Issue Number 35

September 2011

  • Boycott apartheid Israel
  • Behind the London riots: Racism, poverty, police violence

International News & Analysis

By Allen Myers

[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.

By Ben Reid

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?”

By Max Lane

It is 13 years since the Indonesian dictator Suharto was forced to resign by a student-led mass protest movement. The current president, Bambang Susilo Yudhoyono, will complete his second five-year term in 2014. At the level of the state and government, Indonesia has experienced another extended period of “stability”.

By Paulus Suryanta Ginting

Jakarta – On August 2, Kholis Annasir, from the student group Centre for Student Struggle for National Liberation (Pembebasan – Liberation) and I attended an action called by the West Papua National Committee (KNPB). We were invited to attend by Okto, the coordinator of the planned action. I was representing the People’s Liberation Party (PPR).

By Hamish Chitts

Hanoi – The Vietnamese Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA) hosted the Second International Conference of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin in Hanoi August 8-9. Attending the conference were participants from more than 20 countries and 30 organisations, including Agent Orange victims, victims of other toxic chemicals, scientists, lawyers and social activists.

By Doug Lorimer

The six-months-long military stalemate between the 42-year regime of Libyan despot Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and the imperialist-backed forces of the Benghazi-based National Transition Council was broken by the rapid advance of the NTC forces into Tripoli last month.

By Doug Lorimer

The two largest organisations of the British radical left – the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and the UK Socialist Party – have responded inconsistently to the wave of rioting, looting and arson that swept across English cities for four days in the wake of the police killing of Tottenham (London) resident Mark Duggan on August 4.

By Hamish Chitts

[This is the speech delivered at the Second International Conference on the Victims of Agent Orange in Hanoi, August 8-9, by Agent Orange Justice – Australia Vietnam Solidarity Network (AOJ-AVSN) representative Hamish Chitts. Chitts was an infantry soldier with the Australian military and served in East Timor in the late 1990s.

By Max Lane

I was very active between 1991 and 1999 in the international solidarity movement for Timorese independence. During that time, I worked with a variety of Timorese individuals and political groups.

By Barry Sheppard

San Francisco – In last month’s article, I wrote about how the Congressional stand-off about raising the US government’s debt ceiling obscured the drive by both Democrats and Republicans to cut drastically the social wage, especially Social Security and Medicare, as well as education and other social programs.

2nd International Conference of Agent Orange/Dioxin Victims

August 9, 2011 – The Second International Conference of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin, held in Hanoi from August 8 to 9, 2011, included participants from around the world: Agent Orange victims, victims of other toxic chemicals, scientists, lawyers and social activists.

By Hamish Chitts

[Ezequiel Morales from the Instituto Cubano de Amistad con los Pueblos (ICAP – the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples) spoke with Hamish Chitts from Direct Action in Brisbane on May 9.

Australian News & Analysis

By Owain Jones

A 100 strong anti-racist rally was held in Brisbane on August 6. The rally was called in response to a protest organised by the far-right racist group, Australian Patriots Defence Movement (APDM). The APDM takes its inspiration from the racist English Defence League – the same group that inspired the gunman who slaughtered nearly 100 people last month in Norway.

By Kim Bullimore

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.

Justice for Palestine

Justice for Palestine, Brisbane media statement, August 29.

Brisbane BDS supporters have pledged to intensify their campaign following a successful protest on August 27. Despite the rain, fifty protestors took to the streets to highlight the links between the Max Brenner chocolate store and the Israeli military occupation of Palestine.

By Nick Everett

“Protesters vow to break CHOGM security lines” is how the August 23 issue of the Perth daily West Australian headlined an article accusing CHOGM protesters of being “on course for a confrontation with police at key CHOGM events”.

By Kathy Newnam

The Gillard government announced details of its latest attack on welfare rights on July 30. This will put restrictions on new applicants for the disability support pension (DSP).

By Tim Stewart

Anger against coal seam gas (CSG) mining, which has erupted into significant street protests over the past six months, has now spilled into parliament.

By Jon Lamb

In the lead-up to the introduction of the carbon tax legislation into federal parliament, the federal opposition and other opponents of the tax have intensified their campaign against it.

By Shilo Harrison

People need to know the truth: that the reality of Western Australia is very different from what community organisations, legal organisations and government bodies wish members of the community to believe.

Views, Discussion & Debate

By Doug Lorimer

In September 2010 the UN General Assembly was devoted to a discussion on ending global poverty, to the fulfilment of the so-called Millennium Goals first adopted in 2000.

By Allen Myers

Warren Buffett, listed by Forbes magazine as the world’s third wealthiest person, created a minor stir in early August by writing an op-ed piece in the New York Times calling for himself and other US millionaires and billionaires to be taxed at a higher rate.

In Their Own Words

Limited comprehension

“This goes beyond our comprehension.” US Democrat member of Congress John Tierney of Massachusetts, commenting on an investigation that found that half the contractors moving supplies for the US military in Afghanistan were paying protection money to the Taliban.