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The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN) released the statement below on January 30. *** Serco’s application in current court proceedings for a Suppression Order preventing the publication of its Use of Force Manual is scandalous, says Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN) spokesperson Fernanda Dahlstrom. The document sets out how much force Serco staff can use against those detained in the nations privatised immigration detention centres, the circumstances that Serco staff can use force and when the use of force is unlawful.
When US forces crossed into Pakistan from Afghanistan and killed 24 Pakistani border guards on November 26, it further strained Pakistan-US relations, already complicated by the fact the Pakistani elite, in particular the military, maintains close links to both the US and the Taliban. This collaboration with both sides of the Afghan war has continued despite the November 26 incident being far from unique. Both the Taliban and the US-led forces routinely kill Pakistani civilians, as well as soldiers and police.
Refugee rights activists scaled the fence of the Leonora detention centre on the night of January 28 to communicate with refugees inside and protest against the mandatory detention of asylum seekers.
The article below is a joint statement released by left parties from Pakistan and Afghanistan, who took part in a conference in Lahore over December 21-22. It is reprinted from Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal. * * * The progressive and democratic forces of Pakistan and Afghanistan met in Lahore for two days in the first ever joint conference.
The high profile shutdown of file-hosting company MegaUpload on January 20, and the arrest of CEO Kim Schmitz (aka Kim Dotcom) and other executives for allegedly operating a global pirating network, is the latest shot in the war over freedom on the internet.
The Tall Man Screening SBS ONE, Feb 5, 8.30pm. The director of a documentary about the death in custody of Aboriginal man Mulrunji Doomadgee says the family wanted him to use footage of the death, but he was blocked from accessing it. "We tried and failed to get access to it," Tony Krawitz tells Green Left Weekly. "So I've never seen it — it screened in court, but can't be released." Krawitz's multi-award winning film, The Tall Man, is based on the critically-acclaimed book of the same name by journalist Chloe Hooper.
Peruvian-born Harlem emcee Immortal Technique rocked a full house at the Metro in Sydney on January 19 as part of his debut tour of Australia and New Zealand. The Afro-Peruvian Technique grew up alongside other poor African Americans and Latinos in New York and steered clear of offers from record labels (“offered me a deal, and a blanket full of smallpox!”, he sings in “Industrial Revolution”). Instead, he built up a substantial following as an independent artist.
Cathy has been a shopping centre cleaner in a busy Westfield in South Australia for more than 10 years. She takes great pride in her job, and she loves interacting with tenants and helping customers. To her, a clean shopping centre with happy customers is indicative of a good day’s work. But Cathy only makes $16.57 an hour. In fact, her hourly wage has only gone up by $3 an hour in the 10 years she's been working. Cathy’s husband is disabled and can’t work. So, for less than $600 a week, Cathy and her husband try to survive.
Lisette Talate died the other day. I remember a wiry, fiercely intelligent woman who masked her grief with a determination that was a presence. She was the embodiment of people’s resistance to the war on democracy. I first glimpsed her in a 1950s Colonial Office film about the Chagos Islanders, a tiny creole nation living midway between Africa and Asia in the Indian Ocean. The camera panned across thriving villages, a church, a school, a hospital, set in a phenomenon of natural beauty and peace. Lisette remembers the producer saying to her and her teenage friends: “Keep smiling girls.”
Wind farms might appear controversial in the media, but they enjoy an overwhelming 83% support in affected communities, say several recent reports. The only noise worth worrying about is that from the small minority who vocally oppose them. Unfortunately, that noise is drowning out other voices in the public arena.

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