Issue 892

Australia

Max Brenner Chocolate in Newtown, Sydney was targeted on August 20 by pro-Palestinian protesters (see video below) in support of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel.

The large Israeli company that owns the Max Brenner Chocolate chain has been targetted by...

About 100 supporters rallied in persistent rain at Sylvia Creek, in the Toolangi State Forest north-east of Melbourne, to protest logging operations by Vic Forests. The supporters joined locals and forest campaigners who have been blockading the 19-hectare “Gunbarrel” coupe for five weeks....

The people of Koonawarra, Berkeley, Warrawong and Port Kembla are being neglected while redevelopments such as the Blue Mile (a foreshore development around Wollongong harbour) and $14 million Wollongong mall makeover soak up limited funds, say Community Voice Ward 3 candidates for council...

Angeline Loh, who works with the Malaysian human rights groups ALIRAN, will join close to a dozen international guest speakers at the World at a Crossroads, Climate Change Social Change Conference, which will be held at the University of Melbourne over September 30 to October 3.

Loh’s...

After a screening of Gasland on August 10 attracted 60 people to Armidale’s Progressive Cinema, more than 30 people stayed after the film to discuss what to do locally.

Carmel Flint, from the Northern Inland Council for the Environment, alerted those present to plans for coal...

Quarantine staff at Australia's international airports walked off the job for four hours on August 19.

The action was part of a campaign by Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) members working in the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) to win a better enterprise...

Close to 1000 people turned out on August 14 for a rally to “Save the Kimberley”. Musicians entertained the crowd in between speakers from environment groups and Indigenous communities.

The protest was called by local group Country Calling in support of the campaign to prevent a natural...

Dart Energy company executives, accompanied by their minders, were roasted at a 200-strong Town Hall community meeting on August 16 in the inner city suburb of St Peters. Dart is the coal seam gas company with a licence to explore for coal seam gas under the whole of the Sydney basin.

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A Rohingyan Burmese asylum seeker faced Darwin Magistrates court on August 15, charged with assaulting a Serco employee at the Nothern Immigration Detention Centre (NIDC) early on August 12. Serco is the private prison corporation that runs Australia’s immigration jails.

The refugee was...

A group of about 50 protesters chanted “No coal seam gas! No fracking way!” outside the Queensland Gas Conference at the Brisbane Convention Centre on August 17.

The rally, which coincided with “People's Day” at the Ekka (the Brisbane Exhibition Show Day), was organised by the Stop CSG...

In an exciting development in the South Australian climate action scene, a range of groups have united to campaign for Australia’s first concentrated solar thermal power plants in Port Augusta, about four hours north of Adelaide.

The Adelaide Moving Planet Organising Collective includes...

Putty valley residents organising against coal seam gas mining in their community, about 150 kilometres northwest of Sydney, released the statement below on August 15. It first appeared on the Putty Gasbag blog.

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About 50 people were at a protest against coal seam gas on a...

Video footage and photos of the unfurling of the giant "Enough Is Enough: Stop Coal & Gas Expansion" banner by two activists who abseiled down the front of the hotel where mining company executives were meeting to plan the wholesale exploitation of NSW even at the cost of communities and the...

A new picket line was set up on August 10 to defend Melbourne’s only Indigenous school, Ballerrt Mooroop College (BMC) in Glenroy.

The day before, electricity was cut to the school gym and the locks were changed as the education department announced that the school gym/community hall (...

The Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney released the statement below on August 15.

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The Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney (STICS) has welcomed the release last week of The Land Holds Us, a report by Amnesty International.

The report recommends the...

World

There will be no tears for the end of the Gaddafi regime, if that is indeed what we are watching.

The Gaddafi regime was a brutal dictatorship and it deserved to be overthrown just as much as that of Ben Ali’s in Tunisia or Mubarak’s in Egypt.

But, unlike the defeat of Ben Ali...

The eastern African nation of Somalia is the site of an unfolding humanitarian nightmare ― a massive famine that has cost tens of thousands of Somali lives in the past few months, the United Nations says.

More than 3 million people are affected right now and more than 10 million at risk...

A leaked report from the notorious Indonesian special forces unit Kopassus detailing information about the West Papuan independence movement has drawn attention to Indonesia's brutal occupation of the region.

The report is titled “Anatomy of Papuan Separatists” and is believed to have...

In a move that will provide important savings for low-income families, the Venezuelan government unveiled a plan on August 15 to distribute 12 million new textbooks to primary school students around the country in the coming scholastic year.

Education minister Maryann Hanson said: “The...

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that his government would nationalise the exploration and exploitation of gold and related activities, AVN said on August 17.

Chavez said: "I will soon propose an enabling law so as to begin taking control of the gold area and I expect you to support...

Egyptian scholar and researcher Samir Amin spoke with Hassane Zerrouky on the Arab revolts that have broken out this year, for L'Humanite. The interview was translated by Yoshie Furuhashi for www.mrzine.org . Abridged version appears below.

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On August 19, a Taliban suicide squad attacked the Kabul offices of the British Council, a government-funded institution that “promotes educational and cultural relations” between Britain and other countries.

The August 20 Guardian said at least 12 people were killed, including...

United States officials led a far-reaching international campaign aimed at keeping former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide exiled in South Africa, secret US State Department cables show.

Aristide, who won the 2000 presidential elections, was rendered a virtual prisoner for the...

On August 18, as I woke up to the news of an attack that took place in Israel's southernmost city of Eilat in which seven Israelis died, the first thing that came to my mind was: “Who the hell did  it?”

As my brother excitedly narrated to me the details of the oddly mysterious incident,...

On a warm spring day, strolling in south London, I heard demanding voices behind me. A police van disgorged a posse of six or more, who waved me aside.

They surrounded a young black man who, like me, was ambling along. They appropriated him; they rifled his pockets, looked in his shoes,...

People who love to scream about stern discipline are having a fantastic time in post-riot Britain.

My favourite was a man on a Radio 5 phone-in, who ended his rant by yelling: “I TELL you how little discipline there is. My son gets homework and he’s allowed to do it ON HIS COMPUTER....

Chile is becoming a part of the global movement of youth that is transforming the world bit by bit.

Weeks of demonstrations and strikes by Chilean students came to a head on August 9, as an estimated 100,000 people poured into the streets of Santiago.

Joined by professors and...

Living in north London, I often travel via the interchange in Tottenham. Walking between stations I found myself on Ferry Lane Bridge on the evening of August 14, the spot where Mark Duggan was shot by police on August 4.

It was the police response to community protests on August 6...

As I walked out of the tercera comiseria (police station based in the centre of Santiago) on August 4, it hit me what had transpired on this incredible day.

All I could hear were the sounds of the cacerolazo, people beating pots and pans in protest, every street corner...

Analysis

After the riots in Britain, magistrates were advised to “disregard normal sentencing” when examining the cases of people involved. The result of this is a rapid rate of convictions and a complete lack of proportion between the crimes committed and the sentences delivered.

For example, a...

You’ll never guess which political party sat and watched while the Aboriginal incarceration rate sky-rocketed.

We heard it on the radio. And we saw it on the television. Report after report, and promises delivered by talking politicians.

But while this was occurring, Aboriginal...

Magdalena Sitorus, head of Friends of Indonesian Children and Women, and solicitor Edwina Lloyd spoke at a forum on people smuggling on August 15, hosted by Indonesian Solidarity at Amnesty International’s Sydney offices.

Sitorus provided background on the status of children in...

In the US earlier this year, there were 351 anti-abortion bills making their way through state legislative bodies. In 2010, 174 anti-abortion bills were filed in state legislatures.

There has been a clear push on this issue by anti-abortion organisations in the US in what progressive...

As far as I can figure out, watching the recent reports of stock markets making their bid for this year’s World Yo-Yo Championships, it works like this: if a bunch of rich bastards with too much money think shares will go up, they will go up; if the rich bastards think they will go down, they...

Federal Labor MP Anna Burke captured the Gillard government’s increasingly right-wing refugee policy when she said plans to reopen the Manus Island detention centre in Papua New Guinea would be “going back to something we said we wouldn’t do, which is the Pacific solution”.

Burke told...

The following message was received by Indymedia from within Curtin Detention Centre with a request that it posted on the site. Please circulate this cry for help and solidarity amongst your networks.

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It is known to all and history has also proven that Hazaras have always...

Australian Marriage Equality released the statement below on August 16.

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Christian leaders join campaign for equality.

A national opinion poll has found a majority of Australian Christians believe same-sex couples should be allowed to marry and...

The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee released the statement below on August 16.

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Occupied Palestine — The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), the broadest Palestinian civil society coalition...

Fourteen Australian-based Palestine solidarity groups released the statement below on August 13.

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We the undersigned call on the Victorian Consumer Affairs Minister Michael O'Brien to withdraw allegations he made singling out several pro-Palestine advocacy groups* calling...

Letters

Depression article ‘dangerous’

Although I would agree that “depression is a complex illness and capitalism is making its prevalence far worse”, the suggestion in GLW #888 that the core of these psychosocially manifest conditions is not biological and...

Culture

A son has just been born to me
but I am in Afghanistan,
when I was born my father fought
the Viet-Cong in Vietnam.
 
My grandpa blazed Kokoda’s trail
and stalled the ruthless Japanese,
his father fell in World War I;
a martyr in the Pyrenees....

With much fanfare, the AFL Peace Team (an Australian rules football team made up of Palestinian and Israeli players) has once again come to Australia to compete in the AFL International Cup running from August 12 to 27.

Indeed, what can be more appealing for those of us who are...

Curator Vikki Riley opened Footprints of my Heart ― an exhibition of artwork by 20 refugees in the Darwin region ― on August 11.

The exhibition ran at the Darwin Supreme Court from August 11 to 19.

Many of the artists were still in detention, at the Northern Immigration...

Disconnect: The Truth About Mobile-Phone Radiation, What the Industry Has Done to Hide It & How to Protect Your Family
By Devra Davis
Scribe, 2010
274 pages, $27.95 (pb)

Meet SAM ― Standard Anthropomorphic Man.

SAM is a big man and...

Fighting Fund

Most of us protesters were across the road from the Sofitel Wentworth luxury hotel in the heart of Sydney’s business district where the $900-a-head NSW Mineral Exploration and Investment Conference was underway on August 18.

But a handful got into the conference hall and were able to...