National liberation

The Sri Lankan government has used the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse for increased repression of the Tamil people, writes Chris Slee.

Whenever supporters of Catalan sovereignty and independence have been asked to travel far from home to champion their country’s democratic rights, they have always rallied to the cause, writes Dick Nichols from Barcelona.

It is a feat to coalesce 72 years of struggle against displacement, apartheid and racism into an accessible 110-minute film, but Solidarity: Five Largely Unknown Truths about Israel, Palestine and the Occupied Territories manages this task well, writes Nora Barrows-Friedman.

Veteran South Africa anti-Apartheid activist Sidney Luckett spoke to Green Left's Peter Boyle about the important link between South Africa's iconic freedom fighter Nelson Mandela and Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan.

Peter Boyle reports from Brussels that European left and green parliamentarians condemned Turkey's invasion of Rojava, the democratic autonomous liberated zone in North and East Syria, at an international conference on February 5–6.

Capitulation to the Spanish state has blown apart Catalonia's pro-independence alliance and forced an early election, writes Dick Nichols from Barcelona.

When British essayist Samuel Johnson wrote in 1774 the famous words “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel” the context was an aggressive British colonial expansionist push and associated wars with its European colonial competitors.

“Not of sound mind when I committed me crime, some said. Others... I'd orchestrated the whole damm thing. On reflection, I do ask meself… Was I morally or legally responsible for what I had done? You see, I never set out to harm anyone, but simply to remind the British empire dat as an Irishman... I wasn't about to stand idle and watch as me fellow countrymen were being hanged for defending their own country.”

So wrote Henry James O'Farrell, an alleged Irish Fenian (as 19th century Irish revolutionaries were known), who made a failed assassination attempt on Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, in Sydney on March 12, 1868.

Surya Anta Ginting, the national spokesperson for the pro-independence Indonesian People's Front for West Papua — who along with five other Papuan activists is being held in Jakarta's notorious Salemba prison awaiting trial on treason charges — is reportedly seriously ill.

Anta's wife Lucia Fransisca told reporters that she visited him on November 29 and found that he and the other five Papuan detainees were ill and were not receiving proper medical treatment.

West Papuans and their supporters around the world traditionally raise the Morning Star flag — the symbol of an independent Papua — on December 1. This is an act of defiance, as flying the flag is outlawed by the occupying Indonesian government.

New Zealand-based West Papua solidarity activist and author Maire Leadbeater looks the new uprising in West Papua and the repression being carried out by Indonesian security forces while governments, including NZ’s, remain silent.

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