Freedom of Speech & The Press

Issue 34 - August 2011

By Allen Myers

Sometimes small events can reveal a great deal. A case in point was the opening of an exhibition of political cartoons in Los Angeles in June.

Issue 30 - March 2011

By Doug Lorimer

British Judge Howard Riddle ruled on February 24 that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange can be extradited to Sweden to be questioned about allegations of sexual assault. This is despite the fact that Assange has not been charged with any criminal act.

Issue 29 - February 2011

By Kathy Newnam

[Below is an abridged version of a speech delivered at the December 9-10 rallies in Brisbane to defend WikiLeaks and for freedom for Julian Assange.]

By John Pilger

The attacks on Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange, are a response to an information revolution that threatens old power orders in politics and journalism.

Issue 28 - November-December 2010

By Ambrose Andrews

Three years after the federal government first announced a proposed internet filter, the twists and turns of the various versions of the policy and conflicting statements about it have been challenging to keep track of. One certainty is that the proposal as it stands after the 2010 election has almost nothing in common with the original.

Issue 27 - October 2010

By Allen Myers

In the negotiations between the two major parties and the Greens and independents over who would form the new federal government, “transparency” was a frequently mentioned issue. Tony Abbott and the Coalition were criticised, legitimately, for their effort to hide the real cost of their election promises.

Issue 25 - August 2010

By James Balowski

Jakarta – At around 2.30am on June 28, a group of men arrived at a major news distribution outlet in Central Jakarta. “We want to buy all copies of this magazine”, said one, pointing to Tempo, hot off the press with a cover story titled “Police officers’ fat bank accounts”.

Issue 20 - March 2010

By James Crafti

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.

By John Pilger

Why are so many films so bad? This year’s Oscar nominations are a parade of propaganda, stereotypes and downright dishonesty. The dominant theme is as old as Hollywood: America’s divine right to invade other societies, steal their history and occupy our memory. When will directors and writers behave like artists and not pimps for a world view devoted to control and destruction?

Issue 19 - February 2010

By Max Lane

On December 23, the Indonesian Attorney General’s Department announced the banning of five books. Soon afterwards, it became known that the attorney general is looking at possibly banning another 20 titles. This follows the banning of the film Balibo, which tells the story of Suharto’s invasion of East Timor and the suppression of history textbooks in 2007.

Issue 16 - October 2009

By Marce Cameron

This year’s winner of Cuba’s National Award for Journalism is veteran journalist Luis Sexto. Little known outside Cuba, Sexto is a professor of journalism at the Faculty of Social Communication at the University of Havana.

Issue 15 - September 2009

By Max Lane

Jakarta – Watching Jusuf Isak’s body wrapped in white linen being passed down to his sons, standing deep in the grave dug in Java’s rich, red muddy soil, was like watching life itself being buried, for Jusuf was somebody who never stopped living life to the full, to the very last moment. He died on August 15, aged 81.

By Max Lane

On August 6, Wahyu Sulaiman Rendra, Indonesia’s greatest dramatist and most influential poet, died in Jakarta, aged 74. More than a thousand people, mostly villagers but also intellectuals, attended his funeral on August 7 at his home and theatre group centre, Bengkel Teater, outside Jakarta.

Issue 14 - August 2009

By Marcus Pabian

The revolutionary socialist government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on July 9 proposed a reform to democratise the media and stop the corporate media endlessly campaigning to violently overthrow the elected government.

Issue 10 - April 2009

By Sam King

The museum-style artwork called Economy of Movement – A Piece of Palestine that was located in a subway under Melbourne’s Flinders Street train station contained two framed explanations of its centre piece – a stone, resting on a glass pedestal. The first frame explained: “The stone exhibited is from East Jerusalem, Israel (occupied Palestinian Territory).

Issue 8 - February 2009

By Allen Myers

A Thai socialist, Giles Ji Ungpakorn, is facing up to 15 years in jail after being charged by police with lese majeste – insulting the king.