Shawan Jabarin is the director general of Al Haq, the first human rights organisation in Palestine, formed in 1979. Jabarin has won many human rights awards, was Amnesty's first Palestinian prisoner of conscience, and has been denied travel outside the West Bank for many years.
The Refugee Action Collective Victoria released this statement on November 27. *** Omid, an Iranian asylum seeker, 35 years old has been on hunger strike for 47 days including four days of refusing water A statement from asylum seekers on Nauru late last night (26/11/12) said:
Between three and four hundred people marched through the streets of Perth on November 24 in the latest rally for marriage equality. Speakers noted that recent votes in federal parliament had not resulted in equal marriage rights in Australia yet, however, internationally and locally the momentum is building.
About 600 people rallied in Melbourne to defend Gaza on November 23. They gathered to protest against Israel's siege and to remember the victims of Israel's bombing attacks that killed 120 people that week. Indigenous community leader Robbie Thorpe said "Australia is based on stolen land. It is part of the global genocide network that supports Israel." Photos by Ali Bakhtiarvandi:
Groups campaigning to stop the roll out of coal seam gas (CSG) mining have slammed federal resources minister Martin Ferguson for his attack on two Southern Cross University scientists who released results of their research into the CSG industry’s greenhouse gas emissions.
About 1500 people rallied and marched in Sydney on November 24 in solidarity with the people of Gaza and the Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation and war. Speakers were: As'ad Awashra, Palestinian student from the West Bank; Ahmad Mustafa, Palestinian Cultural Centre; Ray Jackson, Indigenous Social Justice Association; Lee Rhiannon, Greens Senator; Lynda Voltz, NSW Labor MLC; Paul MacAleer, Maritime Union of Australia; Antony Loewenstein, Independent journalist and author; Fr Dave Smith, Holy Trinity Anglican church. A powerful poem was performed by Candy Royalle.
Israel's latest attack on Gaza killed about 32 times more Palestinians than Israelis killed by Palestinian rockets. But few who followed mainstream media reports would realise this fact. When the ceasefire was announced on November 21, 161 Palestinians and five Israelis had been killed in the attacks, CBSnews.com said. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights said that by November 20, 66% of Palestinians killed were civilians. Of the more than 900 Palestinians injured, 97% were civilians.
Dr Mazim Qumsiyeh is Palestine’s leading intellectual. His recently published book Popular Resistance in Palestine is a meticulous history of non-violent resistance in Palestine since Ottoman times. A professor who teaches and does research at three Palestinian universities (Bethlehem, Birzeit, Al-Quds), Qumsiyeh previously served on the faculties of the University of Tennessee, Duke and Yale Universities. He is also chair of the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between Peoples.
As soon as Israel attacked Gaza in its “Operation Pillar of Defence”, it was clear the context in which its war was launched was very different from “Operation Cast Lead” in 2008-09. The shift in regional context is largely due to the Arab Spring, which has shaken the Middle East. The most concerning development from Israel's point of view was Egypt's January 25 revolution, which overthrew US- and Israel-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak last year.
Rod Quantock, the “Australian institution” of comedy, is set to headline a special one-off comedy show in Marrickville, Sydney, on December 8 in aid of the Australian Fair Trade & Investment Network (AFTINET). Quantock ― winner of the Melbourne Comedy Festival 2012’s Director’s Choice Award ― will be joined at the Red Rattler by comedians Matt Wakefield, Alice Fraser, Justine Rogers and James Colley, as well as resident Englishman, Jazz Twemlow for the benefit gig.
Politics in the Spanish state is a Rubik’s cube where all players must mark out their position on the axis of the rights of its nationalities, as well as class struggle and social justice. All-out warfare on both fronts marked the final week of the campaign for the November 25 elections for the Catalan parliament, as the nine parties with a chance of winning representation in its 135-seat chamber traded blows.
About 600 people rallied for marriage equality in Melbourne on November 24. Other rallies took part around Australia. Jason Ball, the first openly queer AFL player, was a guest speaker at the event. "I figured I was gay when I was 16 years old," he said. "I knew that I would be treated differently. I was terrified I would disappoint my family. It was no surprise to me that queer and transgender youth are six times [more] likely to suffer depression or contemplate suicide. I wanted to be myself.
Wasn’t it somewhere in Switzerland where a mad scheme was hatched to join disparate parts together to create a new composite monster? In Mary Shelley’s 1818 gothic novel, the resulting creature has become popularly known as Frankenstein (actually the name of the monster’s creator). Today another Swiss monster has come into being: Frankencorp (a.k.a. “Glenstrata”). Swiss-based Glencore, the world’s largest commodities trading firm, and Swiss-based Xstrata, one of the largest mining companies, merged after shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour on November 20.
Thousands of people marched through Dublin on November 17 to protest against the death of dentist Savita Halappanavar, who died of blood poisoning after being refused an abortion. More than 10,000 people gathered for a vigil and march over the death and the country's draconian abortion laws. A minute's silence was held at Merrion Square by the crowd, followed by chants of “never again”. Irish doctors appear to have judged that leaving Ms Halappanavar for two days with a fully opened cervix did not present any risk of the infection from which she eventually died.
The capitalist press has been overloaded with the sex scandal of General David Petraeus, former commander US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and his resignation as head of the CIA. The story has morphed into something wider, drawing in other high officers. I’ll return to the saga of the “Real Housewives of the High Command” below, but first I want to discuss a story that has received only scant attention, about one of the grunts who was on the ground in Afghanistan.
In the dead of night on November 22, 100 containers of concentrated rare earth ore mined in Western Australia began to be transported, under heavy police escort, through the port of Kuantan to a new refinery built by Australian company Lynas. This took place just two days after 19 local residents travelled to Sydney to protest at the company's annual general meeting and while another group of protesters were on a 300 kilometre protest march to Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur over the issue.