Syria


Zaatari refugee camp, Jordan. There are an estimated 1,400,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan.

Tragic photos and videos of masses of asylum seekers and immigrants from the Middle East and Africa have recently shocked the world. But these ordeals have been going on for a long time.

September 21 was declared International Peace Day by the United Nations.

This is an abridged version of a speech given by Pip Hinman on behalf of Sydney Stop the War Coalition to protest against the bombing of Syria at a rally on that day.

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Stop the War Coalition (STWC) adds its voice to those saying Australia should not join the latest “Coalition of the Killing” and the disastrous bombing of Syria.

It is a long and perilous journey for those fleeing war-torn Syria in hopes of reaching safety. But one such refugee refused to make journey without his cat.

Photos have emerged in Greek media showing the moment the unnamed refugee landed on the island of Lesbos, cradling the tiny cat he could not bear to leave behind. The man had few other possessions when he crossed the Mediterranean Sea, according to Greek news outlet Protothema.

Reading Rupert Murdoch's Australian is always educational. For instance, Maurice Newman's September 11 op-ed exposed a media gang that represent “by far the major media presence in Australia and, from their bully pulpits, they present a common position on most social, economic and political issues”.

The announcement on September 9 that Australia will accept only 12,000 refugees from Syria and that the government will seek to discriminate on the basis of ethnicity and religion is further proof that the government is lying about leading the world in welcoming refugees.

The cycle path known as the Iron Curtain Trail follows the boundary that separated east from west during the cold war period from 1947 to 1989. The 7650 kilometre route that stretches from north of Turkey to the Barents Sea, 400 kilometres inside the Arctic Circle, is not for the faint-hearted.

But such is the desperation of Syrian refugees that up to 20 people a month are using the route to get to the safety of the Norwegian town of Kirkenes on the Russian-Norwegian border. Here they make a formal request for asylum and are then flown to the capital Oslo for further processing.

Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) released this statement on August 28.

Peace activists across the nation are united in anger at the prospect of Australia joining the US in bombing targets in Syria.

IPAN is a network of peace groups with affiliates in every state and territory. It has consistently opposed the use of military power to solve international problems and believes that Australia has lost its independence through too close an alliance with the US.

On July 20, 32 people were killed in a suicide bombing attack on a cultural centre in Suruç, a town in Turkish Kurdistan. More than 100 were injured.

Suruç is located across the border from the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobanê, which was besieged by forces of the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), between September and January.

Revolutionary Minded 4
Marcel Cartier
Released July 26, 2014
http://bit.ly/1qYcIQ7

US rapper Marcel Cartier's lines usually ring out with the clarity of a clarion call - and the messages on his latest album are as loud and clear as ever. As he tells Green Left Weekly's Mat Ward, much of the material comes from first-hand experience with struggles around the world.

Tap Tap
New Dub City
Raspect Records
November 18, 2013
www.newdubcity.com

Melbourne dub-rap-reggae collective New Dub City have just released their politically punchy and sonically spotless second album, Tap Tap. Frontman, producer and author Ali MC spoke to Green Left Weekly's Mat Ward.

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