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.
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.
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, 2014US 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. ***
A Dose Of Reality Eskatology September 2013 Download free here www.eskatology.com On his latest EP, A Dose Of Reality, Adelaide-based emcee Eskatology raps about the refugees he works with. "I've worked with many refugees in my job as a youth worker," says the rapper, who is giving the 10-track EP away as a free download.
Whitenoise Sole September 17, 2013 www.soleone.org As US president Barack Obama ramped up his rhetoric about Syria's chemical weapons on September 17, US rapper Sole released his latest album, which reflects on his country's chemical weapons attack on the Iraqi city of Fallujah. Green Left's Mat Ward spoke to the prolific political emcee, who started releasing records in 1994, when he was just 16. ***
The Signal And The Noise Asian Dub Foundation Out now in Japan, rest of the world soon www.asiandubfoundation.com Legendary punk-dub-electronica group Asian Dub Foundation are celebrating their 20th year with the release of a typically topical new album, The Signal And The Noise. Green Left's Mat Ward spoke to founding member, guitarist and band leader Steve Chandra Savale, a one-man riff factory who always has his finger on the political pulse. ***