Secrecy: The Key to Independence Laura S. Abrantes & Beba Sequeira Asia Pacific Support Collective Timor-Leste, Dili 2012, 102 pp. This is a book you should turn to whenever you think activism is too hard. Twelve women from the remote areas of Timor-Leste (East Timor) tell how they fought for their nation's independence. In the 24-year war from 1975 to 1999, official estimates are that 18,600 people were killed by conflict and 84,200 died of hunger and disease.
People are raising their voices in Sydney over August 24-26 to raise awareness among activists of songs, old and new, that further movements for social change. There was a time when protest songs attracted positive media attention; now the media tends to complain about the lack of contemporary “protest” songs while they simultaneously ignore or rubbish them.
The 50-year rule of the Ba’ath Party in Syria looks to be effectively over. In the past month armed clashes have spread to the Syrian capital, Damascus, and the largest city, Aleppo. Armed opposition forces have taken control of several border points. On August 6, Prime Minister Riad Hijab defected to the opposition. The regime of Bashar al-Assad — who inherited the presidency in 2000 from his father, Hafez al-Assad, who seized power in a 1970 military coup — no longer controls the country.
There have been outrageous abuses of power before and during the Olympic Games in London this year. These include a police attack on, and mass arrests during, a "critical mass" bike ride, the placing of missiles on civilian roofs despite protests by affected residents, and special “Olympic lanes” on roads whose use is limited those granted special permission by games organisers.
Nationwide, more than 105,000 people were homeless on any given night in 2006. About 36,000 were under 25, and 22,000 of these were teenagers. Middle-aged women and their children have also increasingly filled out the statistics, due to their lower incomes and the lack of support services for victims of domestic violence.
This isn’t an obituary. Every now and again those who hope and pray for his death spread yet another rumour, only to be disappointed by a photo or a commentary in that unmistakable style, confirming that Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro is very much alive and making the most of his twilight years. When the inevitable does happen, the world, admirers and detractors alike, will pause for reflection. The corporate media will saturate our inner recesses with words and images that convey, for the most part, how the 1% appraise his life and legacy. Just imagine the gloating on Fox News.
'Palestinians must unite to tackle the occupation' Shamikh Badra is the youth and students coordinator for the Palestinian People Party (PPP) in the Palestinian Gaza Strip. The PPP is a left-wing, secular party that is part of the Palestinian liberation movement. Badra is on a tour of Australia to speak about the situation in Gaza and Palestine's struggle for justice. Green Left Weekly’s Patrick Harrison spoke to Badra. * * *
Daniel Fejo is a candidate for the First Nations Political Party running for the seat of Blaine in the August 25 Northern Territory elections. Fejo is a Larrakeyah man and a home and community care worker in the Bagot community. Fejo spoke to Green Left Weekly’s Peter Robson. * * * What does the First Nations Political Party say about the proposed nuclear waste dump in the NT?
People and governments across Latin America are rising up against foreign mining companies in a wave of revolt generating alarm among investors and their political operatives in the imperialist governments. In Haiti, United States and Canadian gold mining companies are rubbing their hands over the riches that they believe await them. A recent study by Haiti Grassroots Watch estimates up to US$20 billion, at gold’s current price of $1600 an ounce, lies in the ground.
The story behind the corporation that owns the Beverley uranium mine in north-east South Australia is scarcely believable. Heathgate Resources — a 100%-owned subsidiary of General Atomics (GA) — owns and operates Beverley and has a stake in the adjacent Beverley Four Mile mine. Over the years, GA CEO Neal Blue has had commercial interests in oil, Predator drones, uranium mining, nuclear reactors, cocoa, bananas and real estate.
Queensland Liberal National Party (LNP) Premier Campbell Newman said Queensland voters were “thankful” for his government's savage cuts to jobs and public spending. This, presumably, is in much the same way you'd be thankful if you had crossed a mafia don and he only broke your legs.
If your home was going to be demolished in 15 minutes, what would you save? Facing a life of poverty, would you salvage valuables? Or, would you retrieve sentimental items, knowing that every day your people lose pieces of their ancient history and culture? For Israeli “refusenik” Sahar Vardi, watching Palestinians being forced to make this decision at gunpoint just a few kilometres from her own home changed her life.