Monthly Archives: May 2010

New Laws that extend Income Management (IM) Australia-wide (23 May 10)

New Laws that extend Income Management (IM) Australia-wide (23 May 10)

WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)

WGAR Website: http://wgar.info/

23 MAY 2010: NEW LAWS THAT EXTEN
D INCOME MANAGEMENT (IM) AUSTRALIA-WIDE

Contents:
New Laws that extend Income Management (IM) Australia-wide
“Muckaty Voices”: radioactive waste concerns go global
Background to Muckaty Station nuclear waste dump
Articles on the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention
Background to the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention

NEW LAWS THAT EXTEND INCOME MANAGEMENT (IM) AUSTRALIA-WIDE:

– Greens Special Feature

Rachel Siewert: Income Management
http://rachel-siewert.greensmps.org.au/content/income-management
Updated since 12 May 10: “The Rudd Government’s new laws
give them the power to extend Income Management across
Australia to people on many kinds of Centrelink payments.
These laws could affect your family. … The Rudd
Government’s new laws to give it the power to extend income
management across Australia are still before the Senate.
They were listed to be voted on in the Senate on Wednesday
12 May, but were put off at the last minute. They are still
likely to be voted through at the next sitting of the
Senate sometime between 15th and 24th June. So we have a
few more weeks to increase the pressure and convince the
major parties not to push through these unfair laws.”

– Jumbunna Research Project

Jumbunna Indigenouse House of Learning:
A response to the Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment
(Welfare Reform and Reinstatement of Racial Discrimination Act) Bill 2009
Why the proposed bill should be delayed
Researched and written by Terry Priest with Eva Cox
for Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning – May 2010
http://www.whatsworking.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/extension-of-income-management-final-6-may.pdf
Also, What’s Working: http://www.whatsworking.com.au/what-now/response-to-reform-bill/

– Greens Dissenting Report

Senator Siewert has written a dissenting report as part of
the Inquiry into the provisions of the Social Security and
Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform and
Reinstatement of the Racial Discrimination Act) Bill 2009
and related legislation.
To download the 92.5 kb Word document, click on this link:
http://greensmps.org.au/webfm_send/358

– Action

Stop the Intervention: What can I do?
http://stoptheintervention.org/rda-new-legislation/what-can-i-do
“The combined legislation is now likely to come back in the
week of 15th June before the Senate which greatly weakens
the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) in regard to the NT
Intervention and which also begins the national rollout of
Income Management to non-Aboriginal – and of course in the
process to many more Aboriginal people – under Centrelink.”

– Background

Parliament of Australia: Senate Community Affairs Committee
Inquiry into Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment …
http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/clac_ctte/soc_sec_welfare_reform_racial_discrim_09/submissions/sublist.htm
[Includes:

Submissions received by the Committee;
Documents Tabled at hearings;

Additional Information received]

WGAR News: New NT Intervention laws that extend welfare quarantining (12 Feb 10)
http://indymedia.org.au/2010/02/11/wgar-news-new-nt-intervention-laws-that-extend-welfare-quarantining-12-feb-10

WGAR News: New NT Intervention laws that extend income management (19 Mar 10)
http://indymedia.org.au/2010/03/19/wgar-news-new-nt-intervention-laws-that-extend-income-management-19-mar-10

Stop the Intervention: Racial Discrimination Act – New Legislation
http://stoptheintervention.org/rda-new-legislation

“MUCKATY VOICES”: RADIOACTIVE WASTE CONCERNS GO GLOBAL:

– Media Release

Beyond Nuclear Initiative’s weblog:
From the campfire to cyberspace:
Radioactive waste concerns go global
http://beyondnuclearinitiative.wordpress.com/2010/05/09/muckaty-voices-launch/
17 May 10: “Aboriginal Traditional Owners opposed to a
radioactive waste dump at Muckaty Station in the Northern
Territory of Australia have taken their campaign to a
global online audience. The short film “Muckaty Voices” has
now been uploaded to youtube, documenting the story and
concerns of people directly affected by the controversial
federal government plan. … Traditional Owners are
increasing their efforts against the nuclear dump plan and
their campaign is the focus of a growing national fight.”

– News

Tennant & District Times: Muckaty concerns go global
http://tennantcreek.yourguide.com.au/news/local/news/general/muckaty-concerns-go-global/1836348.aspx?src=rss
21 May 10: ““We made the film to show we are the
Traditional Owners for our Grandmothers and Grandfathers,”
Muckaty Traditional Owner Doris Kelly Nakamarra said. “We
want to be even with people, even talking about who is on
the right and wrong. We want people to sit down and see the
picture properly, to look at it and see how things should
be.””

BACKGROUND TO MUCKATY STATION NUCLEAR WASTE DUMP:

Beyond Nuclear Initiative’s weblog:
http://beyondnuclearinitiative.wordpress.com/
http://beyondnuclearinitiative.wordpress.com/audio/

WGAR News: Nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory (2 Mar 10)
http://indymedia.org.au/2010/03/02/wgar-news-nuclear-waste-dump-in-the-northern-territory-2-mar-10

WGAR News: Muckaty Station Nuclear Waste Dump (20 Mar 10)
http://groups.google.com.au/group/foblmail/browse_thread/thread/ddc393bb66205849

WGAR News: Nuclear Waste Dump … (28 Mar 10)
http://indymedia.org.au/2010/03/28/wgar-news-nuclear-waste-dump-close-the-gap-day-28-mar-10

WGAR News: Muckaty Radioactive Waste Dump … (4 Apr 10)
http://indymedia.org.au/2010/04/03/wgar-news-muckaty-radioactive-waste-dump-welfare-quarantining-4-apr-10

WGAR News: National day of action against Muckaty nuclear waste dump: 12th April!
http://indymedia.org.au/2010/04/10/wgar-news-national-day-of-action-against-muckaty-nuclear-waste-dump-12th-april

WGAR News: Nuclear Waste Dump: Senate inquiry in Darwin; Nationwide protests (17 Apr 10)
http://indymedia.org.au/2010/04/16/wgar-news-nuclear-waste-dump-senate-inquiry-in-darwin-nationwide-protests-17-apr-10

WGAR News: … Update: Muckaty Station Nuclear Waste Dump (23 Apr 10)
[scroll down
page] http://indymedia.org.au/2010/04/22/wgar-news-raw-sewage-dumped-in-ampilatwatja-aboriginal-worker-dismissed-23-apr-10

WGAR News: Update on Muckaty Station Nuclear Waste Dump (2 May 10)
http://wgar.wordpress.com/2010/05/02/02052010-update-on-muckaty-station-nuclear-waste-dump/

WGAR News: “Muckaty Voices” film; Senate Report into nuclear waste dump plan (16 May 10)
http://indymedia.org.au/2010/05/16/wgar-news-muckaty-voices-film-senate-report-into-nuclear-waste-dump-plan-16-may-10

ARTICLES ON THE NORTHERN TERRITORY (NT) INTERVENTION:

– Opinion/Analysis

On Line Opinion: Labor complacent as Indigenous gap widens
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=10450
21 May 10: “Seven houses – that’s not bad for three and a
half years work and expenditure in the hundreds of
millions. At that rate the gap will be closed in about
7,000 years. It’s good to see Labor on the job. A paragraph
later, Macklin remarks that a recent review of the program
had shown that everything was on track. This is a measure
of her complacency about the worsening disaster over which
she presides.” Jack Waterford

Comment by Marion Scrymgour MLA
[scroll down to end of article to read
comments]
http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/2010/05/17/does-macklins-office-have-any-shame-more-on-the-income-mgt-study/
18 May 10: “The [Income Management] researchers are well
qualified, the study is based on concrete sales data (not
subjective anecdotal reporting like the Federal Governments
own commissioned study) and it has the imprimatur of the
highly respected Menzies School of Health Research. The
stated conclusion is “income management independent of the
government stimilus payment appears to have had no
beneficial effect on tobacco and cigarette sales, soft
drink or fruit and vegetable sales”.”

See: WGAR News: New research questions the effectiveness of NT income management (19 May 10)
http://indymedia.org.au/2010/05/19/wgar-news-new-research-questions-the-effectiveness-of-nt-income-management-19-may-10

– News

Medical News Today: NT Intervention Unlikely To Improve
Long-term Health Of Aboriginal People, Australia
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/188943.php
17 May 10: “A health impact assessment undertaken by the
Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA), using
methods endorsed by the World Health Organization, predicts
potential health outcomes for Aboriginal communities of the
Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER). … “The
health impact assessment findings speak for themselves and
show that the intervention does more harm than good,” Prof
O’Mara said.”

See: eMJA – The Medical Journal of Australia:
Health impacts of the Northern Territory intervention
http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/192_10_170510/oma10307_fm.html

See: Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association [AIDA]:
Health Impact Assessment of the Northern Territory Emergency Response
http://www.aida.org.au/hia.aspx

Green Left: Alyawarr Protest House film draws crowds
http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/44105
15 May 10: “More than 60 people attended Brisbane’s
premiere screening of a new documentary by Sydney’s Actively
Radical TV about the construction of the Alyawarr people’s
Protest House at their walk-off camp near Ampilatwatja in
the Northern Territory. The film has interviews with
unionists from across the country who worked with the
community to build the house. It also features community
members and leaders.”

See: Intervention walk-off’s Blog: http://interventionwalkoff.wordpress.com/

BACKGROUND TO THE NORTHERN (NT) INTERVENTION:

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Northern Territory National Emergency Response
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Territory_intervention

STICS (Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney):
http://stoptheintervention.org/

IRAG (Intervention Rollback Action Group):
http://rollbacktheintervention.wordpress.com/

Intervention walk-off’s Blog:
http://interventionwalkoff.wordpress.com/

WGAR (Working Group for Aboriginal Rights):
http://wgar.info/

– – –

Subscription to ‘WGAR News’ is free.

‘WGAR News’ monitors the media, including alternative media,
focusing on the Australian Federal government intervention
into Northern Territory (NT) Aboriginal communities along
with other Aboriginal rights issues.

The e-newsletters include media releases, opinion pieces
and news items. Subscribers can expect to receive about 2
e-newsletters each week.

To subscribe, email wgarmessage header.
.news@gmail.com and include the
words “subscribe WR GANews” in the
To unsubscribe, email wgar.news and include the
words “unsubscribe WGAR News” in the message header.

– – –

You can also subscribe to our second list ‘Contact WGAR’
which focuses on activities and events and provides a point
of contact.

To subscribe, email contactwgar and include the
words “subscribe WGAR Contact” in the message header.

– – –

WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)

__._,_.___

Members of Swedish Parliament demand security for Ship to Gaza

Press release 20 May 2010
Members of Swedish Parliament demand security for Ship to Gaza

“As the convoy is setting sail this weekend, Ship to Gaza-Sweden wishes to emphasize how important a response from the government is regarding this matter. “

Ships to Gaza

On Wednesday, Helén Pettersson, Social Democratic member of the Swedish Parliament, submitted a written inquiry to Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, asking what measures the government intends to take in order to protect Ship to Gazas peaceful, lawful, humanitarian initiative.

The reason for the inquiry is that Ship to Gaza and the Freedom Flotillathe coalition in which the Swedish initiative will be included has been threatened with military resistance from Israeli authorities and private individuals. The following is Pettersons inquiry in its entirety:

One and a half million Palestinians are living in isolation on the Gaza Strip, in pure misery.

There is a shortage of food, medicine and other necessities, such as building materials to repair homes, schools and other buildings which were destroyed by the bombings during the war around Christmas in 2008.

In order to address the situation, Ship to Gaza is planning to take the sea route to Gaza, bringing medicine, desalination plants, cement, etc. in order to help the people in need.

Ship to Gaza is a politically and religiously independent, non-profit organization that is working to promote increased respect for human rights and general international law. Israels government has now threatened to stop Ship to Gaza and to use force if necessary. Does the Foreign Minister intend to protect this humanitarian initiative?

As early as last week, Mehmet Kaplan of the Green Party of Sweden requested a meeting with the Foreign Minister, along with Ship to Gaza spokespersons Dror Feiler and Mattias Gardell, in order to discuss which security measures the Swedish government plans to take.

Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has still not responded to any of the questions.

As the convoy is setting sail this weekend, Ship to Gaza-Sweden wishes to emphasize how important a response from the government is regarding this matter.

Especially since the Israeli media is reporting that the Swedish Ambassador to Israel has informed the Israeli government that she and the Swedish government intend to discourage Swedish citizens from participating in the Freedom Flotillas peaceful, lawful, humanitarian convoy.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and several other human rights organizations have all condemned the blockade. Furthermore, the director of U.N. relief operations in Gaza, John Ging, welcomes initiatives such as Ship to Gaza, in order to break the blockade.

Ship to Gaza-Sweden
Contact: Mattias Gardell: +46 703036666
Dror Feiler: +46 702855777
Free Gaza Movement
Contact: Greta Berlin: +33 607374512
www.freegaza.org

Aside

“The money is ours but the government won’t give it back” Ros Kidd spoke at the Queensland Council of Unions [QCU] about the thousands of indigenous workers who were paid a small fraction of award wages in Queensland during the … Continue reading

“Revitalising Our Culture”

Mulula Tabil ban Dancers Of Minjerriba
(Sand and the Sea of North Stradbroke Island)

Revitalising Our Culture”

Traditional dance/didgeridoo performance, workshops, guided tours and traditional dance supplies.

Through connecting up for the land and culture, we play an active role in organising gatherings to encourage greater community involvement, passing on traditional song, dance, stories and providing the time and place to connect back with nature once more.  We believe in being consciously responsible and aim for the concept of “thriving” in our lifetime.

Introducing Mulula Tabil ban – Dancers of the sand and the sea…

As proud Indigenous Australians, coming from families dedicated to ending disadvantage for all, we feel our contribution is also necessary and look forward to carrying on in their footsteps.  This initiative is to address current shortfalls in Indigenous Cultural opportunities as well as assisting attempts to preserve both land and culture. The beginning of an expanding base for opportunity in the Cultural/performing Arts industry, we hope the dance group becomes a stepping stone or building block for young people to shape their own destiny.

Malula Tabil ban is about representing our people, land and culture with the honour, integrity and the respect it is definitely worthy of.  Through a team focus we will share our journeys and support each other achieve our potential.  Our culture is a huge gift to us all, one we look forward to sharing with the world.

Appearing at schools, community events, special occasions, opening ceremonies, private functions and festivals.  Contact Patrick – 0437 454 628, pattycools@live.com.au or for more information please check the web listing at http://dancersofthesandandsea.blogspot.com/

Mulua Tabil Ban of Minjeriba

(Dancers of the Sand and Sea)

Point Lookout

Qld Australia

Phone 011 61 7 3415 3958

Mobile/cell  011 61 434 717 920

mulula@dodo.com.au

www.dancersofthesandandsea.blogspot.com

Reminder May 29 Benefit Concert DVD Launch Dinner with Phil Monsour Band

Hi

Just a reminder about the event below. Please support this important fundraiser for Palestine.

You are invited to:

Benefit Concert DVD Launch and Dinner
Saturday 29 May 6.30pm
Kurilpa Hall 174 Boundary St West End
$25/20 (children under 12 free)
Bookings essential 0400912550 or phil RSVP 22 May

All proceeds to Union Aid Abroad- APHEDA projects in the West Bank, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip (See photos below)
Featuring the Phil Monsour Band for more info http://www.philmonsour.com/

Phil Monsour recently returned from Palestine and Lebanon will open the night by recounting his experiences with new songs, and images taken during the APHEDA Middle East Study tour.
A live performance DVD filmed at a previous concert will also be launched on the night. The DVD includes a 30 minute documentary on the songs and issues, and includes footage of Brisbane protests and interviews with Brisbane activists – see extracts at http://www.youtube.com/PhilMonsour

Please Circulate

APHEDA Projects
Pre School Burj el Barajneh

Health Service Burj el Barajneh

Food security project in Gaza

Rehabilitation Hospital in Gaza

Food security project in Talkarem (West Bank)

Phil Monsour
http://www.philmonsour.com/
http://www.youtube.com/PhilMonsour
http://www.myspace.com/philmonsour
http://www.facebook.com/people/Phil-Monsour/674368570

Thesis on 60s and 70s movement – basis of next 17 Group talk

The next talk in the 17 Group at 6/20 Drury St West End on Wednesday the 2nd of June at 7pm will be of interest to anyone who was involved in the politico-cultural radical movement of the 60s and the 70s.

It will be given by a radical activist and theorist of the present generation, a young man called Jon Piccini, recent Honours History graduate of the U of Q.
The attachment herewith is his thesis. He examines in particular the cultural dimensions of the movement, paying particular attention to such phenomena as Foco, the group Harpo and the rise of and internal debates within 4ZZZ.

I have read the thesis and found that it was exceptionally interesting in the light of the time that has elapsed since the events that are recorded and analysed within it.

It was interesting to have been there and then to have seen the way that it all looked to a thoughtful and sympathetic eye of the current generation.

I’ll probably send the thesis out again as an attachment in the normal notices of the June 17 Group meeting, but given the pressures on time I thought I’d send it out beforehand to those people on the list who might have a more personal interest in the matters dealt with, so that if you come to the meeting you will have had a chance not only to hear the talk but also to have absorbed the ideas on which it will have been based.

This could add to the depth and rigour of the discussion.

Dan O’Neill

Stolen Wages

Alex Macdonald Memorial Lecture 2010

Dr Ros Kidd – ‘One of the Great Scandals of Australia’s History: Aboriginal Labour in 20th Century Queensland’

5.30pm Thurs 20th May

Level 2 TLC Building

16 Peel St

South Brisbane

free admission

refreshments available

Ros Kidd was awarded a doctorate by Griffith University in 1994 for her groundbreaking research into government control of Aboriginal people in Queensland between 1840 and 1988. She has published four books: The Way We Civilise; Black Lives, Government Lies; Trustees on Trial; and Hard Labour, Stolen Wages. She has assisted Native Title claimants with historical research reports, and works with Aboriginal people in pursuit of justice from the government for illegally underpaid wages and lost savings.

Nobel Peace Prize Nominee

Dr Zohl dé Ishtar from the Kapululangu Aboriginal Women’s Law and Culture Centre.

5.30pm for 6pm, Friday, 21st May

Kurilpa Hall

174 Boundary St

West End

Author and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Dr Zohl dé Ishtar is internationally renowned for her work with Indigenous Australian and Pacific women over the past 25 years. Since 1999 Zohl has lived and worked with the Aboriginal Women Elders in Balgo community, Western Australia. She assisted them to establish the Kapululangu Women’s Law and Culture Centre— one of Australia’s most remote women’s centres and a flourishing and vibrant provider of Aboriginal Women’s Law and Culture in the south-east Kimberley.

This is a rare opportunity to hear Zohl speak about the Kapululangu Elders’ efforts to protect and keep alive their women’s knowledge and cultural practices, and to build cultural resilience among their families and community. Learn about how you can partner with these remarkable women to close the gap between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous relations.

Participants: All are welcome!

Catering: Light refreshments may be purchased.

Donations: Gratefully received all proceeds go to the Kapululangu Aboriginal Women’s Association.

Website: www.kapululangu.org

RSVP preferred: Contact Chris Henderson biota 0437 327890

Elvis Costello will not play in Israel

Word has just been sent around that Elvis Costello has decided to pull out of his concerts in Israel and abide by the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions [BDS].

I saw Elvis Costello at Festival Hall in Brisbane in 1978 during the height of the Bjelke-Petersons attacks on Democratic Rights. Costello made some mention of the Bjelke-Peterson regime during his set after the ‘Angels’. A friend was falsely imprisioned by police after that concert.

Now Elvis Costello says that he is not going to perform in Israel.

Good.

However in his official statement titled: ‘It Is After Considerable Contemplation’ he states:

“I must believe that the audience for the coming concerts would have contained many people who question the policies of their government on settlement and deplore conditions that visit intimidation, humiliation or much worse on Palestinian civilians in the name of national security.

I am also keenly aware of the sensitivity of these themes in the wake of so many despicable acts of violence perpetrated in the name of liberation.”

Elvis Costello still does not get it, even after massacres by the Israeli army in Gaza, in Caana, the bombing of Beirut, and the massacres by Israeli proxies (the Phalange) in Tel al-Zaatar, and again in Chabra and in Chatilla. Even after Israel bombed the UN school in Gaza, Elvis Costello still does not undertand where ‘despicable acts of violence (are)  perpetrated’ and by whom.

BDS and Intifada
What a sad ally for the BDS campaign to have. I wonder about this campaign. We do not know what is to happen, we do not know where history will take us. In the wake of the last intifada, Palestinian organisations in the West Bank have called for this campaign, so I support it.

At the same time some rule out another intifada and so place their hope in the BDS camapign. Fair enough. Meanwhile Palestinians on the West Bank have their hands full trying to avoid another Al Nakba (“catastrophe”). That catastrophe has already hit Gazans.

In his public statement, Elvis Costello chooses the high moral ground and lectures Palestinians:

“One must at least consider any rational argument that comes before the appeal of more desperate means.”

There is probably no sense in attaching political significance to the lyrics of Elvis Costello’s songs.

‘Radio Radio’ — a popular song that Elvis Costello sang at Festival Hall in Brisbane all those years ago goes like this:

Radio is a sound salvation
Radio is cleaning up the nation
They say you better listen to the voice of reason
But they don’t give you any choice
’cause they think that it’s treason.
So you had better do as you are told.
You better listen to the radio.

Somehow I don’t think the Israeli government will miss Elvis Costello.

Breaking the siege of Gaza
Meanwhile there is a flotilla of boats trying to break the siege of Gaza. Smaller attempts to land in Gaza by sea have been successful in the past. These boats have the support of Greek and Turkish trade unionists. They carry people and supplies by sea in much the same way that ‘Viva Palestina’ convoy did by land across North Africa.

If the Israeli embargo of Gaza is broken by land and sea, that is a significant defeat for the apartheid state.

Ian Curr
May 2010

Free, Free, Palestine!

Refugee US report on Australian latest Refugee policy

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2010/0517/Sagging-in-polls-Australia-s-government-toughens-stance-on-asylum-seekers/%28page%29/2

Sagging in polls, Australia’s government toughens stance on asylum seekers

Australia’s Labor government, which recently fell behind in the polls for the first time since taking power, has imposed a freeze on asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

Reminder MAY 29 APHEDA-Fundraiser/DVDLaunch/Dinner

Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
Phil Monsour News and Information
Phil Monsour News and Information

You are invited to:

Benefit Concert DVD Launch and Dinner
Saturday 29 May 6.30pm
Kurilpa Hall 174 Boundary St West End
$25/20 (children under 12 free)
Bookings essential 0400912550 or phil RSVP 22 May

All proceeds to Union Aid Abroad- APHEDA projects in the West Bank, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip (See photos below)
Featuring the Phil Monsour Band for more info http://www.philmonsour.com/

Phil Monsour recently returned from Palestine and Lebanon will open the night by recounting his experiences with new songs, and images taken during the APHEDA Middle East Study tour.
A live performance DVD filmed at a previous concert will also be launched on the night. The DVD includes a 30 minute documentary on the songs and issues, and includes footage of Brisbane protests and interviews with Brisbane activists – see extracts at http://www.youtube.com/PhilMonsour

Please support this important event and send the invitation to anyone you think will be interested.

If you wish to help with the organising of the event or help on the night please get in touch. All help is appreciated.

Other news
The 15 song DVD Live at AHIMSA House is now available on the website shop. Check out the doco and a couple of the clips on youtube

Other gigs
August 18th 2010 With David Rovics (USA) CEPU Union Hall.

Please friend my facebook page for regular updates.
The $30 CD pack of Lies and silence and the Empires new clothes is now available on the website.

Hope to see you if you can make it to the fundraiser. Please forward this to anyone who would be interested.

phil monsour may 29th

Thanks Phil
http://www.philmonsour.com/
http://www.youtube.com/PhilMonsour
http://www.myspace.com/philmonsour
http://www.facebook.com/people/Phil-Monsour/674368570

APHEDA Projects
Pre School Burj el Barajneh

Health Service Burj el Barajneh

Food security project in Gaza

Rehabilitation Hospital in Gaza

Food security project in Talkarem

Phil Monsour Recordings


The Empires new clothes
13 song CD
Recorded with the full band

Lies and Silence
12 song CD
Solo acoustic recordings

Live at Ahimsa House
15 song and Documentary

Smart bombs
7 song CD
Recorded with a full band

Our mailing address is:
Phil Monsour
,

Copyright (C) 2009 Phil Monsour All rights reserved.
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Bluefields at ‘Kookaburra Cafe’ in Cuenca

Jenny and Chris at the kookaburra cafe in Cuenca

Just in case you missed it in all the distractions…..

A Kookaburra in Cuenca? By gum, that’s brilliant

by Chris Canty from The Weekend Australian 15-16 may 2010

IT’S fitting that Chris and Jenny Bluefields named their business Kookaburra Cafe.

As they reflect on why a couple from Queensland with almost no hospitality experience would set up an eatery in southern Ecuador, Jenny’s cackle demonstrates the comedy of it all. “I waited tables at my parents’ cafe in Brisbane in the late 1970s, but that’s it.” About a year ago, after four years in northern NSW renovating an eco-cottage and working part time in horticulture, the couple moved to the city of Cuenca with the dream of creating an informal space, like an extension of their kitchen, serving fresh, simple food.

“I visited Ecuador as a backpacker in 1985,” Jenny tells me. “And I remembered it as a vibrant Andean country with a very strong indigenous, agrarian culture. I loved seeing the streets filled with people buying and selling food and the landscape dotted with crops and livestock.”

Cuenca, one of South America’s most picturesque UNESCO-listed towns, is full of 16th-century churches, busy indigenous market stalls, cobblestoned streets and tree-lined plazas. Kookaburra Cafe is in an old colonial house in the middle of town and its unlikely sign stops me in my tracks. I know strange animals can often be found on the menu in South America and now I fear Australia’s emblematic bird could be among them.

“The name always gets a laugh from Ecuadorians because it loosely translates as ‘lazy female donkey in the kitchen’,” Jenny says. “They assume we’ve made a great joke about the slovenly woman in the kitchen, which wouldn’t be far off the mark.”

But it’s clear that Jenny is far from a lacklustre presence here. Despite toiling in the kitchen, she chats easily to customers and, as two depart, she bids them farewell by name. Chris, who has a winemaking background, is the coffee connoisseur and is like a kid in a candy shop in bean-rich Ecuador.

The interior of the 100-year-old house has remained true to its origins, with adobe walls, high ceilings and two tranquil courtyards. Its renovation into a cafe, using a local architect and work crew, was low-impact and sympathetic to the environment, says Chris, who describes the conversion as “very Zen meets Spanish colonial”. A mixture of accents and languages fills the cafe; most prevalent are Americans. “A lot of people who have moved here from the US come in each day,” Jenny says. “Last year Cuenca was named by an international magazine as the world’s best retirement haven. A lot of people are attracted to the relaxed way of life, inexpensive property and good health care.”

Chris preparing at the Kookaburra Cafe

But while this couple is grateful for the expat clientele, they have been unhappy with the condominiums shooting up around town. Chris made a video time-line of the changing landscape from his bedroom window and helped put a stop to future building projects.

“Being a visual artist, I knew how powerful images can be and so I made the piece available to the right people and, as it turns out, at the right time,” he says.

Efforts such as this, and respect for culture and customs, have won over many of the townspeople. “We just hoped the locals would embrace the cafe with the same curiosity and delight with which they embraced us,” Chris says.

In a town dominated by fried chicken and beans, or tourist restaurants serving hamburgers and hot dogs, the Kookaburra is all about fair pricing, minimum processing and uncomplicated fare.

I order artisan wholegrain toast, sourced from a local bakery that Chris says specialises in chemical and additive-free food, and an all-too-familiar spread.

“We put Vegemite on the menu as a sort of in joke for Australians,” Chris says. “Only a few locals have tried it, but we say straight out that they probably won’t like it.”

Next I try atamale, a traditional South American corn-based dish steamed in an achira leaf and filled with a variety of ingredients, depending on where you are on the continent. Instead of the cornmeal tamales I am used to, this is potato based and has a delicious filling of diced chicken breast, carrots, hard-boiled egg and raisins. Homemade chutney is a nice, somewhat Australian, touch.

“The biggest indigenous market is just two streets away and we visit it almost on a daily basis, selecting the best fruit and vegetables,” Jenny says as I sip an apple, celery, ginger, beetroot and carrot juice.

The pair sources produce from friends and have added two guestrooms following the same restoration style ethos as the cafe. As I head for the door, Jenny lets rip with a kookaburra laugh as she hands me a sachet of Vegemite. After a year away from Australia, my homesickness suddenly doesn’t seem so bad.

Checklist
Kookaburra Cafe is open 7am-4pm, Thursday to Monday; accommodation also available. More: Kookaburra Cafe

Refugee Iranian refugees

Dear Refugee Advocates,

Iranian refugees are escaping into Turkey- see story below.

A very few have come to Australia following the protests after the rigged elections in Iran.

Pamela Curr
Campaign Coordinator
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
12 Batman st West Melbourne 3003
ph 03 9326 6066 / 0417517075

Fear of Tehran haunts Iranian refugees

AFP, NEVSEHIR, TURKEY
Sunday, May 16, 2010, Page 4

Iranian refugee Siavash stands on a terrace during an interview in Kayseri, Turkey, on May 4.
PHOTO: AFP

Tortured in jails and threatened with death, Behzad, Siyavash and Ali have, like hundreds of dissident Iranians, found refuge in Turkey, but peace of mind is still eluding them as fear of Tehrans agents remains a daily torment.

While fellow opposition activists are preparing to hold protests in Iran at the anniversary of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejads disputed re-election on June 12 last year, Behzad (not his real name) leads a secluded life in a shabby apartment in Nevsehir, central Turkey.

The tortures that I went through and those that I witnessed an animal would not do that to another animal, the young man said.

His only fault, he said, was to have participated in a student protest challenging the election results last year.

Showing pictures of his back scarred by bruises after a four-month stint in prison, Behzad lists the horrors to which he was subjected: beating, sexual abuse, forced insomnia, cold water dousing and the terror of standing blindfolded in what turned out to be a mock execution.

After a while, I would have confessed anything, I could not stand it anymore, he said. They wanted confessions about my father, that he had ties with America and Israel … And they forced me to say so.

The confessions secured his freedom. Several weeks later, Behzad sneaked into neighboring Turkey, crossing the mountainous border on horseback, in the company of smugglers, like many Iranian exiles.

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 4,000 Iranian asylum seekers and refugees political dissidents, but also converts to Christianity, homosexuals and followers of the minority Bahai faith are registered in Turkey, their main exit route.

The applicants numbers since last years presidential polls standing at 1,828 between July and March does not represent a significant increase, but their profile has changed, according to the UNHCR.

Stuck in Nevsehir, one of the 32 Turkish cities accommodating asylum seekers, Behzad is waiting for the UN to decide his fate and arrange a Western country to accept him.

Handicapped with a stiff leg the result of a blow from a police truncheon during a demonstration and suffering psychological problems, he lives in poverty.

However, his main problem is the fear.

Here, I am afraid of everything: the police, Iranian agents and all Iranians here I fear they will make reports on me. Sometimes I am even scared to go out, he said.

For him, the presence of Iranian agents pursuing dissidents is beyond doubt: In late November, he said, an Iranian refugee arrived in Nevsehir and disappeared the following day, leaving behind only unpacked suitcases.

Behzads friend, Siyavash, also spoke of a strong sense of insecurity as he showed burns from electric shock on his thighs after several months in an Iranian jail.

One night, about midnight, three drunk men tried to break the door of my building, shouting. Fortunately, my Turkish neighbors downstairs intervened, he said.

Video and discussion night – “With Babies and Banners”

Video and discussion night:

With Babies and Banners:
Story of the women’s emergency brigade

“With Babies and Banners” pays tribute to the women — some of them factory workers and some of them wives — who helped win one of the greatest victories of the US labor movement: the 1937 sit-down strike at the General Motors plants in Flint, Michigan. The film includes generous amounts of actual footage from 1937 as well as interviews with some of the leaders of the Women’s Emergency Brigade 40 years later.

7pm, Wednesday, 19th May, 2nd Floor, TLC Building, 16 Peel Street, South Brisbane

Presented by Solidarity
For more information phone Chloe on 0438 006 092 www.solidarity.net.au

See Workers BushTelegraph review: Video: ‘With Babies and Banners’

Aside

The Next rally will be held at Parliament house after the Crime & Misconduct Report [CMC] report is handed down. The CMC is likely to release its investigation report into policesometime in the week commencing 24 May 2010 A notice … Continue reading

Australians for Palestine are back online

WE ARE BACK ONLINE

http://www.australiansforpalestine.com

It has taken one week to get back online after our website was hacked and brought down. We lost 24 hours of postings prior to the hacking of 7 May 2010 on top of the week in which we were unable to post any updates. We will endeavour to put up articles and news released over that time, but our priority is to get the latest information up. Unfortunately, we are likely to have lost a lot of visitors so we hope that you will spread the news and let everyone know that we are continuing as robustly as before.

Our thanks go to all our supporters who have written in to tell us just how valuable they find the information provided in our one-stop-shop on Palestine. We literally received hundreds of emails from around the world which means we must be doing something right. Thanks also to bloggers and other websites that kept telling their followers about the status of our website.

We have been told that this is likely to happen again, but as virulent as the attacks might be, we are making sure that it will become harder and harder for them to succeed. One thing is for sure, truth will not be silenced and with or without our website, the myths and lies of the Zionist narrative will continue to be exposed by more and more people wanting to bring justice to the Palestinians. It is appropriate that our return to providing a voice for Palestine should coincide with the worldwide remembrances of the nakba, the very real human catastrophe that happened 62 years ago and and is every bit as real today as it was then.

To all supporters of Israel who wish for an end to the Palestinian memory, we say that will never ever happen. Hack us, attacks us, close us down, you will not succeed. Always someone somewhere is keeping the Palestinian memory alive and none more fervently and steadfastly than the 9 million Palestinians in and around Israel. To them we pay eternal tribute for what they are enduring under the yoke of Israel occupation, apartheid, siege, dispossession, displacement, ethnic cleansing. We will not give up the struggle. Viva Palestina!

Sonja Karkar
Editor
http://www.australiansforpalestine.com

The Ampilatwatja Walkoff vs. The Intervention THIS FRIDAY

~Support the Brisbane bus to Alice Springs for the “4 Days in July” National Aboriginal Convergence!~

Come along to this excellent event!

Brisbane Premiere Screening…
The Ampilatwatja Walkoff vs. The Intervention
A film by Actively Radical TV
(See film synopsis below…)

Friday May 14th
TLC Building

16 Peel St, South Brisbane
Doors open 6pm

With speakers including:
Gwen Taylor, QLD Council of Unions Indigenous Officer
and speakers on the “4 Day in July” convergence
Tickets $7 Concession, $12 Full waged

Cheap dinner, drinks available
Info, call Dom: 0431 638 772


ABOUT THE FILM: In July 2009, the Alyawarr people from Ampilatwatja, three hours’ north-west of Alice Springs, walked off their community and set up a protest camp on their traditional homelands. They have remained there ever since, protesting against the racist measures of the Northern Territory Intervention — welfare quarantining and the basics ‘ration’ card, government seizure of Aboriginal land, suspension of the RDA and other paternalistic policies — and vow they will not return until the laws are repealed and the traditional owners right’s are restored. This film tells the story of the building of the protest house, with union support, to show the governments it does not take more than two years to build one house let alone the housing that was promised, not delivered, by the Intervention. It features interviews with unionists from the CFMEU, AMWU, MUA, LHMU & AWU, Unions NT and the ACTU and activists that worked together on the project. This project saw the beginning of the movement that has called for ‘Four Days in July’, a national convergence in Alice to discuss ending the intervention and restoring Indigenous workers rights.

__._,_.___

The Circle of Silence – A Personal Testimony Before, During and after Balibo

“The Circle of Silence – A Personal Testimony Before, During and after Balibo”
by Shirley Shackleton Paperback $34.95 Available at Avid Reader

Shirley Shackleton was launched into an unexpected life as a human rights activist when her journalist husband Greg Shackleton was killed in East Timor in 1975.

After more than thirty years of struggle, Shirley’s efforts led to an inquest that revealed the Australian government’s cover-up and found that the Balibo Five were murdered to stop them exposing Indonesia’s invasion of East Timor.

This is a story of an accidental activist who proved herself courageous and determined

Ciaron O’Reilly
Blog http://ciaron.wordpress.com/

“The poor tell us who we are,
The prophets tell us who we could be,
So we hide the poor,
And kill the prophets.”
Phil Berrigan

Asylum seekers: it’s ‘no holiday’

MARISSA CALLIGEROS

May 12, 2010

The Virginia Palms Motel in Boondall.

Asylum seekers may be living in the comfort of a four-star motel on Brisbane’s northside, but they are “canaries in a golden cage”, a refugee advocate says.

Frederika Steen said 79 asylum seekers housed in the Virginia Palms Motel live as detainees not holidaymakers.

“Anyone who is being detained and waiting for a decision, no matter how well they are fed, how warm they are at night, or how safe they feel, are unwell because of their lack of freedom,” Ms Steen said.

The four-star Virginia Palms Motel in Boondall has reportedly been awarded a $1.2 million government contact for at least six months to accommodate the group of asylum seekers, understood to be from Afghanistan.

The Virginia Palms Motel boasts “luxurious accommodation” in brand-new self-contained apartments surrounded by 10 acres of lush, tropic gardens.

But Ms Steen likened the asylum seekers to “canaries in a golden cage” suffering severe mental anguish.

“The detainees may be physically well looked after, but they are locked up,” she said.

“They are deprived of their liberty. No matter how good their accommodation [is] they would sooner live in a hut with a dirt floor and be free.”

She said time in detention scarred refugees long after their release.

“We still have people in our community here who cannot sleep at night and who have permanent mental ill health as a result of firstly their detention and secondly their years on the temporary visa separated from their families,” Ms Steen said.

The federal Department of Immigration would not confirm details of the contract with the motel yesterday, describing the matter as commercial in confidence.

According to the department, the four-star motel was chosen to house the asylum seekers because it was “readily available”.

The government said the motel, located 13 kilometres from Brisbane Airport, was the only appropriate means of housing vulnerable women and children outside a detention centre.

The asylum seekers were transferred from Christmas Island to the motel because Brisbane’s Immigration Transit Centre at Pinkenba, which currently houses 51 detainees in family groups, has been full since March.

But Family First senator Steve Fielding yesterday said the move would only encourage more unauthorised boat arrivals.

“First it was Hotel Christmas Island, now it’s Hotel Queensland,” Mr Fielding said.

Ian Rintoul of the Refugee Action Coalition said Queensland taxpayers should be far more concerned about money thrown at Christmas Island and Indonesia detention centres.

“People should be far more concerned about the hundreds of millions of dollars that are being put into Christmas Island, when people could be accommodated far more cheaply on the mainland in motels,” Mr Rintoul said.

“It is mean-spirited for people to say that somehow we should find the absolute bottom of the range accommodation for people who have asked for protection in Australia.”

The practice of housing asylum seekers was introduced by the Howard government.

“This is a practice that has been around over successive governments over many, many, many years,” Department of Immigration spokesman Sandy Logan told ABC Radio yesterday.

“The migration act has always provided certainly in the last 10 years, for where there is a requirement for alternative places of detention, to be assigned when a detention centre is not suitable for the client particular requirements.”

Mr Logan said the asylum seekers occupied an entire wing of the motel. He said the government had no plans to employ more motels to house asylum seekers.

Refugee 45 Afghans Executed by Iran- Protesters say

Thousands of Afghans have protested in the eastern city of Jalalabad against the alleged executions of a number of Afghan refugees in Iran.

Demonstrators rallied in front of the Iranian consulate, shouting slogans and throwing eggs.

This is the fifth and largest anti-Iran protest in Afghanistan in a fortnight.

Protesters and rights groups say [the regime in] Iran has executed 45 Afghans in recent weeks on drug smuggling charges. Tehran and Kabul officials put the number at six.

Between 4,000 and 5,000 Afghans have been arrested by the Iranian authorities and hundreds are reported to be on death row, activists say.

Iranian officials refuse to confirm how many Afghans are at risk of execution.

The treatment of Afghans in Iran has caused much concern in their home country.

So far three anti-Iran demonstrations have been held in Kabul and a fourth in the western city of Herat on the border with Iran.

Tehran has denied ill-treatment of Afghans and says the reports are a conspiracy to undermine the “historic ties” between the two countries.

“We think there are hidden hands behind these protests, it is not the work of an individual or a group,” Tehran’s envoy to Kabul Fada-Hossein Maleki told Iran’s Press TV last week.

“It’s a scenario created by certain embassies,” he said.

“Some Western countries aren’t happy about Iran-Afghanistan relations and are trying to undermine these ties but they will not succeed,” the ambassador said.

Iran received millions of Afghan refugees during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and the later civil war. In recent years it has deported many back to Afghanistan.

Reports from Kabul say Iran has expelled 80,000 Afghans in recent months, sending them back to Herat and Nimroz provinces.

Tehran opposed the Taliban regime toppled by the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

It has since experienced a rise in drug use as easily-available heroin from Afghanistan flows across the border.

Its all done with rocks and leaves

[Aboriginal News]
I can explain, with rocks and leaves

When I read the story below, about whether Australia is racist or not, I finished with two questions uppermost in my mind.

Who is Sara Hudson and why is the Sydney Morning Herald using its pages to spread the curse of the ‘Centre for Independent Studies’ upon the reading public?

Other than these questions the only effort I will put into the biased article by Sara Hudson is to comment that her own mathematical understanding might have benefited by the use of rocks and leaves.

Then she might have been able to understand that when a quarter of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people earn above the Australian average wage it statistically means that our people are earning way below it. The analysis of individual earnings requires a much more sophisticated method to determine how the population is faring. For example such statistics should only be examined in the context of what proportion of the population are earning an income, and at some stage the statisticians should reveal that over 50% of the Aboriginal workforce is unemployed. In the face of such information the actual proportion of our people earning a decent wage drops dramatically. Also Sara might take the extra step to explain how many Aboriginals are millionaires or are sharing in the billions of dollars split up amongst Australia’s corporate heads and executives. My daughter is only just turning 21 and three years into employment is already on the average income. That is how low that benchmark sits.

As a last argument to Sara’s facts, I might add that a good mathematician can do a better job of explaining complex number issues with rocks and leaves than with a slide rule or calculator. When I was recently discussing important numbers with wise Aboriginal elders – elders who are without white formal education – I could not help but be highly impressed by their understanding and concepts of numbers and dimensions. Recently I learned that Einstein was unable to solve the mathematical problem verifying the physical existence of other dimensions but – after having listened to the elders’ discussions – I am more ready to be convinced there are indigenous peoples in this world who already conceive and understand these dimensions. To their apparent disadvantage they are unable to explain such mathematics and science to Sara with computers and slide rules. I wonder whether Sara Hudson has had any relevant experience at all for that matter.

The rest of Sara’s ‘facts’ in the article are not worth wasting my time. They were adequately address thirty years ago by many more informed Australians. We have simply run into the next generation of Australia’s perpetual ignorance on the colonised first and indigenous peoples.
I have one more comment to make on an offensive remark in the article. Hudson infers that Aboriginal people suffer when using images of remote community life. She is wrong about our links to those communities. Our links are important and serve a necessary purpose for our survival as peoples. It is part of our fight for self-determination and survival while still under oppression.

I believe I am like many of our people who try to understand indigenous values while I am living and trying to survive in a highly urbanised environment. Just in the last week alone I have received many communications from Aboriginal families fighting racism in the schools, the police, the shops and hospitals and housing. These negative images do not make the papers like in remote areas – it is too hard to capture in a headline and a photograph – but they are daily occurrences for many Aboriginal people. White newspapers and shallow journalism do not make reality, when white journalists, editors and proprietors make the decisions and judgement calls. Ergo, Australia’s racism is highly institutionalised and serves the Australian constitution, political system and economic interests well.

My search for achievement is not for greed or the highest reaches of fiscal income. My goal is to be Aboriginal, to live well in community with others, to share in indigenous values and indigenous goals, and to pass on responsibilities and values to future generations. This ultimately means I want to live by our indigenous laws and in harmony with mother earth. I look to Aboriginal communities and Aboriginal families on the land to see ‘what lies within’. This includes remote communities. How are they coping? What is their solution? What should I be doing to win our battle for survival?

Therefore I read and listen a lot. Sometimes I read the Sydney Morning Herald. If they keep publishing such ignorant goona as the article I just read and if Sara Hudson is as ignorant as her ‘research’ article suggests, it might now be time to give up on the SMH as well. How about it, Editor?

les malezer


Aborigines hurt by the stereotype of suffering
SARA HUDSON
May 12, 2010
Can Australia be called racist just because a proportion of Australians are? Channel Ten’s 7pm Project recently raised that question, and the presenters concluded – correctly – that while perhaps 10 to 20 per cent of the population is racist, Australia is not.

But while overt racism is confined to a few, stereotyping of minority groups such as Aborigines is common. Take the case last month of an Aboriginal student in Queensland who was given rocks and leaves to learn maths instead of a calculator like his classmates.

This is misguided cultural appropriateness at its worst. I wonder how the child felt about being singled out. Not only would it have been fairer to give rocks and leaves to every child, it also speaks volumes for how some teachers in Queensland view Aboriginal people.

Unfortunately, they are not alone in viewing Aborigines as being straight out of the bush. Familiar with stories of remote, dysfunctional, and welfare-dependent communities, many Australians are unaware that more Aborigines live in urban and regional areas than live in remote communities in the far north.

The perception of the remote Aborigine is enhanced by the virtual absence (or the invisibility) of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders from most suburbs and backyard barbecues. Indigenous Australians make up just 2 per cent of the population, so perhaps part of this invisibility is justified because there aren’t really that many of them.

Ghettos in big cities like Sydney and Brisbane also add to the estrangement between the average urban Australian and their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander fellow citizens.

This means that too often the only images of Aborigines many people see are scenes of squalid town-camps in Alice Springs, or welfare- dependent Aboriginal communities such as La Perouse.

A cursory glance at a few government reports also demonstrates just how one dimensional the government’s portrayal of Aborigines is.
Rather than constantly focusing on pockets of despair and disadvantage, the government should do more to highlight the 60 per cent of indigenous Australians who are doing OK.

The government has recently announced a new ”national voice” for indigenous Australians and it is hoped this new body does not repeat the mistakes of the ill-fated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission.

Non-Aboriginal people are not only people guilty of focusing too much on Aboriginal disadvantage.

In 2001, a preliminary government study found that a quarter of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders earned more than the ”average” Australian. A follow-up study was planned but ATSIC took exception to the concept and further work was vetoed.

Why would ATSIC, the then governing body responsible for Aboriginal affairs, want to play down the success of some Aboriginal people?

For the new voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to garner more respect and recognition for indigenous Australians, it should do more than ATSIC did to represent and embrace their diversity.

There is hardly any recognition of the average Aboriginal battler who is working hard and trying to do right by his kids. They are the forgotten indigenous Australians.

The tragic consequences of such negative perceptions was highlighted recently in Alice Springs, where an Aboriginal man, Donny Ryder, was killed after five young white men went hooning around the Todd River bed harassing Aboriginal people camping there. At sentencing, the Northern Territory Chief Justice, Brian Martin, said: ”There was a negative attitude towards, and an atmosphere of antagonism towards, Aboriginal people. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the nature and rapidity of the reaction, and the actions of some offenders in kicking and striking the deceased while he was on the ground, were influenced, at least to some degree, by the fact the deceased was an Aboriginal person.”

The majority of indigenous Australians do not need government handouts, but they do deserve some recognition. Acknowledging their success may help counteract the negative perception of Aboriginal people held by too many Australians.

These negative views do not always translate into acts of racism, but they do provide the breeding ground for them.

Sara Hudson is a policy analyst at the Centre for Independent Studies.

Aside

Click here to read the Mulrunji Inquest – Findings. I have just finished reading all the findings of Coroner Hine and it is clear that he has supported largely the comments of the second coroner Clements. However the third coroner … Continue reading

FAIRA calls for adjudication on racist laws

[Aboriginal News]
PRESS STATEMENT
12 May 2010

FAIRA CALLS FOR AJUDICATION ON RACIST LAWS
An Aboriginal anti-racism group calls upon the Australian Government to immediately refer the new Northern Territory intervention laws to the established international tribunal on racial discrimination.

The Brisbane-based Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action (FAIRA) warns the government that amendment laws that are being considered in the Senate today are just as racist as the original intervention laws and will only widen and compound Australia’s international reputation as a racist country.

FAIRA wants the government to review its position and choose either to re-introduce, without delay and without qualification, the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) or to first appear before the international Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in August 2010 and seek a ruling on the validity of the proposed new laws.

Les Malezer, chairperson of FAIRA, says this is the objective course and the only real way to demonstrate political sincerity to promote human rights and racial equality in Australia.

“We want the Australian Government to end the political attacks upon Aboriginal people and rely upon expert authorities to assess when racism is being committed,’ Les Malezer said.

‘The government should not try to convince the Australian public this makeover law will bring about equality and non-discrimination; that would be misrepresentation.

‘The Rudd Government must remember Labor’s anti-racism stand during the Howard years and should recall that Labor relied heavily upon CERD’s evaluations to evaluate and condemn the Howard Government’s anti-Aboriginal policies and laws,’ he said.

‘It is perfectly logical, reasonable and feasible that the Government immediately reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act and return to voluntary income-manage arrangements.’

Les Malezer said the Rudd Government is now balanced on the brink of its new commitment to human rights reform in Australia and historical political disregard for Aboriginal rights.

He said racism is not a just a dirty word, it is a cruel and punishing scourge worked in amongst the Australian population since colonisation.
Les Malezer said ‘it should be well understood it is the Aboriginal people who always suffer badly, ddeply and inter-generationally from racism, while the benefactors of racism thrive during the suffering.’

‘Prime Minister Rudd confessed as much in his apology speech given at the beginning of this term of government.’

‘What is Kevin Rudd saying now at the end of his first term?’

Les Malezer is out of contact and unable to make further comment. He is currently in flight from USA to Australia.

Democracy — who writes the script?

“It is not enough that some succeed, others must fail” — Gore Vidal

While hunting down the facts behind loss of lives of refugees near the Cocos (Keeling) islands I was confronted by the question “Who is writing the script in the lead up to the 2010 federal election.

I had found that the Home Affairs Minister’s media spokesperson told The AUSTRALIAN more than she told me. This is what she told The AUSTRALIAN on 10 May:

“Australian authorities became aware of the vessel after a caller, claiming to be in London, rang the Customs and Border Protection Command hotline on April 30. A customs officer spoke to the boat’s passengers via a satellite phone and was told the vessel had run out of fuel”.

What Home Affairs Minister’s media spokesperson told me was that she had been talking with AMSA [Australian Maritime Safety Authority] and that I would have to ring them.

I asked her if she had any source documents. She was silent to that question.

I asked if she had a name on source documents. She said “no, I don’t have an officer’s name”. She said “I wouldn’t be able to provide you with the name of a person in AMSA who provided that information, anyway”. I aksed “Why not?”. She said: “We’re getting the information from AMSA and they have a system for co-ordinating search and rescue and they have done that”.

AMSA’s ‘system’ is silence.
I rang AMSA first and then wrote to them but received no answer to my questions.

The Home Affairs spokesperson also stated that she had been speaking to Customs and Border Protection and gave me a Sydney number.

The same spokesperson made no mention of having spoken to Defence. It was the Australian journo, Paul Maley, that was given the ‘exclusive’ as claimed by the Australian on 11 May. Maley got onto Defence. The Home Affairs spokesperson did not tell me that it was a Defence plane had spotted the body of ‘a motionless person’ on a ‘tyre tube’ more than a week ago.

Instead Belinda Cole told me that the ‘spotting’ of objects (lifejackets and tyres) was ‘not a confirmed report’.

She told me the reason she associated 5 missing passengers with the ‘lifejackets’ and ‘tyre tubes’ was ‘the information that we had was that the ‘life jackets were associated with the people who went missing’. She had simply restated my original question in a different form. So much for transparency in government.

She also told me the Home Affairs Minister was trying to give as much information as possible.

A Home Affairs spokesperson gave more to Paul Maley of ‘The Australian’ than me — this despite my putting my questions in writing. But then Paul Maley has been writing these stories on Tamil refugees for a long time and he has News corp behind him. His paper claims the exclusive on this story. Maley’s article states:

The ship’s third officer, Smarven Demegillo, said the five men had fashioned a life raft from tyre inner tubes and taken to the water to try to find a passing ship to rescue their fellow passengers.

If you believe the precise information given by the Australian —

‘On Wednesday, Customs and Border Protection Command alerted the Australian Maritime Safety Authority that the boat, which Customs had been tracking, was missing’

— the five men have already seen Australian Defence force planes fly over. They had already been visited ‘by a Panamanian-flagged vessel’ which ‘provided food, fuel and water’.

So why would the five then leave a seaworthy vessel?

What was said to them over the satellite phone with the Australian authorities and why?

Has this story been written to a script? If so, Whose? What has been edited out?

Or does the Government budget matter more than five desperate lives lost at sea?

I have read the sixteen comments on ‘Perth Now’ that published the Australian article by Paul Maley— these commentators have no sympathy for the refugees, one, if believed, actually hoped they had been taken by sharks. The storm has been whipped up. Opponents of refugees have been let loose in cyberspace.

These people need to be challenged.

Rudd should open Australia to refugees as our international convenants say we will.

Sure the Labor government would take a lot of flack from racists.

But the alternative is worse — to live in a land with a system that rejects those whose lives have become so intolerable that they risk death at sea rather than stay in Sri Lanka.

But in a democracy who writes the script and for whom is it written? For refugees? For battlers who have just coped another interest rate hike on their mortgage?

As governments bail out big banks in another crisis;  refugees, be they fleeing for economic reasons or seeking escape from civil strife, drown at sea.

Ian Curr

May 2010

BISHARAT: Article and Audio

It was fortuitous that visiting UC Law Professor George Bisharat was in Australia when the OECD decision to embrace Israel as a member was announced. His published article in The National TImes below answers all the questions that many have about such an unfortunate inclusion into that club.

Also, while Prof Bisharat was in Melbourne, he presented a lecture at the University of Melbourne entitled Ending the Palestinian Nakba. It was recorded, minus the film that was shown, and you can listen to it with the introduction given by Future Generation Professor Ghassan Hage who too spoke a few words about the Nakba. http://harangue.lecture.unimelb.edu.au/Lectopia/casterframe.lasso?fid=177893&cnt=true&usr=not-indicated&name=not-indicated
We are very pleased that we can make this available to the many people who were not able to be present on the night.

Sonja Karkar
Australians for Palestine
Women for Palestine

Israel does not yet deserve a place in the OECD

by George Bisharat

The National Times
11 May 2010

Australia missed a chance to defend international law and human rights by
voting this week to support Israel’s application for membership to the
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The OECD was
founded in 1960 by states practising democracy and free market principles to
discuss and advance mutual interests; Australia joined in 1970. OECD
ministers meet in Paris today to decide finally on Israel’s long-pending bid
for membership.

Australia should have opposed Israel’s accession to the OECD on both
technical and political grounds. On the technical side, Israel has failed
to curb corruption in its arms industry, and has turned a blind eye to
violations of intellectual property rights by its pharmaceuticals companies.
In the economic data Israel has provided the OECD in its application for
membership, it has also counted its Jewish settlers nearly 500,000 persons
in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, although these persons reside outside
of Israel’s borders. The settlers are heavily subsidised by the Israeli
government, and their inclusion, therefore, imparts a misleading image of
prosperity.

Meanwhile, the 2.3 million Palestinian residents of the West Bank and the
1.6 million residents of the Gaza Strip are not so included. The Gaza
Strip, of course, has been subject to a withering economic blockade since
2006, and freedom of movement of people and goods within the West Bank has
also been severely curtailed. A majority of Palestinians have been reduced
to penury as a result, and children in the Gaza Strip have begun to show
signs of stunting and malnutrition.

A Tel Aviv district court recently forced the Israeli government to divulge
details of its criteria for deciding what goods would be permitted to
trickle into the Gaza Strip. Some of the revealed documents showed that an
Israeli government agency had been charged with calculating the minimum
daily caloric intake for Gaza Strip Palestinians, stratified by age and
gender. This recalls the macabre threat issued in a published interview by
Dov Weisglass, former adviser to Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, that
the Palestinian population would not be starved, but just “put on a diet”.
Calibrating the level of trade in this fashion hardly seems the pinnacle of
free market principles. The Israeli government has since denied that the
calculations were ever followed, but its actions to the contrary speak
volumes.

Australia should have also questioned Israel’s commitment to secular
democracy. Religious courts in Israel decide all matters of family law, and
religious parties play prominent roles in national politics, including in
the current ruling coalition. Orthodox rabbis are empowered under Israeli
law to make vital decisions about who constitutes a “Jew” or not for
purposes of citizenship, inheritance, and the like. Civil marriage is not
permitted under Israeli law. If a Palestinian citizen of Israel falls in
love with an Israeli Jew, therefore, they must be married outside the state
of Israel. These practices violate the fundamental democratic precept of
the separation of church and state.

Israel also discriminates against its 1.2 million Palestinian citizens, whom
it demeaningly labels “Israeli Arabs”. The Israeli legal system lacks a
firmly-rooted equality principle, and attempts to legislate one in the
Knesset have been firmly rejected. While Palestinian citizens of Israel can
and do vote and run for office in Israel, government policies ensure that
they remain politically marginalised. No Arab political party has ever been
invited to join a ruling coalition, and in Israel’s 62-year-old history only
one Palestinian has ever been a minister of sports and culture. Leaders
of the Palestinian community who have campaigned for equal rights have been
arrested and hounded into exile.

Australia has its own painful history of wrongs committed against its
Aboriginal population. The Rudd government took an admirable first step in
2008 in apologising for the “stolen generations”. Australia would have been
a better ally to Israel to delay or deny it accession to the OECD. Israel
must first cease its abuses of the rights of Palestinians under its rule,
and start down the difficult path of reconciliation based on equal rights
for all. When it has done so its accession to the OECD will be richly
deserved.

George Bisharat is a professor of law at Hastings College of the Law in San
Francisco, and writes frequently on law and politics in the Middle East.

LINK: http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/politics/israel-does-not-yet-deserve-a-place-in-the-oecd-20100510-uo71.html

OECD ACCEPTS ISRAEL AS A MEMBER

It was fortuitous that visiting UC Law Professor George Bisharat was in Australia when the OECD decision to embrace Israel as a member was announced.  His published article in The National TImes below answers all the questions that many have about such an unfortunate inclusion into that club.
Also, while Prof Bisharat was in Melbourne, he presented a lecture at the University of Melbourne entitled “Ending the Palestinian Nakba”.  It was recorded, minus the film that was shown, and you can listen to it with the introduction given by Future Generation Professor Ghassan Hage who too spoke a few words about the Nakba.  http://harangue.lecture.unimelb.edu.au/Lectopia/casterframe.lasso?fid=177893&cnt=true&usr=not-indicated&name=not-indicated We are very pleased that we can make this available to the many people who were not able to be present on the night.

Sonja Karkar
Australians for Palestine
Women for Palestine

Israel does not yet deserve a place in the OECD

by George Bisharat
The National Times
11 May 2010

Australia missed a chance to defend international law and human rights by voting this week to support Israel’s application for membership to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).  The OECD was founded in 1960 by states practising democracy and free market principles to discuss and advance mutual interests; Australia joined in 1970. OECD ministers meet in Paris today to decide finally on Israel’s long-pending bid for membership.
Australia should have opposed Israel’s accession to the OECD on both technical and political grounds.  On the technical side, Israel has failed to curb corruption in its arms industry, and has turned a blind eye to violations of intellectual property rights by its pharmaceuticals companies.  In the economic data Israel has provided the OECD in its application for membership, it has also counted its Jewish settlers — nearly 500,000 persons — in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, although these persons reside outside of Israel’s borders.  The settlers are heavily subsidised by the Israeli government, and their inclusion, therefore, imparts a misleading image of prosperity.
Meanwhile, the 2.3 million Palestinian residents of the West Bank and the 1.6 million residents of the Gaza Strip are not so included.  The Gaza Strip, of course, has been subject to a withering economic blockade since 2006, and freedom of movement of people and goods within the West Bank has also been severely curtailed.  A majority of Palestinians have been reduced to penury as a result, and children in the Gaza Strip have begun to show signs of stunting and malnutrition.
A Tel Aviv district court recently forced the Israeli government to divulge details of its criteria for deciding what goods would be permitted to trickle into the Gaza Strip.  Some of the revealed documents showed that an Israeli government agency had been charged with calculating the minimum daily caloric intake for Gaza Strip Palestinians, stratified by age and gender.  This recalls the macabre threat issued in a published interview by Dov Weisglass, former adviser to Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, that the Palestinian population would not be starved, but just “put on a diet”.   Calibrating the level of trade in this fashion hardly seems the pinnacle of free market principles.  The Israeli government has since denied that the calculations were ever followed, but its actions to the contrary speak volumes.
Australia should have also questioned Israel’s commitment to secular democracy.  Religious courts in Israel decide all matters of family law, and religious parties play prominent roles in national politics, including in the current ruling coalition.  Orthodox rabbis are empowered under Israeli law to make vital decisions about who constitutes a “Jew” or not for purposes of citizenship, inheritance, and the like.  Civil marriage is not permitted under Israeli law.  If a Palestinian citizen of Israel falls in love with an Israeli Jew, therefore, they must be married outside the state of Israel.  These practices violate the fundamental democratic precept of the separation of church and state.
Israel also discriminates against its 1.2 million Palestinian citizens, whom it demeaningly labels “Israeli Arabs”.  The Israeli legal system lacks a firmly-rooted equality principle, and attempts to legislate one in the Knesset have been firmly rejected.  While Palestinian citizens of Israel can and do vote and run for office in Israel, government policies ensure that they remain politically marginalised.  No Arab political party has ever been invited to join a ruling coalition, and in Israel’s 62-year-old history only one Palestinian has ever been a minister — of sports and culture.  Leaders of the Palestinian community who have campaigned for equal rights have been arrested and hounded into exile.
Australia has its own painful history of wrongs committed against its Aboriginal population.  The Rudd government took an admirable first step in 2008 in apologising for the “stolen generations”.  Australia would have been a better ally to Israel to delay or deny it accession to the OECD.  Israel must first cease its abuses of the rights of Palestinians under its rule, and start down the difficult path of reconciliation based on equal rights for all.  When it has done so its accession to the OECD will be richly deserved.
George Bisharat is a professor of law at Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, and writes frequently on law and politics in the Middle East.

LINK: http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/politics/israel-does-not-yet-deserve-a-place-in-the-oecd-20100510-uo71.html

10 May 2010

Enigma of Capital

Hi to all

You may be interested in this video of a lecture by David Harvey in London about the present economic crisis. David Harvey is the author of the recent book “The Enigma of Capital”.

Regards
Dan [O’Neill]

Rally for Palestine

62 years since Al Nakba. 62 years of occupation.

Friday May 14, 5pm
Brisbane Square
Top of Queen St Mall (outside Casino)
March to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade


Freedom for Palestine! End the occupation!
Stop the settlements! End the siege! Tear down the wall!
Cut all Australian ties with apartheid Israel!
Equal rights for all in historic Palestine!
For the right of return for Palestinian refugees!

The 15th of May 2010 marks 62 years of the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe). In 1948, more than 750,000 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from their homeland by Zionist forces, with more than 500 Palestinian villages depopulated and destroyed. Today more than 7 million Palestinian refugees, the largest refugee community in the world, are living in exile from their homeland, dispersed around the world. To commemorate Al Nakba, Justice for Palestine is organising a rally and march. Join the rally to demand the Australian government cut ties with apartheid Israel. Let the Palestinian people know that even as far away as Australia people are prepared to stand in solidarity and demand a free Palestine!
Click here to join the Facebook event – please invite your friends

Phone: 0400 720 757
Email: contact@justiceforpalestinebrisbane.org
http://www.justiceforpalestinebrisbane.org

[Attachment(s) from Kathy Newnam included below]


Challenge Australia’s Racism

[Aboriginal News]

Dear Colleagues

You should be aware by now that the Australian Government has submitted its ‘periodic report’ to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). The report will be examined by CERD in August, in Geneva, Switzerland (probably in the second week of August).

It is customary for non-government organisations to submit independent reports – called ‘Shadow Reports’ – to give another viewpoint of the government’s efforts to eliminate racial discrimination.

My organisation, FAIRA, has been submitting reports to CERD since 1998 and this has led to some significant attention by the committee and the United Nations to the situation of racism in Australia. Our first reports were aimed at the discriminatory native title laws in Australia and we have continued to highlight this and other situations.

ATSIC and the Australian Human Rights Commission have also played a significant part in the CERD processes regarding Australia’s performance. (Some might think, as I do, that such steps led to the government hostile actions against ATSIC.)

CERD has made a number of criticisms and recommendations regarding Australia’s treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues and these reports do affect Australia’s international reputation. Currently CERD is monitoring Australia’s actions regarding the Northern Territory intervention, and calling for reinstatement of the Racial Discrimination Act amongst other reforms.

FAIRA is cooperating with a number of human rights organisations around Australia to submit a cpmprehensive Shadow Report to CERD. We are being supported by information from at least two of the Aboriginal legal services.

However time is running out and the Shadow Report must soon be completed to allow final production and submission on time.

CAN YOU PROVIDE INFORMATION / INPUT FOR THE SHADOW REPORT?

We want to have more information regarding the problems of racial discrimination being faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders around Australia. Even if you think your situation is not unique we would like case studies, to show the impact of the racism.

Please email me at to provide submission, information, cases or even ideas.

But I need this information quickly, within days, or one week if possible, to include into the Shadow Report.

A copy of the Shadow Report will be made available once it is completed. Also I will try to keep you posted on the events at CERD in August. In the meantime I will try to send out more informative material about Australia’s international obligations to eliminate racism and to uphold the rights of Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Act now to make a difference. You can be a part of holding Australia accountable in the international community. Don’t let the government even think that it can survive as a racist State.

regards

les malezer

TUESDAY NIGHT: Nakba Film Screening in Melbourne 7.00pm

In the melee of all the Nakba activities going on in Melbourne AFP/WFP
Nakba exhibition (ongoing), SFP Nakba BBQ (noon tomorrow), PSC Nakba Rally (Friday) there is our Nakba film screening tomorrow night. What makes
this a special event? Well, you get two very worthwhile films and the
must-see Nakba exhibition thrown in as well. If you didnt take advantage
of opening night to really see these wonderful paintings, tomorrow will put
everything into perspective, both films and paintings bringing yesterdays
world and todays into relief. No matter how active we are, it will mean
nothing if people do not understand the ideology behind the catastrophic
events that have reduced the Palestinians to a people and society now
dependent on a largely indifferent world. That is why so many people have
asked us about The Zionist Story which has not been shown before in
Melbourne. And, even if you have seen The Land speaks Arabic suddenly it
will all make sense as a thriving, populated land becomes the focus of
ethnic cleansing in full view of a world that swore never again after the
Holocaust. That it is being perpetrated by the survivors of that Holocaust
on a people innocent of that hideous crime, should shake every person with a
conscience into action to stop this 62 year long nakba.

So dont let the BBQ make you too lazy to come or preparations for the rally
tire you out. We need you to make this a collective effort. Both
filmmakers have asked for their films to be shown as widely as possible and
the paintings by the children in Gaza must be seen if we are to hear their
voices calling for our help.

Sonja Karkar
Australians for Palestine
Women for Palestine

NAKBA FILM SCREENING TOMORROW NIGHT
The Land speaks Arabic
The Zionist Story

MELBOURNE: Chapel off Chapel, 12 Lt Chapel Street, Prahran
DATE & TIME: Tuesday 11 May 2010 at 7.00pm
Tickets: Full $15 Concession $10 [plus transaction
fee]
Bookings: at the door or on 03 8290 7000 Online: http://chapeloffchapel.org.au

LA TERRE PARLE ARABE – The Land speaks Arabic
Directed by Maryse Garagour

Winner of the 2008 prestigious Memories of the Mediterranean documentary
prize

Rare film footage brings to life the turbulent times of pre-1948 Palestine
as a vibrant, established society faces an existential threat from foreign
Zionists who covet their land and stop at nothing to achieve their colossal
aims to transfer the majority Palestinian population out of Palestine and
to establish an exclusively Jewish state called Israel. Those who tell
their story, bring the historical record to life and remind us of the awful
truth the world has chosen to ignore for 60 years.

20 MINUTE INTERVAL

THE ZIONIST STORY

The Zionist Story is a documentary that explores the ideology of Zionism and
its impact on Israel and the Palestinians under occupation. The film uses
archive footage of Palestine from the British mandate period up until the
present day.

Questions about Maritime Search and Rescue Operation

There are sensitive matters for loved ones when people die in tragic circumstances.

Timely, accurate and clear information is vital.

This morning 10 May 2010, I spoke to Belinda Cole (Media Contact at Minister for Home Affairs) about the tragedy which was mentioned in her Minister’s press release (almost as an afterthought).

I found her minister’s statement [MARITIME SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATION COMPLETE] to be ambiguous, incomplete, implausible and lacking in easily contactable sources (i.e. only vague references are made to departments like Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA). Belinda was unable to answer my specific questions. She suggested I contact Customs Media by phone. She also suggested I contact AMSA. She gave me an AMSA number that was generic. When I rang AMSA’s media team I got a voice mail.

When I rang the phone number that Belinda gave me for the Media Team at Customs, Patricia suggested I email my questions concerning the above. If The Minister’s Press officer has sent me to the wrong agency where can I go? Why hasn’t AMSA answered my query?

With all that in mind…

The Minister for Home Affairs states:

“Surveillance aircraft were deployed to continue searching the rescue scene following reports from rescued passengers that five passengers were missing, having left the vessel several days ago before help arrived.”

A range of inferences may be drawn from this Press Release by the Minister.

The Media Statement may be saying that passengers left a ship in the middle of the Indian Ocean. It may suggest these passengers left objects behind ‘including lifejackets and tyre tubes’. It may be implying that they swam for help in open waters. What really happened to the Sri Lankan refugees at sea between the 29th April and the 9th May 2010? What did Australian Authorities do to help.

If these inferences are correct and bearing in mind the inability of the Minister to provide satisfactory answers to my questions, please provide clear unambiguous responses to my specific questions:

  1. Why is the Minister for Home Affairs speculating about possible tragic deaths at sea?
  2. If the deaths are confirmed by statements from the asylum seekers, are those deaths reportable under the Coroner’s Act?
  3. Why does the Minister for Home Affairs media report that AMSA found objects ‘including lifejackets and tyre tubes’ that may have been ‘associated with persons missing’?
  4. Why did passengers leave a ship in the middle of the Indian Ocean? Why would someone desert the only thing that stands between them and drowning? Why did they swim for help in open waters? What circumstances caused them to leave their boat and swim out in a floating tyre tube? Why did they desert their lifejackets?
  5. What really happened to the Sri Lankan refugees at sea between the 29th April and the 9th May 2010? Please advise when I can expect an answer to the questions above.

No reply has been received from any government agency to my questions above. No acknowledgement of recipt of my emails has been received.

Murdoch’s ‘Australian’ published a front page news article with the superficial explanation headed ‘Sri Lankans panicked in rescue bid’. The article quotes the third officer from the cargo ship MV Postojna that rescued the 59 refugees on the 18m fishing vessel MV Velankanni Matha said that the five people lost ‘decided to go for a swim in hope…. looking for help’.

There is no detail in the article or in other reports that would force passengers on a sea worthy vessel (albeit without fuel) to embark on such a hazardous ‘swim’ in the open sea.

There is no critical analysis by public servants in the Ministers office, in AMSA or in Customs or Department of Immigration & Citizenship (DIAC) of the role of government policies in these tragic deaths.

Regards,
Ian Curr
07 3398 5215

** this article was sent to Media Team (Australian Customs Service) OR relevant government Minister/authority.