Friday, 31 August 2012

In Australia's interests, Senator Carr? Ethnic cleansing, destruction of indigenous West Papuans? No way, Roberto!

Australian Military Training Alleged In Papua Violence
Australia supposedly trained Indonesian anti-terrorist unit

By Alex Perrottet 

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Pacific Scoop, Aug. 29, 2012) – Fresh allegations of human rights violations in West Papua implicating Australian military training on ABC’s 7:30 Report this week have prompted calls for leaders at the Pacific Islands Forum in the Cook Islands to seek a fact-finding mission.

As new reports have emerged from West Papua Media Alerts of new violence at a school dormitory in Abepura, the 7:30 Report series – screened on Monday and Tuesday nights – exposed the ongoing accusation that the Australian government is responsible for the training and financing of the anti-terrorist group Detachment 88, or Densus 88, as it is known in Indonesia.

The group was originally trained to combat terrorism in Indonesia following the deadly bombing in Bali in October 2002, which claimed 88 Australian lives. But in recent months media reports have spread, mainly from West Papua Media Alerts, that the anti-terrorist group was being deployed in the provinces of Papua and West Papua, suppressing insurgents as well as peaceful demonstrators.

Presence confirmed
Constant Karma - picture from here
The ABC interviewed Constant Karma, who is the secretary of the province of Papua. He said: "I don’t really know about West Papua but in the Papuan Police (Polda Papua) there [is] also Detachment 88 on duty."

Apart from the reports from within West Papua by reporters Hayden Cooper and Lisa Main, ABC presenter Leigh Sales put questions to Australia’s Foreign Minister Bob Carr, who confirmed the Australian government had raised its concerns with human rights abuses in the two West Papuan regional provinces as recently as earlier this month.

The dying Mako Tabuni

Senator Carr said the Australian training included training in respecting human rights, but the ABC reports featured a number of eye-witnesses to violence in West Papua at the hands of police as well as Detachment 88 troops, including in the recent killing of independence leader Mako Tabuni.

Senator Carr told the ABC: "We train Indonesians in counter-terrorism. We do that because it’s in Australia’s interest. We do it because we want the Indonesians to have a strong, a formidable, anti-terrorist capacity. It is absolutely in Australia’s interests that we have this relationship. "But we don’t train them in counter-insurgency – it’s counter-terrorism."

‘No distinction’
However, the ABC also sought comment from the Australian Federal Police, which made this admission in their responses:

"Detachment 88 is a specialist counter terrorism unit within the Indonesian National Police, however it should be noted that Indonesian law does not differentiate between terrorism, separatism and insurgency."

In response to the reports, political parties and human rights groups have released statements urging leaders at the Pacific Islands Forum to take notice.

The West Papua National Coalition for Liberation, based in Vanuatu, said the violence was nothing new.

"Violence has always been Indonesia’s policy regarding the land of Papua over the past 49 years. Being an occupying power, violence is their only means of enforcing their authority in the Papuan society," said spokespeople Rex Rumakiek, Dr John Ondowame and Andy Ayamiseba.

"For almost half a century since Indonesia annexed West Papua, our people have been subjected to terror and trauma."

Political reaction
The Democratic Labor Party in Australia said the situation was "genocide happening on our doorstep."

Senator John Madigan and Democratic Labor Party federal secretary Mark Farrell said: "Indonesia is not being transparent with the Australian people or the Australian government.

Senator John Madigan (DLP)
"It is difficult to understand how the government of a democratic country like Australia can ignore the oppressive behavior of a neighboring country."

The Green Party of Australia also voiced its concern, with Senator Richard Di Natale drawing comparisons with East Timor.

"Australians are now becoming more aware of these atrocities being committed on their doorstep," he said.
"They know what happened in East Timor under Indonesian rule and they know that we, as a nation, cannot sit idly by while it occurs again in West Papua."

Joe Collins of the Australian West Papua Association said the PIF should take up the Indonesian government’s offer to encourage research and balanced journalism by sending a fact-finding mission from the Forum.

He also encouraged Pacific leaders to raise the matter with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

"The Leaders’ retreat is supposed to provide an opportunity for private and frank discussions at the highest level and we hope that the PIF leaders will question Julia Gillard on Australia’s involvement in the training of Detachment 88 which is accused of targeting West Papuan activists," he said.

"We also hope that concern for the situation in West Papua will be mentioned in the official Forum communiqué".

The Democratic Labor Party statement also argued for observers to visit.

"If Indonesia is seriously expecting us to believe it is not engaged in the oppression of the West Papuan people then they must allow human rights observers and international journalists in to the country."

The West Papua National Coalition for Liberation is pushing for more, calling on the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), the PIF, as well as the US, the UK, the European Union and others "to sponsor a resolution at the UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) to re-inscribe West Papua on the UN List for Decolonization.

"We also call on MSG and PIF to admit the West Papuan Independence Movement as an observer of these bodies as a sure way of encouraging peaceful solution to the conflict."

One confirmed dead
The violence in Abepura yesterday was confirmed by West Papua Media Alerts, who reported one student being killed, and others badly wounded. The news agency said the violence was carried out at the Liborang Asrama (dormitory) by a joint force of Army (TNI) and Police.

"The students were allegedly targeted because they come from the same tribal group as many members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), who have been consistently engaging in peaceful civil resistance in protest at the increasing terror tactics of the Indonesian security forces, which has escalated significantly since May 2012."
West Papua Media Alerts confirmed today that 35 people had been arrested and 11 remained in custody after being subjected to beatings and torture.

The Indonesian Embassy in Canberra, in response to questions from the ABC, said the government was taking action.

The statement said the loss of life "is regrettable and is receiving attention from the Indonesian people, the media, and the President of the Republic of Indonesia himself".
"The Indonesian government has taken steps to restore law-enforcement in the Papuan provinces."

Just how it is doing that is the focus of the media attention that West Papua is receiving. The Pacific Islands Forum, as in previous years, has so far remained silent on the issue.
West Papua Topographic Map
West Papua Topographic Map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Pacific Scoop
All editorial and news content produced under the principles of Creative Commons. Permission to republish with attribution may be obtained from the Pacific Media Centre -

Further reading:
Free Papua Movement

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Thursday, 30 August 2012

Green Left Weekly Activist Calendar 2012-08-29

Green Left Weekly Activist CalendarAugust 29, 2012

Vigil to remember the disappeared in Sri Lanka
Thursday, August 30, 5pm. State Library, 328 Swanston St, City. International Day of the Disappeared. A vigil to call on the Sri Lankan government to release the names of those that have surrendered and to put an end to its practice of enforced disappearances. Speakers: Julian Burnside (human rights lawyer); Pamela Curr (Asylum Seeker Resource Centre); Father Bob McGuire; Louise Connor (Victorian Secretary for Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance); Sivakumar Murugupillai (Australia Tamil Solidarity). Organised by the Tamil Refugee Council. For more info ph Aran Mylvaganam 0404 431 913 or Garry Holliday 0428 586 320.

SlutWalk Melbourne 2012
Saturday, September 1, 2pm. State Library, cnr Swanston & La Trobe Sts, City.Prepare to walk, roll, holler or stomp with us through the streets of Melbourne, because it is still never okay to blame the victim. In solidarity with cities internationally, SlutWalk Melbourne stands against victim-blaming and slut-shaming. We are asking you to join us for SlutWalk, to make a unified statement about sexual assault and victims' rights and to demand respect for all. Any gender-identification, any age. Singles, couples, parents, sisters, brothers, children, friends.

Public meeting
Why Latin America backs Wikileaks
Tuesday, September 25, 6:30pm (meal from 6pm).Resistance Centre, Level 5, 407 Swanston St, City (opposite RMIT). Discussing the leading role played by Latin America in promoting alternative means of communication, author Tariq Ali said the world is suffering 'a prolonged war, implemented by the United States, which is aimed at dominating the world and maintaining US hegemony'. 'In this war', he said, 'the means of communication play a fundamental role.' The mainstream corporate media 'only reports on ordinary people when there are catastrophies'. But, Ali said, people around the world 'are anxious to access alternative media that inform viewers in an open and critical way'. This forum will look at ongoing attempts by Wikileaks and community media to help people get the truth. Speakers TBA. Organised by Socialist Alliance. For more info ph 9639 8622.

glw logo
This is the regular Melbourne activist calendar compiled by Green Left Weekly. Emailed to subscribers each Wednesday fortnight, it is a one-stop listing of the main left and progressive events in Melbourne and Geelong.
Since it began in early 1991, Green Left Weekly has offered an indispensable alternative to the lies of the big-business media and has helped build the various movements for social change. To subscribe to Green Left Weekly, visit our secure online website for rates and payment at Green Left Weekly or call our national hotline on 1800 634 206.
You can also contact us at the Resistance Centre, 5th floor, 407 Swanston St, City; ph 9639 8622. In Geelongwe are at the Activist Centre, Trades Hall, 127 Myers St (opening hours: Mon 2-4.30pm, Fri 10am-4.30pm); ph 5222 6900.
New email address? Not already receiving this calendar regularly? Want to subscribe someone else? Let us know at Greenleft Melbourne.

Other coming events

Wednesday, August 29
Rally: Support striking construction workers. On August 28 police attempted to break a CFMEU picket with capsicum spray. Workers are striking for better conditions and against the sacking of a delegate. From 5am. Myers, cnr Lonsdale & Little Bourke Sts, City.
Forum: The truth about Open Day. Students outraged by La Trobe's proposed cuts to the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences have been engaged in a vibrant protest campaign, most recently protesting on the university Open Day. Rather than speak to these students, La Trobe has chosen to erect fences, threaten students with exclusion from their study, and have specially hired security guards violently push, shove and assault them, appalling behaviour which has no place on a university campus. These attacks on both our education and right to protest on campus are completely unacceptable. Join the Stop the HUSS Cuts Collective for a forum discussing the Open Day protest, and join the campaign to stop these disgusting cuts! 12pm, Agora Cinema, La Trobe University.
Public meeting: We have a carbon price, what's next? Starting an Australian renewable energy boom. Speaker: Tony Wood (Grattan Institute) & Lane Crockett (Pacific Hydro) will discuss what Australia needs to do to expand the renewable energy industry. 7pm. Guide Hall, Faversham Rd, Canterbury. Lighter Footprints Climate Action Group Meeting. All welcome. Gold coin donation.
Thursday, August 30
Rally: Vigil to remember the disappeared in Sri Lanka. International Day of the Disappeared. A vigil to call on the Sri Lankan government to release the names of those that have surrendered and to put an end to its practice of enforced disappearances.Speakers: Julian Burnside (human rights lawyer); Pamela Curr (Asylum Seeker Resource Centre); Father Bob McGuire; Louise Connor (Victorian Secretary for Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance); Sivakumar Murugupillai (Australia Tamil Solidarity). 5pm. State Library, 328 Swanston St, City. Organised by the Tamil Refugee Council. For more info ph Aran Mylvaganam 0404 431 913 or Garry Holliday 0428 586 320.
Film screening: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. What pushes people to leave home? What do they leave behind? What do they fear? Why did they choose this path? And what does it take to turn someone into a 'boat person'? Melbourne barrister Jessie Taylor and Ali Reza Sadiqi met with 250 asylum seekers in jails, detention centres and hostels and through candid interviews and hidden camera footage, the story of the 'refugee' is told. Panelists: Savitri Taylor (School of Law, La Trobe University); Jessie Taylor (barrister); Paul Power (Refugee Council of Australia). 6pm. LIV Lecture Theatre, 470 Bourke Street, City. $25 member/$35 non-member. $10 from each ticket purchased will be donated to the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre. RSVP by August 28 at ASRC.
Public meeting: Where the rubber hits the road. The gap between transport infrastructure & services in Melbourne's expanding northern suburbs. Speaker: Janet Rice (transport analyst & Greens Senate candidate). Melbourne's urban growth boundary has been recently expanded and the Victorian government is committed to unprecedented residential and industrial expansion in Melbourne's north and west. It has promised to integrate urban and transport planning but how is this working out in practice? 7:30pm. Old Shire Offices, 60 Beverley Rd, Heidelberg. Organised by Friends of Banyule.
Film screening: Go back to where you came from. Last year six ordinary Australians challenged their preconceived notions of refugees and asylum seekers by experiencing a confronting 25 day refugee journey in reverse. This year, the six faces known to many Australians will experience the life-risking journey when the series returns with new twists and turns. The 3-night television event starts Tuesday, August 28 on SBS One. This is a free live simulcast screening including an exciting post screening lineup of special guests. 7:30pm. Bella Union, Trades Hall, cnr Lygon & Victoria Sts, Carlton South (enter via Lygon St). This is a free unticketed event and seats are limited. Come early to reserve a seat.
Film screening: Go back to where you came from. See entry above. This is a free live simulcast screening including an exciting post screening lineup of special guests. 7pm. Hume Global Learning Centre, 1093 Pascoe Vale Road, Broadmeadows.
Friday, August 31
Rally: Free Palestine! Boycott apartheid Israel! The next in the series of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions actions. 6pm. Bourke Street Mall. Organised by Students for Palestine.
Friday, August 31-Sunday, September 2
Theatre: Franz Kafka: The Trial. An 'adaption of The Trial (Kafka) by a group called K. The production is inspired by the plight of more than 50 refugees who are indefinitely detained in Australian immigration centres because ASIO has assessed them to be national security risks. They have been given no information about the reasons for ASIO's assessment and the decisions are not subject to any judicial or other independent scrutiny.' Kafka's a little heavy but it's a good cause. Run time 75 mins. $20. Money goes to the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture and the Refugee Immigration and Legal Service. Level 1, Trades Hall, cnr Victoria & Lygon Sts, Carlton. For bookings & show times ph 9650 5699 or visit Bella Union.
Saturday, September 1
Rally: SlutWalk Melbourne 2012. Prepare to walk, roll, holler or stomp with us through the streets of Melbourne, because it is still never okay to blame the victim. In solidarity with cities internationally, SlutWalk Melbourne stands against victim-blaming and slut-shaming. We are asking you to join us for SlutWalk, to make a unified statement about sexual assault and victims' rights and to demand respect for all. Any gender identification, any age. Singles, couples, parents, sisters, brothers, children, friends. 2pm. State Library, cnr Swanston & La Trobe Sts, City.
Sunday, September 2
Fundraiser: Pussy Riot benefit show. Putting on a benefit show may not release the women of Pussy Riot from a Russian prison cell but it will be a show of solidarity and support for freedom of expression in Russia and beyond. Bands: Terrrible Truths; Glow; Spitehouse; Wet Lips; Ex Con; Sick Sad World. 5pm. Gasometer Hotel, 484 Smith St, Collingwood. All proceeds go towards the women's needs, legal costs and towards support for their children.
Tuesday, September 4
Film screening: The Garbage Warrior. What do beer cans, car tyres and water bottles have in common? Not much unless you're renegade architect Michael Reynolds, in which case they are tools of choice for producing thermal mass and energy-independent housing. For 30 years New Mexico-based Reynolds and his green disciples have devoted their time to advancing the art of 'earthship biotecture' by building self-sufficient, off-the-grid communities where design and function converge in eco-harmony. Shot over three years and in four countries, Garbage Warrior is a timely portrait of a determined visionary, a hero of the 21st century. 6pm. Ross House, 247 Flinders Lane, City. Entry by donation. All proceeds go towards climate change campaigns. For more info visit Ross House.
Film screening: Cape Spin. Tells the surreal, fascinating, tragicomic story of the battle over America's most scandalous clean energy project. Cape Wind would be the US's first offshore windfarm but strange alliances formed for and against: Kennedys, Kochs and everyday folks do battle with the developer and green groups over the future of American power. With full access to both sides, a commitment to impartial storytelling and fueled by a satiric revolutionary soundtrack, Cape Spin is a gripping and entertaining study of eco-capitalism and grassroots democracy. 7:15pm. Run time 90 mins. Kino Cinema, 45 Collins St, City. To book visit Environmental film festival.
Wednesday, September 5
Rally: Teachers' stop-work meeting. 10am. Rod Laver Arena.
Public meeting: Defending environmental laws, protecting the places you love. Under pressure from big business and the mining industry, federal and state governments have recently announced a plan to wind back essential environmental protection laws. Under the guise of cutting 'green tape', government and industry propose to hand important federal approval powers to the states and fast track approvals for large developments, as well as removing energy efficiency and climate change schemes in each state. As it stands there is no proposal to consult the community, and the changes are being pushed through by the governments as 'urgent' reforms. 6pm. 60L Green Building Ground Floor, 60 Leicester St, Carlton. Entry free. Bookings essential. To book visit Enviro laws.
Public meeting: Is fascism still a problem for workers? 6pm. Evatt Room, Trades Hall, cnr Lygon &amp Victoria sts, Carlton South. Organised by Australia-Asia Worker Links. For more info email AAWL.
Book launch: Peace With Justice: Noam Chomsky in Australia. Join Clinton Fernandes (editor, Peace With Justice) and Scott Burchill (Deakin University) with MC Nathan Hollier (Director, Monash University Publishing). 6:30pm. Meeting Room 1, Trades Hall, cnr Lygon & Victoria Sts, Carlton South. Entry free. For more info ph 9662 3744.
Thursday, September 6
Public meeting: Human rights & counter-terrorism. Australia has enacted over 50 new anti-terror laws since 2001, substantially expanding the powers and functions of our security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies. In July 2012, the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department released a new package of national security ideas, including proposals which would substantially increase both online and offline surveillance and monitoring. Speaker: Martin Scheinin (Professor of Public International Law at the European University Institute). 12.45-2pm. The Wheeler Centre, 176 Little Lonsdale St, City. $20/$10. RSVP at Human rights law centre. by COB August 30.
Book launch: Climate Politics and the Climate Movement in Australia. Climate change is the hottest topic of the 21st century and the climate movement a significant global social movement. This book examines the broad context of Australian climate politics and the place of the climate movement within it. Authored by Verity Burgmann, Professor of Political Science in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne, and Hans Baer, anthropologist and development studies specialist at the University of Melbourne, the study offers a vision for an alternative Australia based upon the principles of social equity and environmental sustainability. Guest speaker: Adam Bandt. Entry free. 6:30pm. Bella Union Bar, Trades Hall, cnr Lygon & Victoria Sts, Carlton South.
Film screening: Bhopali. A feature documentary about the survivors of the world's worst industrial disaster, the 1984 Union Carbide gas leak in Bhopal, India. Today the suffering continues, prompting victims to fight for justice against Union Carbide, the American corporation responsible for the disaster. 8:15pm. Run time 90 mins. Kino Cinema, 45 Collins St, City. To book visit Environmental film festival.
Radio play & public forum: Turning the Titanic. Join with Darebin Climate Action Now to turn back the clock 100 years and imagine you are on the Titanic's maiden voyage. Then join in discussion to reflect on how this historic event reflects our current climate situation. This radio play is a moving allegory of the current climate change response. Following the play there will be an open forum to discuss the film with Graeme Pearman (former CSIRO head of Atmospheric Research) and Sue Pratt (Psychology for a Safe Climate). 7:30pm. Northcote Town Hall, Studio 1, 189 High St, Northcote. Entry by donation. For more info ph Carol 0408 320 080.
Friday, September 7
Fundraiser: Solidarity dinner with Latin America. Poetry and music in tribute to Chilean People in struggle. 7pm. British Crown Hotel, 14 Smith St, Collingwood. $20 (includes dinner). Proceeds go towards the Latin American Grassroots Solidarity Conference November 2012 and to assist with the rent of the LASNET Space. Please confirm by Thursday, September 6 by calling 0425 539 149, to allow us to tell the venue how many people they will be catering for. And if you're vegetarian, etc, again please let us know in advance. Organised by Latin American Solidarity Network (LASNET).
Film screening: Big Boys Gone Bananas. What happens when a large, multinational corporation senses a threat to its reputation? A Swedish filmmaker inadvertently found out after producing his film BANANAS!*. This documentary explores the true story about this filmmaker and a banana corporation, and the dirty tricks, lawsuits, manipulation used to silence him. 8:30pm. Run time 90 mins. Kino Cinema, 45 Collins St, City. To book visitEnvironmental film festival.
Saturday, September 8
Fundraiser: Songs of struggle and liberation. A solidarity night with Latin American People. A concert of music committed to social change featuring: Marisol Salinas & Robinson Trafilaf (from Chile); Luis Arteaga (from Colombia); Edy Caruso, reading poetry for change. Plus some short videos of current struggles in Latin America. 6:30pm. Greek Democritus House, 583 High St, Northcote. All proceeds to support social movement leaders who are coming to Australia to participate in the Latin American Grassroots Movements Solidarity Conference November 9-11. $10 (including a Chilean Empanada). Drinks & food available (not BYO). All welcome. For more info ph 0425 539 149 or emailLASNET.
Film screening: The Island President. On February 7, 2012, Mohamed Nasheed resigned the presidency of the Maldives under the threat of violence in a coup d'etat perpetrated by security forces loyal to the former dictator. This film is the story of his first year in office. 8:30pm. Run time 90 mins. Kino Cinema, 45 Collins St, City. To book visit Environmental film festival.
Film screening: America before colonisation. The European colonisation of the Americas 500 years ago juxtaposed two very different forms of agriculture separated by continents: one livestock-based devastating land and inland waters, the other land-based allowing space, wilderness and animals to roam free. Both continents had around 100 million people but the latter was essentially de-populated and totally transformed in a startling story of invasion, colonization and deadly disease. 7:30pm. Magpie House Wholistic Centre, 48 Main St, Upwey.
Sunday, September 9
Film screening: Bimblebox. At this critical time, when so much coal and coal seam gas expansion is planned in Australia, this film aims to win the hearts and minds of the people, exposing the destructiveness of this industry to our climate, communities and environment. It tells the stories of the people fighting for their homes and culture. 4pm. Run time 72 mins. Kino Cinema, 45 Collins St, City. To book visit Environmental film festival.
Film screening: Last call at the oasis. Developed, financed and executive produced by Participant Media, the company responsible for An Inconvenient TruthFood, Inc. andWaiting for SupermanLast Call at the Oasis presents a powerful argument for why the global water crisis will be the central issue facing our world this century. Illuminating the vital role water plays in our lives, exposing the defects in the current system and depicting communities already struggling with its ill-effects, the film features activist Erin Brockovich and such distinguished experts as Peter Gleick, Alex Prud'homme, Jay Famiglietti and Robert Glennon. 6pm. Kino Cinema, 45 Collins St, City. To book visit Environmental film festival.
Monday, September 10
Film screening: Bimblebox. A cautionary tale exposing the effects of mining in the Hunter Valley, the Illawarra and South-East Queensland, warning what might be in store for other regions if planned expansions of the coal and CSG industries go ahead. Film followed by Q & A with Paola Cassoni, co-owner of the Bimblebox Nature Refuge in outback Queensland. The refuge is threatened by Clive Palmer's China First coal mine. Drinks from 6pm, film starts approx 7pm. Level 2, Kindness House, 288 Brunswick St, Fitzroy. Presented by Friends of the Earth and Beyond Zero Emissions. $10 (presale or on the door). To book visitBimblebox. All funds raised to be split between BZE and the Bimblebox Nature Reserve. There will be some nibbles provided and a licensed bar courtesy of the Good Brew Company.
Public meeting: Better public transport for the city of Whittlesea. Organised by the Bring Back the Buses Action Group, the forum will look at all public transport issues affecting our suburb, including trams, trains and buses. 6:30pm. Fountain View Room, Whittlesea Council Offices.
Tuesday, September 11
Rally: End the wars & restore civil liberties. The US 9/11 attacks changed our world. That day over 3000 people lost their lives and over 70,000 people who were in the Lower Manhattan area are still suffering major health problems due to inhaling concrete dust and other toxins. The attacks were used to justify multiple wars, millions of deaths, change of local and global policies world wide, the expansion of state surveillance and the degradation of civil liberties. Keynote speakers will present an overview of the past 15 years of civil rights and social unrest. The floor will then be opened to suggestions on how we can move forward as a community to end wars and regain liberties that have been lost. 5pm. City Square, cnr Swanston & Collins Sts, City.
Public meeting: Dinner & Hiroshima report back. Bimonthly MAPW Victorian Branch dinner meeting, with a panel of speakers reporting back on and discussing what they found the most inspirational moments of the August Hiroshima Congress and the trip to Fukushima prefecture which followed. RSVP to Carole Wigg.
Film screening: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. This insightful documentary explores the circumstances and decisions that lead someone to become a 'boat person.' 7:30pm. RMIT Swanston Academic Building Cinema, room 80.1.2. Organised by RMIT Refugee Action Collective.
Wednesday, September 12
Public meeting: Paul Strangio on Victorian Labor history. Join Paul Strangio, academic and frequent commentator on Australian politics in both print and electronic media, for a discussion of his new book Neither Power Nor Glory: 100 Years of Political Labor in Victoria. Strangio's meticulous and beautifully written book investigates the century spanning 1856-1956, and it's place in Australia's intriguing and often murky political history. 6:30pm. New International Bookshop, 54 Victoria St, Carlton South. $5/$2.
Thursday, September 13
Rally: Bring back the northern suburbs buses. Save 509 Brunswick bus. Better public transport for the northern suburbs. 1pm. State Parliament, Spring St, City.
Rally: Make your stand for choice. On each parliamentary sitting day Helpers of God's Precious Infants stage a protest at the entrance to the Victoria's Parliament House car park as part of a concerted campaign to recriminalise abortion. Join the counter-protest. 7:30-9:30 am. Macarthur St, East Melbourne.
Friday, September 14
Rally: Thai Airways! Stop deporting refugees to danger! Thai Airways were the airline of choice to forcible deport a Tamil refugee back to Sri Lanka in July this year. We need to send a strong message to Thai Airways that their name will be mud if they continue to cooperate with the Australian government's drive to put refugees lives and safety in jeopardy. 12:30pm. Thai Airways Melbourne, 250 Collins St, City. Protest called by Refugee Action Collective in collaboration with refugee rights advocates from a range of organisations.
Film screening: Plasticized. An intimate account of a first-hand journey aboard the Sea Dragon with the 5 Gyres Institute on the very first scientific expedition, focused on plastic waste, through the centre of the South Atlantic Ocean. An eye-opening story about the institute's global mission to study the effects, reality, and scale of plastic pollution around the world. Trailer at Plasticized. Followed by a discussion with director Michael J. Lutman. 6pm. Kingston Art Centre, 979 Nepean Highway, Moorabbin. Entry free. Light finger foods provided. Organised by City of Kingston's Greening Our Place, Greening Kingston's Sustainability Program. To book ph 9581 4713 or email Kingston.
Concert: Pataphysics' 'Subversive' Album Launch. Recently listed in MTVs ‘Top Ten Breakout Bands of Australia, Pataphysics is a mash up of powerful political flows, trumpet, MPC, live improvised beats, dope basslines, guitar and freestyles. Singer Pat Marks is the Music & Arts coordinator of RISE (Refugees, Survivors, and Ex-Detainees), running ongoing music, beat making, and poetry workshops, as well as providing recording and production for young refugee artists. $15/10 at the door. Doors open 8:30pm. Gasometer Hotel, 484 Smith St, Collingwood. To book visit Pataphysics.
Saturday, September 15
Public meeting: A celebration of struggle in honour of Equal Pay Day 2012. The Australian Bureau of Statistics recently announced that women must work an additional 64 days into the new financial year to earn as much as male workers earn in 12 months. Women are over represented in part-time and insecure jobs, which results in the income gap being much wider in real terms. Pay Justice Action will not only identify the problems but present solutions. 6pm. Solidarity Salon, 580 Sydney Road, Brunswick. Meal available. Hosted by Pay Justice Action as a fundraiser for its ongoing organising.
Concert: Subhumans. Punk band's first-ever-Australasian tour. 'Frontman Dick Lucas is totally engaging. There is a fierce intelligence here in his lyrics, his delivery and his between song banter where his passion for the old school punk political hits home. If you still need any proof of the intelligence and anti establishment smarts in punk rock then the Subhumans are still out there, still meaning something and still making sense in a senseless world.' (John Robb, Louder than war). Doors 8pm. Bendigo Hotel, 125 Johnston St, Collingwood. $45.
Sunday, September 16
Art auction fundraiser. Friends of the Earth's Anti-nuclear and Clean Energy (ACE) campaign has been working creatively against the nuclear industry for over 35 years, because of its treatment to indigenous people, its contribution to nuclear weapons proliferation risks and its serious, long-term environmental impacts. We promote clean energy solutions to climate change and the current energy crisis. Support our collective and the work we do by coming along to our annual fundraiser. There will be speakers, nibbles, music, drinks and most important come ready to buy a piece of art. 4pm. Hogan Gallery, 310 Smith St, Collingwood. For more info ph 0408 165 735 or email FOE.
Monday, September 17
Concert: Subhumans. See entry above. Doors 7:30pm. Northcote Social Club, 301 High St, Northcote. $45.
Tuesday, September 18
Public meeting: Palestine/Israel: A new paradigm. Guest speaker: Ilan Pappe, Professor of History & Director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies at Exeter University. 6:30pm. Elisabeth Murdoch Theatre, Elisabeth Murdoch Building, Room 134, Spencer Rd, Melbourne University (enter campus via Tin Alley off Swanston St). Free public lecture. For more info visit Australians for Palestine.
Thursday, September 20
Film screening: Austin Unbound. A deaf man is born into a female body. It is his burden and his journey to change his gender. His deafness? Not an issue! He is proud to be a deaf man. Or will be, when he is no longer a woman. Run time 44 min. 7pm. North Melbourne Town Hall, 33 Errol St, North Melbourne. $12/$8. For more info visit The Other Film Festival.
Saturday, September 22
Rally: Defend the Fertility Control Clinic and celebrate its 40th birthday 10am. 118 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne.
Rally: Protest at Maribyrnong Detention Centre! Stop deportations to danger! On July 25, Dayan Anthony, a Tamil refugee, was deported to Sri Lanka against his will from the Maribyrnong Detention Centre. On arrival at Colombo airport he was handed over to the Sri Lankan intelligence service who interrogated him for 16 hours before forcing him to recant claims of torture under duress at a press conference. He and his family now live in fear of their lives. They have good cause for concern. There is currently a legal challenge to deportations in the High Court. If this challenge fails we could see immediate moves to deport hundreds of refugees. Many of these refugees will be deported from Maribyrnong and other high security detention camps around the country. At the same time, refugee policy is going from bad to worse, with the Gillard government moving to revive the cruel 'Pacific Solution', dumping refugees attempting to reach Australia on Nauru and Manus Island. Join the Refugee Action Collective to demand an end to deportations to danger and offshore processing! Let the refugees into Australia! Let them stay! 1pm. Maribyrnong Detention Centre, Hampstead Rd, Maribyrnong. (Catch 82 tram from Footscray).
Film screening: Athens Inferno. In Greece earlier this year, a man living at home in an iron lung died. The power company turned off the electricity to his house because his family didn't pay their power bill. The financial crisis is hitting the poorest and most vulnerable members of the community hardest. In the name of austerity, essential services and pensions are being slashed. People with a disability are the first to feel the effects of this catastrophe. However, they have also been the first to join the mass demonstrations and civil disobedience to protest against these austerity measures. In June 2010, nine people with a disability occupied the Department of Social Security for two days. They refused to leave until the federal minister agreed to meet them to discuss their grievances. Antonios Rellas was one of those nine people. In his only Australian appearance, Antonios Rellas brings a confronting report directly from the frontline of civic upheaval. 7:30pm. North Melbourne Town Hall, 33 Errol St, North Melbourne. $12/$8. For more info visit The Other Film Festival.
Sunday, September 23-Thursday, September 27
Swan Island peace Convergence 2012: Stop the Afghan War. For the second year in a row, peace activists are returning to the Swan Island Military Base in Queenscliff Victoria for a week of nonviolently resisting the Afghan War and Australia's role in it through peaceful direct action. Swan Island Military base is a key training facility for the SAS who continue to fight and kill in Afghanistan in Australia's name. The SAS are a key plank in our contribution to US imperialism through the ANZUS alliance. Many of us feel powerless in the face of an unjust war, but this is our chance to get alongside our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan, and learn how we can help and raise our voices. The four days of action will include: Nonviolence training; Creative direct action to blockade the bridge to Swan Island military base where SAS troops are trained for active combat in Afghanistan; Engagement with the Queenscliff community; Peace vigils; Workshops on the Afghan War and Australia's role in it, Australia's role in the US alliance and the rising military tensions in the Asia Pacific between the US and China. For more info visit Swan Island.
Tuesday, September 25
Public meeting: Why Latin America backs Wikileaks. Discussing the leading role played by Latin America in promoting alternative means of communication, author Tariq Ali said the world is suffering 'a prolonged war, implemented by the United States, which is aimed at dominating the world and maintaining US hegemony'. “In this war', he said, 'the means of communication play a fundamental role.' The mainstream corporate media 'only reports on ordinary people when there are catastrophies'. But Ali said people around the world 'are anxious to access alternative media that inform viewers in an open and critical way'. This forum will look at ongoing attempts by Wikileaks and community media to help people get the truth. Speakers TBA. 6:30pm (meal from 6pm). Resistance Centre, Level 5, 407 Swanston St, City (opposite RMIT). Organised by Socialist Alliance. For more info ph 9639 8622.
Public meeting: The NT Intervention & 'Stronger Futures': Paternalism by a new name. 7pm. Meeting Room 1, Trades Hall, cnr Victoria & Lygon Sts, Carlton South. $10/$5. Presented by The New International Bookshop & The Search Foundation. For more info ph 9662 3744 or email NIBS.
Saturday, September 29- Monday, October 1
Canberra Conference: EduFactory! EduFactory! is a conference being held on Ngunnawal country in Canberra at the Australian National University. Consisting of three days of self-education, criticism and organisation, it is intended to bring together students who seek a way out of the present crisis in university education. All are welcome who reject the ongoing integration of universities into the market, the undermining of student autonomy and the erosion of essential services such as housing. But the objective of EduFactory! is not only to critique of the university's political-economy; it also seeks to explore the able-bodied, gendered, specied (anyone?) and racial nature of the institution. Faced with these multifaceted and interrelated problems in the university system, we are calling on students from far and wide to converge at the home of the Australian political elite and build a strong student movement on the firm foundations of grassroots democratic organising. To register visit EduFactory.
Saturday, October 13- Sunday, October 14
Conference: Medical Association for the Prevention of War National Council. We're discussing making our annual meeting more of like a mini-conference. The council meeting runs from Friday evening to 2pm Sunday, with a Saturday dinner. All members are welcome to attend and participate. (Only council members get to vote on formal decisions) Considering coming? Got some ideas? Write them down now in our our survey: MAPW.

Geelong & regional Victoria

Thursday, September 6
Ballarat Rally: Save TAFE. 1pm to coincide with State Lower House sitting of Parliament. Ballarat University Mt Helen Campus, Admin building.
Bendigo Rally: Save TAFE. 1pm to coincide with State Lower House sitting of Parliament. TAFE campus McGillivray Hall, McCrae st, Bendigo.
Friday, September 21
Red cinema: Revenge of the electric car. By 2006, thousands of new electric cars were purposely destroyed by the same car companies that built them. Today, less than 5 years later, the electric car is back . . . with a vengeance. Director Chris Paine takes his film crew behind the closed doors of Nissan, GM, and the Silicon Valley start-up Tesla Motors to chronicle the story of the global resurgence of electric cars. With almost every major car maker now jumping to produce new electric models, Revenge follows the race to be the first, the best, and to win the hearts and minds of the public around the world. It’s not just the next generation of green cars that's on the line. It's the future of the automobile itself. 7pm (dinner from 6:30pm). Downstairs, Trades Hall, 127 Myers St, Geelong. Entry by donation. Presented by Socialist Alliance. For more info ph 5222 6900.

Campaign committees

Quit Coal: No New Coal Power for Victoria. A Melbourne-based collective which campaigns against expansion of the coal industry in Victoria. We believe this is important because building new coal infrastructure locks in decades of dirty, old technology, when we should be moving towards clean, renewable energy. Quit Coal meets each Wednesday at 6pm, at FOE, 312 Smith St, Collingwood. For more info visit Quit Coal or call Shaun 0402 337 077.
Refugee Action Collective (RAC). Established in 2000, RAC is a democratic, grassroots activist collective, representing a broad cross section of the community. It aims to mobilise opposition to Australia's inhuman refugee policies. For more info ph 0413 377 978 or visitRAC.
Friends of the Earth's Anti-Nuclear & Clean Energy (ACE) collective meetings.Wednesdays. FoE office, 312 Smith St, Collingwood. For meeting times & more info emailZin.
Victorian Climate Action Calendar. For a comprehensive list of climate action events in our state. The VCAC covers events in Victoria and major events elsewhere and is intended to inform, educate and inspire. To subscribe to the calendar email Monique Decortis. Weekly updates are e-mailed out and online updates are available at VCAC. To add an event to the calendar, please download the Event Template from the website. Feel free to forward the VCAC to other interested people.
Workers Solidarity Network. Workers Solidarity Network (WSN) believes that we, as workers, have the power to improve our working conditions and bring about positive social change. WSN believes that our country is not a real democracy unless we have democratic workplaces where workers have a say. WSN believes that the only way to bring about a fairer share of resources in our society in by forming active unions and community organisations to fight for it. WSN meets on the first Tuesday of every month at 6.30pm at 52 Victoria Street, Carlton (the CEPU building next to Trades Hall). For more info visit WSN.
Geelong Refugee Advocacy Group. Refugee Advocacy Group meets every second Friday, 4:30pm, upstairs, Socialist Alliance office in Geelong Trades Hall. All welcome. Planning for a speakout against mandatory detention at 5pm on June 15. Also planning a contingent to leave Geelong on the train to attend World Refugee Day in Melbourne on June 17.


Recent articles from Green Left Weekly

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To subscribe to Green Left Weekly visit our secure online website for rates and payment at Green Left Weekly or call our national hotline on 1800 634 206. Join us onFacebook. You can also contact us at the Resistance Centre, 5th floor, 407 Swanston St, City; ph 9639 8622. In Geelong: Activist Centre, Trades Hall, 127 Myers St (opening hours: Mon 2-4.30pm, Fri 10am-4.30pm); ph 5222 6900.

Broad, non-sectarian, activist
Socialist Alliance
Socialist Alliance is a proud supporter of the Green Left Weekly project and contributes a regular column. Socialist Alliance is a broad, non-sectarian socialist coalition, dedicated to bringing together all those who want to resist the capitalist assault on our planet and its people and fight for a socialist society that puts people's needs before business profits. Anyone who agrees with the general approach of our policies is welcome to join and organisations are invited to affiliate. For more information visit Socialist Alliance Victoria. Join us on Facebook. See our recent statements:

Contact Socialist Alliance. Join with other socialists in the struggle. Melbourne:Visit us at the Resistance Centre, 5th floor, 407 Swanston St, City; ph 9639 8622. In Melbourne, Socialist Alliance meets on the first Tuesday of each month, 6.30pm, at the Resistance Centre. Geelong: Activist Centre, Trades Hall, 127 Myers St (opening hours: Mon 2-4.30pm, Fri 10am-4.30pm); ph 5222 6900.

Links: 'socialism for the 21st century'
Links is an online journal which seeks to provide a forum for open and constructive dialogue between active socialists from different political traditions. It seeks to bring together those in the international left who are opposed to neoliberal economic and social policies, and reject the bureaucratic model of 'socialism' that arose in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Inspired by the unfolding socialist revolution in Venezuela,Links is a journal for 'Socialism of the 21st Century' and the discussions and debates flowing from that powerful example of socialist renewal.

Join the Resistance
Resistance is a broad socialist youth organisation which campaigns for feminism and workers rights, for real action on climate change, and against war, racism and oppression. Resistance is affiliated to the Socialist Alliance. Meet us at the Resistance Centre, 5th floor, 407 Swanston St, City (Druids House, opposite RMIT).
For more info call 9639 8622. Visit Resistance; join us on FacebookIn Geelongcontact us at the Activist Centre, Trades Hall, 127 Myers St (opening hours: Mon 2-4.30pm, Fri 10am-4.30pm); ph 5222 6900.

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Mind your language: the role of language in creating and destroying with thx to @davidbewart

I love this video embedded below. 
 It has come to me on Twitter from @davidbewart
I strongly believe in the power of words.  

In a civilised and secular society like ours, I know it is not fashionable to believe that words can build up or tear down.  I put as evidence though the words Whitlam spoke on 11 November 1975.
Well may we say 'God Save the Queen'; because nothing will save the Governor-General. The proclamation you have just heard was counter-signed 'Malcom Fraser' - who will go down in history as 'Kerr's Cur'.
And nothing did save the Governor-General.  He became a pathetic figure in the public life of Australia.  However, the Malcolm Fraser curse has not come true.  In fact, late in their lives, they have become friends. Perhaps this means, that as important as words are in creating or destroying, actions can nullify our words.  In short, bad deeds can mock good words and good deeds can overcome bad words.

Since Julia Gillard came to be Prime Minister of Australia many destructive words have been pour forth against her and about her.  Large sections of the Australian polity believe these words go beyond the political argy-bargy and indicate a deep-seated mysogyny among a lot of Australian men - well educated and not; influential figures and not.  Then there is the asylum seeker debate and the topics of climate change and carbon pricing.

Australia's political discourse has become distinctly uncivil.  Those of us with long political memories can not recall anything as witless and excoriating as the recent and current discourse of Liberal and National Party politicians and their influential allies in some sections of the media.  Added to this are the bigots, the racists, the ignorant and the ill-informed. A quite disgusting dawn chorus!

What a great disservice we perpetrate when we don't mind our language.  If we don't allow for another valid perspective; if we don't carry a widespread love and respect in our beings from which we can give voice.  A change of words, respectful and intelligent discourse among us all can change things.  It is the difference between confidence in troubled times, instead of fear.  It is the difference between hiding behind an insular xenophobia and opening ourselves to new ways of being on this planet.  Our lives could be so much better if we just remembered to mind our language.



Feminists and supporters across the country are calling for an end to use of language that is symptomatic of violence towards women in current political commentary.

“We accept that debate, commentary and opinion are important avenues for public discussion and information about issues that affect us all” said spokesperson Betty Green

“Violent hate speech directed at women political leaders reveals a concerning acceptance of abusive tactics in public life”

While we expect that from time to time such discussions and conversations will be passionate, dynamic and robust, we do not accept that the language used should ever express sentiments which are reflective of violence against women.

We have heard or read about comments and statements in a variety of media directed at Julia Gillard the first female Prime Minister of Australia that deeply concerns us. 

Influential commentators and leaders have suggested placing her in a bag and drowning herat sea (Alan Jones June 2011, July 2011), kicking her to death (Grahame MorrisFeb 2012) and having a “target on her head” (Tony Abbott March 2011), “burn thewitch” placards (Carbon Tax Rally March 2011) and the persistent use of the language “liar” and “bitch”

Comments such as these may well be described as “off the cuff”, “the rough and tumble of politics” however, we find these comments disturbing and troubling.
Violence against women is not a trivial matter. In Australia 1 in 4 women will experience some form of intimate partner violence in their lifetime, and cost the Australian economy approximately $13.6 billion per year.

On average 76 women are killed annually in Australia at the hands of their current or former partners.

“We and our supporters are saying clearly that this trend is not acceptable”

Attitudinal change has been identified as a key strategy in reducing violence against women in this country. Millions of dollars in public campaigns and initiatives work towards this end

If we as a community accept speech reflective of violence towards women as being “par for the course” in public life then we undermine each and every one of these efforts.

Coalition for a Feminist Agenda: Contact person: Dr. Betty McLellan: Phone: 0410 218 990.
Women Everywhere Advocating Violence Elimination:
Contact:  Dr. Elspeth McInnes. Phone 0421 787 080: Email: or
Betty Green: Phone: 0417 331 759:  Email:

Further reading:
Pyne extends his tongue tip to the speaker Anna Burke

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