Refugees: Stop Labor's racist attacks!

The decision last month by the Rudd Labor government to suspend the processing of new asylum claims by Tamils from Sri Lanka for a period of three months and the processing of new asylum claims by Afghans for a period of six months is a clear and racist violation of Australia’s obligations under the 1951 UN refugee convention, which prohibits governments from deciding refugee claims on grounds of national or racial origin. About 80% of refugees heading by boat to Australia are either from Afghanistan or Sri Lanka.

No NT nuclear waste dump!

Indigenous communities, environmentalists and human rights activists are gearing up for a fight against the federal government’s push to create a nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory. Traditional owners in the area of the proposed waste dump at Muckaty Station, located around 120 kilometres north of Tennant Creek, are strongly opposed to it. The dump represents another step towards Australia playing a larger role in the deadly and unsustainable nuclear industry.

Rudd's war marches to the beat of racism

While the wars of occupation against the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, like most wars, are being fought for big-business profits, they cannot be waged without the assistance of racism. Racism breaks down human solidarity, and there is no greater example of this than when seemingly rational people are able to be convinced that it is acceptable to kill other people simply because they have a different skin colour.

Deaths in custody expose racism in WA 'justice' system

“Aboriginal people are treated worse than second class citizens”, Paul Haywood told a rally in Perth on March 17. Haywood, whose brother Deon Woods died in the Perth watch-house on March 14, told protesters, “Deon’s son is here today. Now he hasn’t got a father. I haven’t got a brother. My mother has lost her son and my sister in law has lost her man.”

Aboriginal deaths in custody: the product of a racist system

On March 14 another Aboriginal person died in custody, this time in a Perth police watchhouse. He was 33 years old. His completely preventable death is one of over 300 that have occurred since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody issued its final report, with 339 recommendations, in April 1991. This latest victim of the racist “justice” system became quite ill in the watchhouse and was taken to hospital, then dragged back to the watchhouse, taken to hospital for a second time only to be brought back again to the cell where he would die.

Merak asylum seekers call for just solution to their plight

[For five months, 254 Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers have refused to disembark the rickety cargo boat Jaya Lestari 5 which was towed into the Indonesian port Merak, after being intercepted by the Indonesian navy at the request of Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. One pregnant woman onboard is due in early March. Her daughter has chicken pox and the rest of the 31 children on the boat are at risk of the disease. On February 12, the asylum seekers on the boat issued “A call for urgent action by the Indonesian and Australian governments”, which is reprinted below. The statement calls for a “just solution” for the stranded Tamil asylum seekers.]

Australian Made Campaign attempts to limit free political speech

On January 26 (“Australia Day”), two members of the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), Sam King and Van Rudd, demonstrated outside of the Australian Open Tennis Championships at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena to highlight Australia’s racism. The protest involved the pair dressing up in Klux Klux Klan outfits with the “Australian Made” logo and the slogan “racism made in Australia”.

Ampilatwatja community walkoff: 'Protest House' launched

Hundreds of people gathered on February 14 for the launch of a “protest house” established by the Alyawarr people at the protest camp at Honeymoon Bore — 350 kilometres north east of Alice Springs. The camp was set up in July 2009 when Alyawarr elders led a walk-off from the Ampilatwatja community in protest against the federal government’s racist treatment of the community.

Labor's refugee policies create conditions for more deaths

A January 25 Darwin inquest into the deaths of five asylum seekers — after an April 16 explosion last year on a boat (Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel 36) carrying 49 asylum seekers and two Indonesian crew near Ashmore Reef and under the control of the Australian naval vessel HMAS Childers — was adjourned on February 19 until March 17, when Northern Territory coroner Greg Cavanagh will present his findings after hearing evidence for three weeks from more than 30 witnesses.

Nightmares from the American right

Going Rouge: An American Nightmare
Edited by Richard Kim & Betsy Reed
OR Books (2009)
335 pages (pb)