Issue 833

Australia

Outraged by the six Aboriginal deaths in custody this year, the Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA) organised a public meeting at the Redfern Community Centre on April 9 to tell the stories and call for justice.

People attending the forum heard about the unsatisfactory judicial...

The following article is based on a statement that appeared on www.vkr1976.com.au.

Over April17-18, the Tamil community living in Australia will take part in a referendum on self-determination for Tamil Eelam.

Eleven voting centres will be set up in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra....

Barkly Shire dumped 3000 litres of raw sewage at the local tip at the Northern Territory Aboriginal Ampilatwatja township on April 6. The township is a "prescribed community" under the Northern Territory Intervention.

One of the contractors employed to dump the sewage fell sick and was...

Ferne Edwards, a PhD student at the Australian National University who researches sustainable food movements, cities and climate change, was so inspired by the social changes in Venezuela when she visited there as part of a food sovereignty tour in 2009 that she decided to organise an...

Three Tamil men in Victoria have been given suspended sentences after pleading guilty to charges of providing money or resources to a group on the United Nations list of proscribed "terrorist" organisations.

The group in question was the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which...

The Socialist Alliance in New South Wales has added two migrant activists to its list of candidates for the upcoming federal election.

Sudanese-born Soubhi Iskander, who has been a socialist for more than half a century, will run for the Senate. Fijian-born Resistance member Duncan Roden...

When word started spreading that the far right wanted to relive the 2005 racist Cronulla riot organised an April 9 "mass rally against migrants and Islam" in Melbourne, anti-racist groups started organising a counter rally, to show that migrants were welcome and racism was not.

The racist...

World

The following was released on April 10 by the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM), Working People's Association (PRP) of Indonesia, People's Democratic Party (PRD) of Indonesia, Turn Left Thailand, Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) of the Philippines, Socialist Alliance of Australia

We are deeply...

Soldiers armed with live and rubber bullets attacked the peaceful pro-democracy Red Shirt protests in the centre of Bangkok on April 10. At least 12 people, including a Japanese Reuters reporter, have been shot dead.

Tanks were used against peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators. Hundreds...

April 16 will be the seventh anniversary of the Venezuelan government's health care program, Mission Barrio Adentro, which has used Cuban doctors to bring free health care to millions of the poor.

The mission began as a pilot project in the impoverished Caracas municipality of Libertador...

Burma Campaign Australia said on March 30 that Burma political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi's political party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), will not register in the forthcoming national election in Burma.

The NLD said the recently announced election laws were undemocratic.

...

Ignatius Mahendra Kusumawardhana is the international relations officer for Indonesia's Working People's Association (PRP).
In 2003, Mahendra was imprisoned for two years for "insulting the government" of then-president Megawati Sukarnoputri. In recent months, the...

That the contents of a previously suppressed Pentagon video has come as a nasty shock to so many, highlights the noxious disinformation fog in which Western citizens are cocooned.

The mainstream media may be omnipresent, yet it is by no means neutral. From day one of the "terror wars",...

Hunger strikes and suicides justified by strong moral, ideological, patriotic or religious beliefs usually touch people's conscience.

From Bobby Sands and the 10 other northern Irish republican youths who died in British jails in 1981, to the many cases of Basque and anarchist political...

When the US and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001, they brought a president with them — Hamid Karzai.

Unlike some powerful (and brutal) warlords in his government, Karzai has no private army. But like the warlords, he is loathed by the people.

Even in the capital, Kabul,...

It was not a chemical plant, nor a nuclear facility, nor a manufacturer of weapons of mass destruction. But almost all the rubble of the entirely destroyed factory was covered in white, with white chunks everywhere.

These were pieces of cheese, butter and yoghurt — some of the products...

Although final figures will not be known until April 24, the results of Bolivia's April 4 regional elections have ratified the continued advance of the "democratic and cultural revolution" led by the country's first indigenous President Evo Morales.

However, it also highlights some of the...

Once again the Thai non-government organisations have sided with the military-installed royalist government against the demands of hundreds of thousands of pro-democracy "Red Shirts".

The Red Shirts, who represent millions of ordinary working people in urban and rural areas, have been...

Here is news of the Third World War. The United States has invaded Africa. US troops have entered Somalia, extending their war front from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Yemen and now the Horn of Africa.

In preparation for an attack on Iran, US missiles have been placed in four Persian Gulf...

Plans for a US$6 billion food estate in the Merauke region of West Papua has been attacked by farmer and environmental organisations as a land grab that would destroy 2 million hectares of virgin forest.

The new Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate program was launched on January 17...

At the failed December United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen, the issue of population control was put on the agenda by the delegation from China.

China Daily reported on December 12: "Population and climate change are intertwined, but the population issue has remained a...

Internet giant Google Inc. has cut off Cuban writer and essayist Henry Ubieta's access to his "La Isla Desconocida" ("The unknown Island") blog, hosted on Blogger, and blocked his access to his gmail account.

Ubieta, who has denounced the brutal media campaign waged against Cuba in recent...

In December, a delegation of British MPs visiting Colombia reported that a mass grave had been discovered in La Macarena, a small town in the Meta region, 250 kilometres south of Bogota.

MP Jeff Ennis told British parliament on January 27: "On the village outskirts, right next to the main...

Analysis

On Saturday April 3, a fully laden bulk carrier ran aground on Douglas Shoal off Rockhampton, Queensland, producing an oil spill threatening the Great Barrier Reef. The Shen Neng 1, carrying about 65,000 tonnes of coal to China, leaked about two tonnes of oil onto the reef before being...

The following is abridged from an April 7 press release on behalf of Alyawarr walk-off spokesperson Richard Downs and senior Pitjantjatjara elder Murray George.

* * *

A historic gathering, the National Aboriginal Customary Law and Culture Movement, will bring Aboriginal peoples...

The NSW Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages has refused to change a transsexual man's documents unless he undergoes life-threatening surgery.

Conor Montgomery is a 50-year-old transsexual man who was born and registered as female. After a lifetime of struggle with depression about his...

Australian PM Kevin Rudd's appointment of Tony Burke as population minister continues the Australian tradition of playing political football with immigration. His appointment came after Treasury estimates predicted that Australia's population will grow from 22 million to 36 million by 2050....

The federal Labor government announced a moratorium on processing claims for asylum for people coming from Sri Lanka or Afghanistan on April 9.

This means refugees from Afghanistan will be detained for six months before they can even begin the application process. For refugees from Sri...

Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. It has taken capitalism about 250 years to generate enough waste and pollution to press dangerously against nature's limits. With such a damning record, there should be no grounds to...

"How long must we stay like this, don't they realise our hardship?", a Tamil detainee in the Christmas Island detention centre asked when he called Green Left Weekly on April 8.

The detainee has been in the centre for 10 months and still has no idea of his fate — or when it will...

On March 10, 2009, three days after Mardi Gras, 34-year-old Veronica Baxter was arrested by Redfern police. She was charged with six counts of supplying a prohibited drug and held on remand at the all-male NSW Silverwater Metropolitan Reception and Remand Centre.

An attractive transgender...

Australian climate activists will join thousands of other people at the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, Bolivia over April 19-22.

Billed as a people's alternative to the corporate-dominated Copenhagen climate summit in December,...

Professional engineers at Qantas, members of the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers, Australia (APESMA), remain locked in combat with the airline after almost a year of negotiations over a new work agreement.

The engineers' dispute stepped up several notches...

The current federal inquiry into the over-representation of Indigenous youth and young people in the criminal justice system, which began in late March, has brought attention to issues surrounding incarceration in Australian jails and detention centres.

In February, Aboriginal and Torres...

General

Coal threatens Queensland

It is not a good look for Queensland internationally and here at home with the Chinese coal ship having run aground on the Great Barrier Reef, leaking oil and about to break up.

The massive mines of the Hancock and Waratah coal companies...

A tidal wave of wealth

"Australia's top executives have seen their collective wealth swell by almost three-quarters — or about $15 billion — over the past year, easily outstripping gains by ordinary investors.

"The total wealth of Australia's top 200 business...

A recent investigation has found that nearly 55% of stories in the mainstream media are driven by public relations, or corporate spin. Spinning the Media was a joint investigation by Crikey.com and the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism, headed by Wendy Bacon, based at the...

The following open letter was sent to Dr Michael Spence, the vice-chancellor of Sydney university, by renowned journalist and film-maker John Pilger. The letter, one of many sent to Spence by activists and academics, is in response to a decision by the university to ban two left-wing activists...

Resistance!

On March 18, the federal government managed to pass its new youth allowance scheme through the Senate. The government's main aim was to tighten eligibility requirements for students getting youth allowance, so that young people now have to work an average of 30 hours a week for 18 months before...

Resistance's Zane Alcorn spoke to Matthew Wright, a climate and energy campaigner from Beyond Zero Emissions. Wright is speaking at the Resistance 2010: the World can't Wait! national conference, which will be held in Wollongong from April 24-26.

What is...

 

In August 1970, Resistance held its first national conference at the University of New South Wales. Bringing together young people from across Australia, the conference passed resolutions against the Vietnam War, in support of the rights of minority groups around the world and in...

Culture

Disgraced ex-rugby league player turned celebrity Matthew Johns made his return to TV on March 25, with the "family-friendly" Matty Johns Show being hailed a "success" by reviewers.

Last May, he was suspended from his hosting role on Channel 9's league coverage and The Footy...

This Is What We Said: Australian Aboriginal People Give Their Views on the Northern Territory Intervention.
Compiled & published by 'concerned Australians'
71 pages, hard cover with Aboriginal cover design, $15

This Is What We Said...

Right-wing Republicans won an important battle in the "history wars" on March 12 when the Texas Board of Education approved a new social studies curriculum.

History and economics textbooks will have to be rewritten to stress the superiority of US capitalism, eliminating references to the...

Ordinary Courage: My Journey to Baghdad as a Human Shield
By Donna Mulhearn
Pier 9, 2010
254 pages, $32.95 (pb)

STRONG>Anne Frank Remembered: The Story of the Woman who Helped to Hide the Frank Family
By Miep Gies & Alison Leslie Gold...

Indigenous and trade union activist Chicka "The Fox" Dixon (1928-2010), was farewelled by more than 1000 people in a state funeral in Sydney Town Hall on March 31.

In the last of many tributes, fellow Black Power activist and 1972 Aboriginal Tent Embassy veteran Gary Foley noted the sweet...