Day 231 Australia's political prisoners protest on Nauru



Image: ‏@elahe_zivardar [5/11/16]


@bdemy [5/11/16]:  A solo protester in King George Square in Brisbane. He's chanting save the refugees.  [Sign says "Refugees are people"]



Stranger in my country, Stranger in my land,

Today we're somewhere no-account, tomorrow's something grand

I doubt if you'd agree with me, or if you'd understand

'til that day for guys like me, I'm a stranger in my land ...

'Stranger In My Country', Vic Simms [1973]



Aboriginal Tent Embassy [5/11/16]:   Blackfellas protesting outside the white supremacy summit in Kalgoorlie today



As State ministers, City councillors and local leaders walked into the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Leadership Summit, a group of protesters demanded to have their voices heard.

Alison Oakley and her children stood outside Kalgoorlie Town Hall holding placards calling for the sacking of mayor John Bowler, making statements about the City’s $25 million expenditure on a golf course and urged the Government to be “proactive not reactive”.

Eleven-year old Kiah Dane stood with a sign stating “Ask us what we want”, soKalgoorlie Miner asked the question.

“I want everyone to get along with each other and everyone to be interested in what everyone says,” she said.

Kiah said she did not feel heard by the Government ministers, who walked past her on the way to the meeting. ... [Kalgoorlie Miner - 5/11/16]



Check out Boulder camp in Kalgoorlie for blackfellas living in 3rd world conditions and yet today at the white supremacy summitt they declared they would spend 25 million dollars on a golf course for white people!

Boulder camp literally meters off the super pit - mining pit that profits millions of dollars each month! [Aboriginal Tent Embassy - 6/11/16]



The Burmese troops have launched assaults on the Rohingya villages in Rathedaung Township since 10 PM last night, a local source reports. 

It has been reported the military launched the fresh assaults on ‘Koe Tan Kauk and Chin Kali’ villages because the people in the villages met the UN Delegation and held protests holding banners on Thursday. ... [RVision TV - 5/11/16]


@mdskar: 5/11/16 4 PM: Elsewhere, the Burmese army raiding & plundering Gerak Hali & Sin Giri Fara hamlets of Long Doong village tract since 12 noon


@mdskar:  5/11/16 3:57 PM: Burmese troops r driving out all Rohingya population from 'MunChiGuna' & East hamlets to 'Bor Fara' hamlet of KoeTanKauk.


@mdskar:  5/11/16 3:30 PM: 2 #Rohingya religious teachers, Halim s/o Mohd Shafi & Rahmatullah, were severely tortured by Burmese army in KoeTanKauk.


@mdskar:  5/11/16 2PM: Burmese army arbitrarily arrested around 1000 #Rohingya men between 10 & 60 & ordered the women & children to their leave homes



Myanmar's plan to arm, train non-Muslims a "recipe for disaster" says the International Commission of Jurists [Reuters - 5/11/16]



Sri Lankan commission finds routine use of torture at secret sites [Tamil Guardian - 4/11/16]



Locals in Batticaloa on Friday protested demanding the release of their land currently  occupied by the Sri Lankan military. 

The protest is today on its third day with demonstrators on strike as an expression of their anger with the continued military occupation. [Tamil Guardian - 4/11/16]



Spat between China and Sri Lanka over 'expensive' loans continues [Tamil Guardian - 4/11/16]



Tens of thousands of South Koreans protested in central Seoul on Saturday in one the largest demonstrations in the country's capital for years, calling on embattled President Park Geun-hye to resign over a growing influence-peddling scandal.

Roughly 43,000 people were at the candle-lit rally early on Saturday evening, according to police.

Organizers said a growing crowd of 100,000 had assembled, making the protest one of the biggest since demonstrations in 2008 against U.S. beef imports. ... [Reuters - 5/11/16]




Several hundred pro-government demonstrators protested outside the office of a media group on Saturday, calling for it to be shut down after reports that it received funds from an organization linked to business tycoon George Soros.

The largely Malay group, which calls itself "Red Shirts", has alleged that foreign funds received by the popular news portal, Malaysiakini, was to be used to influence the next general election with an aim to topple Prime Minister Najib Razak's government.

The protest is expected to be dwarfed by a massive rally planned by democracy group Bersih on Nov. 19, which will call for the resignation of Najib over corruption allegations.

Dressed in red shirts, the demonstrators were chanting "close down, close down! close down Malaysiakini!".

"We don't want outside interference in our country," said Red Shirts leader Jamal Yunos, who is also a member of the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party.

Over a hundred riot police officers were stationed in and around the Malaysiakini offices. ... [Reuters - 5/11/16]



The police are questioning 10 people who allegedly stirred up a riot that took place in the wake of a large-scale rally involving multiple Muslim groups on Friday in Jakarta.

Violence broke out after dusk when some groups of protesters at the rally, which demanded the criminal prosecution of Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama for alleged blasphemy, refused to comply with a police order to disperse.

On Saturday, National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said that the 10 alleged provocateurs were from regions outside Jakarta, including West Nusa Tenggara. ... [Jakarta Post - 5/11/16]



Philippine mayor Rolando Espinosa killed in jail [Al Jazeera - 5/11/16]


@xychelsea [4/11/16]:  Tonight 7-9pm at @peninsulaarts #Brooklyn / Reception for NYC Premiere of my DNA-enabled 3-D portraits by @hdeweyh ...  



Chelsea Manning attempts suicide in prison for second time this year [Global News - 4/11/16]



Assange: Clinton is a cog for Goldman Sachs and the Saudis - interview with John Pilger [RT - 5/11/16]:


... JP: In terms of the foreign policy of the United States, that's where – for me, anyway – where the emails are most revealing, where they show the direct connection Hillary Clinton and the foundation of jihadism, of ISIL in the Middle East. Can you talk something about that? What the… how the emails demonstrate this connection between... those who are meant to be fighting the jihadist ISIL are actually those who have helped create it.

JA: There's an early 2014 email from Hillary Clinton, so not so long after she left [her job as] Secretary of State, to her campaign manager John Podesta. That email, it states that ISIL, ISIS is funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar – the governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Now, this is a… I actually think this is the most significant email in the whole collection...

JP: Mmm.

JA: …And perhaps because Saudi and Qatari money is spread all over the place, including into many media institutions, all serious analysts know, even the US government has mentioned or agreed with that some Saudi figures have been supporting ISIS, funding ISIS. But the dodge has always been, that's… what… it's just some rogue princes using their cut of the oil money to do what they like but actually the government disapproves. But that email says that no, it is the governments of Saudi and the government of Qatar that have been funding ISIS.

JP: The Saudis, the Qataris, the Moroccans, the Bahrainis – particularly the Saudis and the Qataris giving all this money to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State and the State Department is approving massive arms sales, particularly to Saudi Arabia.

JA: Under Hillary Clinton, and Clinton emails reveal significant discussion about it, the largest ever arms deal in the world was made with Saudi Arabia – more than $80 billion. In fact, during her tenure as Secretary of State, total arms exports from United States in terms of the dollar value doubled. ...


@wikileaks [4/11/16]:  ISIS occupation of Ninewah an "interesting" oil "opportunity". Includes State Dept pipeline map of Iraq ...



Scene from the 2006 film V for Vendetta:


... V: The truth is that there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there?

If you look about, you witness cruelty, injustice and despotism.

But what do you do about it? What can you do? You are but a single individual. How can you possible make any difference? Individuals have no power in this modern world.

That is what you've been taught because that is what they need you to believe.

But it is not true.

This is why they are afraid and the reason that I am here; to remind you that it is individuals who always hold the power.

The real power.

Individuals like me. And individuals like you. ...



Remember Remember ... 7 mins in ---> Despair and Defiance - Senator Scott Ludlam in Conversation with Julian Assange [VIDEO - Sydney Democracy Network - 4/11/15]



Will mandatory data retention still be fought? [Greens Media Release - 30/10/14]



Senate Hansard [25/10/14]:


Senator LUDLAM (Western Australia) (19:44): Now we get to one of the most serious parts of this debate and one of the areas where I struggle to understand how a government—that 18 or so months ago, when there were proposals to reform some elements of the architecture of media regulation in this country, shouted to the rooftops about curtailment of press freedom—would seek to bring provisions as draconian as what we see before us tonight and that have been condemned from one end of the country to the other.

Effectively—and I will read a few quotes in shortly—it is proposed to criminalise the reporting of one of these special intelligence operations, the transmission about it, so this would relate not necessarily to journalists, because obviously they are not named in the bill, but people sharing Facebook information about one of these operations may well find themselves falling foul of the law.

By leave—I move Australian Green amendments (3) to (5) together:


(3) Schedule 3, item 3, page 69 (lines 19 to 23), omit subsection 35P(1).

(4) Schedule 3, item 3, page 70 (line 6), omit "Subsections (1) and (2) do", substitute "Subsection (2) does".

(5) Schedule 3, item 3, page 70 (line 20), omit "(1) or".

It effectively relates to the criminalisation of the reporting of national security issues. We will do this in two tranches and I will speak at more length on the first. There is a later batch of amendments that relate to similar matters, and I will reserve my comments on those now. These ones relate specifically to reporting of SIOs and even their mere existence.

Schedule 3 creates new offences relating to disclosing information on special intelligence operations or SIOs with a penalty of five years imprisonment. Schedule 6 creates new offence provisions and updates existing offences relating to the unauthorised disclosure of intelligence information, and we will come to those a little later in the debate.

Under the proposed subsection 35P(1):

a person will commit an offence if he or she:

* discloses information and

* the information relates to an SIO.

The maximum penalty for the offence will be imprisonment for five years.

These offences are by far the most controversial of the proposed scheme—and, I would argue, of the proposed legislation. Two major concerns have been raised: the offences do not contain exceptions for public interest disclosures, which I think Senator Xenophon will try and address in a forthcoming amendment; or whistleblowing by ASIO employees. They apply to any person and would thereby capture disclosures by, for example, journalists. Many submitters made that point to the PJCIS.

I go back to earlier stages of the debate yesterday where we were discussing the document that the Scrutiny of Bills Committee had prepares when evaluating this bill. They identified 19 areas over which they had grave concerns. One of them was this very issue, subsection 35P—the committee sought a fuller justification from the Attorney as to why a penalty of imprisonment for five years is considered appropriate, given the breadth of application of the offence provision.

What this means in practice, which was stated very bluntly by a number of the submitters—and the first contribution that I would like to read is submission no. 17 by combined media organisations and signed by the following: AAP, ABC, APN, Astra, Bauer Media, Commercial Radio Australia, Fairfax Media, FreeTV, the MEAA, News Corp Australia, SBS and the West Australian.

Under a section of their submission, which they have entitled ' Jailing journalists for doing their jobs,' they say:

The insertion of proposed section 35P could potentially see journalists jailed for undertaking and discharging their legitimate role in a modern democratic society—reporting in the public interest. Such an approach is untenable, and must not be included in the legislation.

I can say to our colleagues in the press gallery tonight that this is included in the legislation and that we may be about to legislate away your extremely important role in our democracy.

They go on to say:

This alone is more than adequate reason to abandon the proposal as the proposed provision significantly curtails freedom of speech and reporting in the public interest.

This is particularly so as the proposed section 35P prohibits any disclosure of information relating to an SIO, not just reporting in the public interest.

It is a blanket prohibition. The trick is: how would you know if you had done that, because the very existence of SIOs would be suppressed?

These entities make up by far the largest fraction of those working in the parliamentary press gallery—I am not sure where they all are tonight but, nonetheless, their submission speaks for itself. They go on to say:

In addition, SIOs by their very nature will be undisclosed. This uncertainty will expose journalists to an unacceptable level of risk and consequentially have a chilling effect on the reportage of all intelligence and national security material. A journalist or editor will simply have no way of knowing whether the matter they are reporting may or may not be related to an SIO. We express this as information that ‘may or may not be’ related to an SIO because:

* It may or may not be known if the information is related to intelligence operations, and whether or not that intelligence operation is an SIO;

* ‘relates to’ is not defined and therefore the breadth of relevance is unknowable;

* It is unclear whether SIO status can be conferred on an operation retrospectively—i.e. if information has been ‘disclosed,’ whether any operation that it may be associated with or related to can be retrospectively allocated SIO status; and

* It is likely that clarity about any of these aspects would only come to light after information is Disclosed—particularly in the case of reporting in the public interest.

This submission is damning. I cannot for the life of me understand why the opposition is lining up and supporting this uncritically. Perhaps Senator Collins can inform us, but I would like Senator Brandis to tell us how those in this press gallery and working journalists around the country will know in advance whether what they are deciding to report in tomorrow's paper may or may not be related to an SIO. How will they know without simply publishing and hoping for the best?



United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 4/11/16]



A journalist working for Afghan television station Ariana News was killed by a roadside bomb in the southern province of Helmand on Friday, his employer said, adding to a growing toll on media workers in Afghanistan this year.

Witnesses said Nematullah Zaheer had been traveling with other journalists to report on a police operation just outside the provincial capital Lashkar Gah when their vehicle came under fire and police advised them to leave the main road.

Shortly after leaving the road, the vehicle hit an improvised explosive device and Zaheer was killed. ... [Reuters - 4/11/16]



Voice of empire tells us that Afghanistan itself is now taking in the most deported and forcibly returned Afghan migrants [New York Times - 4/11/16]:


... The last straw for Ghulamullah, a father of 10 who had sons in Pakistani schools and one married to a Pakistani woman, was when a soldier entered his house with a dog.

“I came to Pakistan to save my honor and my religion,” he said, “but I see there is no more honor in Pakistan. The Pakistani Army gave me 15 days to leave.”

He has now settled in a camp near Jalalabad, in eastern Afghanistan. ...


@daphnetoli [4/11/16]:  Shab from Pakistan converted to Christianity. He was beaten unconscious by Taliban, his 2 brothers killed. His asylum was rejected. #Lesvos


@sol2refugees [4/11/16]:  1.490 registered unaccompanied minors without shelters in #Greece, many in unknown situation among adults in #camps, #HotSpot & #detention



French police on Friday evacuated several thousand migrants from a makeshift camp in northeastern Paris, just over one week after thousands were moved from a larger camp in Calais.

Officers backed by riot police converged early Friday on the streets around the Stalingrad subway station, where migrants and refugees had been living rough.

A total of 82 buses were used to transport them to 80 different temporary shelters around the French capital.

A Paris official said the operation was completed shortly after midday and that 3,852 migrants had been moved out. ... [France 24 - 4/11/16]



‏@worldwide_tribe [4/11/16]:  We gave out as many polaroids we could as people were leaving the Jungle, giving them something to hold onto in the new homes #CalaisJungle  


@guardiacostiera [4/11/16]:  #CentraleOperativa coordina 8 operazioni #SAR: salvate 1.200 persone da @GuardiaCostiera ONG @MSF_ITALIA, @moas_eu, @jugendrettet, #LifeBoat



US Coast Guard conducts 7 at-sea interdictions in South Florida Straits since 15 October, forcibly returns 109 Cuban migrants ]Media Release- 4/11/16]



"It is important that whatever you do succeeds quickly"


East Timor 1975:  Kissinger's green light to Suharto [The Nation - 18/2/2002]



IOM/UNHCR orchestrate sickening and tokenistic "good and deserving refugees" PR stunt as trapped Rohingya are attacked by Myanmar military [Mizzima - 2/11/16]



Intentionally or not, this signals that those trapped – and under attack - in Rakhine are not worthy of protection ---> Welcome to your new home!! South Korea welcomes 34 Myanmar refugees to resettle in Seoul ... ‏@YangheeLeeSKKU [4/11/16]


The relentless drive to crowd out authentic dissent:  Saturday Paper's Karen Middleton  and "advocates" tie themselves in knots blaming Dutton for the ALP's policy;  make unsubstantiated claims about Manus refugees and censor progress of return and compensation case in PNG Supreme Court.



Another distraction from ongoing atrocities as contrived protests on "both sides" reinforce Australia's bipartisan anti-refugee policy [ABC - 5/11/16]:


About 200 people have gathered at Eltham in Melbourne's north in support of a group of Syrian refugees who will be resettled in the area in the coming weeks.

The plan has caused controversy and a group of anti-immigration protesters led by Sydney-based group Party for Unity will demonstrate in the area this afternoon. ...



Australia stopped accepting refugees in July 2014.



The lengths to which the Australian immigration department has gone to facilitate the repatriation of traumatised Syrian asylum seekers detained in offshore detention centres has been extensively revealed in departmental emails obtained under freedom of information laws. ... [Guardian - 19/8/14]



See "Western Sydney rednecks" myth ---> The some arsehole doctrine [Wings Over Scotland - 4/11/16]



PM Julia Gillard and David Bradbury [MP for Lindsay - in Western Sydney] watch a vessel boarding exercise in Darwin Harbour [ABC - 7/7/10]



... On the boat people question, my sense is that Canberra politicians have an exaggerated sense of the xenophobia and racism within portions of the Australia electorate that drives their tough policies. For the most part, they also let those sentiments fester unchallenged.

Over the years, I have spent a lot of time in the western suburbs of Sydney.

It is the most politically influential part of the country and one supposedly seething with hostility towards boat people.

Usually when I have asked voters to list their concerns, however, they cite cost of living concerns and traffic congestion long before they mention asylum seekers.

When I read commentary suggesting that border protection is the dominant issue in the minds of "ordinary Australians", it does not ring true.

One of the failings of politics in Australia in recent years is that politicians on both sides have allowed voters to conflate the asylum seeker problem with everyday worries.

Some politicians, who demagogue this issue, actively encourage their scapegoating, even though 90% of boat people turn out to be bona fide refugees. ... [Leaving Australia, a confounding and complex country, Nick Bryant, BBC News, Sydney - 28/6/13]



"It's our policy" Australia's war of attrition against refugees continues because there is no opposition, no honest journalism, and organisations such as the AMA won't condemn it [Brisbane Times - 5/11/16]:


... The Iranian refugee, who has been detained at the Papua New Guinea detention centre for three years, says he was looking for an exit from "hell".

"I have nothing to lose. I have just my life. And I don't want it, I would love to lose it," Amin told Fairfax Media from the refugee camp over a crackly line late on Friday evening.

"I eat and sleep, like an animal. And they treat us like s*** in here … if I die, I think it's better than this s*** life."

This is not the first time that Amin, 28, has tried to self-immolate.

About five weeks ago, he says he tried to light himself on fire, but was stopped by security guards. He received minor burns to his face.

He has also sewn his lips together in the past. Amin, father of a five-year-old boy in Iran,  is being treated with anti-depressants. ...



Human rights violations continue as UNHCR and Guardian Australia tout the utility of "good" refugees who don't come by boat --->  Breaking down barriers: how a Syrian refugee turned his good luck into jobs for others  ‏@GuardianAus [2/11/16]


Before they are allowed to raise ONE more cent, UNHCR must explain why they don't want men, women and children imprisoned on Nauru and Manus released and resettled.



@UNrefugees - Australia for UNHCR [4/11/16]:  Across the world everyday UNHCR emergency response teams are on the ground helping people forced to flee their homes



During the UNHCR's April visit to Nauru, refugees were told to expect to remain on the island for "another ten years".

Immediately after they conveyed this message to the refugees, Omid Masoumali covered himself in flammable liquid and set himself alight shouting at the delegation "We're sick and exhausted! You've destroyed our lives! Did you come just to gape at our misery? We lead miserable lives! You've been torturing us for three years!"



5 November 2016