Letters

Vendors salvage goods from ruins of their shops following Saudi airs strike. Civilians and hospitals are being targeted deliberately in Yemen by the Saudi-led Arab coalition airstrikes against the rebels in the country, officials from the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) medical charity said on July 30.
Letters to the editor Jock Palfreeman has a heart as big as Phar Lap. After seven years in a Sofia prison in the dysfunctional Bulgarian state on a trumped-up charge of murder, you might reasonably expect that he would be somewhat depressed and introspective. All avenues of appeal have been exhausted and in a recent interview he said that he was resigned to serving the full 20-year sentence that he so unjustly received. The most recent reports are that he was again assaulted by prison guards last week.
Reclaim The Night has a proud international history as an annual protest of women and their supporters demanding an end to violence against women, and to the sexism and misogyny that underpin it. As shown by a 2012 globally focused study by US political scientists Mala Htun and S. Laurel Weldon, a key factor in reducing violence against women is strong feminist movements.
I disagree with a few points in the article “Blind workers fight for jobs at Vision Australia”. There are lots of parts of welfare to work which are not great but there is a particular part which helps people with disabilities be able to compete on the labour market or become self employed more easily.
It's 200 years too late to stop the boats. Almost everyone of non-Indigenous origin is an economic migrant or a refugee. Greeks left Egypt in the 1950-1970s because the government passed laws decreeing that only 15% of any company's wages could be paid to non-Egyptians. The laws were meant to help poorer Arabs get jobs, but they also resulting in one overpaid European company manager pocketing the 15% while refusing to employ any of his fellow Europeans.
At the Australian Hotels Association award night on May 22, Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles said the NT's drinking culture was a "core social value". The ABC reported on May 23 that Giles said “‘having a coldie' in a pub should be 'enshrined' as part of Territory life." Alcohol indeed is a disturbingly central part of life for many Territorians. The NT has the second-highest alcohol consumption rate in the world, and the highest rate of alcohol-related deaths in Australia.
Anyone who reads Green Left Weekly would probably know Bernie Rosen was an inexhaustible letter writer and so it seems fitting to compose one in his honour. Although it should be said that Bernie’s emphasis on letters later in his life was no doubt in part because his other favoured forms of political campaigning, such as door-to-door canvassing, newspaper distribution and public oration, were less and less physically possible for him. Letters were his way of engaging in the class struggle until the very end of his 88 years.
Reporting on Syria It is with deep concern that we the undersigned continue to read articles in the Green Left Weekly about the ongoing conflict in Syria that do not reflect the true situation. Most, if not all, of these articles are written by Tony Iltis who takes a position that is only marginally better than the outright lies being peddled by the corporate media: i.e. the “Free Syrian Army” are democratic rebels fighting for freedom.
Nakbah acknowledged An important judgement was delivered on May 15 by Justice Christine Adamson. The judge stated that the anniversary of the Nakbah (the catastrophe) could not be postponed for another day and compared it with other days that must be commemorated on the exact day when they occur. Until recent times, the Zionist falsification about what occurred in April 1948, following the massacre of Deir Yassin, was accepted by the ruling class and all their organs of propaganda and government. Ultimately the truth has emerged.
West Papua needs solidarity It was incredibly heart wrenching to watch 7.30’s report on August 27 and see the terribly oppressive situation the indigenous people are suffering in West Papua. I knew the plight of West Papuans was not good under Indonesian rule, but was shocked at the level of brutality.
Rewrite the Constitution What a brilliant 6-1 decision by the High Court on the federal funding of the chaplain program. The dysfunctionality of the federal constitution and the federal system couldn't have been made more obvious. The major parties now have to, again, find ways to circumvent the Constitution to make sensible government possible. Rudd passed up the opportunity in 2007 to replace the federal system with something far more effective with ALP governments in six states and in Canberra.
Freedom to protest Congratulations to the Sydney Al-Nakba Planning Committee for successfully defying police and winning its case in the Supreme Court to be allowed to protest on Al-Nakba Day. The Supreme Court decision on May 14 sets an important precedent for future protest groups in Sydney when they come up against police opposition. The police will not be in a hurry to take a protest group to court again.
All I really want to say is “thank you”. And there is plenty I want to thank you for. I want to thank you for not cancelling your April 18 evening conversation with Martin Flanagan at the Melbourne Wheeler Centre to discuss your new book Am I black enough for you? It was a very powerful and moving event to be part of; a reaffirming lesson of the importance of courage, humility and respect. As we all found out, it was no easy decision for you to go ahead with the event.
Population growth I’m tired of hearing how population growth and leaky boats cause the destruction of our environment — as if two-child families, frugality and no migration would make us sustainable.   Take any industry you like, sustainability is blatant nonsense. A log truck speeding down our country roads, even if it’s full of plantation trees is incredibly destructive. These trees are ripped out like carrots every few years. How many wooden rocking chairs do you need? This timber is largely intended for woodchips and those are probably earmarked for export.  
Co-operative housing I agree with nearly everything written by Douglas Jordan in the article Public housing is an issue for the whole community. Housing needs to be affordable, secure and accessible. Public housing is good and should be extended. The part I do not entirely agree with is "in essence social housing is the privatisation of public housing". There are two types of social housing. One is as described by Douglas, the other is co-operatives.
Media coverage distracts from the real crime What is all the she-said-he-said fuss about Unions ACT secretary Kim Sattler and the Aboriginal Tent Embassy protest on January 26? 1) The meaning of Abbott's comments was that it was time for the Tent Embassy to close. 2) As ABC's Media Watch pointed out on February 6, both AAP and Radio 2UE had been broadcasting all morning that Abbott had said the embassy "had to go" or "shut down".

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