Monthly Archives: February 2010

Protest: Back to the backyard? NO WAY!

Protest: ‘Abortion is a Woman’s Right to Choose’

protest - abortion is a woman's right to choose

Sat March 13, 12 noon
Outside Parliament House, George St

A Cairns woman is facing the prospect of 7 years prison on charges brought under Queensland’s anti-abortion laws. The Bligh government refuses to repeal the anti-abortion laws – allowing the agenda to be set by the anti-abortion minority who are fighting to turn the clock back to days of backyard abortion. The anti-abortion movement feign concern for women’s welfare, but nothing could be further from the truth. Their real goal is to deny women one of the single most fundamental human rights: the right to control their own bodies.

On March 13, the anti-abortion group "Cherish Life" will hold a rally and the pro-choice campaign will be there to meet them. Stand with the pro-choice majority! Take a stand against sexism and bigotry! Stand against those who would force us back to the backyard! Join the protest!

Each year around the world at least 70 000 women die because they cannot access safe, legal abortion.

"Right to life": your name’s a lie – you don’t care if women die!

Click here to join the Facebook event (don’t forget to invite your friends)

Pro-Choice Action Collective
Drop the abortion charges! Repeal all anti-abortion laws! For free, safe, accessible abortion on demand!
Phone: 0400 720 757 (Kathy), 0422 763 225 (Emma)
Facebook: search for “Pro-Choice Action Collective”

Far from Freedom

Investigation into Iraqi refugees living in Jordan. For two months, freelance video and photo journalist Ed Giles lived and worked among the refugees. [ABC News Online].

They told him their stories and showed him their lives.

The results of this assignment have been drawn together in this unique presentation.

To watch the entire documentary visit

Help Stop the Wars

Dear friends and opponents of war,

The Stop the War Collective in Brisbane is responding to US President Obama’s visit to talk war and the US-Australian alliance with Rudd in the 2nd half of March. We are planning a rally in Brisbane (details below) and to send a 54 seat bus down to Canberra to join other protesters when Obama addresses a joint sitting of Parliament.

The bus costs money, but we don’t want this to be a barrier to those who want to go down to Canberra so we are appealing to all supporters of StWC and all opponents of US-led wars for profit to give a donation to help cover bus costs.

Please send donations (big or small) to:
Stop the War Collective
PO Box 8254
QLD, 4102

Please help also by forwarding this to anyone you know who might be able to help.

Hamish Chitts

Brisbane protests Obama’s visit
US & Australian troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan!
End the US-Aust military alliance!
End US and Australian support for Israel!
No more US wars in Middle East, Latin America and Caribbean!

5pm Friday 19 March
Brisbane Square (top of Queen St Mall)

For more info (including info on the bus to Canberra) contact:
Hamish 0401 586 923 or Lisa 0468 935 281

Israel stole land, life, identity…

How humane and civilized!
Stole my land
Burned my trees
Jailed my sun
Killed my children
Drank their blood
Then ground their bones at McDonnell-Douglas
And offered them back to me
As a present
In a flour-sack
To torture me all my life
This is America
—Nasri Hajjaj

Curious that not a single US passport was used in the identity theft.

There are many more residents of Israel with U.S. passports than with British, Irish, French, Australian and German passports.

Too much financial risk in upsetting the Americans?

Was no identity fraud involved in getting the credit cards issued by the same US bank?

Is that not a crime in the US? Which Bank?[ Answer=’Another 13 suspects (of the assassination of Hamas leader, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, used credit cards issued by the same American bank, Metabank, to book flights and hotel rooms.’ ]

The new details bring the total number of passports allegedly connected to the hit to 12 British, six Irish, three French, three Australian and one German.

Many had also used credit cards issued by the same US bank.

As readers have probably guessed already, Netanyahu may have run the assassination past the Americans first…after all, Israel steals land, Israel steals life — none of this is possible without the help of the Americans.


Reference: See ASIO targets new spy suspects

‘Stop dumping on Aboriginal Rights’

[Aboriginal News]


26/2/10 for immediate release

‘Stop dumping on Aboriginal Rights’, say anti-Intervention campaigners

The Intervention Rollback Action Group in Alice Springs today said
that the imposition of a nuclear dump on NT Aboriginal Land is yet
another clear breach of ALP election commitments and demonstrates
contempt for Aboriginal rights.

IRAG says that Intervention policies, which only resource communities
deemed ‘viable’ by government, are exacerbating pressure on Aboriginal
people to give up their land for destructive projects like the nuclear

“Federal Labor’s new National Radioactive Waste Management Act is
almost identical to Howard’s racist dump laws. It continues to
override the NT Land Rights Act and Aboriginal Heritage protections.
Any site selection will extinguish Native Title”, said Paddy Gibson
from the Intervention Rollback Action Group.

“This continues the Rudd government’s shocking record of broken
promises to Aboriginal people. With the Intervention, Minister Jenny
Macklin promised to reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA). But
her legislation before the Senate gives no room to challenge core
Intervention powers using the RDA”.

“This new legislation has a heavy emphasis on procedures for NT Land
Councils to nominate dump sites. It’s clear that if the nomination for
Muckaty station is defeated, the government will move on to target
other increasingly desperate communities in the NT,” concluded Mr Gibson

“Our people in remote areas are being starved of resources through the
Intervention and the NT government’s ‘hub towns’ policy. They are
coming in as refugees to Alice Springs. The Intervention housing
program (SIHIP) will build no new houses for most communities and
won’t even upgrade existing housing to public housing standards. Now
Labor is continuing Howard’s policy– saying communities can get access
to $12 million for basic infrastructure like housing and roads, only
if they accept a nuclear waste dump”, said Barbara Shaw from the
Intervention Rollback Action Group.

“Labor’s platform is clear in its support for Land Rights. But with
the Intervention and now this dump they just override the Land Rights
Act, take over and devastate our communities and our country. No other
group of people in Australia would be treated this way. The Ministers
sitting in Canberra are not the ones who are going to be poisoned by
this. Their kids are not the ones who are going to get cancer. They
have no idea how we still live off our land,” continued Ms Shaw.

“Article 29 of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,
which Labor says they support, clearly prohibits the imposition of
toxic waste onto Indigenous land without consent. I know my family and
many others from that country are fighting hard against this. We as
Aboriginal people intend to enforce our rights.”

“I ask our Health Minister and local member Warren Snowden – how is
putting poison into Aboriginal Land going to Close the Gap? We are
joining a protest at Minister Snowden’s office today at 12pm organised
in support of the Warlmanpa and Warumungu people targeted by this
dump. We will continue to fight for housing, jobs and land rights not
nuclear dump sites!” concluded Barbara Shaw.

For more information contact:
Barbara Shaw 0401 291 166
Paddy Gibson 0415800586

March 2010 Meeting of the 17 Group – on Copenhagen

Due to the incessant rain and flooding in some areas, including probable flooding between the area on the North coast where the speaker lives and Brisbane, the meeting of the 17 Group that was to have been held tomorrow,Wednesday the 3rd of March, is now postponed until Wednesday the 7th of April. Leon joins other organisers and non-organisers in presenting humble apologies.


On Wednesday the 3rd of March, the talk will be by Merv Partridge, recently back from Copenhagen with his video footage of the doings.

“Trotsky in Hopenhagen”

17 Group Meeting:

7pm Wednesday,
3rd of March,
Unit 6 at 20 Drury St,
Inner- city suburb of West End:

Great White Sharks in the City of Hope?

In December 2009 the city of Copenhagen in Denmark tried to cope with a flood of visitors who came to talk about the worlds climate. TV sets around the world windowed on the official COP15 held at the huge Bella Centre on the outskirts of the city. Billboards everywhere renamed the city Hopenhagen or promoted the latest electric car. A short walk from central station was the Klima Forum a well oiled (extra virgin olive) alternative conference of NGOs and civil society. Also close to the city centre in Christiantown was a gathering of ecovillages from around the world. Held in a circus Bigtop and a clutch of yurts in the meadow beside Pusher Street in the legendary FreeTown of Christiania this was the Klimabundmode, the Climate Bottom Meeting (alter ego of the COP15 Climate Top Meeting). Subtitle: Windows of Hope. Subtext: hmmm… Zeitgeists Unite???

People were meeting everywhere pubs, cafes, trains, saunas. A gymnasium filled up with people from all over who came not so much for the meetings as to demonstrate for action. The official COP15 meeting ran for two weeks. On the middle Saturday was the Big Demonstration. Media and police reported 100,000 people in what started as a very colourful and upbeat procession. Some folk were not happy with a monster party on display in the worlds living rooms. On the way to the Bella Centre stones flew. A window was reported broken in the Deutscher Bank. Other demonstrators tried to intervene and shut down the stone throwing. The police would not wait. They moved in and divided the march into three slices. They arrested everyone in the middle slice. No stone thrower was to escape (nor anyone who breathed the same air). One thousand people were arrested. Many were detained overnight in unheated cages. For some this was the first protest of their life (for some the last). Just three were charged. Before the week was out citizens of the city of hope (and their visitors) were to attend a celebratory dance at the Bigtop in Christiania free town and enjoy mayhem, Molotov cocktails, dogs, water cannons and complimentary tear gas.

What was all this about? Thorough police? Overzealous police? Who threw the stones? Who threw the molotovs? Was it spontaneous or premeditated? Were there murky agendas cutting through the winter deeps of Hopenhagen like great white sharks at the smorgasboard of the sinking Titanic? Come along to the 17 Group this week. See a bit of vide and hear some chit chat. No shrink-wrapped answers but you may walk away with some flash new questions. If Leon finally fronts we may even have a couple of questions for him.

If he fronts? Is it likely after all these disappointments? Though you never can tell. The topic could interest him. After all he was in Copenhagen himself, but he got there a bit early for the gig and then got tired of waiting. The press covered it. Here it is. Hell be a lively contributor if he comes, all flashing hands,hard stares and volubility.

Trotsky in Copenhagen

In November 1932, the great Robert Capa was just a beginner photojournalist. That month, he received his first significant assignment as a photojournalist when his superiors at Dephot (a famous photoagency that the time) sent to him Copenhagen, Denmark to cover a speech being given there by the exiled revolutionary Leon Trotsky.

Trotsky was lecturing Danish students on the history of the Russian revolution on November 27, 1932. Capa smuggled his inconspicuous Leica into the stadium and position himself near to where Trotsky was speaking and clandestinely snapped a series of photographs that superbly captured the energy of the impassioned Russian orator and the drama of the moment, so much so that Berlins Der Welt Spiegel devoted a full page to Capas photographs. It was Capas first published story.

Splotches and fissures in the above image (which is the most famous of Capas Trotsky images) was the result of a damage to the photographic negative.

Avoid splotches and fissures in your socio-ecological conscience. Come to the meeting.

FALASTINI-an exhibition of Palestinian artefacts & books


-an exhibition of Palestinian artefacts & books


[Aboriginal News] Tuesday, 23 March 2010 ** Sign the petition calling for respect for the Aboriginal flag in the Comments Section below.** Today, at lunchtime, we will rally in front of the Queensland Parliament in George Street, Brisbane, to promote … Continue reading

Direct Action presents: Struggle, Solidarity, Socialism…

Direct Action presents:

Struggle, solidarity, socialism

Struggle, Solidarity, Socialism…
Photo exhibition and performance evening

Featuring performances by:
Phil Monsour
Jumping Fences
Mark Cronin
Ovideo Orellana
and more… Continue reading

Falistini – a Palestinian exhibition at Logan West Library

Queensland Palestinian Association in conjunction with Justice For Palestine, Brisbane (both non-profit organisations), and Logan City Council are holding Falistini, a mini-exhibition of Palestinian costumes, plaques, handicrafts, maps and books from February 27 to March 31, 2010 at Logan West Library, Grand Plaza Drive, Browns Plains.

The exhibition will be inaugurated at 11:45 am on Saturday, February 27, 2010 by Cr Phil Pidgeon, Chairman, Sports Health and Community Services, Logan City Council. The brief programme includes a dance performance by acclaimed Middle-Eastern dancer Amber Hansen, serving of Palestinian savouries and desserts and the screening of Mohammed Alatar’s The Iron Wall. The entire programme is free and open to the public.

National Palestinian Clothes — Lowintra's Cloths: The Sun

We would be very grateful if you would include the above information in your community events page. The flyer for the event is attached to this letter.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely
David Albuquerque
Khalil Hamdan
Queensland Palestinian Association

Khalil’s contact:
Ph: 3263 5562
0438 194 342

Ph: 3276 0101
0447 523 295


Palm Debate between lawyers in the pre-hearing conference went on in hushed tones. Before I knew it, my ageing diary was full. Andrew Boe stepped back from the bar table. A gaggle of fifteen or more clerks, journos and lawyers … Continue reading

Support Fair Deal For Cleaners

City cleaners have been campaigning for better wages and conditions for more than three years.
Other major contractors have signed up to the Clean Start Collective Agreement which delivers better wages and conditions and higher cleaning standards in office buildings.
Commercial Property Cleaning pty Ltd, the contractor responsible for cleaning your building, has failed to sign the Clean Start Collective Agreement which delivers fairer wages and conditions to cleaners.

Send a text to Commercial Property Cleaning Director Denis Botterill 0417 619311 and tell him “IT’S TIME TO SIGN!”

Phil Monsour goes to Jerusalem

Phil Monsour News and Information Continue reading

WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia) 15 FEB 2010: SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF PM’S APOLOGY; CLOSE THE GAP REPORT WGAR website: Contents: 2nd anniversary of PM’s apology to Stolen Generations Closing the Gap report card New Way Summit Task … Continue reading

Direct Action Forum: No racism, no war!

Direct Action Public Forum


Sam Watson – Aboriginal activist, community leader, novelist, playwright and filmmaker
Van Rudd – artist, cultural activist and member of the Revolutionary Socialist Party
Brian Senewiratne – long-time campaigner for the rights of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka
Hamish Chitts – Stand Fast, anti-war veterans group

Thursday March 4, 7pm (cheap meal available from 6:30pm)
Direct Action Centre: 8 Gillingham St, Woolloongabba
Phone: 3391 1903, 0400 720 757
Email: brisbane Continue reading




On the day the Indigenous All Stars beat the best the NRL has to offer Les Malezer (Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action Aboriginal Corporation FAIRA) spoke out against the Northern Territory Intervention at a rally on 13 February … Continue reading

Dr Strangelove solves climate change

On 10 February 2010, Dr Tom Blees (an honorary doctorate), a former commercial fisherman ‘has given up fishin’ for fission’.

Tom Blees, standing over 2 metres tall, addressed an assortment of scientists, physics students and staff at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) on how nuclear power is an answer to climate change.

The event was sponsored by a local group, ominously called ‘Safe Radiation’.

Former National Party senator for Queensland Bill O’Chee from the Australian Nuclear Association Inc gave the 50 or so guests (nearly all men) a hearty welcome saying that all he was qualified to do was to invite us to partake of refreshments in the foyer.

His speech reminds me of the Brave New World portrayed by Aldous Huxley: Continue reading

‘The Long Night’ – a story from the 1998 MUA dispute

The pickets on East Swanston Dock in Melbourne were a telling factor in the failure of the strategy by the government and Patricks to crush the MUA.

At the point when the National Farmers Federation (NFF) were most keen to get their scabs on the docks they were unable to prevent ten thousand pickets massed at the gates of the East Swanston Docks. But more than that, when the Victorian police were preparing to remove the pickets they were outmanoeuvred by the building workers who marched up behind them. The CFMEU had answered the call of the MUA in the best way possible.

This incident became known as The Long Night and was the turning point of the dispute. Indeed, it was decisive. The police were unable to contain the pickets. Mass action had overwhelmed the coercive power of the state and the court system. It is described below by one of the participants who supported the union against the employer and the government.

‘The Long Night’

by Pamela Curr

– read by Ian Curr Continue reading

Waihopai Ploughshares

At 6am on the morning of 30 April 2008, three members of a New Zealand Ploughshares group, Sam Land. Adi Leeson, and Peter Murnane ,entered the Waihopai spy base and used sickles to deflate one of the two 30 metre domes covering satellite interception dishes. They then built a shrine and prayed for the victims of the war with no end – the so-called ‘War on Terror’ led by the United States government which also controls the NZ taxpayer funded Waihopai base. The government claimed damages were over a million dollars.

The Waihopi spy base is part of the US ECHELON system and gathers satellite intelligence for US wars of aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan. In some ways it is a much smaller version of Australias Pine Gap.

On March 8th the three go to trial in Wellington, and face possible jail sentences. People are converging on Wellington to support their act of resistance.

More information about Waihopai Ploughshares is available at and and information about the Waihopai spy base is at Continue reading

Benefit Night for Waihopai (NZ) Ploughshares


Waihopai (NZ) Ploughshares


We are having a benefit night on FRIDAY 26th Feb at BlackStar coffee shop 44 Thomas St West End.

Hope you can make it.

Jim Dowling



They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift sword against nation; and there shall be no more training for war. Isaiah 2/4

At 6am on the morning of 30 April 2008, three members of a New Zealand Ploughshares group entered the Waihopai spy base and used sickles to deflate one of the two 30 metre domes covering satellite interception dishes. They then built a shrine and prayed for the victims of the war with no end – the so-called ‘War on Terror’ led by the United States government which also controls the NZ taxpayer funded Waihopai base. The government claimed damages were over a million dollars.

The Waihopi spy base is part of the US ECHELON system and gathers satellite intelligence for US wars of aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On March 8th the three go to trial, and face possible jail sentences.

All money made from this night will go towards expenses of the Waihopai Three trial.

For more information phone: Jim 3425 3003

Protected: Queensland 1977 — how we got here from there

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Help organise the protests against Obama’s visit

Obama is coming to Australia in the second half of March

It’s time to get organised…

Stop the War organising meeting:

Thursday February 11, 6:30pm

TLC Building (2nd floor), 16 Peel St, South Brisbane

All welcome

For more information phone Hamish (0401 586 923) or Mark (3891 5385)


A White House spokesperson has said Obama is looking forward to commemorating the 70th anniversary of Australia-US relations – 70 years of cooperation in invasions and occupations around the globe. Kevin Rudd has told the ABC, “We have a whole truckload of areas of military cooperation and to work out where we go in the future together.

Many thought Obama would bring progressive change to U.S. foreign policy and have had their hopes sorely dashed. In his first year in office, he broke several war-making records of President George W. Bush with the largest military budget in U.S. history, the largest one-year war supplementals and the most drone attacks on the most countries. The White House has indicated that the next military budget will be US$708 billion, breaking Obamas previous record.

Think Obama is against war? Think again:


Obama’s promise of troop withdrawal from Iraq by August 2010 has been changed to withdrawal once Iraq has established a stable, pro-US regime. If this is achieved Obama has still pledged to keep 50,000 US troops in Iraq for the foreseeable future. While there is little reporting in Western media the Iraqi insurgence continues to fight against the occupation of their land.


Under Obama the war of occupation in Afghanistan has been dramatically escalated. He has more than doubled US troop numbers surging from 32,000 at the start of 2009 to more than 68,000. He has pressured other occupying nations to increase their troop numbers and has doubled the number mercenaries used in Afghanistan. Obama’s surge has cost many lives, including many civilians, and has only increased the number of people in Afghanistan willing to fight their occupation.


Obama has overseen the expansion of the Afghanistan war into Pakistan. His first military act as US president was to order two remote-controlled air strikes that killed 22 people in Waziristan, northern Pakistan. Obama is sending large numbers of mercenaries from Xe Services (formerly Blackwater) and DynCorp to protect huge US ‘diplomatic’ complexes in North-Western Pakistan and the capital Islamabad.


Obama has used the terrible earthquake in Haiti to re-occupy the country with over 10,000 US combat troops. His administration has given covert support to the right-wing military coup in Honduras, maintaining ties with the coup government and providing military trainers to train Honduran troops that have been terrorising their own people. Obama is establishing 7 new US bases in Columbia which is seen by most countries in South America as a direct threat to their sovereignty.


When Bush backed the December 2008 Israeli blitzkrieg of Gaza, then President-elect Obama remained silent. Obama has supported the continued Israeli siege of Gaza’s 1.5 million devastated civilians. Obama’s administration has made muffled barely disapproving comments while Israel continues to expand its settlements on Palestinian land and builds an apartheid state from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River.


The Obama administration is seeking to increase U.S. spending on nuclear weapons by more than $5bn over the next five years, Obama’s Vice President Joe Biden tried to explain in Wall Street Journal why it was necessary to spend more on nuclear weapons in order to halt their spread, lulling the public with claims that “we will maintain a safe, secure, and effective nuclear arsenal.

Help organise the protests against Obama’s visit. Only people’s power can provide real HOPE for the world.


Love Letters from the Bar Table

“Love Letters from the Bar Table” a new book by Shane Dowling

20th Anniversary of Melbourne Tramways dispute

by Peter Riley and Margaret Creagh

On the night (Saturday 30th January 2010) I brought along some memorabilia: photos, documents, clippings from news media from the time (of the dispute).

We showed these at Camp Eureka site of Community & Union Solidarity event over the Easter weekend last year; and prior to that at a Workers Control conference in Sydney several years ago.

These “artifacts” from the ‘primitive past’ prompted a few recollections and some laughter.

Some who were present would have been interviewed for radio broadcast but I did not bring along recorder as I was not focussed; mixed emotions clash evening for me, nor am I up to date tech savy enough to do interviews on the spot alas.

Continue reading