Behind the London riots: racism, poverty, police violence

For a lot of people who have spent much time in Britain, the widespread riots were not a big surprise. Rather the response has been “What took you so long?”

Australia's repression of BDS movement coordinated with Israel

In the largest show of support for the Palestinian-initiated boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign so far in Australia, more than 350 persons marched on 29 July in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle — and in opposition to an attempt by Victorian Police to criminalize Palestine solidarity activism in Melbourne.

Victorian police attack non-violent boycott rally

“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” If Gandhi was right about this progression of a non-violent movement, then the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel is well on the road to victory.

Malaysia deal guarantees more refugee misery

Signing the refugee swap deal with the Malaysian government on July 25, the Gillard Labor government has confirmed again that it is a world leader in dealing misery to refugees. The arrangement between Australia and Malaysia will exchange 800 asylum seekers who have sought asylum in Australia for 4000 refugees living in Malaysia.

WA gas hub fight heats up

The fight to stop a gas hub at James Price Point in the Kimberley is stepping up despite police attacking protesters. The $30 billion project by Woodside would destroy Aboriginal sacred sites including ancient burial grounds. Traditional owners of the land have blockaded the site along with environmentalists, leading to a seven-week stand-off with police.

Refugees and racism

A week before Four Corners aired its horrific footage of the fate of Australian cattle in Indonesia, Dateline on SBS featured terrifying and disturbing images of canings, detention and brutal treatment of asylum seekers at a Malaysian detention centre. If the response to both programs is any indication, there was one clear winner in the battle for sympathy: the cattle by a landslide. It seems that many Australians empathised more with the cattle exported for slaughter than with the men, women and children who are to be sent to Kuala Lumpur as part of the Malaysian “solution”.

Indonesian children in Australian prisons

An Indonesian youth, Hadi Kurniawan, imprisoned on charges of people-smuggling, has drawn attention to the Australian government and legal system’s brazen disregard for human rights. Kurniawan’s case came to light almost by accident. Two refugee rights activists, Gerry Georgatos and Victoria Martin-Iverson, met Kurniawan at the Perth Immigration Detention Centre in January. They had no idea at that time that he would be sent to prison.

BDS: truth and justice will not be silenced

On July 5, the Senate passed a motion that condemned the Marrickville Council for its vote last December in favour of the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against apartheid Israel. This was the latest in a growing attack against the BDS movement by the Zionists and their supporters in the government and corporate media in this country. Of course, these attacks have been taking place consistently in other countries since the founding of the movement in 2005.

Labor continues to push off-shore asylum processing regime

The March 23 Sydney Morning Herald reported that two Sri Lankan men who were originally rejected asylum seekers and were taken to the Australian mainland to alleviate overcrowding at the Christmas Island immigration detention centre in March 2010 have now been granted refugee visas after a High Court challenge determined that they were denied procedural fairness according to law.

Teenage refugees driven to desperation

More than 140 unaccompanied minors from Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan are currently crowded into a centre originally built to house 40-50 asylum seekers, the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation centre (MITA), located in the suburb of Broadmeadows.