Issue 907

Australia

The Refugee Action Collective released the statement below on January 24.

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Frustrations over the immigration department’s reneging on promises of community detention and bridging visas for long term detainees have spilled over to the Pontville detention centre in Tasmania...

The final day of the Kerry Blockade against coal seam gas exploration activities by Arrow Energy in the Scenic Rim in south east Queensland.

The Refugee Action Collective (Victoria) released the statement below on January 16.

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Refugee activists are concerned about the welfare of two Iranian refugees currently on hunger strike in Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation in Broadmeadows.

The Refugee...

Refugee rights activists representing groups and individuals from Darwin, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Canberra, Wollongong, Sydney, and the Blue Mountains met on December 3 to plan campaign activities for this year.

It was the first national gathering of refugee rights campaigners since...

Landowners in the Kerry Valley, near Beaudesert in south-east Queensland, have launched a peaceful blockade against Arrow Energy’s attempt to begin exploratory drilling for coal seam gas (CSG) in the Scenic Rim region.

The protest was organised by the community group Keep the Scenic Rim...

Aboriginal man Terrance Briscoe, 28, died in Alice Springs police custody on January 5. But despite allegations from his family of police brutality, an independent investigation has been ruled out by the Northern Territory’s chief minister Paul Henderson.

Aboriginal rights campaigners in...

ANZ Bank, one of Australia’s biggest banks, plans to axe up to 1000 jobs over six months “to protect profit margins from rising costs” and the euro debt crisis, The Australian said on January 13.

The Sydney Morning Herald said the Finance Sector Union (FSU) expects up...

Occupy Sydney held a protest in Pitt St Mall on January 14 to call for the repeal of the US National Defense Authorisation Act. Recently signed into law, the act gives the US government the legal power to detain its citizens indefinitely without trial.

The protesters also called for the...

The Inland Council for the Environment and The Wilderness Society Newcastle released the statement below on January 13.

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Environment groups are calling on Premier Barry O’Farrell to take action and stop coal seam gas work in the Pilliga State Forest, as gas giant Santos...

About 40 activists, many from conservation group Forest Rescue and anti-whaling campaigners Sea Shepherd, gathered outside the Japanese embassy in Perth on January 9. They were demanding the release of three Australian men detained on a Japanese whaling ship and for an end to the slaughter of...

After an intense year of political activity in 2011, Socialist Alliance members have been preparing for the organisation’s eighth national conference, which will be held in Sydney over January 20-22.

Delegates are being elected from branches and already more than 10 volumes of ...

Occupy Sydney released the statement below on January 11.

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Yesterday at The Downing Centre, Occupy Sydney successfully challenged the definition of the term ‘Camping’ used by NSW Police in their attempts to evict protestors from Martin Place.

High profile criminal...

About two dozen protesters rallied outside immigration minister Chris Bowen's office in the western Sydney suburb of Fairfield on January 10. Police had barricaded the footpath and several parking spaces outside Bowen's office, which was empty at the time, and uniformed and plain-clothed...

Anti-coal seam gas community group Keep the Scenic Rim Scenic released the press release below on January 10.

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Scenic Rim landowners are claiming victory after a drill rig was withdrawn from the region — they believe operator Arrow Energy was concerned about a possible...

On December 12, Claire Anterea, a representative from Kiribati, and Good Samaritan sister Geraldine Kearney — members of the Edmund Rice Centre’s Pacific Calling Partnerships delegation to the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban — addressed a forum on the outcomes of the talks. Joining them...

Protesters gathered outside the Japanese consulate in Perth on January 9 to demand the Japanese whaling ship Shonan Maru #2 release Australian anti-whaling activists Geoffrey Tuxworth, Simon Peterffy and Glen Pendlebury. Video by Zeb Parkes.

Protesters gathered outside the Japanese consulate in Perth on January 9 to demand the Japanese whaling ship Shonan Maru #2 release Australian anti-whaling activists Geoffrey Tuxworth, Simon Peterffy and Glen Pendlebury. Photos by Zeb Parkes

Green Left Weekly's Peter Boyle spoke to Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon outside Lynas Corporation's annual general meeting on November 30 about Lynas's plan to build a rare earths refinery in Malaysia.

World

The following statement was issued by the family of Mere Samisoni, arrested by the Fijian military regime, and later released on bail on January 3. For more information, please contact pacifikanews@gmail.com .

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The family of award-winning Fijian businesswoman and former MP...

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez condemned the United States’ decision to expel the Venezuelan consul general in Miami as “arbitrary and unjustified” on January 9. Chavez derided the move as “another demonstration of the arrogance of ridiculous imperialism”.

Venezuelan diplomat Livia...

The global political crisis ― a natural outcome of the continuing economic crisis ― finally made it to Russia last month before getting derailed by the country's traditional hibernation in early January.

Nothing much happens in Russia between December 31 and January 13 ― and particularly...

Almost a year after the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) landslide victory we have a date ― Autumn 2014 ― for the most important referendum in Scottish history.

Scotland will vote on whether it stays in a union [the “United Kingdom”] dominated by the right wing ― a state that invaded Iraq...

United States: Panetta admits Iran not developing nukes

“U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta let slip on Sunday the big open secret that Washington war hawks don’t want widely known: Iran is not developing nuclear weapons,” RawStory.com reported on January 9.

The...

If Bradley Manning had committed war crimes rather than exposing them, he wouldn't be in so much trouble.

He might even be hailed as an American hero. Instead, he's held at a military prison in Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, facing more than 20 charges, including "aiding the enemy".

...

It took about 20 minutes after the last official US combat troops crossed the border from Iraq into Kuwait for the Potemkin village of “Iraqi stability and democracy”, carefully built by the occupation, to fall apart.

The regime of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki brought a terrorism...

In July last year, millions of Red Shirts — a mass movement of the poor — turned out to vote for the Pheu Thai party (PT), headed by Yingluck Shinawatra.

The party won a landslide majority despite attempts by the military, media and elites to block the party's victory. The election...

A union representing 20,000 oil and gas workers in Nigeria announced on January 12 that it would shut down all production from January 15 unless the government restored a petrol subsidy it scrapped on January 1.

The Pengassan union said if the government refused, it would be “forced to...

A year ago, uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt began the wave of popular mobilisations across the Arab world that has become known in the West as the “Arab Spring”.

A desperate individual protest in a provincial Tunisian town ― the self-immolation of fruit vendor Mohamed Bouazizi to protest...

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, of the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) ,was acquitted on January 9 by the country’s High Court of the second round of politically motivated “sodomy” charges. He was jailed for six years under the former Barisan Nasional (BN) government of Mohamed Mahathir...

On January 5, another Tunisian set his body on fire. This happened in Gafsa and the date corresponds to the beginning of the social movement in the mining basin in 2008.

The self-immolation coincided with the visit of three ministers, who visited the city in the hope of negotiating with...

One of the most chilling scenes in the recent SBS mini-series The Promise depicts the plight of some Palestinian schoolgirls in Hebron.

Leaving school in the afternoon, the girls are subjected to abuse and intimidation by settler youths as they walk home. At one point, a settler...

On 22 May 2007, the British Guardian's front page announced: Iran's secret plan for summer offensive to force US out of Iraq.

The writer, Simon Tisdall, claimed that Iran had secret plans to defeat United States' troops in Iraq, which included "forging ties with al-Qaeda...

Analysis

Internet freedom activist and WikiLeaks collaborator Jacob Applebaum spoke at a forum titled War on the Internet , co-hosted by Electronic Frontiers Australia and the Australian Greens at Trades Hall in Melbourne on January 21.

War on the Internet event #4 - Jacob Applebaum from...

A Perth educator, author and long-time activist, Mary (Mairi) McKenzie, died on New Year's Eve at the age of 94.

Mary discovered early what life was like in a society with little welfare and few rights for workers and the unemployed. At the age of 10, she lost her mother to tuberculosis...

Green Left Weekly’s Chris Peterson spoke to Melanie Sluyter, an environmental activist from the United States who took part in Occupy Wall Street and is visiting Melbourne.

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How did you get involved in the...

It wasn't long into 2012 before fresh evidence emerged of a democratic, free West's civilising mission, providing a sterling example to backward barbarians as the march towards global liberation continues apace.

All in one day, January 13, the media carried three reports shining a...

The global economic meltdown is yet to hit Australia hard, but 2011 was still a busy year of struggle in this relatively sheltered, wealthy country.

The year began with an Australian citizen on the global centre stage. WikiLeaks cables embarrassed governments worldwide, revealing war...

Veteran queer rights activist Steve Warren gave the speech below at the “1Love: equality, marriage, freedom” conference in Sydney on December 4.

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I am speaking from the perspective of the 1970’s, which influenced our views. 78ers fought for equality for all...

Few Australian political protests can claim to have made an impact as great or as lasting as the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra. First set up on the lawns of Old Parliament House in January 1972, the embassy has been a focal point for the struggle for Aboriginal rights.

Four...

Rohingya refugee Harun had been in Australian detention for more than two years when he was told by letter that he would never be a free man in Australia.

Despite being a recognised refugee under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Australian immigration system,...

This is a story of broken promises from the Australian and Tasmanian governments, private companies profiting from the destruction of the environment with taxpayer-funded subsidies, threatened species under threat despite being “wholly protected,” one woman sitting in a tree to stand up for the...

Editorial

If you are an activist peacefully campaigning for a clean energy future, the federal Labor government believes you are a legitimate target for secret surveillance.

Fairfax News’ Phillip Dorling reported on January 7 that resources and energy minister Martin Ferguson had asked for federal...

Culture

The American Crucible: Slavery, Emancipation and Human Rights
By Robin Blackburn
Verso, 2011
502 pp

Robin Blackburn has written another masterful book on the history of the slave order in the Americas and the emancipation struggle that...

Ollie MC was an activist and hip hop artist, whose wheelchair was seen from the stage, to the streets, rallies and the coffee shop. Determined and unforgettable, he bore witness to the struggle for truth and justice.

See also:
Call Out To The Nation -- Ollie MC...

See also:
RIP Ollie MC

CALL OUT TO THE NATION

Ollie MC

Out in the desert
Deserted people eyes diverted
Look away from a world gone a bad way
The dreaming tells of a different fate
Than being surrounded by hate...

Occupy this Invasion
Wed Feb 1, 6pm
Little Fish Gallery
22 Enmore Rd, Newtown
Submission dates: Thurs Jan 27- Sun Jan 31
Mediums: Any 
Email: littlefishgallerycrew@gmail.com
Ph: 0449 288 904

Little Fish Gallery is proud...

The Iron Lady
Directed by Phyllida Lloyd, written by Abi Morgan, starring Meryl Streep
In cinemas now

Film can be a powerful ideological tool. Truth can be manipulated, tyrannies expunged and sympathy conjured for the devil. The Iron Lady,...

Fighting Fund

Happy New Year and thank you to all our supporters. You helped us raise $203,200 for our 2011 Fighting Fund. This is a great effort, even though we made only 81% of our target of $250,000.

The big upsurge in political activity — spurred on by the “Arab Spring” revolts and the Occupy and...