Left Hand Drive Craig McGregor Affirm Press, 2013 334 pages $24.95 (pb) Two experiences of institutional conformity — as a boarder at an elite private school and as an Australian army conscript — bequeathed a lifelong “fear and hatred of authoritarian systems” to Craig “Rob-Roy” McGregor, a blues-playing guitarist, would-be rebel, fringe Bohemian, journalist, novelist, cultural studies professor and fierce believer in equality.
The Israeli authorities must drop all charges against a Palestinian human rights lawyer now released on bail, Amnesty International said. A military judge at Ofer Military Court ordered the release of Anas Barghouti on bail because confessions from other detainees submitted as evidence failed to prove he is a security threat. The accusations against him relate to alleged activities from over a year ago.
Father Rod Bower has been the rector at the Gosford Anglican Church for 14 years. His cheeky and very direct signs on the church board have received up to 50,000 views and thousands of shares on Facebook. He spoke to Green Left Weekly's Niko Leka about joining the convergence for refugee rights in Canberra on November 18. *** What sort of responses have you had to your messages of support for asylum seekers?
Few people from the 20th century can really claim to have changed history. One of them was General Vo Nguyen Giap, who led the Vietnamese people to defeat the French and American empires. Giap died on October 4, aged 102. Mainly remembered as a military leader, Giap was also one of Vietnam’s most significant political leaders. He was a revolutionary intellectual, an environmentalist and a campaigner for progressive change within Vietnam.
Murder in Mississippi John Safran Penguin, 2013 368 pages. There probably has never been a true-crime book quite like Murder in Mississippi. Melbourne-based “documentary filmmaker of sorts” John Safran filmed a segment for his most recent TV show Race Relations that featured Mississippian white supremacist Richard Barrett. Barrett took legal action, however, preventing any footage of him being used.
Madlands: A Journey to Change the Mind of a Climate Sceptic Anna Rose Melbourne University Press, 2012 357 pages, $19.99 (pb) Anna Rose, a young climate change activist, was warned by her many colleagues in the environment movement of the risks of agreeing to do a television documentary, screened earlier this year by the ABC, pitting her against the former Liberal Party senator, science minister and climate change denialist Nick Minchin.
Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison on August 7 for leaking classified US government documents to WikiLeaks. These documents revealed evidence of war crimes and human rights abuses carried out at the behest of the US government. Diplomatic cables leaked by Manning also show the lengths to which the Bush administration was prepared to go to ensure that those responsible for such crimes would remain unreachable under international law. Immunity
October has been a month of sharp shifts in French politics. On October 4, an Ifop poll in the French weekly Nouvel Observateur showed the xenophobic and racist National Front (FN) of Marine Le Pen leading voting intentions for next year's European elections with the support of 24% of those interviewed ― up 3% in six months. On October 13, in the second round of the by-election for the canton of Brignoles (in the Mediterranean department of Var), the FN easily defeated the mainstream conservative Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), by 53.9% to 46.1%.
Representatives from the Nyoongar tent embassy gave a presentation forum on Nyoongar native title at Murdoch University on October 15, hosted by the Kulbardi Aboriginal Centre. The focus of the forum was the ongoing negotiations between the Western Australian state government and the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) to extinguish native title in the Nyoongar territories of WA (roughly the region south of Geraldton and east to Esperance) in exchange for a $1.3 billion cash and land package.
The result of the October 19 Fremantle Council election was a real glimmer of hope for us in Western Australia, particularly after the bleak state and federal results this year. Under the first-past-the post system used in WA council elections, I was re-elected in Hilton Ward with 58% of the vote, compared with 33% in 2009. In the other wards, the incumbent councillors defeated more conservative opponents. Mayor and Greens member Brad Pettitt won more than 70% of the vote, defeating former state and federal Liberal candidate Matthew Hanssen.