Issue 876

Australia

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) member of the Sri Lankan parliament M. A. Sumanthiran, addressed a meeting organised by the Australian Tamil Congress on March 26.

He said that even though Tamils in Sri Lanka are a nation with the right to self-determination, the formation of a separate...

Transport Workers Union national secretary, Tony Sheldon, has condemned Qantas’s training of overseas strikebreakers after the company’s chief executive, Alan Joyce, admitted to the practice.

Sheldon said on April 5: “They really need to come clean on who they are training, who is doing...

At an insurance public forum attended by more than 150 people in Ipswich on April 5, victims of the Brisbane floods of early January shouted, sobbed and pleaded for help from elected council and federal representatives, and the head of the Insurance Council of Australia, Rob Whelan.

...

Residents on Camp Road, Broadmeadows, were surprised to see 300 people marching down their street on April 2, calling for an end to the mandatory detention of asylum seekers. The march ended with a rally at the Broadmeadows detention centre, known as Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation...

Locals from Lake Tyers, a small Aboriginal community in East Gippsland, set up a roadblock leading into their township on March 8.

The action was to protest against a Victorian government-imposed administrator and call for a return to democracy in their community.

The only...

One hundred and thirty people packed out a room in the Crowne Plaza hotel to hear traditional owners and nuclear experts call for the closure of the Ranger uranium mine in the world heritage-listed Kakadu national park.

Yvonne Margarula condemned the mine for its presence on land that is...

Transport Workers Union national secretary, Tony Sheldon, has condemned Qantas’s training of overseas strikebreakers after the company’s chief executive, Alan Joyce, admitted to the practice in media reports.

Sheldon said in an April 5 media release: “They really need to come clean on...

Nine Aboriginal people have sued Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt in Melbourne over four articles he wrote in 2009.

The court has heard the articles questioned the motives of “light” or “white-skinned” people who identified as Aboriginal.

The people taking the action...

Activists from the Huon Valley Environment Centre (HVEC) and Still Wild Still Threatened returned to the Picton Valley on April 7 to launch a 10-week campaign to protest the logging of Tasmania’s old growth forests.

Police broke up a similar protest in the Picton Valley on February 18,...

Aboriginal transgender woman Veronica (Paris) Baxter was locked in Silverwater prison on March 14, 2009. She was found hanging from a bed sheet tied to the top bunk in her cell at 6am on March 16.

Supporters waged a public campaign for two years calling for an inquiry into her death. The...

World

Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) has been caught up in an increasingly violent conflict after the West African nation’s November 28 elections ended with the incumbent Laurent Gbagbo and his main opponent Alassane Ouattara both claiming victory.

Ivory Coast is wracked by an armed conflict...

The Moro people of the Philippines’ southern Mindanao Islands have never considered themselves Filipinos.

The Spanish colonisers never succeeded in subjugating the Moro sultanates. However, when Spain ceded the Philippines to the US in 1898, the Moro homeland, Bangsamoro, was included...

The Egyptian army has violently cracked down on pro-democracy protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on the night of April 8, BBC.co.uk said the next day.

Medical sources said two protesters were killed and the health ministry said 71 were hurt.

Protesters were demanding greater...

BP has asked United States regulators for permission to resume drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, the New York Times said on April 3.

The request comes less than a year after the devastating oil spill in the gulf, caused by an explosion in BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig in which 11...

The Venezuelan government will begin a process of recovering 300,000 hectares of land during April that have been in the hands of an unnamed English company, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said in an interview during his trip to Uruguay.

Chavez said the process of taking back or “...

“There’s no reason why technologically we can’t employ nuclear energy in a safe and effective way,” United States President Barack Obama told a group gathered at a town meeting in New Orleans in October 2009.

“Japan does it and France does it, and it doesn't have greenhouse gas emissions...

“As Palestinians were preparing for their weekend this Thursday afternoon,” ElectronicIntifada.net said on April 7, “all of a sudden barrages of Israeli artillery fire and air raids by warplanes struck several regions of the Gaza Strip”.

“Five Palestinians were killed and about thirty...

The Israeli feminist organisation Coalition of Women for Peace released an open letter to Justice Richard Goldstone on April 6. It is published below. It is in response to Goldstone’s recent statements retracting some of the findings of the United Nations-commissioned Goldstone report into...

More than 1000 Philippine Airlines (PAL) ground staff from the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) staged a torch-lit rally on April 1 between terminals at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

The protest was supported by several big labour federations. The union...

We now know what Washington’s model is for the Middle East, in its most attractive guise.

In answer to Egypt’s Tahrir Square uprising, they have smoking craters filled with the charred remains of rebels, conscript soldiers, civilians and other blameless people who must have seen the joy...

The disgusting and heartbreaking photos published in March by the media are finally bringing the grisly truth about the war in Afghanistan to a wider public.

All the PR about this war being about democracy and human rights melts into thin air with these pictures of US soldiers posing...

Three former members of the left-wing student group Capitalism Research Society (CRC) were taken into police custody on March 21.

Among those arrested was the group’s former president Choi Ho-hyeon. They were charged under the National Security Act, a draconian anti-communist law that...

Analysis

Matthew Cassel, assistant editor of Electronic Intifada, has recently been reporting from Egypt where he witnessed first hand the revolutionary upsurge that toppled the Mubarak dictatorship and continues to reshape the region.

Cassel will be speaking at the...

Love Andrew Bolt or loathe him, you’ve got to admit the right-wing Herald Sun columnist and radio shock jock is a master of the ambush interview.

Add in Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott’s slipperiness with any kind of truth — scientific, political or otherwise — and you have a...

ITEC Employment and its related entity Community Enterprises Australia (CEA) are preparing a submission to the federal government that will argue “the pendulum has swung too far in favour of the jobseeker”, in relation to changes to the Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) on...

The suicide of Mohammed Asif Atay in Curtin detention centre on March 28 was “tragic news” to Prime Minister Julia Gillard. “I’m sure all Australians hearing this news would feel very sorry,” she said on March 29.

He was the sixth known refugee to die in detention in the past seven...

Below is an extract of a letter Archbishop Desmond Tutu sent to the student leaders at UC Berkeley in March 2010 regarding Berkeley’s decision to divest from Israel.

* * *

I am writing to tell you that, despite what detractors may allege, you are doing the right thing. You are...

I read an article by Greg Sheridan on multiculturalism in the April 2 Weekend Australian and there are a few points that need to be said.

First of all, Sheridan says he sees no future to multiculturalism. He says it is a failure and that it doesn't work in Australia. Well, I...

While Palestinian, Israeli and international non-violent protesters who march against Israel’s policies in the Occupied Territories are literally showered in sewage, beaten, arbitrarily arrested and sometimes killed by Israeli forces, the battle against non-violent resistance has taken its own...

Below is a letter published in March by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network that endorses the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

The letter was issued in response to a February 15 statement by Zionist (pro-Israel) groups that said the BDS campaign...

If you change the names, the description of what is happening in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank would be a description of what is happening in South Africa. — South African anti-apartheid campaigner and Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 1989

Apartheid is a...

A poll by Roy Morgan Research several days into the Fukushima nuclear crisis found that 61% of Australians oppose the development of nuclear power in Australia, nearly double the 34% who support it.

The growth in support for nuclear power over the past five years has been totally erased...

Despite crisis levels of overcrowding, many urban Aboriginal communities have been denied federal funding for new housing. On March 18, ABC online said town camps around Darwin were not allocated any of the $1.5 billion in upgrades planned for Aboriginal communities.

One such community...

For more than a week, Rupert Murdoch’s The Australian has been on the warpath against green and left “extremists”. It began by attacking the NSW Greens for supporting the global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israeli apartheid. The Greens are organised in...

Letters

The Australian’s pro Israel bias

The letter below was sent to The Australian on March 8.

How apt that The Australian (7/4/2011) has front page photos of placards demanding ‘Stop the massacre in Gaza’ and ‘Stop killing children’ and then...

General

Michael Arnold was born in country Victoria. He became politically active in Perth when he was 15. This was when he joined the socialist youth organisation Resistance and the Democratic Socialist Party.

When he was in his twenties, Arnold became active in the Harm Reduction Movement. He...

Culture

The Potential Wedding Album
www.thepotentialweddingalbum.org

In the excellent film Milk Sean Penn, as gay rights campaigner Harvey Milk, said: “Two to one, they support us, two to one when they know one of us.”

The ethicist Peter Singer has noted...

This was inspired by the “Collateral Murder” video released in April 2010 by WikiLeaks.

* * *

1. Oh, come all you American teenagers
Put away your video games
And get some real shoot em-up-action
Wasting folks with weird-sounding names

Now how would you...

When Australian Football League player Nathan Lovett-Murray was growing up, his favourite record was “Black Boy” by Coloured Stone.

“Black boy,” goes the song, “black boy/The colour of your skin is your pride and joy/Black boy/Black boy/Your life is not destroyed.”

Lovett-Murray...

Fighting Fund

The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu is reputed to have said: “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”

This sums up the problem we face from human-caused climate change.

A “climate scoreboard” published by Climateinteractive.org calculates the impact of...