Internet freedom activist and WikiLeaks collaborator Jacob Applebaum spoke at a forum titled War on the Internet , co-hosted by Electronic Frontiers Australia and the Australian Greens at Trades Hall in Melbourne on January 21.
The Refugee Action Collective released the statement below on January 24. * * * Frustrations over the immigration department’s reneging on promises of community detention and bridging visas for long term detainees have spilled over to the Pontville detention centre in Tasmania. Around 150, more than half of the Afghan asylum seekers at the detention centre, are now involved in a hunger strike. The asylum seekers have been in detention between 15 and 33 months.
The final day of the Kerry Blockade against coal seam gas exploration activities by Arrow Energy in the Scenic Rim in south east Queensland.
The Refugee Action Collective (Victoria) released the statement below on January 16. * * * Refugee activists are concerned about the welfare of two Iranian refugees currently on hunger strike in Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation in Broadmeadows. The Refugee Action Collective (Victoria) is also concerned about the growing number of refugees who remain detained after receiving their refugee status, whilst awaiting security checks from ASIO that take far too long.
United States: Panetta admits Iran not developing nukes “U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta let slip on Sunday the big open secret that Washington war hawks don’t want widely known: Iran is not developing nuclear weapons,” RawStory.com reported on January 9. The article said: “Appearing on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday, Panetta admitted that despite all the rhetoric, Iran is not pursuing the ability to split atoms with weapons, saying it is instead pursuing 'a nuclear capability.'
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez condemned the United States’ decision to expel the Venezuelan consul general in Miami as “arbitrary and unjustified” on January 9. Chavez derided the move as “another demonstration of the arrogance of ridiculous imperialism”. Venezuelan diplomat Livia Acosta Noguera had reportedly been working in the US since March when she was ordered to leave on January 8 amid claims that she had discussed the possibility of orchestrating cyber attacks against the US government whilst serving as vice-secretary at the Venezuelan embassy in Mexico.
In July last year, millions of Red Shirts — a mass movement of the poor — turned out to vote for the Pheu Thai party (PT), headed by Yingluck Shinawatra. The party won a landslide majority despite attempts by the military, media and elites to block the party's victory. The election result was a slap in the face for the military and the “party of the military” (the misnamed Democrat Party — DP).
Almost a year after the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) landslide victory we have a date ― Autumn 2014 ― for the most important referendum in Scottish history. Scotland will vote on whether it stays in a union [the “United Kingdom”] dominated by the right wing ― a state that invaded Iraq, imposed nuclear weapons on the Clyde and destroyed Scotland’s industrial base ― or become an independent nation. As such, it would have the power to fundamentally change Scotland for the better and reflect the left of centre political terrain instead of being dominated by the Tory home counties.
It took about 20 minutes after the last official US combat troops crossed the border from Iraq into Kuwait for the Potemkin village of “Iraqi stability and democracy”, carefully built by the occupation, to fall apart. The regime of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki brought a terrorism indictment against the vice-president, Tariq al-Hashimi, who promptly headed north to autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan, where the central government’s hand doesn’t reach. Purges of university professors and arrests of political figures not favoured by the Maliki regime have begun.
A union representing 20,000 oil and gas workers in Nigeria announced on January 12 that it would shut down all production from January 15 unless the government restored a petrol subsidy it scrapped on January 1. The Pengassan union said if the government refused, it would be “forced to go ahead and apply the bitter option of ordering the systematic shutting down of oil and gas production”. Pengassan president Babatunde Ogun had told members to “be on red alert in preparation for total production shutdown”.
The global political crisis ― a natural outcome of the continuing economic crisis ― finally made it to Russia last month before getting derailed by the country's traditional hibernation in early January. Nothing much happens in Russia between December 31 and January 13 ― and particularly not a revolution. While the organisers of the protest demonstrations headed for swanky resorts in Mexico and other sunny spots, their grassroot supporters were stuck in cold, dreary Russia. They retired to their cramped apartments to drink vodka and discuss the country's uncertain fate.
If Bradley Manning had committed war crimes rather than exposing them, he wouldn't be in so much trouble. He might even be hailed as an American hero. Instead, he's held at a military prison in Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, facing more than 20 charges, including "aiding the enemy". Manning is the private who allegedly leaked sheaves of classified material to WikiLeaks while working as an army intelligence analyst in Iraq.
A year ago, uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt began the wave of popular mobilisations across the Arab world that has become known in the West as the “Arab Spring”. A desperate individual protest in a provincial Tunisian town ― the self-immolation of fruit vendor Mohamed Bouazizi to protest police harassment and lack of economic opportunity ― triggered a region-wide revolt against economic and political injustice.
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, of the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) ,was acquitted on January 9 by the country’s High Court of the second round of politically motivated “sodomy” charges. He was jailed for six years under the former Barisan Nasional (BN) government of Mohamed Mahathir on similar charges. Police dispersed jubilant opposition supporters outside the court using the excuse that three small bombs had exploded nearby.
The following statement was issued by the family of Mere Samisoni, arrested by the Fijian military regime, and later released on bail on January 3. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org . * * * The family of award-winning Fijian businesswoman and former MP Dr Mere Samisoni has been warned by her lawyers she might be charged with conspiracy by the country’s military rulers when the courts reopen on Tuesday.