Assad: Europe was the main player in creating chaos in Syria-video

Monica Majioni of RAI Italia TV interviews Syrian President Bashar Assad. In the face of a politicized media and deluded self-censorship that undermine the remaining credibility of Italian public TV, it was the Syrian government that broadcast on state TV the interview we present to you on video and in the transcript edited by the Syrian State Press Agency SANA. There is a full transcript of the interview in English, plus the video is set or can be set to English subtitles (as well as the automatic arabic ones) on the youtube version.

IPAN Statement on interference in the internal affairs of Australia

The escalating tensions between US and China are directly impacting on Australia militarily, economically and politically and threaten to drag Australia into another imperialist war, according to the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network. IPAN calls for an independent foreign policy from all big powers, and that includes independence from both China and US; an independent foreign policy that promotes friendship with people from all countries.

Video & transcripts from event: "What is Happening to Julian Assange & Journalism?" (4 Dec 2019 )

Suelette Drefus, Julian Burnside, Kristinn Hrajnsson, and Lizzie O'Shea were the main people in this event. I have transcribed some of Suelette Drefus, Technology Researcher and Author's excellent summary of Julian Assange's contributions to the public internet and free software. She also displayed courage in criticising powerful people on stage. At around 1h 44m into the video she has the courage to criticise corporate media journalist, Peter Grest, for his repetition of opinions used to slur Julian's credentials as a journalist and publisher. Interesting to wonder why Grest was released without explanation after an international outcry from the same western block that is either persecuting Assange or leaving him to rot.

Barnaby Joyce: Extradition of Julian Assange to the U.S. would be a violation of Australian sovereignty - RT's Going Underground interview

In this episode of Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi speaks to ex-Australian deputy PM Barnaby Joyce about the persecution of Julian Assange.

Barnaby Joyce strongly opposes his extradition to the US, saying this is a matter of Australian sovereignty, and that Julian Assange is no different to the other newspapers that published the same leaks.

Committee to examine efficacy of vegetation and land management policy on bushfires

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment has commenced an inquiry into the efficacy of past and current vegetation and land management policy, practice and legislation and their effect on the intensity and frequency of bushfires and subsequent risk to property, life and the environment.

Urgent: Protest today at 10am against Victorian Planning Minister's approval of monster North East Link

Snap Action Against Minister's North East Link Decision

Join Friends of Banyule for a snap action out the front of Minister Wynne's office today, Friday 5 Dec, 10am, Tenancy 2, Ground Floor, 188-196 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, VIC.

 

Planning Minister goes against own Planning Panel’s Advice to accept North East Link project as is

Joint Press Release: Friends of the Earth & Friends of Banyule

Thursday 5th December 2019

Environmental organisation Friends of the Earth and community group Friends of Banyule have expressed their extreme disappointment at today’s announcement that the Planning Minister Richard Wynne has approved the North East Link.

The project has been approved without extending the tunnel northwards, contrary to the Minister’s own Environmental Effects Statement Planning Panel’s advice and pleas of impacted families and community groups.

For an effective Australian campaign to free Julian Assange!

The article below has been adapted from a leaflet I printed and handed out to many of those who attended the meeting last night at the State Library in support of Julian Assange. Whilst speakers at that meeting showed that the outlook for a broader and more effective for Julian Assange now seems better than what my leaflet below indicates, the fact remains that because of errors of judgement in many cases, time has been lost, and Julian Assange's very life may well be at stake now. Those who want to participate in the Melbourne campaign to free Julian Assange could visit https://twitter.com/Melbourne4Wiki, https://www.facebook.com/Melbourne-4-WikiLeaks-2301719993184488/ or e-mail Melbourne4Wikileaks@gmail.com.

The United States' government's plans to imprison Julian Assange, against international law, Australian law and even its own constitution, is a threat to every one of us. In Australia, what could possibly be more urgent than to build a campaign to demand that the Australian government act now to require an end to the illegal detention of Julian Assange? In the unlikely event that the U.S. and the U.K. were not to accede to such a demand, the government could instead act through the United Nations, the International Criminal Court or other international bodies.

Regime change & overpopulation in Hong Kong. Why is the population so keen to riot?

Poverty, unemployment, homelessness, and overcrowding stalk more and more Hong Kong citizens. The United States is pushing for regime change, but that won't change anything for the better. In this half-hour video about the Hong Kong riots, and more about the US attempts at regime-change there than you will hear elsewhere, Michelle Greenstein gives a rundown on the social problems that have made the Hong Kong poor ready to riot. Although Greenstein talks about wealth inequality and the need for better distribution, she fails to identify what it is about Hong Kong's system that has caused these massive social disparities and housing shortfalls. The Hong Kong inheritance system is probably a major contributor to Hong Kong's wealth disparity and homelessness, however. Hong Kong's system is similar to Australia's and that of most American states. Inherited from Britain, it allows parents to disinherit their children and to leave property to anyone they choose.[1] This permits the alienation of property from families and its aggregation within corporations, other families or individuals, in fewer and fewer hands. The people lose control of the place. It is in this way that property speculation has come to rule over democracy in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong population and property growth lobby has taken over by engineering Hong Kong's population growth, with immigration numbers about three times as high as natural replacement numbers since 2014. A pretext, as in Australia, is that immigrants are needed to combat 'population aging'. We can see that Hong Kong citizens have been trying to control things from their side by having lower and lower birth rates, but the ruling classes have simply overruled them by pushing high immigration, to push up housing prices, despite the homelessness this creates. The rules for immigration are similar to Australia's, especially in the encouragement of foreign students to apply for permanent status.[2] Foreign domestic workers make up 4% of Hong Kong's population! [3]

Rethinking how to deal with animal cruelty in Australia

If the Minister for Agriculture were to endorse at least one officer from each local council under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (POCTA) provisions (section 18), this would add at least 120 new animal welfare officers/inspectors to combat animal cruelty within their area. This would alleviate the workload of authorised enforcement agencies i.e.( RSPCA/VicPol) in the town or city in which an alleged offence has occurred. A section should also be added into POCTA as it was back in the 80’s before it was repealed, that half of the fines from a successful prosecution be paid to council and the other half to state revenue. This would also give council an incentive to work toward costs as RSPCA now do subsequently no out of pocket expenses.

Stop the Drop - Ban Aerial Baiting with 1080 Poison - Protest Treasury Gardens Nov 24, 2019

‘Stop the Drop’: Ban Aerial Baiting with 1080 Poison, Treasury Gardens Melbourne (Lawn 4), November 24, 5 -8 pm. Since 2014, Victorian governments have been routinely dropping tonnes of cruel 1080 poison over vast areas of the Victorian natural environment from helicopters. Supposedly to protect farm stock from ‘wild dogs’, it is of virtually no benefit to farmers and nothing to do with ‘wild dogs’. The ‘wild dogs’ being killed are really Dingoes, the native Australian apex predator, a threatened species in Victoria and essential to the stability and health of Victorian ecosystems.

Information overload delays Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security report

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) is busy finalising its consideration of the Inquiry into the impact of the exercise of law enforcement and intelligence powers on the freedom of the press.

The Chair, Mr Andrew Hastie MP, said ‘The Committee has received considerable evidence from submitters and witnesses regarding the media and their ability to operate effectively within Australia’s democratic society. All members are endeavouring to achieve a bipartisan report, which delivers tangible areas for reform and consideration. This will not be possible by the end of November.’

Tony Kevin, "Russia & the West" - Book Launch, Readings - Nov 25, 2019

The Melbourne launch of Tony’s latest book, being held at Readings in Hawthorn Monday, 25 November 2019, is likely to attract an interesting and critical audience. This book looks at the “last two action-packed years” – which is to say “false-flag packed” years, because it’s about the way Australian media and the Australian commentariat has enabled Imperial lies to spread and take hold in the population. The key ones Tony considers are the Syrian chemical weapons stories, the Skripal poisoning hoax, and Ukraine/Crimea. He centers his study around the disinformation operations of the Institute for Statecraft and the way he thinks it is operating in Australia to counter the “Russian point of view”.

Assange event State Library Vic. 4 December, 6.30pm, "What is happening to Journalism & Julian Assange?"

Kristinn Hrafnsson - Editor in Chief of WikiLeaks
Suelette Dreyfus - technology researcher, journalist, and writer
Julian Burnside QC - part of Assange's legal team
Lizzie O'Shea - lawyer, writer, broadcaster

Recent raids on broadcasters, journalists and whistleblowers in Australia for precisely the kind of journalism that has cost Julian Assange a decade of his life, has prompted debate about the role of a free press in democracies such as Australia and of investigative journalists doing national security reporting. (Reservations required but event is free.)

IPAN invitation to 164 Eureka Anniversary Celebration - speaker on independent foreign policy

Key note speaker Clinton Fernandes, author of Island off the Coast of Asia, will discuss in depth the US economic, political and military agendas in Australia, and US-Australia alliance. He argues for Australia's economic independence and an independent foreign policy. Clinton Fernandes is a former Australian Army officer who served in the Australian Intelligence Corps. Today he is Professor of International and Political Studies at the University of New South Wales.

Queensland: 19 Nov 2019 - First public hearing for 5G inquiry

The Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts is holding a public hearing at Southport, Queensland on Tuesday, 19 November 2019 for its inquiry into the deployment, adoption and application of 5G in Australia. This will be the first public hearing for the inquiry, and will begin a series of public hearings and site visits to gather evidence about the challenges and benefits of 5G in Australia. Information about the inquiry, including the public hearing program, may be found on the Committee’s webpage. See inside for details. There is also a facebook page of the Australian activist group: "We say no to 5G in Australia, which has a lot of information.

Council meet re Ricketts Point tea-house overdevelopment liquor to 11pm 7days week

COUNCIL MEETING 19 NOVEMBER 2019: Many people enjoy Ricketts Tea House as a relatively modest place to have tea and cakes along a long piece of otherwise aesthetically deserted beach on this Pacific Island that we call Australia. Now Brighton Council is pushing a monstrous 'redevelopment' which will see liquor served seven nights a week until 11.30pm. One can predict the noise, violence, and rubbish, with frightened, disturbed birds. If this goes ahead, Melbourne will lose such a pleasant quiet area for the financial profit of a few. This will also be a prong used to usher in more 'development' in an area which has conserved vegetation and housing well back from the beach. It's another sign of the developer take-over of democracy in this state and in this country. You can go to the council meeting and try to push back against this overdevelopment push.

Clifford Hayes interviewed re Bill for Greater power for local Councils for new developments

Michael McLaren speaks with Clifford Hayes, Member of the Legislative Assembly – Sustainable Australia Party’s Southern Metropolitan region Victoria, about his private members bill which proposes significant changes to the Planning and Environment Act 1987 which will give local councils more control of local planning policy and maximum building heights in their municipal districts. Remember Clifford's important bill will be put to Parliament this Wednesday morning (13 November 2019) about 10 or so. Consider coming to show your support by sitting in the gallery for the vote.

Book Review of Ruby Hamad's White Tears Brown Scars, MUP, 2019.

This book aims to talk truth to power, using intersectionalist feminist concepts, within the strange paradigm of the corporate newsmedia [1] and US-NATO foreign policy. Power is identified as whiteness. White women are enjoined to stand with women of colour against male whiteness, which they are charged with propping up for their own benefit.

Geelong region and Otway Environment group’s welcome Victorian state wide logging ban

The recent announcement by the Victorian State government to ban native forest logging on public land in Eastern Victoria has been strongly welcomed by local environment groups including the Otway Ranges Environment Network(OREN) and Geelong Environment Council(GEC). Although the local communities of Eastern Victorian will need to go through a transition, claims of economic doom and gloom are unfounded. The logging phase out process to be completed by 2030 for Eastern Victoria is very similar to the process used to phase out native forest logging the Otway Ranges that successfully transitioned the local community and economy between 2002 and 2008.

Roger Waters on UK press failure to cover state crimes towards Assange

Anti-war lyricist and singer, Roger Waters, who is identified world-wide with Pink Floyd, discusses Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s latest extradition hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court and why it makes him ashamed to be English. The British magistrate is acting like an American puppet, taking advice from the US barrister. He explains why he believes the UK and US are attempting to kill Julian, why the extradition case shouldn’t even be happening and is a mockery of British justice. He talks about the protest that Australian journalist, John Pilger, and he, led recently, before a crowd of a thousand people. No British mainstream media reported it. That is how they control the kind of information people need to know. He compared British head-in-the-sand behaviour with the mass protests in Chile against the neoliberal US-backed President Sebastián Piñera and how the military crackdown is reminiscent of the Pinochet era.

MP Clifford Hayes introduces bill to make VCAT listen to councils

"People have a right to a say in the character of their street, and their neighbourhood. The principle of subsidiarity, of devolving power to the lowest practical level, is important. It is indeed good for people’s mental health if they have a say, and bad for their mental health if they feel powerless. My Bill does two key things – it requires VCAT to follow properly made Council decisions, and it gives Councils, rather than Ministers, the last word on height controls. Hayes says, "At present VCAT is out of control. Its proper role is to ensure that Councils don’t act in an arbitrary or capricious fashion [...]. But VCAT behaves as a Planning Authority in its own right, telling Councils that although the Council wants a height limit of, say, 4 storeys, they think that 6 storeys would be better! Councils should be able to put in place mandatory height controls at a height acceptable to the community. The high rise buildings being approved by Planning Ministers are not in the best interests of residents, overshadowing them and turning Melbourne into a soulless concrete jungle. Communities should have a say in relation to height limits." (MP Clifford Hayes in speech to Protectors of Public Lands Vic. reproduced here.) (Photos by Jill Quirk)

Good horse welfare initiative in Campaspe Council Echuca & District Livestock Exchange

Campaspe Shire has introduced a great new horse welfare change to its Echuca and District Livestock Exchange. It will no longer accept horses that do not have clear origins and destinations. Let us hope that other shires will follow this example. As you may read in Horses need an identity urgently, Victorian laws are extremely irresponsible towards horses, and many horses suffer greatly in this state.

The Kurds and Syria - What now? (Interdit d'Interdire) [French language])

"Interdit d'interdire - Les Kurdes et la Syrie : et maintenant ?" provides here a stimulating and intellectually nuanced debate about the situation in Syria. Two of the participants are journalists from the Figaro and Le Monde, which tend to be seen respectively as right-wing and left-wing, but this does not prevent commonality on Syria, and criticism of mainstream reporting and policy. Note, this is a French language video.

Tulsi Gabbard announces she will be running for President of the United States

United Sates' Senator for the State of Hawai'i, Tulsi Gabbbard, who is an outspoken opponent of the United States' meddling in Syria and elsewhere, has announced that she will be a candidate in the 2020 Presidential election. Tusli Gabbard clearly stands head and shoulders above any other candidate in terms of her appeal, her stated resolve to confront the criminal United States military-industrial complex which poses a grave threat all of humanity in 2019, and her prospect of defeating the candidates who are in its pockets. Her candidacy represents as great a hope for humanity as was JFK's candidacy in 1960. In the 6:37 minute embedded Twitter video, Tulsi explains the reasons for which she is standing.

15 November 2019: Julian Assange subject of PEN Sydney annual Day of the Imprisoned Writer

Please consider attending the PEN Sydney annual Day of the Imprisoned Writer event 15/11/19. This year, Quentin Dempster will interview Jennifer Robinson, counsel to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/challenge-what-you-know-whats-really-happening-to-julian-assange-tickets-75281120859" "What’s really happening to Julian Assange? What has Australia done to protect his welfare? And why aren’t we hearing more about the most intriguing and complex threats to liberal democracy of our time?" Here is a link to the November edition of the Sydney PEN magazine on the Day of the Imprisoned Writer. https://pen.org.au

John Pilger: Julian Assange’s extradition case is a SHOW TRIAL

In this episode, Afshin Rattansi of Going Underground speaks to legendary journalist and filmmaker John Pilger about Julian Assange’s latest extradition hearing on Monday, which Pilger attended. Pilger discusses how Assange appeared at the trial, the bias of the judge against the journalist, the lack of mainstream media coverage of his persecution, his health and conditions in Belmarsh Prison, CIA spying on the WikiLeaks founder, and more. Next, Afshin Rattansi speaks to Chris Williamson MP about Assange’s extradition hearing, Williamson's motion in the House of Commons to condemn Assange's treatment, why his persecution is of international importance, the silence of mainstream media on Julian Assange, the lack of vocal outrage from Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour front bench over Assange’s treatment, and more!

What Australian dairy farmer can survive when Coles retails milk for as little as $1 per litre?

Adapted from If Australia wants a dairy industry, we must re-regulate now! (18/101/9) Media Release | Citizens Electoral Council

Defying even the expressed wishes of their own customers, Coles and other supermarket chains continue to pay dairy farmers so little that they can then sell that milk for $1 per litre!

With Queensland experiencing a deficit in milk production, One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson has threatened to abstain from lending her support to non-critical legislation until the price of milk is regulated. Between the drought, rising input costs and low farmgate milk prices, Queensland dairy farmers are culling herds or getting out of the game altogether, with the number of dairies in the state collapsing from 1,500 at the time of deregulation, to 385 today.

Only re-regulating the industry will rescue Australia’s collapsing milk production. Milk production doubled in the two decades from 1980-2000, but since deregulation took effect in 2000 it has fallen consistently. Fourth-generation dairy farmer from Rush Creek in Queensland, Joe Bradley, told Channel 9’s Today program on 25 September that if milk production drops to 8 billion litres as expected this year, it would make a 30 per cent drop since peak production (2002), and Australia would be set to become a net importer of dairy products.

If I could tell my father …..

If I could tell my father what has happened in the years
Since he departed suddenly, extinguishing his fears
If I could tell my sister, so earnest and concerned
Now lying in her grave near those both ignorant and learned
If I could tell my mother, who confidently expected
That the wealth of generations would not be snatched by those elected...

When the Wheels fell Off

The 100 years from 1870 is described as the innovation century in which there more more inventions, starting coincidentally with the light bulb, than in the rest of mankind's history. For the most part their roll-out into society was slow enough to dampen the impact of the invention. Electricity, for instance, wasn't connected fully in Australia until 1989. But for me, one event stood out, and that occurred on the 4th of October 1957, just before my birthday.

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