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.
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.
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)
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.
About 40% of new Disability Support Pension (DSP) recipients may be ruled ineligible as the federal Labor government updates the tables for the assessment of work-related impairment for DSP. Community services minister Jenny Macklin said on July 30 that the revised impairment tables will be implemented from January 1 next year and will apply to new recipients only. This is the first review of the DSP impairment tables since 1993.
Around 200 people attended a "Unite Against Racism" rally in the King George Square on August 6. It was staged in opposition to a rally organised by the far-right Australian Defence League (ADL) attacking Islam and calling for a ban on the burqa. The tiny ADL rally was aimed at inciting hatred and violence toward Muslim people and refugees. After several speakers condemned attacks on Islam and refugees, the anti-racist rallygoers confronted a small group of around 20 racists as they tried to address passersby through a loudspeaker system.
John Bellamy Foster, the keynote speaker at the upcoming World At A Crossroads: Climate Change Social Change conference — to be held in Melbourne from September 30 to October 3 — is the co-author (with Fred Magdoff) of a newly published book: What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism.
Supporters of justice for former Guantanamo Bay prisoner David Hicks rallied outside the NSW Supreme Court on August 3 to condemn moves by the Department of Public Prosecutions to seize the proceeds of Hicks’ 2010 book Guantanamo: My Journey under “proceeds of crime” laws. Speakers at the rally included Stop the War Coalition Sydney’s Pip Hinman, NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge, and peace activist Donna Mulhearn.
Special Treatment Starring Isabelle Huppert, Bouli Lanners, Richard Debuisne, Sabila Moussadek, Valerie Dreville Directed by Jeanne Labrune In cinemas now A comedy film about prostitutes and psychoanalysis? Surely only the French could do it, and so it is with this witty, not exactly hilarious, thought-provoking exploration of the overlap between the two professions.
Federal riot police have the go-ahead to use Tasers, tear gas, batons, capsicum spray and handcuffs to force refugees onto a flight to Malaysia from Christmas Island. Immigration officials say they will film the ordeal to put online as a “potent message” to other refugees. The first asylum seekers to undergo this ordeal arrived in Australian waters less than a week after the “Malaysia solution” came into effect. A boat carrying 55 Afghan, Iranian and Iraqi refugees was intercepted near Scott Reef on July 31. More than one third of the asylum seekers on the boat are children.