About 80 protesters made their voices heard from outside Sydney's Intercontinental hotel as the former Australian Prime Minister John Howard gave his “no regrets” on Iraq speech, hosted by conservative think-tank the Lowy Institute on April 9. The protest was organised by Stop the War Coalition and a network of concerned groups and individuals.
In recent weeks, there has been a dramatic wave of violence and repression in Guatemala that has led to the deaths of many human rights activists. Among them are peasant leaders, trade unionists, journalists and indigenous peoples. In light of this, the Guatemala Peace and Development Network (RPDG) has sent out an urgent request for support and solidarity from around the world to bring pressure to bear on the Guatemalan government to halt this repression.
The Refugee Action Collective released this statement on April 11. *** The Refugee Action Collective (RAC) and refugee supporters will begin an ongoing vigil, with tents to stay overnight, outside a detention centre in Broadmeadows from 6.30pm on April 11. Long-term refugee visitors are growing increasingly concerned for the welfare of the hunger strikers, two of whom have now been taken to hospital by ambulance. One has now been returned to the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation detention centre (MITA) after having refused medical treatment.
A selection of the past week's celebrity news... Because space for Cultural Dissent articles in the print version of Green Left is limited, this round-up is intended to point to things happening culturally in which Green Left readers might also be interested. It may also give activists a window on popular culture and help engagement with the wider public. However, it may be that Green Left readers do not agree. Please leave comments, here and on social media.
Sydney Stop the War Coalition released this statement on April 9. *** Ten years after the invasion of Iraq, John Howard has been invited by the conservative think-tank the Lowy Institute for International Policy to present his views. It will be yet another “no regrets” speech. This is despite the horrifying evidence, over the last 10 years, of Iraq’s devastation by the Coalition of the Willing.
Silence The World Adept March 22, 2013 Panic & Action Records www.adeptofficial.com Swedish post-hardcore band Adept put plenty of politics into their punk, but never forget how to party, wherever they are in the world. Green Left’s Mat Ward spoke to vocalist Robert Ljung about their new album, the melodic metalcore masterpiece Silence The World. ***
The Refugee Action Coalition Sydney released this statement on April 8. *** At 2am on April 8, 28 ASIO-negative refugees — 24 Sri Lankan, two Iranian and two Rohingyas — began a hunger strike at the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation (MITA) detention centre. They have gathered on the playground inside the detention facility.
WikiLeaks has announced it will form a party to contest the Australian federal elections in September this year. Julian Assange has confirmed he will stand for election in the Victorian senate, with other WikiLeaks candidates in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia to be announced soon.
The corporate media will eulogise Margaret Thatcher, and criticise those who dare use her death to point out her many terrible crimes. But among her many crimes that will go unmentioned was the support her government gave in the 1980s to the genocidal Pol Pot-led Khmer Rouge. Below is an article by independent journalist John Pilger on the support the West, including Thatcher, gave the Khmer Rouge. It was first published on April 17, 2000 in the New Statesman. Visit www.johnpilger.com for more articles. * * *
SinnFein.ie reported: Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams commenting on the death today of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said: “Margaret Thatcher did great hurt to the Irish and British people during her time as British Prime Minister. "Working class communities were devastated in Britain because of her policies.
As tensions rise and threat of war seems to be grow on the Korean Peninsula, most media portrayals can make it seem be entirely the fault of an out-of-control militarist North Korean regime. Missing from the story are the actions of the United States in militarising the region and repeatedly threatening the North.
The strike of musicians at the San Francisco Symphony has already had an immediate impact on the institution. Only a few days after walking out, management called off a large East Coast tour. For the Symphony, which has posted a deficit for each of the past four seasons, this will hurt.
The results of Venezuela's presidential elections in a few weeks may well predictable, with polls showing socialist candidate Nicolas Maduro well ahead of his right-wing opponent. But we are going through a fragile, vulnerable period, with a future that is less predictable. These elections, as the start of the era of the Bolivarian revolution without its historic leader Hugo Chavez, have special characteristics and factors that go beyond the vote. Unity and leadership
United States President Barack Obama’s trip to Israel and stopover in the West Bank was designed to emphasise Washington’s approval of the status quo, and to reassure Israelis of his firm support for their policies. His vague statements in favour of a Palestinian state were cynical in the face of ongoing Israeli actions on the ground, and his own silence on any proposals to achieve a Palestinian state.
Refugee rights activists from around Australia will converge on the Yongah Hill detention centre near Northam on April 26-28. Yongah Hill is near Northam, about an hour and a half from Perth. Protesters will be highlighting the fact that thousands of refugees locked in detention centres around Australia are being denied their basic human rights. The decisions to reopen detention centres at Nauru and Manus Island have made this situation worse.
Former chair of the US National Intelligence Council, Thomas Fingar, received the 2013 Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence in January for his role overseeing the 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran. The NIE report found that all 16 US intelligence agencies judged “with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program”, and has since been credited with stopping a US-Israeli war against Iran.