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The predominantly Catholic and nationalist community of Ardoyne in north Belfast has been subjected to a campaign of violence as part of the sectarian “marching season”. In recent weeks, the six counties still claimed by Britain have been the scene of violence by “loyalists” — those who support ongoing British rule and the privileges given to the Protestant majority to ensure loyalty to British rule. The article below was published by Irish Republican News on July 19. * * *
When Ecuador granted asylum to Assange in mid-2012, Sydney Morning Herald’s Peter Hartcher accused Assange of “hypocrisy” for accepting asylum from President Rafael Correa, “one of the world’s leading oppressors of free speech”. Annabel Crabb joined in, writing in the SMH: “A gazillion Assange Twitter fans [hailed] Ecuador and its president, Rafael Correa, as a hero of international free speech and human rights.
A Third World country suffering rising violence, rapes, political corruption and plagued by endemic diseases such as cholera and malaria will be the new dumping ground for Australia’s refugee arrivals. Kevin Rudd’s July 19 announcement that Australia would immediately start sending all new boat arrivals to be detained, assessed and resettled by — or repatriated from — Papua New Guinea will lead to myriad human rights violations.
For the third time since the Victorian government sold off the Yallourn power station in 1996, Yallourn power workers have been locked out of their workplace. In 2000, the workers were locked out for seven weeks. Yallourn power station’s owner, Energy Australia, locked out all 75 shift operators at midday on June 21 after the workers began industrial action by limiting power output. They are not being paid and are not accruing any leave or service. Even operators who were on holidays or sick leave have had their pay stopped. The company has locked the workers out indefinitely.
It is now depressingly clear for all to see that whether Liberal or Labor win the coming Australian federal election, we are going to end up with a government that is more right-wing than the last. How did it come to this? And how can we escape the political spiral to a moral abyss? The politicians in the ALP and in the Liberal-Nationals who have shaped this latest reactionary turn in the spiral — most notably around attacks on refugee rights and climate change — cannot be let off the hook.
The election of the United States’ first black president was one of those moments. Most of us remember where we were when we first heard about it. I happened to be on Palm Island, a small community off the coast of Townsville, now home to more than 3000 Aboriginal people from different corners of Queensland. "Palm" is a former black penal colony, and to get sent there you had to commit such heinous crimes as refusing to stop speaking your native tongue, or getting caught hanging around a white Queensland town.
Former senator and Labor Party ALP national president Stephen Loosely observed that in the lead-up to the 2007 federal election the Howard government’s unfair work laws — known disingenuously as Work Choices — could not have withstood unionism’s industrial response had the previous Liberal prime minister Malcolm Fraser tried to introduce them. But by 2006, an industrial campaign was beyond their capacity, a fact that was equally recognised by the unions. In the two years preceding the 2007 election, the ACTU ran what was effectively an election campaign for Labor.
The National Tertiary Education Union released this statement on July 16. *** The release of Universities Australia’s report, University student finances in 2012, on July 15 clearly shows that students need much more support while they are studying at university, Jeannie Rea National President of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) said today. “It’s a national disgrace that almost one in five university students reports going without food and ends up graduating with an average debt of almost $38,000,” Rea said.
Forest protesters disrupted work in the southern Tasmanian town of Esperance on July 16, disrupting operations of Malaysian logging company Ta Ann. The Huon Valley Environment Centre (HVEC) said 40 people occupied the logging area and one person held a tree sit, which was attached to the logging machines. HVEC spokesperson Jenny Weber said: “Controversially Ta Ann continues to receive timber from old growth ecosystems, and this logging area is forest that was promised protection, and now tragically the ancient eucalyptus regnans and wildlife habitat is being lost.
Telstra has been sharing its customer’s data information with the FBI and US Department of Justice for at least a decade, the Crikey website revealed on July 12.
"We don't want oil or gas mining in our country,” Aboriginal traditional owner Eddie Mason, based in Maningrida, a community in eastern Arnhem Land, told a rally in Sydney on July 19. “We are protecting our land and sea rights." About 100 people rallied with visiting Arnhem Land residents outside the offices of US-based oil exploration company Paltar Petroleum. "We are saying no to Paltar,” Mason said. “We don't want exploration destroying our land and waters. You are welcome to visit our country, but don't destroy it.
The National Union of Students (NUS) education conference was held at the University of Adelaide from July 10-12. This year’s conference occurred in the context of the most serious attack on university funding in many years. In April, the federal government announced it was cutting $2.8 billion from higher education. Students responded to these proposed cuts by holding protests in cities across the country on May 14, the biggest student protests in years.