Justice for West Papua I write to express my deep distress at the recent brutal attacks and killings by the Indonesian military in West Papua. While the Australian government and people should strive for good relations with Indonesia, this should not at the expense of Australia covering up, excusing, condoning or abetting human rights violations and repression in West Papua. The Indonesian army has a long, sordid history of abuses and other appalling actions in East Timor and elsewhere and is still pursuing these same brutal, oppressive policies in West Papua.
Warren Smith, assistant secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia, addressed Occupy Sydney at Martin Place on October 22. His speech appears below. * * * Some people have been asking why the Maritime Union of Australia is here today, why we’ve been here since day one, why we have given the support and solidarity that we have, and will continue to give, to this wonderful movement right around Australia and right around the world.
Some conservative commentators have declared the global Occupy movement to be “socialist”. Right-wing activist and musician Ted Nugent said in the Washington Times on October 14: “Occupy Wall Street is nothing more than anti-American socialism on parade... “These useful idiots are clamoring for social justice, as if they don’t have enough of that already.”
In the wake of acts of self-harm and protests by detained refugees, people in Darwin gathered to show their support for a more humane refugee solution. Twenty people rallied outside the offices of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) on October 26 to call for and end to mandatory detention and oppose the proposed new detention centre at Wickham Point.
Amid the worldwide media coverage of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s death, a historic development in another conflict went largely unnoticed. After more than 40 years of a military campaign against the Spanish state, the Basque armed group ETA announced a permanent end to its use of violence in the struggle for an independent and socialist Basque state. This follows previous announcements from the group, declaring a desire to pursue independence for the Basque Country through peaceful measures.
Occupy Perth released the statement below on October 28. * * * Perth activists are currently occupying Forrest Place in the centre of the CBD. The 100 protesters who have committed to staying the night are calling for an end to corporate greed and for the rise of a real and transparent democracy. The police have informed the group that so long as they do not erect any other permanent structures they will not be moved on.
The whistleblowing website WikiLeaks sits on the precipice. With it sits freedom of expression and freedom of the press — two fundamental human rights encapsulated in the charter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. WikiLeaks is under a series of attacks and could be forced to close some time next year if it is unable to break a United States-backed financial blockade, editor-in-chief Julian Assange said on October 24.
The ABC’s Q & A program on October 24 was the first to discuss the Occupy movement sweeping the world. Reportedly there are now occupations in 2200 cities. It revealed why the politicians that represent the richest 1% have no credibility any more.
Support for the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement that has swept more than 100 cities in the United States is rising among current and former members of the US military. The support from former and current soldiers for the Occupy movement against corporate greed was brought into the spotlight when Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen suffered a fractured skull after being shot in the head by a tear gas canister fired by Oakland police on October 25.
About 1000 people took part in a march on the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth on October 28. The peaceful march and rally involved people from many different movements and causes who united under the banner: “Justice and climate action, not racism and war.