936

West Papua needs solidarity It was incredibly heart wrenching to watch 7.30’s report on August 27 and see the terribly oppressive situation the indigenous people are suffering in West Papua. I knew the plight of West Papuans was not good under Indonesian rule, but was shocked at the level of brutality.
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Press statement of Save Malaysia Stop Lynas September 6th, 2012 Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL) is outraged that despite two impending judicial reviews at the Kuantan high court and an appeal case for judicial review in Putrajaya, the Malaysian government proceeded to issue the Temporary Operating Licence (TOL) to Lynas yesterday. Mr Tan Bun Teet speaking on behalf of SMSL and angry local residents in Kuantan:
The sleepy central Malaysian town of Raub was the focus of a 15,000-strong Himpunan Hijau (Green Gathering) national convergence of environmental activists on September 2. The immediate focus of the convergence was to support local community opposition to the use of cyanide in gold mining operations near the town by the Raub Australian Gold Mine. But activists also came from another major environmental campaign, against a toxic rare earths refinery in that has been built by Lynas, an Australian corporation, near the city of Kuantan.
Rising Tide released the statement below on September 5. * * * Activists have closed down a coal haulage railway construction project in the NSW Hunter Valley, to protest the rapid expansion of the export coal industry and its impacts on public health and the environment. Activists arrived at the Hunter 8 Alliance construction compound at Rutherford before dawn this morning, erecting a wooden tripod to prevent access to the site. An activist is perched on the tripod, 10 metres over the gateway to the site, refusing to move.
About 1000 people marched in Melbourne in a September 1 “Slutwalk” rally to stop violence against women. Author and playwright Van Badham told the crowd: “This is a society that allows 1 in 3 women to be raped in their lifetime. We are human beings with rights.”
A group of activists protesting coalmining near Maules Creek in NSW, released the statement below on September 4. * * * An 84-year old birdwatcher, Russ Watts, has this morning chained himself to the gates of a coal mine in protest at the environmental damage that will be caused by a massive expansion of open-cut coalmining in Leard State Forest and surrounds, east of Narrabri.
Young workers and activists staged pickets outside Hungry Jack's restuarants around Australia on August 31, in solidarity with workers in New Zealand facing a “vicious anti-union rampage”. Actions were held in Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney. Its counterpart Burger King in New Zealand pays staff the lowest wages of the big fast food companies and workers who join a union to push for better pay and conditions are emotionally and financially intimidated.
Green Left Report #5 has a focus on WikiLeaks, Ecuador and Julian Assange. It features interviews with Christine Assange, Latin American activist Federico Fuentes, plus features parts of the speeches from Julian Assange and Tariq Ali. There is also activist news on the battle to save TAFE, the fight against university cuts, the Fullerton Cove blockade against coal seam gas, and around refugee rights.
The Tasmanian Greens recently announced a new policy to privatise the retail arm of the state-owned energy company Aurora, saying “a bit of good competition will almost certainly mean lower prices”. Below, New Zealand activist and socialist Grant Brookes warns that a similar energy policy in New Zealand was a disaster. * * *
The Adelaide protest, part of a nationwide action around Australia organised by socialist youth group Resistance. Hungry Jacks, called Burger King in New Zealand, has been on a vicious anti-union worker rampage in New Zealand, paying pathetic wages then threatening young workers who dare to join the Unite union and organise for better pay and conditions.
Although parliamentary elections are often billed as “historic”, and results hailed as “landslides” and “political earthquakes”, events usually turn out not to have been so dramatic once the dust settles. But the September 12 national election in the Netherlands really does seem to be living up to the rhetoric.
Almost a year since Tunisia's Constituent Assembly (CA) elections, Islamist party Ennahda, leader of the coalition government, continues to lose the confidence of those who rose up against dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in late 2010. Anger was prompted by Constitutional Article 27, which was passed by the Committee on Rights and Freedoms on August 1, defining women's rights as "complementary" to those of men, placing women "at the heart of the family and as man's associate".
The Australian subsidiaries of tobacco giants Philip Morris and British Tobacco lost their final court challenge on August 16 against the Australian government’s proposed legislation that mandates all tobacco products be packaged in plain packaging. The only distinguishing features on packs will be the brand names, which will be in a standard font and size.
The Australian government has come under pressure over its role in funding Indonesian counter-terrorism unit Detachment 88, after ABC’s 7.30 highlighted the unit’s role in repressing independence activists in occupied West Papua. Detachment 88 has been implicated in several killings and the torture of Papuan activists. A prominent recent case was its alleged involvement in the assassination of West Papuan National Committee (KNPB) leader Mako Tabuni in June.
The seventh Sydney Latin American Film Festival opens on September 6 and runs over 10 days and across four Sydney venues in Circular Quay, Marrickville, Annandale and Bankstown. Launching the festival will be the internationally acclaimed Argentine film MIA, a deeply moving drama that follows the story of a transvestite living in a Buenos Aires slum and explores the issues of discrimination and the right to happiness.

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