Issue 872

Australia

For every dollar the Australian government spends on cutting carbon pollution, it spends $11 encouraging it, new research from the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has revealed.

ACF said on March 1 that its analysis showed: “The Australian government spends $11 billion more on...

About 150 people rallied in Sydney on March 6 to call for an end to the persecution of WikiLeaks. The protest was organised by the Support WikiLeaks Coalition.

The rally also called for the release from jail of US private Bradley Manning. For nine months, Manning has been held in...

Environment groups have criticised federal environment minister Tony Burke for ignoring a recommendation to make Tasmania’s Tarkine rainforest a protected heritage area.

The Tarkine National Coalition has accused Burke of suppressing a report by the Australian Heritage Council, which...

The following statement, initiated by the Illawarra Socialist Alliance, seeks to build a community consensus against racism and for solidarity and social justice. It has been signed by: Gordon Bradbery, independent candidate for the seat of Wollongong; Dr Munir Hussain, Chairman, Omar Mosque;...

Jewish Voices for Peace and Justice NSW released a “statement in support of the people of the Arab nations” on March 11.

The statement said: “We at Jewish Voices for Peace and Justice are deeply inspired by the people of the Arab nations, in their struggle for democracy and freedom as...

The Tasmanian environmental campaign group Still Wild Still Threatened has called on Tasmania’s Labor/Greens coalition government to back down on its plan to build the Brighton Bypass and agree to demands from Aboriginal activists to change the bypass route.

Still Wild Still Threatened...

Householders and small businesses who were victims of the floods that hit Brisbane in January are considering a legal challenge against insurance companies “using region-wide hydrology reports to deny thousands of flood-related claims”, the March 10 Courier Mail said.

Insurers...

This year’s Sydney Mardi Gras gave many people the opportunity to say something about the issues that concern lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex and transgendered (LGTBI) people. Most floats in the parade voiced their support for same-sex marriage.

Muslims Against Homophobia, a recently-...

The six-year campaign against Gunns’ proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill in northern Tasmania is entering a critical stage.

Federal environment minister Tony Burke approved the three outstanding modules of the mill’s environmental management plan on March 10.

However, pulp mill...

About 2000 people attended the March 12 International Women’s Day rally in Sydney. The rally demanded equal pay for women workers — specifically better pay for community sector workers.

In Adelaide, 150 women and male supporters gathered for International Women’s Day on the steps of the...

Two hundred people rallied outside the Queensland parliament on March 5 to oppose plans by coal seam gas company QGC to expand its operations near the town of Tara, 300 kilometres west of Brisbane.

Friends of the Earth campaigner Drew Hutton chaired the rally. Other speakers included...

About 6000 people rallied outside PM Julia Gillard’s Melbourne office on March 12 for an emergency action on climate change. The rally was organised by GetUp!

Publicity for the rally did not explicitly refer to the proposed Labor/Greens carbon price. But at the rally itself, the...

A dozen protesters gathered outside Darwin Magistrates Court on March 8 to call for an end to the detention of asylum seeker children.

The protest was held outside the trial of six teenage asylum seekers, who faced charges with various offences resulting from a scuffle in Darwin...

"Women's rights are human rights!" was the theme of a rally and march held in Brisbane on March 5 to celebrate 100 years of International Women's Day (IWD). About 100 people rallied in Brisbane Square and later marched through city streets to Emma Miller Place for a concert.

The rally...

World

This appeal is reprinted from the website of the Maritime Union of Australia. You can also support the appeal launched by Europe solidaire sans frontières (Europe in Solidarity Without Borders).

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Japanese dockworkers, seafarers hit hard by tsunami

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The desperate nuclear emergency at three Japanese nuclear reactors is growing worse by the day.

One of the three stricken reactors at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant is now close to complete meltdown.

Should this happen, molten uranium fuel may burn through the containment...

See also:
Who is Bradley Manning?
Corporate media smears WikiLeaks

After months of investigation, the US Army has filed 22 new charges against US Army Private First Class Bradley Manning. The charges include “aiding the enemy” — a crime punishable by death....

Thousands of protesters took to the streets across Iraq on March 4, defying a curfew and repression to demand democracy and economic justice, the March 5 Los Angeles Times said.

The protests followed the February 25 “Day of Rage”, in which demonstrations occurred in at least 17...

Saif al-Islam, the billionaire son of Muammar Gaddafi who was the neoliberal darling of Western governments until only recently, boasted in a March 10 interview with Reuters that forces loyal to his family were now on the offensive against rebel forces.

NATO, for its part, has decided...

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed into law a bill that bans collective bargaining by most of the state’s public sector workers right on March 11.

High school students in the capital, Madison, walked out of school in protest the same day — the second straight day of student strikes...

About 10,000 people marched on the Philippines Congress on March 8 to mark International Women’s Day (IWD) and demand passage of the Reproductive Health Bill before Congress.

The bill would allow greater access to modern contraceptives and sex education.

The bill proposes more...

The much-feared secret police and intelligence service that protected the regime of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak by arresting, torturing and even killing opponents has begun burning documents and evidence that could incriminate them.

This comes as calls escalate to abolish the...

Tunisian Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi announced on March 7 the dissolution of the country’s secret police arm, the British Guardian said that day.

This step toward democracy is the most important taken by any Arab country for decades.

Tunisia’s interim government...

The pro-democracy protests in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have the potential to have a huge impact on world politics. The stakes are very high.

In Bahrain, Saudi Arabia’s tiny island neighbour, protesters have mobilised in their hundreds of thousands for weeks to demand the Khalifah royal...

The government in Yemen is becoming more desperate amid continuing protests across the country calling for the removal of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Tensions came to a head when security forces fired on protesters at a university in the capital Sana'a, killing one...

A cable from the US embassy in Buenos Aires, released by WikiLeaks, reveals pressure from the US government to halt a serious criminal investigation in Argentina.

The US pressured an Argentine prosecutor to halt investigations into former Argentine president Carlos Menem and a number of...

From the cramped prison cell that has become his home, 23-year-old Army Private Bradley Manning is cut off from the world. He has had no opportunity to share his side of what could be the biggest whistleblowing story the world has seen.

What we do know of the alleged US war crimes...

Squatters have taken over a mansion in London owned by the son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, AFP said on March 8.

The eight-bedroom house in Hampstead, north London, is owned by Seif al-Islam Gaddafi.

The article said: “Members of a campaign group called ‘Topple the Tyrants’...

Two activists were arrested on February 20 at a demonstration outside the US Embassy in Tokyo. The activists were taking part in a demonstration against the construction of a United States military base in Okinawa.

The activists were released from custody on March 5. Their supporters are...

Analysis

Why did Julian Assange receive an Interpol Red Notice, but Gaddafi only an Orange? Tess Lawrence investigates the murky world of Interpol exclusively for Independent Australia asking some troubling questions and uncovering some startling facts.

Why was...

Andrew Ferguson, former NSW Secretary of the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU), recently retired from that position and announced he would stand on the Australian Labor Party’s NSW Legislative Council ticket.

Ferguson, who identifies as a socialist, is...

Peter Tatchell is an internationally renowned lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, intersex and queer (LGTBIQ) human rights activist based in England. He was one of eight “heroes” selected to take part in the lead float of the 2011 Sydney Mardi Gras.

Tatchell spoke to...

The Australian proclaimed a “war over the carbon tax” and the leader of federal Liberal party Tony Abbott called for a "people's revolt" against a price on carbon.

What are they thinking denouncing such a positive step forward for action on climate change? What’s wrong with...

As it stands, the carbon tax proposed by the federal Labor government and the Greens is perfect material for a right-wing scare campaign. But it offers very little real action to cut emissions.

The tax, which is designed to turn into a fully-fledged carbon trading scheme within six years...

Victoria's alcohol and drug treatment services have failed to keep pace with the growing substance abuse epidemic after a decade of neglect, an Auditor General's report revealed on March 2.

The report reviewed the Department of Health's $136 million alcohol and drug prevention efforts....

Media reports paint Alice Springs as being in the midst of an out-of-control crime wave.

Action for Alice, a group of local business owners, has produced a commercial for Imparja television. The ad calls for a law and order push to end the alleged crime wave, which it blames on...

Daicy Olaya, a resident of Fairfield for 18 years, explained why she decided to stand as a candidate for Socialist Alliance in the March 26 NSW elections.

“Politicians from both major parties have failed miserably in representing the interests of migrants and women here in New South...

Below is the resignation letter of two former members of the Labor party in NSW, Jairo Quintero and Edgar Pena (both formerly of the ALP Parramatta branch). This follows the February 17 resignations of Luis Ernesto Almario and Rosendo Duran.

They have decided to support the Socialist...

In a July 2010 interview with WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange, TED.com’s Chris Anderson said WikiLeaks had released in just a few years more classified state and military documents than every other media outlet combined.

“It’s a worry isn’t it,” Assange said. “That the rest of...

Since 2004, a mass mobilisation of popular support for marriage equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people has gained momentum, and now a possible victory is in sight.

But sadly, marriage equality would not mean an end to homophobia or...

Federal immigration minister Chris Bowen announced plans for a new 1500-bed detention facility on March 3. It is to be located at Wickham Point, an industrial area 35 kilometres south-east of Darwin.

The March 4 NT News said the Darwin Airport Lodge, which currently houses...

Letters

Libya

It is good to witness the expressions of concern and empathy for the Libyans by so many people and governments around the world. The Libyan people need our support against the regimes brutality. People should be urging diplomatic, political and economic action by...

Resistance!

One hundred people rallied in Wollongong on March 5 in solidarity with the peoples’ uprising against Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

The rally heard from Libyan students who spoke of the brutality of Gaddafi's regime and the need for democracy. They urged the Australian government to...

The March 8 demonstrations commemorating 100 years of International Women’s Day in Cairo, Egypt — flowing on from the inspirational revolution that toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak on February 11 — have highlighted the ongoing struggle for women’s rights around the world.

One hundred years...

Culture

Benji Marshall, one of the most high-profile players in rugby league, was charged with assault after an altercation in the early hours of March 5.

Earlier that evening, he hosted a charity function on March 4 for the Children’s Cancer Institute of Australia at which about $250,000 was...

Roger Waters, best known as a member of British band Pink Floyd, released the statement below on February 25 — explaining his decision to support the international “boycott, divestment and sanctions” campaign targeting Israel. It is reprinted from Alternativenews.org.

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In...

Sequences to freedom is a book of short poems written in February by Iranian poet Ali Abdolrezaei that has been translated into English by Abol Froushan.

Abdolrezaei, from Gilan province, is now a refugee living in London.

Abdolrezaei said: “I...

Fighting Fund

Australia’s most famous racist and one-time MP Pauline Hanson won the attention of big business media at the March 10 ballot draw for the NSW Legislative Council elections.

However, more significant than Hanson, is the attempt by conservative forces to replicate the right-wing populist...