Monthly Archives: October 2010

Jobs for Justice report

This is just a bit of report about the Brisbane leg of the Mark Fordham tour and the Jobs with Justice campaign.

Mark did three successful meetings. About 50 attended the West End meeting on Sunday afternoon. This meeting was followed by lots of questions from the floor.

On Monday about 40 people came to the meeting at the University of Queensland and about 15 people came to the meeting organised on very short notice at the Queensland University of Technology.

Between the West End meeting and the UQ meeting we raised about $250 which went toward getting the Jobs for Justice statement published into today’s Australian in a quarter page add on page 8.

Both the UQ and the QUT meeting in Brisbane was jointly hosted with the National Terriary Education Union and resolutions were passed urging the NTEU to take up the campaign with more vigor. All three meeting voted to endorse the Jobs with Justice statement.

On the Monday afternoon Mark had a face to face meeting with Gwen Taylor, the Indigenous Officer with the Queensland Council of Unions who unfortunately had been on leave in the run up to the tour.

Today about 17 people came to the speakout demanding Jobs with Justice at Centrelink (see attached photo’s).
Mark was very well received by the audiences he spoke in front of. Many people commented that his story was inspiring. Dozens of people who attended the meetings added their names to our contact sheets and signed the Jobs With Justice petition.
The NTEU on the campuses have offered support to the anti-intervention student groups we are building at UQ and QUT. This is a real boost for the campaign and something Mark and ourselves are pleased with.
Mark himself said he was greatful for all the support he has recieved here in Brisbane. He has already emailed the people in the NT communities and told them about the great support from ARC, the student groups and the unions. Mark said the efforts of everyone involved here will remind the people in the communities that they are not alone and have people in the cities standing with them.
Overall the meetings and actions for Jobs With Justice have been a great success. We’re now in a good position to push on from here and build a stronger campaign agains the NT Intervention.

Below is a report in today’s Sydney Morning Herald about today’s rallies. Attached are two photos from the Brisbane protest.


Govt slammed for Aboriginal ‘enslavement’
Tom Morgan
October 29, 2010 – 4:09PM
Campaigners have slammed the federal government for its failure to boost Aboriginal job prospects, claiming the Northern Territory intervention enslaves communities.

Protesters at rallies in Sydney, Alice Springs, Melbourne and Brisbane angrily claimed the legislation had been an attempt to “destroy a race”.
Welfare quarantining was the cornerstone of the Howard government’s 2007 intervention, designed to tackle child abuse in remote indigenous communities.

But three years on, campaigners told the Sydney demonstration that Aboriginal workers were being treated “like slaves” as they worked for as little as $4 an hour.

Calling for the NT intervention to be binned, speakers said Community Development Employment Project (CDEP) positions should become fully waged jobs.

Campaign members also placed advertisements in national newspapers published Friday calling for “jobs with justice”.
Speaking to more than 150 supporters outside Sydney Town Hall, Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, an Aboriginal campaigner, said: “Our people in the Northern Territory are traumatised to such an extent that we do not know who to turn to.

“Action is needed to say no to the Northern Territory intervention.”

She said it “speaks volumes” that the federal government bypassed the racial discrimination act to implement the legislation.

“The legislation was to destroy a culture, destroy a race – these people have been here for thousands of years. That is wrong by any standard.”

Under Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin’s new CDEP scheme, Aboriginal workers are being required to work 16 hours a week, providing vital civil services to townships, only to be paid in credit on a BasicsCard.

Barbara Shaw, spokeswoman for the Intervention Rollback Action Group, said: “Aboriginal workers tell us they are being treated like slaves, being forced to work for the BasicsCard.

“This is a breach of our fundamental human rights.”

Protesters also said the high-profile GenerationOne campaign, a not-for-profit movement aimed at ending the disparity between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians, was doing more harm than good.

Jean Parker, of Stop the Intervention Collective, said the government had been hypocritical in backing the scheme, founded by Andrew Forrest, head of Pilbara iron ore miner Fortescue Metals.

“What’s really disgraceful is that these people – who own the casinos and the mines – have the support of the Labor government,” she said.
“But who doesn’t have the support of the government – the Aboriginal community. It’s utter hypocrisy.”

Bev Manton, chairwoman of the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC), backed the rallies, saying the NT intervention “has been an abject failure on a raft of levels”.

“Apart from the physical and psychological harm done to its victims, one of its most damaging legacies has been the gradual dismantling of CDEP,” she added.

“The fate of Aboriginal labour needs to be in the hands of Aboriginal people,” she said.

Blacklist Support Group: London protest in support of Ark Tribe

From: Blacklist Support Group []

London protest in support of Ark Tribe

Australian High Commission,

The Strand, London

4.15pm prompt – 2nd November 2010

Ark Tribe is an Australian construction worker and trade unionist who faces jail for refusing to face an interrogation by the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), an anti-trade union body set up by the previous Howard government. They want him to name union members who attended a union meeting about terrible health and safety conditions on a site they were all working on. Ark faces up to six months in jail for defending trade union rights.

The London protest will pre-empt Ark’s sentencing hearing as his case will be heard sometime after 11pm London time on the 2nd (in Adelaide the time will be 9.30am 3rd November). This event is called at 4.15pm prompt because the Australian High Commission closes at 5pm.

Come and make your voice heard – stand up for union rights around the world and let them know – "Don’t Jail Ark!"

For more information on Ark’s case:

This event supported by the Blacklist Support Group, Construction Safety Campaign and Hazards Campaign.

Blacklist Support Group

Immigration Minister Ignores Suicide Attempt and Geneva Appeal to Halt Deportation of Chinese Family

Despite a communication from the Geneva-based Special Rapporteur on Torture with the UN High Commission on Human Rights to the Department of Foreign Affairs, requesting a halt to any removal of the L family, the Minister for Immigration has refused to intervene to stop the deportation of the family to China.

The mother,  who attempted suicide in the early hours of this morning is presently scheduled for removal later today, but the father, Mr H L and his son, D, were removed on the schedule flight from Sydney at 10.50am.

Refugee advocates are calling on the Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen, to act urgently to prevent the deportation of Mrs L and to take measures to ensure the safety of Mr L and his 17 year old son D.

Overnight, eight hundred signatures were collected on a petition supporting the family.

On humanitarian grounds alone the Minister should have stopped the deportations this morning. It is a disgrace that the Minister would proceed with the removal of this family given the doubts that they will be safe in China and the mental distress they are experiencing.

It is inconceivable that Mrs L is in any state to handle her deportation to China. The supposedly family friendly Minister has separated this vulnerable family to intimidate them even further, said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

Late yesterday afternoon, the Ministerial Intervention Unit rejected new information to the Minister documenting the danger that faces the underground Christian family if they are returned.

Included in that new information was a copy of a Chinese government summons for the father, Mr H L to appear in court.

Mr Liu brother who recently returned to China, was detained and questioned by Chinese authorities, who believed he was Mr H L.

Mr Liu’s 24 year old first son, resident in China was only recently released after seven months in a re-education camp for holding an unlawful assembly of an underground Christian group.

It is obvious that the family is under surveillance by authorities and that the man is wanted in China. This should rule out any question that the family can be safely sent back to China, said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

Australia has an obligation under the Refugee Convention and the Convention on Torture and not to refoule (return) an asylum seeker to danger.

We are urging the Minister to act immediately. The human rights abuses by the Chinese government are well-documented. The Minister should stop playing with asylum seekers lives, said Ian Rintoul.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

Foco Nuevo in November

Jumping Fences

Little Secrets

Paul Bonnetti

Friday NOV 5
8.00 p.m.
Kurilpa Hall
174 Boundary Street
West End

$10 / $7 concession
Maggie’s delicious cakes, tea and coffee on sale.

This month we’ve got two guest acts that will make for a very enjoyable Foco Nuevo – Little Secrets and Paul Bonetti.

Jumping Fences the song-writing partnership of Lachlan Hurse and Sue Monk, play a unique mix of original and Latin American songs, bridging the gap between Australian and World music. Their songs, heard from Brisbane factories to concerts in Havana, have evocative lyrics with compelling vocals and rhythm to match. [website]

Little Secrets: One of Brisbane’s best kept secrets, original folk/rock, blues and country. Tony Mockeridge, Michael Tully and Rob Stewart. The band’s music covers topics as diverse as teenage angst, cricket and love. They are driven by a desire to create music that has an emotional and cultural resonance to reach out engage the audience. They also just enjoy playing together.

Paul Bonetti: Life is beautiful after all, right? Brisbane singer/songwriter and composer Paul Bonetti serves up a wry, witty take on life through his straight-shooting acoustic ballads. As the recipient of many national awards, he is currently completing his PhD in music composition at the Elder Conservatorium, University of Adelaide. With an acoustic guitar woven around poignant vocal melodies, his songs draw on an eclectic mix of folk, blues and pop styles.

hope to see you on the night

Lachlan and Sue




(Next to the West End Library. Click

Lachlan & Sue

Human Rights Commission report: End detention on Christmas Island

The Australian Human Rights Commission has this morning released its 2010 report Immigration detention on Christmas Island. The media release and the report are attached for your information. The report is also on the Commission’s website at:

Asylum-Seeker Children Need Permanent Protection Not Just Protection When Governments Feel Like It

28th October 2010

It’s time to provide permanent legal protection to ensure children and unaccompanied minors are not held in immigration detention facilities, according to Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

Senator Hanson-Young, Greens spokesperson on Immigration, says the Greens’ bill, which has been introduced today into the Senate, builds on the recent announcement by the Federal Government on the release of children from immigration detention facilities.

“Vulnerable children and minors deserve better than part-time protection, or protection when Governments are feeling a bit of political heat on the issue,” Senator Hanson-Young said.

“If the Government and Opposition accept that children do not belong in detention facilities, then that should be made law, so those young people are not forced to rely on occasional goodwill from a sympathetic minister.

“This bill recognises that children and minors are among the most vulnerable of all people who seek our protection. Our own Australian values of a fair go and protection of the vulnerable make this an appropriate and necessary statement to be enshrined in legislation.”

The Greens bill would amend the Migration Act to ensure that the Immigration Minister must make a decision within 12 days to place children or minors in the community, rather than detention.

The bill would make it a matter of course for the minister or the department to make a determination to put children and minors in the community and allow a process to be established for parents and guardians to apply to be housed with children and minors within 30 days.

“We call for tripartisan support to take the politics out of a heated issue, and to ensure that moving children into the community (once appropriate checks are completed) becomes a natural part of the immigration process, as it should be,” Senator Hanson-Young said.

“This is the Government’s policy, this is the Opposition’s policy, this bill would simply make them law. Let’s work together to make this happen.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew McGarry – 0427 604 760

Centrelink protest



Not work for rations

Speakers include:

Laura-Jane Phoenix Williams (Indigenous Director, QUT Student Guild)
Sam Watson (Aboriginal Rights Activists)

Picket Centrelink
12pm Friday, Oct 29th
21 Cordelia Street, South Brisbane

Under the NT Intervention Aboriginal people are compelled to work 16 hours a week for $115 cash, plus $115 credit on a ‘BasicsCard’ which can only be used on ‘priority items’ in government approved stores. This is worse than Workchoices and Aboriginal workers have described it as a return to the “ration-days’. The NT Intervention promised to deliver ‘real jobs’ for Aboriginal communities. Instead, thousands of waged jobs have been lost and Aboriginal organisations have been crippled as Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) close down.

This part of a National Day of Action
For more information go to



Meeting of 17 Group: Left wing Politics, Aggressive Secularism and the Spiritual Dimension

The November meeting of the 17 Group
7pm Wednesday 3rd November
Place: Unit 6, 20 Drury St, West End

Gary MacLennan on “Left wing Politics, Aggressive Secularism and the Spiritual Dimension”

In this talk Gary MacLennan looks back on a life time of radical politics and attempts to locate the place of left wing thinking and praxis in a time of Aggressive Secularism.

Central to the talk will be a comparison of the approach of Dr Paul Farmer, who works within a framework influenced by liberation theology, and that of Christopher Hitchens one of the most outspoken representatives of contemporary secularism.

Gary has been for many years an incorrigible recidivist in terms of left wing activism in Brisbane.

A former academic he is now a full time researcher in the field of Indigenous Education.

Leon says he has, perhaps unknown to the speaker, had a special interest in his development.

What this means as to his possible attendance is, as usual, hard to predict.

Let this not be the case with you.

This will be good.

Risk revelation.

Daniel O’Neill

Robert Fisk: The shaming of America – Robert Fisk, Commentators – The Independent

With thanks to Greg Adler and Dan O’Neill for sending this on:

As usual Fisk hits the nail on the head this stuff is not a secret to its victims

Dialogue on extra-parliamentary politics with Humphrey McQueen on Sunday evening

Beyond the National Gasworks!….

A dialogue on contributing to building extra parliamentary politics in Australia…

What lessons can we learn from the Anti-Communist referendum of 1951, the growth of Green politics, and the struggle of building workers against the new Construction Stasi?

Discussion introduced by visiting historian Humphrey McQueen.

Sunday 31 October, 5:00pm

Paddington Workers Club. $5 admission.

GCI Insights Seminar: Naomi Oreskes on “Merchants of Doubt”

GCI Insights Seminar with Naomi Oreskes:

Merchants of Doubt

How a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from tobacco smoke to global warming

Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway have demonstrated what many of us had long suspected: that the debate over the climate crisis – and many other environmental issues – was manufactured by the same people who brought you safe cigarettes. Former US Vice President Al Gore

Famous for her research on the historical development and understanding scientific knowledge and dissent, Naomi Oreskes will roll back the rug on the dark corner of the American scientific community, showing how ideology and corporate interests, aided by a too-compliant media, have skewed public understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our era.

The renowned professor from the University of California San Diego will discuss her latest book Merchants of Doubt, which tells the story of how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists and scientific advisers, with deep connections in politics and industry, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades.

When: Monday 16 November 2010, 5.30pm
Where: Abel Smith Theatre (Bldg 23), The University of Queensland, St Lucia (map)

RSVP here

‘My Name is Rachel Corrie’ – play at La Boite

Attached is the flier and some other information for the “My Name is Rachel Corrie” play. The play is bring performed at the La Boite theatre on Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove. Here is an email you could forward on if you wanted to invite some people.

Presented by Bella Shanley and La Boite Indie.

Rachel Corrie was an American college student and activist who travelled to Palestine as a part of peaceful demonstrations in the Gaza Strip. On March 16th, 2003 she was killed while trying to prevent an Israeli bulldozer from demolishing a house in a Palestinian residential area. The details of the events surrounding Corrie’s death are disputed. The Israeli Defence Force claims it was an accident; others claim she was run over deliberately.

A celebration of one young woman’s moral strength and belief. Powerful and controversial: a politically provocative night in the theatre.

This production sees theatre director Shane Anthony assemble a talented creative team of local and interstate artists.

Production Credits

Director | Shane Anthony
Designer | Bruce McKinven
Lighting Design | Jason Glenwright
Composition | Chris Perren
Assistant Director | Robbie O’Brien
With | Julia Billington
Production Manager | Justin Marshman

    Previews 27 & 28 Oct
    Opening Night 29 Oct
    Season 27 Oct – 14 Nov
    Tuesday – Wednesday 6.30pm
    Thursday – Saturday 7.30pm
    Sunday 5pm
    Matinees 11am Tuesday 2 Nov & Thursday 4 Nov
    Previews $25 / $22
    Full Price $28
    Concession $25
    30 years and under $20
    2-Play Package (with The New Dead: Medea Material) $45

For tickets visit: or ph: (07) 3007 8600
Venue: La Boite Theatre, Musk Ave, Kelvin Grove.


Rachel Corrie Forum Overview.pdf

Anna in the Middle East


Anna Baltzer is a young Jewish American who went to the West Bank to discover the realities of daily life for Palestinians under the occupation.

What she found would change her outlook on the conflict forever. Her presentation “Life in Occupied Palestine: Eye Witness Stories and Photos” provides an excellent introduction-in a down-to-earth, non-alienating way-to the occupation in Palestine and the nonviolent movement for freedom and equality in the Holy Land.

Through personal stories, Anna describes the human rights abuses Palestinians face daily in the Israeli-occupied West Bank: the humiliation of endless waiting at checkpoints, the devastation of home demolitions to make way for illegal Israeli settlements and the foreboding Separation Wall, the impact on the environment and the struggle to maintain dignity in the face of relentless oppression.

She particularly focuses on the steadfastness and courage of ordinary Palestinians non-violently resisting the usurpation of their land as well as Israeli activism and what can be done globally towards taking informed action, such as boycott, divestment and sanctions.

The presentation is replete with photographic documentation and critical information on issues often misrepresented and ignored in the Western media. Copies of Anna’s book and DVD of her presentation will be available for sale at each of the events.


Sonja Karkar
Australians for Palestine
Melbourne – Australia

“Democracy Now” Interview with Daniel Elsberg on Wikileaks Second Release – Free Bradley Manning!

Democracy Now (10 mins) Interview with Daniel Elsberg on Wikileaks Second Release – Free Bradley Manning

*Bradley Manning is being held in military prison accused of being the source of the Wikileaks on the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

Solidarity letters and postcards to:

Bradley Manning
c/o Courage to Resist
484 Lake Park Ave #41
Oakland CA 94610

Letters will be opened, “contraband” discarded and then mailed weekly to Bradley via someone on his approved correspondence list.

Genetic resources, Indigenous rights link a “red herring”

[Aboriginal News]

Genetic resources, Indigenous rights link a “red herring”: Duncan NATIONAL NEWS

By Nigel Newlove and Annette Francis APTN National News

Indian Affairs Minister John Duncan said Friday there was no link between Indigenous rights and the control over genetic resources, dismissing criticism from Aboriginal leaders over Canadian moves this week at UN talks on biodiversity.

Canadian officials moved to strike two references to Indigenous rights during UN negotiations in Nagoya, Japan, aimed at developing international standards for accessing and sharing the genetic material of plants, animals and microbes.

Innu, Cree and Mohawk delegates from Canada at the talks reacted with outrage and issued statements condemning Canada’s move as another attack on Indigenous rights.

They also said it was an indication that the Conservative government was not serious about their promise to endorse the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Duncan, however, said the criticism was based on a misunderstanding of what the talks were really about in Nagoya.

“What transpired in Japan is actually a complete red herring,” said Duncan, in an interview with APTN National News. “What is being discussed in Japan is about intellectual property, so to think that has anything really significant to do with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is inappropriate.”

The controversy stemmed from the negotiations of the working group on access and benefit-sharing, which was created in 2000 under the umbrella of the Convention on Biological Diversity, which came into being in 1993.

The working group is developing international guidelines on the access and use of genetic materials and on who should benefit from their use.

Assembly of First Nations national Chief Shawn Atleo said there was a strong link between what was being discussed in Japan, Indigenous rights and the declaration.

In a letter sent Thursday to Environment Minister Jim Prentice, Atleo took exception to Canada’s move to strike references to Indigenous rights in a draft protocol laying the groundwork for more negotiations.

The offending texts included: “Taking into account the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as regards this protocol,” and “Affirms nothing in this protocol shall be constructed as diminishing or extinguishing the rights that indigenous and local communities have now or may have in the future.”

Atleo said in his letter that “the inclusion of these two provisions would send a strong signal to users of indigenous people’s traditional knowledge and genetic resources to deal fairly with indigenous communities.”

Atleo said Canada had taken a position that was “adverse” to the interests of First Nations peoples.

“The (convention on biodiversity) should contain clear acceptable standards for accessing First Nation traditional knowledge, traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources and the utilization of genetic resources,” said Atleo, in his letter to Prentice obtained by APTN National News.

The working group’s own literature says that Indigenous traditional knowledge initially unlocked many of the benefits of genetic material now used in food, medicine and industrial products.

The traditional territories of indigenous peoples also include large swaths of the world’s undeveloped natural environments which are vital repositories of biodiversity.

Article 31 of the UN declaration states: “Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain control, protect…human and genetic resources, seeds, medicines, knowledge of the properties of fauna and flora.”

NDP Aboriginal affairs critics Jean Crowder said that Duncan was “dead wrong.”

Crowder raised the issue during question period Thursday, asking why the government was now opposing the references to Indigenous rights in the protocol when it supported them earlier this year.

Duncan responded by simply repeating talking points that the Conservative’s would “take steps” to endorse the “aspirational document,” a term the government uses when referring to the UN declaration on Indigenous rights.

Patriotism – as defined in America (and Australia too!)

May I please share with you a letter sent to an Indian magazine, Outlook, by an American back in 2003. What is said in the letter could hold true for any Australian who is against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or who sympathises with Palestinians or stands up against the maniacal Islamophobia currently gripping the Australian media.

In solidarity
David Albuquerque

Outlook, April 28, 2003

I was one of the few Americans who was against the war.

But I was outnumbered.

By one man. George Bush.

Several hundred thousand people around the world said ‘No’ to war.

One man, George Bush, said ‘Yes’.

And we couldn’t stop him.

I’m sorry for the impression this must have given of Americans.

I sent an e-mail to one of my senators about being against the war.

There was no reply. Not even an auto-reply.

You see, being against the war’s like criticising your mum’s cooking; even if you’re right, you’re frowned upon because you’re “unpatriotic”.

John Briggs, Missouri, US

Justice ForPalestine Brisbane

Hi all,

Here’s a flyer with contact details and information about JfP that we can use to distribute at some of the upcoming activities.

in solidarity,


Attachment(s) from Kathy Newnam

1 of 1 File(s)

jfp flyer.pdf

Labor 4A Just Palestine weekly report beginning 18 October

Dear all

Please feel free to forward to your contacts


David Forde

Labor 4A Just Palestine

Weekly update for week beginning 18/10/10

This week’s articles

· UN Protection of Civilians Weekly Report 13 October – 19 October

· IPS – This Peaceful Position Takes Courage

· Australian – Anna Baltzar: Palestinians’ human rights key to peace

· Amnesty – Illegal Israeli settlement plans threaten Palestinian Human Rights

· KiaOraGaza – Kiwis on aid convoy which breaks Gaza siege

· Ma’an – Demolition orders issued to Hebron community

· Mondoweiss – 60 Minutes (America) ‘marks the end of the two-state solution’

· Haaretz – Settlers have broken ground on nearly 550 West Bank homes since end of freeze, survey shows

· IMEMC – Israeli settlers begin new settlement expansion outside Jenin

· Yahoo news – With statehood, Palestine ready to end all claims

· Haaretz – ADL slams Shas spiritual leader for saying non-Jews ‘were born to serve Jews’

· B’tselem – Israel prevents entry of materials needed to repair (water) system

· Guardian – Israeli Arabs fear for their future

· APHEDA Middle East Study Tour – Occupied Palestinian Territories, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan. 27 March – 11 April 2011

· All the latest from the Palestinian News agency Ma’an

UN Protection of Civilians Weekly Report | 13 October – 19 October

Two people killed in Gaza and another 25 injured throughout the oPt, the majority of them injured in Jerusalem clashes. In the West Bank, settler-related incidents in the context of olive harvest continue. Demolitions and wave of stop-work orders continue. In Gaza, air strikes and incidents along Gazas fence continue. Baby girl dies after her permit was delayed. Little progress in implementation of UN building project. Shortage of fuel continues; power production remains below demand. To read the report click on: Protection of Civilians Weekly Report

IPS – This Peaceful Position Takes Courage

A former captain in the Israeli Air Force, previously an ardent Zionist who lost many members of his family in the Holocaust, has been labelled a psychopath and denounced by many Israelis for the moral stand he has taken against the Israeli occupation. Yonatan Shapira, 38, was fired from his job, has been verbally abused in public, subjected to death threats in newspaper talk-back comments. Together with 30 other pilots Shapira penned a letter which stated, “We the undersigned are no longer willing to be part of the indiscriminate attacks on Palestinians in the occupied territories. We declare our refusal to participate in what we believe to be illegal and immoral activities.” To read the article click on:

Australian – Anna Baltzar: Palestinians’ human rights key to peace

AS US-brokered Israeli-Palestinian negotiations break down, the prospects for peace in the Middle East may seem more dismal than ever. On the outside, it might appear that both sides are digging in their heels, refusing to compromise, but the reality on the ground is different. To read the article click on:

Amnesty – Illegal Israeli settlement plans threaten Palestinian Human Rights

Amnesty international on Friday urged the Israeli authorities to abandon plans to construct 238 new housing units in Israeli settlements in occupied east Jerusalem. “The Israeli authorities must immediately halt expansion of settlements in east Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied west bank,” said Philip Luther, amnesty international’s deputy director for the middle east and north Africa. To read the article click on:

KiaOraGaza – Kiwis on aid convoy which breaks Gaza siege

“History was made on the other side of the world,” said Grant Morgan, an Auckland-based organiser of Kia Ora Gaza. “The vicious Israeli siege of Gaza has been broken by an international aid convoy of 400 volunteers from 30 countries driving 150 vehicles carrying vital medical supplies worth NZ$7 million.” To read the article click on:

Ma’an – Demolition orders issued to Hebron community

Israeli authorities delivered demolition orders to a community in the Hebron district on Saturday, a land research center said. To read the article click on:

Mondoweiss – 60 Minutes (America) ‘marks the end of the two-state solution’

60 Minutes story on Silwan and the “City of David,” marks the dawning recognition that the two-state solution is no longer possible. Lesley Stahl’s opening was a subtle introduction to the idea that the supposed solutions of the past, no longer fit today’s reality. To watch the 14 minute clip click on:

Haaretz – Settlers have broken ground on nearly 550 West Bank homes since end of freeze, survey shows

Israeli settlers have begun building new homes at a quick pace since the government lifted its moratorium on West Bank housing starts – almost 550 in three weeks, more than four times faster than the last two years. And many homes are going up in areas that under practically any peace scenario would become part of a Palestinian state. To read the article click on:…

IMEMC – Israeli settlers begin new settlement expansion outside Jenin

Despite a statement by US officials Friday that they were disappointed in Israel’s decision to continue expanding settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem, new and existing settlements have begun a massive building spree, including in several settlements near Jenin. To read the article click on:

Yahoo news – With statehood, Palestine ready to end all claims

The Palestinians are ready to end all historic claims against Israel once they establish their state in the lands Israel occupied in the 1967 Mideast War, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said, addressing a long-standing Israeli demand. To read the article click on:

Haaretz – ADL slams Shas spiritual leader for saying non-Jews ‘were born to serve Jews’

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef says in Saturday sermon that ‘Goyim have no place in the world – only to serve the People of Israel’; ADL chief calls Yosef’s words ‘hateful’ and ‘divisive’. To read the article click on:

B’tselem – Israel prevents entry of materials needed to repair (water) system

Almost 95 percent of the water pumped in the Gaza Strip is polluted and unfit for drinking. Since it began its siege on the Gaza Strip, in June 2007, Israel has forbidden the entry of equipment and materials needed to rehabilitate the water and wastewater-treatment systems there. To read the article click on:

Guardian – Israeli Arabs fear for their future

Like other Arab citizens of Israel, Leyla Ahmoud is anxious about her future. A young mother of two girls with another on the way, Ahmoud says recent moves by the Israeli government are making it increasingly obvious that the Arabs are not welcome in their own country. “The government decides how I live and where I live. We exist in fear, from one day to the next.” To read the article click on:

APHEDA Middle East Study Tour – Occupied Palestinian Territories, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan. 27 March – 11 April 2011

The tour will visit Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem). This is a unique opportunity to learn about APHEDA projects and to see what life really is like for Palestinians under occupation while deprived of their own land, resources and freedom of movement. To get more details on the trip, click on:

Palestinian News agency Ma’an

For all the latest from Ma’an click on:

Latin American Film Festival Sat Oct 30 – Sun Oct 31

Sat Oct 30 – Sun Oct 31

Delicious Latino dinners (incl vego/vegan) nightly, drinks & Latino cocktails available

TICKETS: Per session $10 waged / $6 conc; Both sessions $18/10
Gold pass (both sessions, both dinners + complementary drink nightly) $35/20

Bookings / inquiries
Ph (07) 3831 2644 or 0423 741 734
email brisbane
Funds raised to Australias leading progressive paper,
Green Left Weekly <>


Saturday October 30

4pm Session – Venezuela

A film by Pablo Navarrete
Filmed in Caracas in November 2008, on the eve of the 10th anniversary of Chavez’s controversial presidency, this feature-length documentary takes a journey into the heart of Venezuela’s revolution to listen to the voices of the people driving the process forward.

7pm Session – Cuba
In a tale akin to Romeo and Juliet, the friendship between two children is threatened by their parents differences.
Malu is from an upper-class family and her single mother does not want her to play with Jorgito. Jorgitos mother is a poor socialist, proud of her familys social standing, who places similar restrictions on her son. What neither woman recognizes is the immense strength of the bond between Malu and Jorgito.
When the children learn that Malus mother is planning to leave Cuba, they decide to travel to the other side of the island to find Malus father and persuade him against signing the forms that would allow it.
Viva Cuba won 34 national and international awards.

Sunday October 31

5pm Session – Mexico
(Dinner served in interval)
“One of the most amazing Mexican films in many a year…The Violin is filmmaking in its purest form. – Guillermo del Toro, Director of Pan’s Labyrinth
Don Plutarco, his son Genaro and his grandson Lucio live a double life: on one hand they are musicians and humble farmers, on the other they support the campesina peasant guerilla movement’s armed efforts against the oppressive government. When the military seizes the village, the rebels flee to the sierra hills, forced to leave behind their stock of ammunition. While the guerillas organize a counter-attack, old Plutarco executes his own plan.

‘Three Cups of Tea’ – peace is not a product of war

Three Cups of Tea

One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace …

One School at a Time

This remarkable US bestseller was first published in 2006. It stands alongside Rebecca Solnit’s Hope in the Dark (2005) and Muhammad Yunus’ Creating a World Without Poverty (2007) as essential reading for those who want to help create a better world.

Three Cups of Tea tells the story of Greg Mortensen, a mountaineer who lost his way, both physically and personally. He stumbled into a remote village in the Karakoram Mountains of northern Pakistan and this not only saved his life, it also showed him his life compass. Too busy to write a book, he collaborated with journalist David Oliver Relin to bring this awe-inspiring tale to a wide audience.

Greg trained as a trauma nurse. This devout humanitarian was asked to call on an unconscious Muslim woman who had given birth but had a retained placenta. Because the villagers thought the mother had been poisoned, the baby had not been put to the breast. Greg gently insisted, as nursing stimulates uterine contractions. But even with antibiotics, the woman remained close to death. Greg was worried as he quietly explained to her husband the next step to remove the substance that was making his wife sick. Permission was given to the foreign infidel and the husband held the lantern. The following day the woman was up and about. But Greg says Haji Ali, the village headman, taught him that he had more to learn from these people than he could ever hope to teach them. ‘Haji Ali taught me to share three cups of tea, to slow down and make building relationships as important as building projects.’

Mortensen initially supported the US intervention in Afghanistan, but became disillusioned when the promised rebuilding did not materalise. For all their flaws, the Taliban had religiously suppressed the production of opium. With their defeat, poppy planting resumed. According to a study by Human Rights Watch, Afghanistan’s opium harvest spiked from nearly nonexistent to almost 4000 tons by the end of 2003. The profits do not trickle down to the poor growers, but some funds enable regional leaders to recruit and equip formidable private militias that make the feeble central government increasingly irrelevant the farther you travel from Kabul. Outsiders generally take little account of the primal allegiance that members of remote groups have to their own people.

Pakistan’s Brigadier General Bashir Baz has stated, ‘As a military man, I know you can never fight and win against someone who can shoot at you once and then run off and hide while you have to remain eternally on guard. You have to attack the source of your enemy’s strength. In America’s case that’s not Osama or Saddam or anyone else. The enemy is ignorance. The only way to defeat it is to build relationships with these people to draw them into the modern world with education and business. Otherwise the fight will go on forever’.

It is Mortensen’s vision that we all will dedicate the next decade to achieve universal literacy for all children, especially for girls. More than 145 million of the world’s children are deprived of education due to poverty, exploitation, slavery, gender discrimination, religious extremism, and corrupt governments. His hope is that Three Cups of Tea will be a catalyst to bring the gift of literacy to each of those children who deserves a chance to go to school.

ISBN: 978-0-141-03426-3

Penguin Books is committed to a sustainable future. Three Cups of Tea is printed on paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

Dawn Joyce

Support Enoggera Peace Group’s vigil against the war in Afghanistan

Thanks Ian/Sandy. And they are not even wars.
In solidarity

BDS Conference launch – 29th October

please distribute widely/apologies for cross postings…



29th October 2010 @ 7pm

Theatrette, State Library of Victoria

cnr of La Trobe and Swanston St,

Melbourne City (entrance on La Trobe St)

$5 entry

(or included in your conference registration

if you register for the entire conference)

Endorsed by the Palestinian BDS National Committee


Rafeef Ziadah – Palestinian activist, unionist and spoken word artist. Rafeef is a member of the steering committee of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and will be speaking on behalf of the Palestinian National BDS Committee. Rafeef is also a founding member of the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) promoting the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestement and Sanctions (BDS) campaign in Canada and an organizer of the international Israeli Apartheid Week.

Ofer Neiman Israeli activist and co-editor of the Occupation Magazine. Ofer is one of the activists in the Israeli support group for the BDS campaign, BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS call from Within. Ofer will join the conference launch via internet/video hook up from Jerusalem.

Kim Sattler – a long-time unionist, who was active in the South African anti-apartheid campaign. Kim is currently the Secretary of Unions ACT in Canberra. Kim has recently returned from Palestine, where she participated in the Union Aid Abroad APHEDA Middle East Study Tour 2010

Yousef Alreemawi Palestinian academic and radio presenter of Palestine Remembered, Australias only English language program on Palestine on Radio 3CR. He is also the founder of ASPIRE the Australian Society for Palestinian Iraqi Refugees Emergency an humanitarian project which seeks to resettle in Australia, Palestinian-Iraqi refugees living in refugee camps on the Iraq/Syrian border.

Bryan Dawe – Bryan is an Australian political satirist, writer and commentator. Well-known for his work with John Clarke on the ABC’s ‘7.30 Report’, Bryan is also a writer and cast member of the critically acclaimed spoof of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, ‘The Games’. He is a long-time observer of Middle East politics and a supporter of the Palestinian struggle for self-determination.Bryan will be the MC for the Australian BDS national conference launch.


Join us on the Saturday night of the Conference for the Concert for Palestine

Saturday 6.30pm @ 30th October $25/$20

MUA Hall – 54 Ireland St, West Melbourne

A fundraiser for the Australian BDS conference and BDS campaign

Tel: 0439 454 375 or Email: ausbds



Support Enoggera Peace Group’s vigil against the war in Afghanistan

Hi All,

Vigil tomorrow

When: 4pm Thursday 21st October 2010 (unless it is pouring down!)

Where: Cnr Lloyd and Wardell Sts, Enoggera-opposite the Matilda Garage.

I think most of you are on Ian’s list and will have already received this in the mail.

But I will add the link in case some of you haven’t seen the report from yesterday’s successful Speak Out.

Enoggera Vigil site –

This is where we vigil most Thursdays, on the Cnr Lloyd and Wardell Sts, Enoggera-opposite the Matilda Garage.

Lloyd Street leads down to the Army Barracks, so we get exposure to not only army traffic, but also the passing traffic on the very heavy grid leading out
from the City.

We welcome everyone who can attend and have a supply of placards, or you can bring your own.

It is also a short walk from the Enoggera Train Station and there is parking around the vigil site, if you drive.

Vigils start at 4 pm and we finish around 5.30 – 6pm .

Please join us,


Contact email environsand

{Editors Note: For the last few years a small group of dedicated people, mainly from the local area, have demonstrated their opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

They have been getting support from people driving past, many on their way home from work.

Recently they helped organise with StandFast (Australian troops against the wars) an impressive forum and leafletting at the Enogerra army barracks.

They are positive peace activists who do not believe that we should stand by and let such serious decisions as going to war to be left to politicians.

We should not only commend their action but support them by turning up at their vigils at the army barracks. Troops should be discouraged from participating in unjust wars and people both young and old should be informed of the consequences of taking part in such wars.

Reference: Middle East }

1967 referendum

interesting facts on the 1967 referendum: what it did and did not do.

it removed some of the racism from the constitution but allowed for the continuation of the state and territory racist policies to continue unabated.


ray jackson
indigenous social justice association


Forum: Afghanistan occupation in crisis

Solidarity flyer

With parliament debating the war in Afghanistan, the occupation and the role of Australian troops is back in the spotlight.

There has been a huge increase in the deaths of Afghan civilians as well as Australian troops. Obama’s troop surge now at its peak has failed its original aims and Gillard is just as committed to continuing the occupation as Rood and Howard.

The Karzai regime in Afghanistan has begun negotiations with the Taliban with the support of International forces.

The Afghani resistance forces are gaining ground and being brought into government.

Two questions must be asked:

Why is the occupation continuing?

And why are Australian troops there’?

1 pm Thurs Nov 4th TLC Building p- 16 Peel Street. Sth Brisbane. A Solidarity· Meeting


National speaking tour STOP THE NT INTERVENTION Stand up for: JOBS WITH JUSTICE Mark Fordham, former CDEP co-ordinator at Ampilatwatja Community will be speaking in Brisbane. Mark is a proud Aboriginal man and LHMU member from the NT who was … Continue reading

Refugee groups join Greens in push for free-kids law

Refugee groups join Greens in push for free-kids law
Tom Cowie writes on Crikey:
Refugee groups are urging the government to go further with its decision to allow children of asylum seekers to be released from detention, with the Greens pushing for the policy to be enshrined in law.

Under the plan, announced by Immigration Minister Chris Bowen yesterday, several hundred children and their families will be released from detention by next June, with charities and church groups expected to provide care and accommodation with the help of government funding. According to Immigration Department figures, there are currently 738 children in detention.

Bowen says the policy will be implemented using existing powers under the Migration Act to make “residence determinations”, which allows the minister to place conditions — such as curfews, requirements to live at a certain address and obligations to check in regularly with authorities — on those allowed to live in the community while they await the outcome of applications for asylum. According to the government, no legislation will be introduced or amended under the plan.

But while Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has supported the governments move as a “welcome first step”, she also says the policy should be legislated: “This requires putting in place legal safeguards to protect children and young people. We can’t simply rely on the goodwill of a compassionate federal minister.”

Pamela Curr, campaign co-ordinator at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, agrees, telling Crikey more needs to be done to ensure children are never put back into detention.

“The minister has said they are using existing legislation to make this decision. From our point of view the legislation is clearly not strong enough when it can be used or not used at the governments convenience,” Curr said.

Curr also points to legislation she says clearly states that children should not be placed in detention. According to section four of the Migration Act, amended by the Howard government in 2005, “a minor shall only be detained as a measure of last resort”.

“Australia is a country which has signed on to all the international conventions; our domestic legislation should reflect those promises that were made in good faith,” Curr said. “Our domestic legislation should not encompass weasel words which allow the government to choose which agreements they will honour and which they will not.”

David Manne, executive director at the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre, says while the announcement is an important step it’s still necessary to lock any reform into law.

“One of the golden threads of our legal system is the legal right to be able to challenge to have ones deprivation of liberty regulated by law, not discretion,” Manne told Crikey. “Theres no good reason why this shouldnt apply to asylum seekers.”

Hanson-Young has made it clear the Greens will be moving in the Senate to amend the Migration Act, which will see children and unaccompanied minors exempt from the Acts mandatory detention clause. In a statement yesterday, she also said that mandatory detention for adult asylum seekers needed to be addressed as well.

“The government is using existing powers put in place by the Howard government some years ago. We know how quickly moves to improve conditions for vulnerable asylum seekers can be reversed. The Greens will continue to pursue amendments to the Migration Act to exempt children and minors from the mandatory provisions, and set a time limit for the detention of adults.”

Curr agrees: Until mandatory detention legislation is repealed our fight for the human rights of all asylum seekers is not over.

Labors new direction on asylum seekers

Queensland Rail — in the Public Debt (via Workers Bush Telegraph)

Let us try to understand debt and who owes it. In our quest please let us not go searching desperately for dubious ill-defined argument that masquerades as data (i.e. Hacket-Jones' attempt to explain debt in 'Queensland Government Borrowings' by analysing government borrowings for infrastructure in terms of individual (or household) debt (see Revenue Review.) I would like to address the issue of 'privatisation'— a word that historian, Humphrey Mc … Read More

via Workers Bush Telegraph


Dear Refugee Advocates,

Just in case you feel like reading the legislating used to remove children from detention and which is now being used to get kids out a second time 5 years later, here are the links. It is important to note that the legislation had carefully chosen phrases such as “non-compellable discretionary power” which ensured that the power to release belonged to the Minister and was not enforceable by legislation. Some might say legislation which only worked when the former Government was under pressure from its own dissidents.

It is these same powers which the present Gillard Government is using to release children five years later.

This section 4AA in the Migration Act 1958 proposed in 2005 to state an affirmation by the Parliament that, as a matter of principle, a minor shall only be detained as a measure of last resort. The Bill was passed but 5 years later 723 children and teenagers are locked up.

Clearly this is not good enough. We cannot rely on the decency of a minister to ensure that children’s human rights are respected. Nor can we rely on a humanitarian crisis such as exists among the teenagers locked up in motels to propel governments to release children. The Greens need our support to get legislation passed exempting children under 18 years from detention.

And lastly let us not forget that single men and women are human beings too. Until mandatory detention legislation is repealed our fight for the human rights of all asylum seekers is not over.

BELOW is a link to the 2005 BILL

The Migration Amendment (Detention Arrangements) Bill 2005 (“the Bill”) Bill proposes a series of amendments to the Migration Act.

Detention of Children

Item 1 inserts new subsection 4AA(1) in the Migration Act stating that Parliament affirms as a principle that ‘a minor’ shall only be detained ‘as a measure of last resort’. The explanatory memorandum notes that:

This is to make plain that where detention of an unlawful non-citizen family (with minor children) is required under the Act and children are detained in an immigration detention centre or a residential housing project, it should only be because there is no other viable option available.

This may be done for compelling reasons, including Migration Amendment (Detention Arrangements) Bill 2005 where conditions of a residence determination have been breached, primary assessment is being undertaken or removal arrangements are underway.12

Below is the link Explanatory Memoranda to


1. The Migration Amendment (Detention Arrangements) Bill 2005 (“the Bill”)amends provisions in the Migration Act 1958 (“the Act”) to provide greater flexibilityand transparency in the administration of the detention of persons known or reasonably

suspected to be unlawful non-citizens. The Bill amends the Act to:

state that the Parliament affirms as a principle that a minor shall only bedetained as a measure of last resort;

provide a non-compellable power for the Minister to specify alternativearrangements for a person’s detention and to impose conditions to apply to the detention of that person;

provide a non-compellable power for the Minister to grant a visa to a personwho is in detention; and

require the Secretary to report to the Commonwealth Ombudsman on personswho have been detained for two years or more, and for the Ombudsman toprovide assessments and recommendations relating to those persons to theMinister, including statements to be tabled.

Minor to be detained as a last resort

2. New section 4AA is proposed to state an affirmation by the Parliament that, as amatter of principle, a minor shall only be detained as a measure of last resort.

3. The new section is proposed to indicate that the principle relates to the holding ofchildren in traditional detention arrangements. The principle would indicate that,where detention of a child is required under the Act, it should, when and whereverpossible, take place in the community, under a residence determination.

NB A residence determination did not require being locked up or under guard

Community Detention Arrangements

4. Currently the Act requires that a person in immigration detention be accompaniedand restrained by, or on behalf of, an immigration officer or held in securedarrangements. This is required regardless of the particular characteristics of theperson, such as their age, health, behaviour, or likelihood to abscond.

5. The new non-compellable power in Subdivision B of Division 7 of Part 2 will allowthe Minister, acting personally, to specify alternative arrangements for a person’s


6. In particular, this power will enable the Minister to allow families with children toreside in the community at a specified place (instead of at a detention centre orresidential housing project) in accordance with conditions that address their individual circumstances.

7. These conditions are expected to be such as to require the person to be present atthe specified residence during specified hours, and to report to immigration officials atspecified times. The types of conditions that could be included would not be limited.

Under these arrangements, detainees would be free to move about in the communitywithout being accompanied or restrained by an officer under the Act.

The onlyrestraint on a person to whom the Minister’s determination applies would be that he orshe complies with the conditions specified in that determination.

8. The Minister will be publishing instructions and guidelines in relation to theexercise of this power, with particular emphasis being placed on the Government’sintention that the best interests of children will be taken into account, and where

detention of an unlawful non-citizen family (with children) is required under the Act,detention should be under these alternative arrangements where and as soon aspossible, rather than under traditional detention.

9. It is the Government’s intention that where persons who are known or reasonablysuspected to be unlawful non-citizens who are in a family have made a valid visa

application and are awaiting the Minister’s delegate’s decision on that application, orremoval is imminent, or a family member has breached the conditions of the Minister’sresidence determination, that the family (including the father) will be detained, ifpossible, in a residential housing project that is in the city nearest to the family’s priorresidence.

My apologies for ramshackle presentation of this information – My excuse is that I am on holidays at the beach.

Pamela Curr

Campaign Coordinator

Asylum Seeker Resource Centre

12 Batman Street, Melbourne

ph 0393266066 / 0417517075

Under the Migration Act ( section 10)

“a child born in Australia to unlawful non-citizens,is taken to have entered Australia at birth.

The child is taken to be an unlawful non-citizen from birth.”

As an unlawful non-citizen that baby must be locked up at birth.

This is mandatory detention.


Why are we in Afghanistan?

This gallery contains 2 photos.

‘Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. this world in arms is not spending … Continue reading