Ian Angus is a veteran of the socialist and environmental movements in Canada and internationally. He is a featured guest speaker at the Climate Change Social Change activist conference, which will take place in Melbourne, from September 30 to October 3. Angus is the founder and editor of climateandcapitalism.com, an online journal that focuses on capitalism, ecology and the ecosocialist alternative.
During the historic High Court challenge to the federal government’s so-called Malaysia solution, barrister Debbie Mortimer, representing refugees that face expulsion from Australia, said “fundamental rights were at stake” in the case. “Liberty … freedom of movement and bodily integrity and the freedom from assault,” she said in court on August 22. “The proposed conduct of the Commonwealth interferes with all three of those rights.” See also
The Socialist Alliance released the statement below on August 23. * * * BlueScope Steel Ltd. announced on August 22 that it would shut two production facilities and shed 1000 jobs as part of a restructure aimed at turning around a $1.05 billion annual loss. This will mean the shutdown of a blast furnace at Port Kembla in the Illawarra region of New South Wales and closure of its Western Port hot strip mill in Victoria. The Port Kembla closure will result in 800 job losses, while at least 200 jobs will be cut at Western Port.
We are a group of Tamil Refugees awaiting for our status and security to be confirmed in Villawood Detention Centre. Although we happen to be Tamil, we wish our comments to encompass all the differing ethnic groups that languish in Villawood. The object of this letter is to thank the growing number of Australians in the community for offering continued support, advice and hope, in our endeavour to make Australia home. Although held in a prison like environment, we are not criminals. We all have families that we love and miss very much.
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 people wallowed inside this nation’s jails and detention centres, their futures cast by a system that jails them at staggeringly disproportionate rates. It’s a problem that cripples our families, and our communities, and is as complex as it is troubling.
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 Indonesian law. That day Lloyd had represented an Indonesian boy imprisoned on a charge of people smuggling, at his first age determination hearing at Bankstown Court. So many people are facing people smuggling charges in Indonesia that Monday is known as “people smuggling day”, she said.
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 will go down. And, among other things, this is how they determine whether we can afford to retire. The Sydney Morning Herald said on August 7 that stock market plunges had wiped $30 billion from Australian superannuation funds over the past six weeks.
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.
Electrical Trades Union members around the country are currently voting for national and state union officials. The ballot goes from August 8-29. Nationally, a team of Howard Worthing, former assistant Victorian secretary, and Greg Wilton, former Western Australia organiser, are challenging incumbent national secretary Peter Tighe and Allen Hicks, for the positions of national secretary and assistant national secretary respectively. Allen Hicks is former Queensland assistant secretary. Reconnect ETU is running a full ticket against the Victorian incumbent leadership.
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. * * *
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 ABC news on August 15 she had raised concerns in caucus about an overseas detention centre as well as the “Malaysia solution”, which faces a legal challenge in the High Court and could also be subject to a parliamentary inquiry.