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.
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:
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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.
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.
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.”
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. * * *
Channel Nine's mini-series Howzat! Kerry Packer's War has shone the light once again on the creation of World Series Cricket and its enduring legacy for the sport. The build-up to the show was particularly intense during the Olympics, but there was an ominous feeling that it would just be a puff piece for Channel Nine's most prominent owner. In the end, the series mostly avoided puffery and was a success, dramatically entertaining an average of more than 2 million viewers for each episode.
Fearless September 13-22 Milk Crate Theatre production Carriageworks, Sydney $35/$25 www.carriageworks.com.au Fearless is the first Milk Crate Theatre production to be presented at Sydney's Carriageworks. For the production, Milk Crate Theatre works with an ensemble of performers who have experienced homelessness or social marginalisation. The production exposes audiences to a vastly different point-of-view. Milk Crate Theatre productions allow Sydneysiders to see the world through different eyes.
As thousands of construction workers took over the streets of Melbourne for the fourth day in a row on August 31 they were confronted by at least 500 police. The workers were protesting for fundamental union rights outside the Grocon Myer Emporium site in Melbourne’s CBD. Three days earlier, Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) shop stewards and organisers were violently confronted by police on horseback. The police tried to clear the way for the scabs to enter the site and used batons and capsicum spray against the unionists.
The Haifa District court ruled on August 28 that the Israeli military was not responsible for killing US activist Rachel Corrie, and that Corrie was responsible for her own death. Twenty-three-year-old American activist Rachel Corrie was crushed to death by an Israeli army bulldozer in March 2003. She was trying to prevent Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes in the Gaza border town of Rafah. “Even when she saw the mount of earth moving towards her, she did not move away,” said Israeli Judge Oded Gershon.
Port Augusta residents gave a resounding thumbs up for a solar powered future in a community vote in July. More than 4000 people voted for big solar plants to replace the city’s two aging coal-fired power stations, while just 43 people voted for gas power.
Overnight on August 30, an Afghan army sergeant shot dead three Australian soldiers at an Afghan National Army patrol base in the Oruzgan province of Afghanistan. A helicopter crash that killed two more soldiers made the day the deadliest for Australia's forces since the Vietnam War. On four separate occasions, a total of seven Australian soldiers have been killed by “rogue” members of the NATO-trained Afghan army, supposedly tasked with taking over security when NATO forces withdraw in 2014.