theatre. He is also part of the recent campaign to secure land at Hill 60 for preservation and public ownership.

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