On July 26, radical hip-hop producer Agent of Change released a "beat tape" to mark the 60th anniversary of the start of the Cuban Revolution. Agent of Change, also known as London-based activist and writer Carlos Martinez, said: "The 18 hip-hop instrumentals - with a couple of feature verses from Fidel Castro and Nelson Mandela - celebrate Cuban culture, drawing influence and samples from Cuba’s diverse musical heritage."
Support WikiLeaks and Assange Coalition released this statement on July 31. *** The conviction of US Private First Class Bradley Manning for 19 offences, including five counts of espionage, is a travesty of justice. Manning is not a spy who betrayed his country, but a courageous whistleblower who acted on his conscience when he leaked US government documents to WikiLeaks. He should have been commended, not prosecuted, for revealing evidence of war crimes, human rights abuses and corruption.
About 2000 people joined the second march and rally in Sydney on July 28 against prime minister Kevin Rudd's plan to send refugees who arrive in Australia by boat to Papua New Guinea. This was significantly bigger than the previous weekend's protest. Another rally and march will be held on August 4, 2pm at Sydney Town Hall Square. Photos by Pip Hinman and Peter Boyle.
Millions protesters of were again in the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities on July 26, both for and against the former Muslim Brotherhood government. Security forces attacked the pro-Morsi protesters, killing many in a fresh massacre. Ahram Online reported that these were the largest mobilisations since the June 30 protests that brought down the elected, but increasingly unpopular, Muslim Brotherhood-aligned government of President Mohamed Morsi.
Palestinian teacher and activist Sireen Khudiri, 25, was released from an Israeli prison on July 15 after two months in jail. A court decision was made to release her on bail worth 7000 shekels ($2483). Khudiri is now home with her family. Many people wrote letters and signed petitions to protest Khudiri’s jailing, promoted awareness of her situation or posted or wrote messages of support. It is likely these efforts had an impact in helping free Khudiri.
Socialist Alliance released this statement on July 30. *** Newly endorsed Socialist Alliance candidates for the Senate in NSW, Jim McIlroy and Reg Dare, said: "The current hysteria against asylum seekers, pushed by both the Kevin Rudd government and the Liberal opposition, is aimed at drawing public attention away from the real source of economic insecurity in this country — the billionaires and their stolen wealth.
Foreign Minister Bob Carr said recently that the rising number of Iranian asylum seekers coming to Australia are “economic migrants”. The overall rate of asylum seekers has increased this year and Iranians have become the largest group of people arriving by boat, making up about one third of the total.
A former Tehran University student, Behzad Bargheri, spoke to 50 people at a public meeting on Iran on July 20. Bargheri told the meeting in Melbourne that during the 1980s the Islamic Republic regime took “harsh and bloody measures” to suppress the left. Many thousands of leftists were arrested, tortured and murdered. The universities were closed for several years. When they reopened they had been purged of leftist students.
The New South Wales government recently announced it would privatise the state's largest remaining port in Newcastle for an estimated $700 million. Coal exports are expected to double from 135 million tonnes over the next 20 years after the state government's recent expansion of the port. It will be subject to a 99-year lease under the sell-off deal. State treasurer Mike Baird announced the plan as part of the budget.
Julia Hocken interviewed 25-year-old Liam Flenady who is running as the Socialist Alliance candidate in the seat of Griffith, held by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. *** When did you first decide to become an activist and to join Socialist Alliance? I became politically active around 2010, so not very long ago. Prior to that I had followed political issues, and like many people pricked up my ears around election time.
About 100 people rallied outside the Downing Centre Court in Sydney on July 23 to support Jonathan Moylan, the environmental activist who is facing charges under the Corporations Act for his alleged "hoax" that exposed ANZ bank's funding of mining activities by Whitehaven Coal, which threaten community health and agricultural land at Maules Creek, as well as the survival of koala populations in Leard State Forest in northern NSW.
US military lead prosecutor Major Ashden Fein summed up his case against Bradley Manning for "aiding the enemy" with these chilling words: "He was not a troubled young soul. He was a determined soldier with the knowledge, ability and desire to harm the United States in its war effort. "Your honor, he was not a whistleblower, he was traitor." We totally disagree. Manning witnessed a terrible crime and he reported it to the people of the world using the most effective available news medium — WikiLeaks.
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