Transcend

Monday, July 6, 2015

Ballarat Friends of West Papua meet Thursday 9 July 6pm - Ballarat Trades Hall

West Papua is little more than a good swim away from northern Australia. 
It is the scene of a prolonged struggle for independence by its indigenous inhabitants. 
It is the scene of ethnic cleansing by the colonizing, power Indonesia. 
It is the scene of abhorrent practices by international mining corporations.
Please help in building friendships with the West Papuan people
under the flag of the Morning Star

Picture below from here
Ballarat Friends of West Papua  
Next meeting - Thursday 9th July at 6pm - Ballarat Trades Hall. 
All welcome and encouraged to attend.
Posted by Ballarat Trades Hall on Sunday, 5 July 2015

Deep Green Resistance - an all encompassing way of life?

Guiding Principles of Deep Green Resistance

Statement of Principles

The soil, the air, the water, the climate, and the food we eat are created by complex communities of living creatures. The needs of those living communities are primary; individual and social morality must emerge from a humble relationship with the web of life.
Civilization, especially industrial civilization, is fundamentally destructive to life on earth. Our task is to create a life-centered resistance movement that will dismantle industrial civilization by any means necessary. Organized political resistance is the only hope for our planet.
Deep Green Resistance works to end abuse at the personal, organizational, and cultural levels. We also strive to eradicate domination and subordination from our private lives and sexual practices. Deep Green Resistance aligns itself with feminists and others who seek to eradicate all social domination and to promote solidarity between oppressed peoples.
When civilization ends, the living world will rejoice. We must be biophilic people in order to survive. Those of us who have forgotten how must learn again to live with the land and air and water and creatures around us in communities built on respect and thanksgiving. We welcome this future.
Deep Green Resistance is a radical feminist organization. Men as a class are waging a war against women. Rape, battering, incest, prostitution, pornography, poverty, and gynocide are both the main weapons in this war and the conditions that create the sex-class women. Gender is not natural, not a choice, and not a feeling: it is the structure of women’s oppression. Attempts to create more “choices” within the sex-caste system only serve to reinforce the brutal realities of male power. As radicals, we intend to dismantle gender and the entire system of patriarchy which it embodies. The freedom of women as a class cannot be separated from the resistance to the dominant culture as a whole.

Code of Conduct

All societies – including the most peaceful; especially the most peaceful – have understood the necessity of codes of conduct, which are nothing more than behavioral norms.
All serious organizations have codes of conduct by which people are meant to abide. The Spanish Anarchists did. So did the IRA. The Freedom Riders had a code of conduct, as did Nat Turner’s fighters. Codes of conduct are even more important in militant resistance movements which have a history of behaving badly.
To reject the concept of a social compact is to reject all responsibility (which comes from the root “to give in return”) and ultimately all human relationships. The modern, Western, individualist, capitalist, code of conduct is that there can be no such thing as a code of conduct other than what benefits an individual the most. Our movements can’t use this as a measure of liberation or as a model for our organizations or communities. If we are to be successful in such a monumental task, we must invest time and energy in our relationships.
Agreeing to abide by a code of conduct is not limiting, it is liberating. It will ensure that all involved are in agreement on the basic protocols that will guide us in this struggle.
Civilization, especially industrial civilization, is fundamentally destructive to life on earth. Organized political resistance is the only hope for our planet. Our task is to create that resistance movement.
With this goal in mind, we agree to adhere to the following Code of Conduct in our organizing groups:
Political Action: DGR groups will only engage in aboveground, nonviolent activities. These can include legal demonstrations as well as civil disobedience.
Solidarity: Non-indigenous members of DGR remember that we are living on stolen land in the midst of an ongoing genocide. The task of the non-indigenous is to buildsolidarity with indigenous people in defending the land, preserving traditional cultures, and protecting sacred ceremonies from exploitation.
Justice: We are enmeshed in overlapping systems of sadistic power built on stolen wealth, white privilege, misogyny, and human supremacism. As individuals, it is our responsibility to acknowledge those systems, overcome our entitlement, and make alliances with the dispossessed. Collectively, it is our task to bring those systems down.
Liberty: DGR groups have a zero-tolerance policy for abuse of anyone, human or nonhuman. Physical integrity and emotional safety are basic human rights that DGR is sworn to defend. DGR will banish any members who rape, batter, or abuse any living creature. Masculinity, with its militarized psychology and its violation imperative, has to be abandoned personally and dismantled globally.
Character: DGR is a serious undertaking that requires loyalty, commitment, integrity, and courage. Members are expected to treat everyone with respect.
Security: All DGR members are required to abide by principles of security culture and to address breaches directly. Both lax security and paranoia are dangerous to our organization. All non-political illegal activity puts everyone at risk and is inappropriate for members. DGR groups are required to educate new members on security culture.

Mt Druitt - the "stardom" of this western Sydney suburb is unable to save its Aboriginal health service



An Aboriginal Community Health Service in Western Sydney is being forced to close after a Federal Government decision to cease its funding.
Posted by NITV on Saturday, 4 July 2015

Introducing ... the Australian Climate Roundtable. Now let's see who blinks first on Climate Change!

This post comes from the website of Austrralian Coastal Councils Assocation Inc.
 --- thx to friend of The Network, Maria Riedl.
Please take time too visit their beautiful site.
This is organisations doing for themselves what the Australian Goverrnment is refusing to do.
All I can say to these organisations is:
Good on you.
Congratulations.
But what took you so long?
Giving the Abbott Government a long lead to prove how intransigent it can be?

One also wonders, giving those involved in the Australian Climate Roundtable, how much support - donations, backing, etc - will be withdrawn from the Abbott Government and how much pressure will be placed on Labor to bring forward sensible, practical, well-thought out, convincing policy on Climate Change without resorting to pink batts type policies.




POWERFUL ALLIANCE FORMED TO PROMOTE COMMON GROUND ON CLIMATE CHANGE


An alliance of major business, union, environment, investor and social organisations has been formed with the objective of  ‘putting the climate policy debate on common ground and offering a way forward’.
The alliance, called the Australian Climate Roundtable, includes
  • The Australian Aluminium Council,
  • The Australian Conservation Foundation,
  • The Australian Council of Social Service,
  • The ACTU,
  • The Australian Industry Group,
  • The Business Council of Australia,
  • The Energy Supply Association of Australia,
  • The Investor Group on Climate Change,
  • The Climate Institute and
  • WWF Australia.
The organisations in the Roundtable have been meeting in secret for more than a year to discuss how to tackle the issue. “This is born of collective frustration,” Matthew Warren, the chief executive of the Energy Supply Association of Australia, told The Guardian.
A statement issued by the Roundtable said the organisations had come together ‘because climate change and climate policy both impact our missions and our members.’ The statement went on to say: ‘We believe Australia should play its fair part in global efforts to avoid 2° centigrade and the serious economic, social and environmental impacts that unconstrained climate change would have on Australia.’
In an effort to put an end to the political debate on climate change the alliance has identified a set of principles to guide future Australian climate policy. The principles include that climate change should:
  • drive domestic abatement wherever it is efficient and internationally recognised across all sectors of the Australian economy;
  • make use of internationally recognised abatement from overseas to ease the transition towards net zero emissions;
  • recognise the strategic importance of reducing emissions from the energy sector in achieving the overall goal; and
  • use any revenue resulting from climate policy to address legitimate needs directly related to climate policy, and otherwise be returned to businesses and individuals.
The principles demand a policy that allows Australia to play a fair role in limiting global warming to 2°C and eventually achieves no net greenhouse emissions – meaning more emissions are taken out of the atmosphere or bought from overseas than emitted by activities in Australia.
John Connor, the chief executive of the Climate Institut, said the aim of the alliance is to ‘reset the tumultuous debate and try to establish a civil and constructive discussion.’ “We are offering ourselves as a sounding board for all parties to test and discuss their policies,” he said.
Jennifer Westacott, chief executive of the Business Council of Australia, said: “There is now overwhelming common ground on the need for a more certain and meaningful approach to emissions reduction”.
More information about the Roundtable is available at –

To be understood as to understand (Prayer of St Francis) - Indigenous Language News Radio

I used to live in Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. Tennant is a majority Aboriginal town - but it remains a mainstream town. A unique combination. One of the things I miss is walking down the main street, Paterson Street, and hearing language spoken. The traditional owners of the area are the Warrumungu but many other First Nations from across the Barkly Tableland on the Territory side regard Tennant as important too. Warlpiri is the third most spoken Aboriginal language. It can be heard from south of Alice Springs through the NT and across to Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia.  Find out more about the Warlpiri people here. The Yolgnu language, which is the language of Arnhem Land, is spoken across the north of the Northern Territory, the north of Western Australia and can even be found in Doomadgee in north-west Queensland.

It should be noted that, for Aboriginal people who still have language and culture of their own, they often speak a number of Aboriginal languages - with English coming third, fourth or even tenth! Documenting this has given many a whitefella linguist very busy. :)

Indigenous Language News Radio

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages are the first language spoken at home in many parts of Australia. For some Indigenous Australians English is a third or fourth language.
Media player: "Space" to play, "M" to mute, "left" and "right" to seek.


VIDEO: ABC News NT trials Indigenous language radio news service (ABC News)
The ABC with the help of the Aboriginal Interpreter Service in the Northern Territory is trialling an Indigenous language News Service in Warlpiri and Yolngu Matha for the next year.
Two ABC news bulletins will be recorded each weekday.
They will go online for download and will be available for rebroadcast by Indigenous radio broadcasters.
The project aims to improve access to ABC news and celebrate the importance of language and culture in our community.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Updating and reposting: Australian Mining Company wants to mine in the Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia, Southern Africa

Update - 3 July 2015

Lower Zamezi National Park 
Still awaiting the High Court's decision. 
http://savethelowerzambezi.blogspot.com.au/2015/07/still-waiting-zambezi-resources-in.html?view=magazine 
Posted by No Mining in Lower Zambezi National Park on Thursday, 2 July 2015
Court Update - retrieved from the company's website - 3/07/15

Court Update:
As announced on the 19th February 2015, the hearing of the appeal lodged by certain Zambian conservation groups (“Appellants”) against a decision of the Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environment Protection on 17 January 2014 to allow the Company to develop its 100% owned Kangaluwi Copper Project in the Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia which was heard on 18 February 2015 has at last been finalized.
The matter had originally been listed for final hearing on 4 February 2015 but an adjournment was granted by the Appeal Judge at the request of the Appellants who were not ready to proceed on that date.  The Judge then ordered all parties to provide final consolidated submissions within seven (7) days with the final hearing to take place on 18 February 2015 (see ASX Announcement dated 5 February 2015).  This has now occurred.
The appeal has therefore been concluded and the Appeal Judge has listed the matter on 28 April 2015 for Judgment.  The decision on the appeal to be handed down on 28 April 2015 will also deal with the stay of execution which remains in place pending the outcome of the appeal.  
As announced on the 29th April 2015, the decision on the appeal has been delayed.  The explanation given for the delay was that the Appeal Judge had not yet completed his written judgement on the appeal.  There is nothing further any of the parties to the appeal can do other than await the decision of the Appeal Judge.

~~~~
My memories of the mighty Zambezi are simple.  
In 1985, following the UN Women's Forum in Nairobi, Kenya, 
I took a few days to visit Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.  


During my stay, I walked across the bridge built by Cecil Rhodes 
In Zambia, I found a quiet corner of the Zambezi. 
I sat down and put my feet in its waters
 and transported myself back in time 
to schoolgirl social studies lessons about the Zambezi.

This morning I read of this - mining in a national park, a national park of world significance.  As I read this, I am mindful of what the Liberal and National Parties are doing in relation to intrusive activities in national parks in Australia.  Full-scale mining is not yet allowed.  However, the thin edge of the wedge has begun with the Victorian government allowing prospecting in Victorian national parks

Australia has a proud record with regard to national parks.  Our history closely follows on the heels of the first national parks in the USA. But, it seems, none of this matters a fig to political parties in Australia - except to some minor players such as The Greens.  There is a continual battle to keep uranium mining out of the much-prized Kakadu.  The Mirrar people have fought valiantly to keep uranium mining at bay and the fight continues to this day.

There is the amazing story of Djok Senior Traditional Owner Jeffrey Lee who could have enriched himself with his land entitlement but who gave the land to be incorporated into Kakadu to keep it safe from uranium mining. 

It appears that the fight to keep the national parks of Australia out of the clutches of miners will never be over.

All this needs to be borne in mind - particularly when Australian mining companies are doing business internationally.  Let me say it bluntly, governments need to be very wary - if not downright hostile - to Australian companies seeking to mine in their nations.  Their track record is poor - even from our biggest and brightest, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.

These major corporations cannot be trusted from A to B - let alone right through to Z.  And these are Australia's major mining corporations.  They attract significant talent and investment to their businesses.  If they prove careless and untrustworthy, how much more should lesser corporations be regarded?  How much red carpet should be rolled out for them? 

When mining corporations have denuded the natural heritage of a nation following the dreams of dollars of struggling economies, are the clean-ups and the litigation and the court cases really worth it?

Further reading
Ok Tedi environmental disaster - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bougainville Copper - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Denying Accountability? Australia’s International Mining Shame by Jane Andrew
Oxfam - Mining
Mining: when will the scandals stop?
El Salvador suffers Australia's maleficent miners

Postscript
Lest people are tempted to accuse the writer of this post of being anti-mining. I am not.  I am currently living in my third Australian mining town.  I love each of these three towns dearly and they have been a formative part of my life.  

However, I have lived around mining companies long enough to understand their secrecy; to understand the cabal of support they attract from governments, civic and business leaders.  I know that if there is a choice between corporate interests and community interests, the corporate interest will be paramount.  

I believe in mining.  It has been part of the human condition for millenia.  Mining, in my view, is a part of the human condition and enterprise.

I believe that communities must be watchful in their own interest in regard to mining activities in their areas - particularly environmentally with regard to water and pollution of soil, air, and water.  

I believe that communities need to safeguard their health and not take the company word as the be all and end all of the story.  

I believe that communities have to demand more from their governments so that political leaders are not resorting to closed door deals, nods and winks with mining corporations.  

I believe that, in the end, human communities are more important than governments and corporations.  Their well-being must prevail.

Protesting the gag on health professionals on Nauru and Manus? Here's some material which may assist.

Are you protesting about the silencing by the Abbott Government of the health professionals on Manus and Nauru? Are you writing letters and social media? Below are links to media from the RACGP which might be helpful: 



Do you trust your government? Pacific governments are finalising the TPP - the Trans-Pacific Partnership. You won't get to hear about it until it is signed. It is predicted that it will remove your nation's sovereignty? Happy with that?


Thursday, July 2, 2015

REFUGEE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA HAS HAD ITS FUNDING STRIPPED BY THE ABBOTT GOVERNMENT. CAN YOU HELP?

Date:Fri, 26 Jun 2015 06:44:40 +0000
From:Media <media@refugeecouncil.org.au>
Subject:will you help us stand up for refugees?
1.2unnamedtext/html14.96 KBDownload
        DO YOU STAND FOR A HUMANE REFUGEE POLICY?
        THEN WE NEED YOUR HELP MORE THAN EVER.

Dear Friend,

I’m just writing a short reminder to encourage you, if you are able, to support the Refugee Council of Australia in the lead up to the end of the financial year.

You will have received our note recently that explained the impact of the government cutting our funding and emphasising our resolve to keep the voices of refugees and asylum seekers and the principles of humanity, dignity and compassion in this debate

Last week was Refugee Week and, I must say, the hundreds of events being held around Australia, in every state and territory, provide a stark contrast to the toxic nature of our politics. The Refugee Council has promoted Australia’s celebration of Refugee Week since 1986. Today, positive illustrations of how our Australian community welcomes and supports refugees is needed more than ever.

There are simulated refugee camps, art exhibitions, music nights, welcome dinners, even entire festivals have been organised to show that, despite what our politicians may say, Australians are compassionate and caring about refugees and asylum seekers.

Crucially, refugees and asylum seekers are actively involved in so many of these events. The Refugee Council of Australia has an important role to play in bringing the voice of refugee and asylum seekers forward. Just two weeks ago in Melbourne, we organised the Refugee Community Action Network Conference, bringing together refugees and asylum seekers from around the state to share their stories, hear of their struggles and bring them in front of decision makers to make the case for change. It was one of the most exciting and inspiring events in my nine years here. It showed me that change is possible and that refugees and asylum seekers, if given the tools, can be the architects of that change.

It’s just the first meeting in one state but we want to do this in each and every state to form a national network of engaged and empowered refugees to change the terrible state we find ourselves in.

We, of course, need your help to do this and to strengthen the great policy and analysis we already do. Of course, we also need to keep the government to account and shine a light on bad policy outcomes.

If you are able, please support us with a tax-deductible donation. At the moment it really does make a very important difference.

Yours sincerely,
Paul Power
Chief Executive Officer

The most effective way you can support us is to become a monthly supporter, helping us to replace the regular income the Government has stripped away.


In doing so, you are raising the Australian voice of compassion and justice in the face of brutality.  Every cent of your tax deductible donation will help us to continue to raise a voice for refugees.




Suite 4A6, 410 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010, Australia
Phone: +61 (02) 9211 9333. Mobile: 0431 147 366 Fax: (02) 9211 9288
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refugee council of aust logo

An independent national network of more than 200 organisational members and thousands of individual supporters, the Refugee Council of Australia promotes fair treatment of people fleeing persecution and celebrates the contributions of Australians who have been refugees. Our work is funded by people who share our vision. To support us, visit http://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/get-involved/make-a-donation/