Asia Pacific

Fight against Greed in Papua

(A slightly shorter version of this article has been published in New Matilda.)

It was 10 o’clock in the evening on September 11. Sudiro, the chief negotiator in West Papua’s ongoing Freeport strikes, was sitting alone on the veranda of his house. He had spent all day with Freeport Indonesia management, bargaining for a wage rise for the members of his union – the All Indonesia Workers Union (SPSI) Freeport division.

ALP no hope for refugees

The ALP national conference in Sydney on December 3 and 4 should present an opportunity for the ALP to reassess its policy of mandatory detention and an opportunity to adopt a more humane approach towards refugees. But no one is waiting with bated breath. Since its election in 2007, the ALP government has reinforced the Howard government’s demonising of people seeking protection from war and persecution.

ALP intensifies attack on refugees

After the High Court ruling it illegal to send asylum seekers to Malaysia, the Gillard government could have used the opportunity to take a new approach in how it treats refugees. Instead, the ALP kept to its usual script of trying to outdo the Coalition in attacking refugees and decided to redraft legislation to resume offshore processing. There are few if any places in the world that take as punitive an approach as Australia towards those seeking protection.

Philippine Airlines workers fight retrenchment

In a major attack on workers’ rights, Philippine Airlines moved to retrench and lock out some 2600 workers and members of the Philippine Airline Employees Association (PALEA) between September 26 and October 1. PALEA has responded with a campaign of actions and the establishment of a protest camp at Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Indonesian feminists: "Don't blame the victim!"

Around 100 women and men took part in a rally, Miniskirt Protest — Women against Rape, at the Bundaran Hotel Indonesia in Thamrin, Jakarta, on Sunday, September 18. Dozens of women, including several activists from Perempuan Mahardhika (Free Women), wore miniskirts, as a statement that rape has nothing to do with the way women dress.

Jakarta protest over rape statements: don't blame the victim!

On Sunday, September 18, around 100 women staged a lightning protest in Jakarta’s main thoroughfare, Jalan Thamrin, to protest statements by Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo in response to rapes that have taken place in public transport. He said: “Imagine if someone on board a mikrolet (minivan) sits wearing a mini-skirt, you would get a bit turned on”. Women, he said, “must adjust to their surrounding environment so that they don’t provoke people to commit unwanted acts”.

'Negligent homicide and deliberate murder in the one corporation'

[This is the speech delivered at the Second International Conference on the Victims of Agent Orange in Hanoi, August 8-9, by AOJ-AVSN representative Allen Myers. Myers was a US GI active in resisting against the US war on Vietnam in the 1960s and was court-martialled twice for his activism.

Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin: 'Agent Orange in Vietnam was a crime against humanity'