anti-war

Staring at the vast military history section in the airport shop, I had a choice: the derring-do of psychopaths or scholarly tomes with their illicit devotion to the cult of organised killing.

There was nothing I recognised from reporting war. Nothing on the spectacle of children’s limbs hanging in trees and nothing on the burden of shit in your trousers. War is a good read. War is fun. More war please.

The Socialist Alliance has endorsed Dr Renfrey Clarke to run for the Senate in South Australia. Clarke was one of the founders of the Climate Emergency Action Network in 2008, and is a well-known activist and writer on environmental topics. He is a member of the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union.

A specialist on Russia and Latin America, Clarke worked for many years as a foreign correspondent for Green Left Weekly and other progressive media.

Below, Clarke outlines the priority issues around which he campaigns.

ANZACS in Arkhangel: The Untold Story of Australia and the Invasion of Russia 1918-19
By Michael Challinger
Hardie Grant Books, 2010, 285 pages, $35 (pb)

“The remedy for Bolshevism is bullets”, was the blunt message of the editorial in Britain’s establishment newspaper, The Times, in 1919 as military forces from 16 capitalist countries invaded Russia after the 1917 revolution. Among the invaders were about 150 Australian soldiers, as recounted in Michael Challinger’s history of the Australian role in the invasion.

On May 4, 1970, Ohio State National Guard military reservists murdered four students at Kent State University. The students were peacefully protesting against President Richard Nixon’s expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia.

The killings stunned American youth into a convulsive protest movement that shook Nixon’s government and contributed to forcing the US ruling class to reverse its South East Asia war plans.

The upsurge even found an expression on the pop music charts.

In the United States, Google-owned video-sharing site YouTube has banned the video for hip hop star M.I.A.’s new single “Born Free”, citing the graphic nature of its content.

More than nine minutes long, the clip, directed by Romain Gavras, begins with heavily armed soldiers with US flags on their uniforms raiding someone’s home. The location is not known, but the setting is reminiscent of Baghdad or the Palestinian West Bank.

Visiting Pakistani socialist and anti-war activist Ammar Ali Jan and Edmund Rice Centre director Phil Glendenning delivered powerful presentations on why the Afghanistan-Pakistan “war on terror” was a fraud. They spoke at a meeting organised by Stop the War Coalition on April 27.

Ali Jan said the US was facing a checkmate in Afghanistan after failing to find a credible replacement for the corrupt and increasingly weak President Hamid Karzai (also known as “the mayor of Kabul” for his limited political influence).

About 90,000 people marched in Yomitan, Okinawa on April 25 to call for the closure of US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, an April 29 Counterfire.org article said. Protesters included the governor and all the mayors of Okinawa.

Participants issued a statement calling for immediate closing and relocation of Futenma US Base outside Okinawa or the country.

The rally recorded a record-high participation in Okinawa, expressing public opinion against the base. In 1995, 85,000 marched in protest at the rape of a schoolgirl by US servicemen.

Sydney Opera House
Turkish armed forces have launched a bloody air and land attack on the predominantly Kurdish city of Afrin, part of the democratic autonomous cantons of Democratic Federation of Northern Syria/Rojava. Please join this rally in solidarity with the brave resistance forces - the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), People's Protection Units (YPG) and Women's Protection Unions (YPJ). Rally called by NSW Democratic Kurdish Community Centre and supported by Rojava Solidarity (Sydney).

It's the last Saturday of the month coming up and so we meet this coming Saturday outside the old Courthouse at 10.30.

Come for 5 minutes, come for the half hour.

We stand in silence.

Against militarism, against wars, & all forms of violence.

For peace. 

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