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When WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sought asylum on June 19, the question many supporters asked was: “Why the Ecuadorian embassy?” The simple answer is because the Ecuadorian government has been one of the strongest supporters of WikiLeaks, which reflects its strong stance in defence of media and information freedom. Much has been made in the media about supposed abuses of media freedom in Ecuador.
On June 16, 2012, an all-female line-up of artists put on a Sydney gig to raise funds for women prisoners after funding for the charity Sisters Inside was cut by the Liberal state government in Queensland. Green Left TV spoke to event organiser Shannon Hall and Aboriginal rappers Naomi Wenitong, of The Last Kinection, and Sky'high.
Austin Mackell, an Australian journalist based in Cairo who has reported on the Egyptian revolution, speaks about his arrest by the regime, and Egyptian politics around the elections. He spoke just prior to the run-off election, in which the Muslim Brotherhood claimed victory but the military council dissolved parliament in what activists are calling a coup.
Members of Amnesty International Australia’s Tasmania City Group dressed as bananas and collected signatures on a global petition to help launch Amnesty’s Arms Trade Treaty campaign on June 16 at the Salamanca markets in Hobart. There is no international standard to regulate the global trade and transfers of conventional arms. Amnesty Tasmania City Group’s Yabbo Thompson said: “There are complicated rules on the international trade of many products, such as bananas, but no global treaty controlling weapons or bullets.
The released the statement below on June 20. * * * As Julian Assange seeks political asylum in Ecuador, concerned Australian citizens on Thursday, June 21.
Global Friends of WikiLeaks is an independent collective of WikiLeaks supporters. It is not affiliated with WikiLeaks. The letter below was originally on June 20. You can sign an in support of Julian Assange's extradition request. * * *
Over 2000 people marched in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Canberra and Adelaide to protest twenty years of mandatory detention and to mark World Refugee Day on the weekend of June 16-17.
Afrodity Giannakis, Green Left correspondent in Greece and an activist in SYRIZA, gives her first impressions of the result of the June 17 election where the conservative New Democracy beat the left coalition SYRIZA to the highers vote by just 3% of votes. Younger voters voted strongly for the left while older voters tended to vote conservative.
The below on June 19. * * * The Queensland Council of Unions (QCU) has strongly condemned today’s announcement that Premier Campbell Newman may cut up to 20,000 jobs from the public service. QCU President John Battams says cutting so many permanent and temporary public sector jobs would take billions out of the state economy and have a huge impact throughout Queensland.
BORDERS Rivers don’t interrupt their flow at national borders. Mountain ranges don’t answer to their names in different languages. The air is not confined within the limits of national air space. The waves don’t stay still to preserve their nationality. Birds don’t need a passport to migrate. Souls don’t carry identity cards to be certified. And humans live in their parallel world. But that’s a different history…

WHERE HAS YOUR SMILE GONE? Your smile a mask of despair from an ancient tragedy. Your look
News that a popular front-man is about to become a front-woman might not stir such intense buzz if we lived in a world that was truly sexually liberated. Hell, it might not even be “news,” just another instance of an individual becoming more like the person they envision themselves to be; end of story. We don’t live in that world, though. The furor over Tom Gabel amply reveals that. Rolling Stone announced on May 8 that Gabel, singer and guitarist for Florida punks Against Me!, plans to begin living as a woman.
The opening salvo in a promised, summer of protest by Quebec’s student movement was delivered at the annual, Montreal Grand Prix auto race and surrounding festivities from June 7 to 10. Hundreds, sometimes thousands, of students and their allies used the high-profile event to press demands for a freeze in post-secondary tuition fees and an end to police and state repression.
“If the Greeks had done the right thing, they wouldn’t be in the mess they’re in today.” The argument that the Greek people brought austerity packages down on their own necks keeps getting louder.
Mariano Rajoy, the Popular Party Spanish prime minister of Spain, appeared at a special press conference on June 9 to give the nation the good news—Spain had won the lottery! A €100 billion prize in the European Bank Rescue Lotto! Make no mistake, señoras y señores, this was not a “bailout package” or a “rescue” of the kind inflicted on Greece, Ireland and Portugal, full of those nasty “macroeconomic conditionalities” imposed by the “troika” of the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund..
“Nearly three years into their country's worst crisis in modern times, life goes on as normal for Greece's super-rich,” . The article said that, “since the outbreak of Greece's runaway debt crisis, its moneyed class has been notable more by its absence than presence”.

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