Malalai Joya is a writer, activist and former parliamentarian in the national assembly of Afghanistan. Prior to speaking at two Overland events at the 2011 Melbourne Writers’ Festival, she discussed occupation and resistance in Afghanistan today. * * *
Bolivia Information Office In July, in response to a polemical document issued by a number of critics of the Morales government, Bolivian vice-president Alvaro Garcia Linera published a lengthy response. In it -- among other things -- he drew attention to the government’s social achievements. Below is some of the official data on which Garcia Linera based his case. Poverty Using data from the UDAPE (a government think tank), gleaned from the household surveys conducted by the INE, we can see that:
An advertising campaign to promote coal seam gas (CSG) in a bid to “balance” the mounting community opposition to the industry has been launched by the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA). APPEA have dubbed the effort “We want CSG”, and say it is an “information campaign” designed to focus on “investment, jobs, environmental benefits, and enormous opportunities that this industry generates”.
The Refugee Action Coalition Sydney released the statement below on September 4. * * * The Refugee Action Coalition has called on the government to drop all aspects of offshore processing. “Taking Tony Abbott’s offer to amend the Migration Act to re-open Nauru would be a serious mistake,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition. “The Pacific Solution Mark II would be no better than mark I. Nauru would be Christmas Island only more remote and 10 times worse.
Let me tell you what fuck all is. It's invisible, nada it's you don't exist or matter. That's what fuck all is. It's Theresa May plastic faced spouting nothing tangible That's fuck all. Fuck all is the offer on the table It's the option of government Fuck all is the Big Society That's fuck all. Fuck all would spit in your eye If it recognised your eye If it recognised your humanity. Fuck all pisses all over the crap of you, That's fuck all.
At the end of the night of Wollongong's council elections, September 3, it seemed likely voters had elected Gordon Bradbery, a progressive independent, as lord mayor. Bradbery won 33.9% of the primary vote and is expected to win on preferences. The Liberals’ John Dorahy won 23.4% of the primary, Labor’s Chris Connor 19.7%, the Greens’ Jill Merrin 5.9% and Community Voice’s Michael Organ 4.1%. Votes in the wards were still being counted as Green Left Weekly went to print, but it’s clear the once Labor dominated council will have a very different make up.
Last year, the Sydney Underground Film Festival hosted the Australian premier of Oliver Stone's documentary on Latin America's revolutions South of the Border. This year, the festival is taking place this year on September 8-11 at the The Factory Theatre in Marrickville. Festival organisers have five double passes to giveaway for the film Better This World (see below) to Green Left Weekly readers. Be one of the first to email email@example.com with the subject line “911” to win.
“At least 87 [Greek university] departments were under student occupation, with the number increasing by the hour,” OccupiedLondon.org said on August 31. “General Assemblies are happening all of this and next week and it is very likely that the number will increase dramatically. “There seems to be a completely unprecedented agreement between students across almost the entire political spectrum for mobilisations against the voted law: this is rapidly becoming a stand-off between the Student community and the Parliament.”
The problem, apparently, is red tape. It's stifling business and preventing growth, because red tape is evil, and you can no more argue in favour of red tape than say: "I don't wish to contribute to the fight against cancer as I think we should have more of it." For example, Conservative Party Member of the European Parliament Julie Girling wrote on August 30 that red tape is preventing businesses from making agency staff work more than 48 hours a week, which “costs companies £2 billion [$3 billion] a year”.
The United States is facing its gravest housing crisis since the Great Depression. By at least one measure, today's crisis is worse. Housing prices have now fallen 33% from their peak, compared with 31% during the depression. Yet despite the almost unprecedented nature of the housing collapse, the administration of US President Barack Obama has remained stunningly passive if not utterly disinterested. This inaction is criminal given the fact that the largest US banks have used illegal means to file and carry out foreclosures.
After 15 days on strike, 45,000 workers from United States’ telecommunications company Verizon marched in to work on August 23 after getting agreement from their stubborn employer to bargain. The communication and electrical workers will be working under their old contracts while talks continue. They agreed not to strike again for 30 days. During the strike, which stretched from Virginia to Massachusetts, Verizon was unable to provide timely installation and repairs, and reports of outages plagued the company.
The tens of thousands of cables released by WikiLeaks since August reveal a wide variety of lies told by the US government and crimes in which the US government is complicit or helped cover up. www.wlcentral.org provides a daily rundown, with links, to some of the key cables. Below are three cables that depict the apparent covering-up of US military war crimes in Iraq; the riding rough-shod over the popular will of nation in Ireland; and the way the US government seeks to divert attention from its crimes with calculated media spin.
As Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi's regime crumbled on August 23 after a rebel uprising and NATO bombing, United States President Barack Obama said: "For over four decades, the Libyan people had lived under the rule of a tyrant who denied them their most basic human rights." Obama would know ― his government's support in recent years allowed Gaddafi's regime to do so. Indeed, the NATO bombing campaign targeted Libyan forces the US had armed and trained.
The steady stream of revelations of political, military and corporate bastardry from the stash of US diplomatic cables leaked to WikiLeaks became, in late August, a torrent. It is about to become a deluge. Between December and August, the number of secret US cables published by WikiLeaks was fewer than 20,000 of the more than 250,000 in the whistleblowing website's possession.
Will the host city for the November-December United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP17) clean up its act? The August 23 launch of a major Academy of Science of South Africa (Assaf) report, Towards a Low Carbon City: Focus on Durban, offers a chance to test whether new municipal leaders are climate greenwashers. Will they try to disguise high-carbon economic policies with pleasing rhetoric, as their predecessors did?
Black Swan By Carolyn Landon & Eileen Harrison 238 pages Allen & Unwin, June 2011 Bestselling author Carolyn Landon says the main revision she had to make in writing her latest book, Black Swan was editing all her anger out of it. "I had difficulty with my own voice," she tells Green Left Weekly about the book, a memoir of Koori artist Eileen Harrison. "Mainly, it was getting my own angry and ashamed responses to what Eileen was telling off my chest. After I let off steam in the drafts, I eliminated most of my reactions.