Haiti earthquake disaster: US imposes occupation

On January 19, one week after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince, Agence France Presse reported that hundreds of Haitians looked stunned as several helicopters landed 100 US soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division in the grounds of the Presidential Palace. “I haven’t seen them distributing food downtown, where the people urgently need water, food and medicine”, said Wilson Guillaume, a 25-year-old student. “This looks more like an occupation.”

Behind Rudd's racist refugee policy

Demonstrations were held in Sydney, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth, Auckland, Toronto and London and email/postcard campaigns in the US and Malaysia on January 18 to mark 100 days since 254, mostly Tamil asylum seekers, left on a boat heading for Australia were intercepted by the Indonesian navy. This happened after Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd personally asked Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to prevent the asylum seekers landing on the Australian mainland and invoking Australia’s refugee obligations.

For apartheid Israel, a reckoning

The farce of the climate-change summit in Copenhagen affirmed a world war waged by the rich against most of humanity. It also illuminated a resistance growing perhaps as never before: an internationalism linking justice for the planet Earth with universal human rights, and criminal justice for those who invade and dispossess with impunity. And the best news comes from Palestine.

RSP members challenge Australia's racism

On January 26 two members of the Revolutionary Socialist Party, Van Rudd and Sam King received international notoriety for a stunt highlighting Australian racism where they wore Ku Klux Klan (KKK) costumes with “racism made in Australia” written on them. The action was held outside the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on what is officially designated as “Australia Day” — commemorating the arrival in Sydney Cove on January 26, 1788 of the “First Fleet” of 1332 British colonial settlers (half of whom were prisoners).

Rudd ignores war crimes to boost ties with Sri Lanka

At least 164,000 Tamil men, women and children were being held in military internment camps — without access to humanitarian agencies, independent monitors, media or local civil authorities — when Stephen Smith, Australia’s foreign minister, visited Sri Lanka on November 9, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Invictus drops the ball on South African history

Written by Anthony Peckman
Directed by Clint Eastwood
Starring Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman
Runtime: 133 minutes
In cinemas now

Labor's refugee hypocrisy

The Rudd Labor government’s refugee “Indian Ocean” solution to “unauthorised” asylum seekers arriving by boat has led to growing tensions among detainees in the Christmas Island detention centre. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has threatened those involved in the November 21 detention centre brawl with deportation. Immigration minister Chris Evans blamed the brawl on ethnic tensions in the detention centre, but Labor’s retention of mandatory detention and offshore processing has led to increasingly crowded conditions on Christmas Island.

Reviving a suppressed memory of struggle

Refugees and Rebels: Indonesian Exiles in Wartime Australia,
By Jan Lingard
Australian Scholarly Publishing (2008), 312 pages, $39.95 (pb)

Labor stirs anti-refugee hysteria

By Kerry Vernon

Tamil asylum seekers from Sri Lanka, diverted from entering Australia and put on the Australian Customs ship Oceanic Viking, had been refusing food for two days and refusing to leave the ship at Kijang for the Indonesian immigration detention prison, Tanjung Pinang, on Bintan Island on October 26. It had been more than a week since the 78 asylum seekers, including a sick 12-year-old girl, were put aboard the Australian ship after being intercepted by the Indonesian navy on October 11 and diverted from reaching Australia in a deal between Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Remembering the Warsaw Ghetto uprising: a tribute to Marek Edelman

By Linda Waldron

On October 2, Marek Edelman died in Warsaw at the age of 90. He had been the last surviving commander of the resistance forces during the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising against the Nazi occupation. Born in Poland, Edelman became a member of the youth organisation of the socialist General Jewish Labour Union, commonly known as the “Bund”, in the late 1930s.