Issue 928

Australia

Another boat, believed to be carrying up to 180 asylum seekers, made a distress call to Australian authorities at about 4.30am (AEST) time this morning. The call said the boat was about 50 nautical miles south of Indonesia and heading to Christmas Island, and its engine had failed and that it...

After Julian Assange sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London a rally was held in his home town Melbourne on July 1. Adam Bandt, the Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens and member of parliament spells out the Greens' perspective.



After Julian Assange sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London a rally was held in his home town Melbourne on July 1. Civil Rights Lawyer Lizzie O'Shea gives her perspective.



Watch the video above to find out the shocking truth about how two pro-Palestine Christmas Carol singers escaped justice.

Full report here.

More Green Left TV here.

More than 300 supporters of Julian Assange gathered at the State Library in Melbourne on July 1 to call for the Australian government to act to bring Assange home. Speakers included Federal MP for Melbourne Adam Bandt, Wikileaks co-founder Daniel Matthews and singer Natalie Pa'apa.


Photos by Ali Bakhtiavandi

More than 300 braved rain in Melbourne on July 1 to defend Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange. The rally was organised by the WikiLeaks Australian Citizens Alliance.

A community protest of up to 30 people was held outside a global shale industry conference in Perth on June 28. Campaign group No Fracking WAy organised the protest. The two-day conference on global shale gas development put on by the Electric Utility Consultants, Inc (EUCI) at the Seasons of...

The prosecution of two activists dubbed the “Christmas Carol Criminals” collapsed when a Perth magistrate dismissed all charges on June 29.

Alex Bainbridge and Miranda Wood from the group Friends of Palestine WA (FOPWA) had been charged with trespassing during a December protest outside...

The newly opened Yongah Hill detention centre in remote Western Australia is “probably one of the most secure facilities in the entire network,” immigration media manager Sandi Logan said on June 25.

The new detention centre is about 90 kilometres north-east of Perth, about five...

June 29 was dubbed "Black Friday" for Queensland public servants as up to 3000 temporary and contract workers faced the sack from the Liberal-National Party government.

Contracts for many staff in "non-frontline" jobs expired and will not be renewed under a job freeze ordered by Premier...

A June 27 speakout in the Bourke Street Mall called for the freeing of political prisoners in Pakistan and condemned the Pakistani state’s use of the Western-sponsored “war on terror” as a pretext for cracking down on community activists and trade unionists. The speakout was use to collect...

“Whether I look at manufacturing, or I look at the climate emergency, it’s our generations, the ones alive now, that have a responsibility," said Dave Kerin, a founder of the Earthworker Cooperative, explaining the driving force behind the group’s key project.

Kerin spoke in a new video...

The Steve Irwin Reserve on far north Queensland’s rugged Cape York faces the threat of mining, under new moves to water down the previous Bligh Labor government’s Wild Rivers law.

Liberal National Party state environment minister Andrew Powell released a paper on June 27 for a new...

Opponent's of Victoria's coal industry took their message to the steps of the state Parliament House on June 28. Speakers at the rally said they opposed the state's new coal projects, including a brown coal export industry, which would triple Victoria's contribution to greenhouse gas pollution....

Stop CSG campaigners in the Illawarra are celebrating the NSW government’s confirmation that coal seam gas drilling cannot take place in the Illawarra at this time. Stop CSG Illawarra spokesperson Jess Moore told WIN TV News on June 25: “This is huge news and shows the power the Illawarra...

The Sydney Socialist Alliance released the statement below on June 29.

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A team of three experienced Socialist Alliance activists will stand in Marrickville Council’s north ward at the upcoming elections.

Socialist Alliance, which is contesting the elections on a...

Public housing campaign group Hands Off Glebe released the statement below on June 29.

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“New planning laws proposed by NSW Planning Minister Brad Hazzard mean more public tenants will be socially cleansed toSydney’s outskirts and developers will have a free go at turning our...

About 200 people met on June 28 on the steps of Parliament House in Victoria to oppose new coal projects in the state.

Speakers spoke out against expanding the brown coal export industry, which would triple Victoria's contribution to greenhouse gas pollution.

The star of the...

On June 27, tens of thousands of teachers took strike action against moves by Barry O'Farrell's NSW Government to attack public education and outsource 'responsibilities' to principals. The government's plan is to force 'local schools' to do the dirty work of making cutbacks - including...

The Queensland Council of Unions released the statement below on June 28.

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Aboriginal elders Paul and Arthur Ah Wang still want justice for their stolen wages.

Tomorrow, they will join other Indigenous leaders and Townsville Branch President of the Queensland Council...

Ivanhoe sacks workers despite ‘mining boom’

Gold and copper mining company Ivanhoe has said it will axe 50 jobs, or about 20% of its 280 workers. The move dents the mining industry's loud claims about its benefit to the Australian economy and jobs.

The job cuts...

About 100 people attended a midday protest on June 28 to oppose the export of coal from Victoria. The protest was organised by Quit Coal. Speakers denounced the horrendous damage Victoria's brown coal exports will do to the local environment and the global climate.

After the rally, a...

More than 1000 striking teachers had to watch proceedings outside as teachers packed out Sydney Town Hall (capacity 2000) for a mass stop-work meeting called to discuss the fightback against the NSW government's latest attacks on public education. Those who could not fit in the lower and upper...

Beyond Zero Emissions released the statement below on June 26.

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As part of the Clean Energy Future package, the Gillard government agreed to have the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) model what an Australian 100% renewable energy scenario for 2030 and 2050 would look...

World

The recent coup against Paraguay’s democratically elected president is not only a blow to democracy, but an attack against the working and poor population that supported President Fernando Lugo.

The Paraguayan poor see Lugo as abulwark against the wealthy elite who have dominated the...

Venezuela suspended oil shipments and withdrew its ambassador from Paraguay as part of a regional wave of condemnation against the ouster of leftist Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo on June 22.

“We are absolutely not going to support this state coup, not directly, neither indirectly,”...

Facts are stubborn things. It is now clear even to German Federal Bank board members that the brutal austerity applied to the eurozone “periphery” ― Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Italy ― is not just bleeding these economies white, but starting to hurt the Eurozone “core” and world...

Arriving in a village in southern Vietnam, I caught sight of two children who bore witness to the longest war of the 20th century.

Their terrible deformities were familiar. All along the Mekong river, where the forests were petrified and silent, small human mutations lived as best they...

The letter published below was circulated by the United States-based Just Foreign Policy. It was signed by more than 100 prominent people, mostly from the US. Signatories include film directors Michal Moore and Oliver Stone, authors Noam Chomsky and Naomi Wolf, journalists Glenn Greenwald and...

A new report funded and supported by the British government accuses Israel of violating international law with its treatment of Palestinian child detainees, Electronic Intifada said on June 28.

It was was launched in London by a high-profile group of human rights lawyers on June 26....

The student movement in Quebec is facing a crucial summer of discussion and organising.

Law 78, which suspended classes at strike-bound institutions in May, directs their resumption in mid-August. The government of Liberal Party Premier Jean Charest is preparing a judicial and police...

Despite escalating rhetoric and sectarian violence, it seems for the time being NATO is not planning a direct military assault against Syria along the lines of its attack on Libya last year.

If NATO had been looking for a pretext for such an assault, the June 22 shooting down by Syrian...

“Under Raul Castro, Cuba has begun the journey towards capitalism. But it will take a decade and a big political battle to complete, writes Michael Reid”. So began the lead article of the London Economist magazine’s March 24 special issue on Cuba, under the heading “Revolution in...

If you talk to the people in-the-know at the United Nations and other related agencies, they will tell you that our system of governance is not working well enough to solve the crises the world is facing.

I guess this explains why the final lead document “The Future We Want” from the...

Sudanese President Omer Al Bashir has described anti-government protesters as foreign agents, agitators and “bubbles”. Yet unrest may boil over as it continues to spread and protesters vow they won’t stop until the regime falls.

The movement against the government was boosted on June 29...

The Indonesian government has engaged in a spin campaign over the recent wave of mysterious shootings in Indonesian-occupied West Papua in an attempt to derail the struggle for independence.

With no evidence, Indonesian police have blamed the shootings on the Free Papua Movement (OPM)...

The United States Supreme Court has upheld the core provision of Arizona’s vicious anti-immigrant law.

The part of the law upheld requires police to determine the immigration status of anyone they stop, for whatever reason, if they “suspect” they are undocumented.

Arizona...

Analysis

Hundreds of people braved heavy rain in Melbourne on July 1 to attend a rally to defend WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The rally was organised by the WikiLeaks Australian Citizens Alliance.

The Western Suburbs Alliance (WSA) released the statement below on June 29.

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WSA has been formed by members of community groups and individuals in Claremont, Cottesloe, Mosman Park, Peppermint Grove, Nedlands and Subiaco concerned about the growing wave of fear, anger and...

So now we have a carbon price in Australia. The sky hasn’t fallen in but neither are we getting anywhere near doing what needs to be done to respond to the climate change crisis.

Australia currently gets its energy in this mix:

• Fossil fuels: 95%, comprising coal: 39%, gas: 22...

There is something symbolic about the way media commentators have turned on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Here is a man heading an organisation that has exposed a whole array of serious war crimes committed by the most powerful nation on Earth and, for his troubles, confronts the...

Having taken her share in Fairfax Media to nearly 20%, Gina Rinehart has demanded a greater say in the workings of Fairfax, including editorial matters at its major papers The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

Fairfax’s board has so far rejected Rinehart’s manoeuvres,...

Many have taken mining boss Gina Rinehart's bid to take up a seat on Fairfax's board of directors by buying up almost 20% of the media company's shares as a threat to its “independence” and “quality journalism”. But many opponents of Rinehart's bid are glossing over Fairfax's ugly record.

...

July 1 is the new financial year and the start of many new government policies. This year, the carbon and mining taxes, and expansion of income management, or welfare quarantining, to five new locations. 
 
People receiving Centrelink payments and living in Playford in South...

The Transform Drug Policy Foundation recently informed me of Count the Costs: 50 years of the war on drugs, a new online research tool developed to educate people on the need for drug law reform.

Comprising pf groups like the Drug Policy Alliance and the Beckley Foundation, International...

Not long after Melbourne’s recent earthquake a few wags leapt on Twitter to blame Australia’s carbon price for causing it. Greens Senator Richard Di Natale made the same joke in parliament a few days later.

The joke was on Liberal Senator George Brandis, who a week earlier had blamed the...

Australia’s parliament voted to set up the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) on June 26. The law was backed by Labor and Greens MPs. Mainstream environment groups have welcomed the initiative, saying the CEFC will make $10 billion available to fund clean energy.

With the dire...

The problem of homelessness, high rentals and unlicensed boarding houses in Sydney’s inner west — often though of as one of the wealthier areas of Sydney — is growing, said Paul Adabie, acting director of the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre (NNC).

Adabie told Green Left Weekly...

Billionaire mine-owner Clive Palmer has applied for one of his Queensland companies, the Yabulu nickel refinery, to be allowed to dump millions of litres of toxic water into the Great Barrier Reef.

The tailing dams at the refinery are at dangerously high levels after record rainfall over...

Since the deaths of asylum seekers when two boats headed to Australia capsized, parliament has been locked in a debate about how to “save lives”. But the “debate” is framed in such a way to ensure that more lives will be lost and more refugees victimised. ALP and Coalition MPs are pushing a...

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has reneged on a pre-election promise to refuse access for hunters to NSW national parks, a move that will put parks users in danger and potentially set back feral animal eradication programs.

The Coalition government is pushing through changes to the NSW...

The Refugee Action Collective Victoria released the statement below on June 27.

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The Refugee Action Collective condemns the Gillard Labor government’s support for the bill moved by Rob Oakeshott that passed through the lower house [on] June 27. RAC condemns the opportunism...

Local parents have successfully spearheaded a Fremantle community campaign to save a service called “Buster the Fun Bus”.

Buster is a van staffed by two community workers from the City of Fremantle. It makes stops at various parks in the Fremantle and Melville area, setting out activity...

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre released the statement below on June 28.

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They say a day is a long time in politics. The past week has been a lifetime. The asylum seeker debate has taken a hard shift to the right — the conversation has changed from onshore versus offshore...

The Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney released the statement below on June 28.

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The Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney (STICS) is calling for charges to be laid against police in the Terrance Briscoe death is custody case, supporting calls from the family.

...

The National Welfare Rights Network released the statement below on June 26.

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The National Welfare Rights Network welcomes today’s news that the Senate has voted to support an Australian Green’s initiated inquiry into the adequacy of Newstart Allowance and related payments...

The Yolngu Nations Assembly and the Alyawaar Nation released the statement below on June 27.

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Should this Stronger Futures legislation pass through the Senate and become law, it will be a day of mourning for all Aboriginal peoples. This legislation will be the cause of great...

The Socialist Alliance NSW released the statement below on June 27.

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The NSW Teachers Federation is taking action today against the sackings announced on 30 May.

The Department of Education and Communities (DEC) declared they will sack 200 people — including 175...

The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network released the statement below on June 25.

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A Vietnamese asylum seeker has written an open letter to the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship to mark her and her friends’ 400th day in detention.

The woman is...

Resistance!

The world today is plagued by many crises. Economies are in recession. The world is wracked by war. And poverty is still rampant for the world's majority. Alongside all of this, our environment, and our climate, is increasingly under pressure, threatening all life on the planet.

The...

Culture

A Rough Guide To The Dark Side
Daniel Simpson
Zero Books
Release date: August 31
www.roughguidedarkside.com

Most mainstream media journalists would kill to get one of their stories on the front page of The New York Times. But when...

Fly & Be Damned: What Now For Aviation & Climate Change?
By Peter Mcmanners
Zed Books, 2012
182 pages, $26.95 (pb)

In a future green world, will there be a place for aviation? In Fly And Be Damned, Peter McManners thinks there...

Beyond Tribal Loyalties ― Personal Stories of Jewish Peace Activists
Edited by Avigail Abarbanel
Cambridge Scholars Publishing 2012.

Jews who come out on the side of Palestinians generally do not face terrible physical punishment, nor are they...

The tour has been called one of the most ambitious of all time. The show has been called one of the greatest.

Since The Wall tour started in late 2010, Roger Waters has awed hundreds of thousands of people with this astounding and complex show. And he’s taking it to one of the...

Black Sheep of The American Dream
Death By Stereo
Released April 24, 2012
Viking Funeral Records
http://deathbystereo.com/

Californian hardcore punk band Death By Stereo have long been known for their politically charged lyrics,...