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Melbourne protest at British Consulate to mark 2nd anniversary of illegal arrest of Julian Assange - 4:00pm Sunday 11 April

A 336K double-sided A5 leaflet (adapted from previous leaflet) can be found, attached to this page here. (Update, 6:28am Sat 10 Apr 2021: The file previously linked to at the end of the previous sentence, erroneously gave the time of the protest as 10:00pm and not 4:00pm, my apologies - this has been fixed.) See also @LorineBrice. Events elsewhere in Australia: Perth Town Hall 12 noon-4pm, @ForAdelaide Watch this space for further details, @Melbourne4wiki Melb CBD 6.30pm, In New Zealand: Auckland US Consulate 12 Noon (23 Customs St. East)

This coming Sunday 11 April will be the second anniversary of the date on which British Police entered the London Ecuadorian embassy and arrested Australian journalist Julian Assange who had been granted asylum there by Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa. Rafael Correa had been President of Ecuador from 2010 until 2017. President Lenin Moreno, Rafael Correa's successor, in violation of Article 14 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, allowed British Police to enter the Ecuadorian embassy to arrest Julian Assange. Lenin Moreno's collusion with the United States and with Britain to enable this illegal arrest was only one of a number of ways that Lenin Moreno has betrayed the trust placed in him by former President Rafael Correa. [1]

All over the world supporters of Julian Assange will be commemorating this grim milestone in Julian Assange's life. In Melbourne, we will be assembling outside the British Consulate at 90 Collins Street Melbourne at 4:00pm to unfurl our banners, give speeches and hand out leaflets. At 6:00pm we will also protest in front of Flinders Street Station, roughly 1.6km from the Consulate. For information about other events, please visit the @candles4assange.

After that we will walk to Flinders Street Station for another protest at 6:00pm (see also @LorineBrice). (Whilst, for now, this seems to clash with @Melbourne4Wiki's plans to protest somewhere in St Kilda, 4km away, at 6:30pm, [Correction, 8 Apr: clearly the 6:30pm @Melbourne4Wiki event in St Kilda clashes with the 6:30pm Melbourne4Wiki event in the CBD. I now understand that the St Kilda event is scheduled for 3pm and not 6:30pm. Still, …] I hope that our two groups can find a compromise that will enable us to work together effectively on the day.)

Video: Greens Senator Janet Rice confronts Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne for her failure to act to free Julian Assange

Last Thursday 25 March, during the Senate Estimates Hearing, Greens Senator for Victoria, Janet Rice (pictured left), asked Foreign Minister Marise Payne (pictured right) to explain her failure to act to free Australian journalist Julian Assange from his imprisonment in Belmarsh Prison in London.

Given the very short time allowed for Janet Rice to pursue this issue, she did remarkably well in cutting through Marise Payne's evasions and attempts to obfuscate the issue.

Signatures needed - Government E-Petition: Suspend kangaroo harvest and improve counting method

Victorian Kangaroos need your signature on this petition! They have been decimated by bushfires and the Victorian Government estimates of numbers are way out. The Mornington Peninsula contains a landlocked group of grey kangaroos that are menaced by several processes, including increased development, traffic, fencing, shooting, and the so-called Kangaroo Harvest Program (KHP). These animals need our help and protection. The petition calls upon the Victorian Government to suspend its 'harvest' program. See below.

United States Kangaroo Protection Act supporters seek your support

Over the past year, the Center for a Humane Economy worked closely with United States Representatives Salud Carbajal, D-Calif., and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Penn., to formulate legislation to ban the trade in kangaroo-sourced products into the United States. When the “Kangaroo Protection Act” was introduced into Congress on February 9, 2021, word spread quickly throughout Australia by way of the press (ABC, Leader, The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald) and social media, for which we have many organizations to thank.

The Flood: New Australian film by Victoria Wharfe McIntyre, 7pm Sat 13 March 2021

An Australian tale of retribution, revenge, redemption and reconciliation. (Trailer inside article.) Screening and Q&A session at Rosebud Cinema, 7 PM Saturday 13th March of The Flood by screenwriter, director and producer, Victoria Wharfe McIntyre.The movie was mainly filmed around Kangaroo Valley NSW, it has become a stunning visual record of so much that was lost in the Southern NSW mega fires. Click on this link for tickets.


Click on this link for tickets.

Pouring super onto the overheated housing market will make the nation's retirement savings go up in flames

A fundamentally flawed proposal to bust open super for first home buyers housing deposits could hike the nation’s five major capital city median property prices by between 8-16%, preliminary analysis from Industry Super Australia shows.

Allowing couples to take $40,000 from super would send property prices skyrocketing in all state capitals, but the impact would be most severe in Sydney, where the median property price could lift a staggering $134,000. (see table 1 below)

Uphold the Rule of Law - demand that the Australian government act to end the illegal imprisonment and torture of Julian Assange

The article below is an adaptation of a double-sided A5 leaflet I wrote to be distributed at the Friday Night Vigil for Julian Assange held in front of Flinders Street Railway Station from 5:30pm until 7:30pm. The 210K PDF file is attached to the article Barraitser's 'compassion' towards Julian Assange a ploy to avoid judicial scrutiny of the United States' illegal war on journalism? (12/1/21). I have since handed out this same leaflet, so far, at three subsequent Friday night vigils.

 

End the illegal detention and torture of this Australian hero.

Why won't the Australian government act to get Julian Assange out of the Belmarsh hellhole?

 

By its stated intention to imprison the visionary Australian journalist and publisher, Julian Assange, for 175 years, the United States government has confirmed the criminality and malevolance of those who are truly in charge of it. State officials, including Hillary Clinton, have also been recorded talking openly about assassinating Assange.

Anthony Albanese's Australia Day list of local heroes: Where is Julian Assange?

Federal Labour Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese ('Albo'), on Australia Day, tweeted in praise of local Australian heroes, with the glaring exception of Julian Assange, the most widely-recognised Australian anywhere, whose suffering is unfathomable, and whose services to the anti-war movement are immeasurable. Why wasn't Julian Assange included and why does the Australian Government allow the UK and the US to continue their illegal persecution, imprisonment, and torture, of this Australian citizen?

In response to the following Tweet by Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) the Leader of the Labor Party Opposition in the Australian Federal Parliament:

   "These are the true heroes of Australia. They put themselves on the line every day of this pandemic – to keep us safe, to keep us healthy, and to keep Australia moving forward. On this Australia Day, on behalf of the nation, we say thank you."

… I posted:

   "Thanks to @julianAssange_ https://wikileaks.org and @SaveManning we now know the truth about Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay, US Political corruption, … Surely, Julian Assange is no less an Australian hero? Why won't our Parliament demand Julian's freedom?"

Birdlife Oz calls for submissions today! Urgent legal crisis wildlife law!

This is urgent. A rushed Senate inquiry will ignore the recommendations of an independent review and devolve our national nature laws to the states instead. We need you to speak up.

Reform Aged Care in Australia - Community Campaign

Reform all aspects of how we treat our ageing population. More real, boots-on-the-ground funding for in home care. In home respite options. More support for carers, and recognition of the huge amount of unpaid work they are doing every single day. Complete overhaul of how income and assets are calculated, the scrapping of the "6 month hardship" rule. Streamlining the process for calculating daily fees and admission to long term placement. Specialised support and advocacy agency within the Department of Human Services, or an independent body, to assist carers to navigate the system. Go to Tara Kostezky's Campaign

Australian GP's: COVID-19 survivors long-term impacts & funding

RACGP Acting President Associate Professor Ayman Shenouda said that GPs would be managing the long-term impacts of the virus on some patients for years to come.

The Fat Emperor - Corona Basic Realities Letter - a critique

Ivor Cummins is a health writer and biochemical engineer, who calls himself The Fat Emperor. He has drafted a letter for people to send to politicians and the press, querying the seriousness of COVID-19. He calls it the "Corona Basic Realities Letter," and writes, advocating 'herd immunity', as one of his 'indisputable facts', that: "Sweden, who were vilified for their approach, has had a very similar death rate to other countries." But Sweden actually has had a much higher death rate than its neighbours, although it did practice social distancing and other hygiene measures, whilst leaving businesses open etc.

Q & A "Fight of our lives" - When economic ideology meets biological system

On Australian ABC's Q & A, 28 July 2020, "Fight of our lives," Bill Bowtell[1] alone seemed able to conceptualise the biological restructuring of our economic environment, although Gigi Foster, economist, NSW, seemed to know instinctively what she needed to combat in order to keep the global, privatised economy going. She advocated allowing people to die from COVID-19, Swedish-style, in order to maintain business more or less as usual. However, when it was put to her that this would make everything less predictable and also incapacitate our health-care system, with no end in sight for the virus, she could draw a logical conclusion, which was, "[...] If we keep our borders closed, until there is a vaccine, we have to restructure the industrial mix in Australia." But this conclusion, anathema to her ideology, seemed ridiculous to her.

Governments in Australia please! Elimination strategy not suppression. Give this island a chance!

Early this year, as the COVID-19 virus gained a toehold in Australia, the message from governments, via the media, was that the aim was to "flatten the curve" so that case numbers would be such that our hospital systems would not be overwhelmed. It was not to eliminate the virus altogether.

Why would governments not want to flatten the curve right down to the x axis and eliminate the virus from our population?

Video: Robert Eggington eloquent on Rio Tinto crime against ancient Aboriginal site

Editor: If you can see a bit white space where the video should be, that means that you have to watch this show in a Firefox browser because Chrome times it out. Obvious web-censorship, unfortunately. Same problem with the website. We have now uploaded a photo of the video as a header to this article, but we suggest you copy the link below into a Firefox browser, to watch the actual interview, or go to the website itself at https://www.rt.com/shows/going-underground/494739-australia-crimes-against-indigenous-people/.

Community input invited for inquiry into ecosystem decline in Victoria

The Legislative Council Environment and Planning Committee has commenced an inquiry into ecosystem decline in Victoria that will look at measures to restore habitats and populations of threatened and endangered species. The submission closing date is Friday, 31 July 2020. Consider pointing out the impact of human population growth and infrastructure expansion.

The Committee is inviting community input to the inquiry, with terms of reference that include:

· the extent of the decline of Victoria’s biodiversity and the likely impact on people and ecosystems
· the adequacy of the legislative framework protecting Victoria’s environment and ecosystems, particularly in the context of climate change impacts
· the adequacy and effectiveness of government programs
· opportunities to restore the environment while upholding First Peoples’ connection to country.

Draft Yarra Strategic Plan - Submission from Ian Hundley

The draft Yarra Strategic Plan claims to deliver the first Victorian integrated river corridor strategy and to identify immediate actions for the river corridor, enabling long-term collaborative management between agencies and Traditional Owners. It is intended to guide local planning. We publish here a critical submission to this draft plan. Summary of submission by candobetter editor: Climate Change and human failure to interact safely with the natural world. Plan fails to adequately factor in transport interaction with Yarra. Lack of proper transport interconnectivity. Higher density depends on high quality public transport. Private car still dominates. Forecast population growth and new constructions will inevitably cause major environmental damage. North-East Link Freeway will comport massive land-fill problems, hardly referred to in Draft Plan. Likely potential for destabilisation of groundwater in the Yarra Valley in the Bulleen and Rosanna area as a consequence of the North-East Link Freeway project. Substantial areas of public open space is threatened by the project, together with about 25,000 mature canopy trees. Adverse human health effects of the project would include increased air pollution and heightened road noise. Lack of cycling provision on roads in cities of Boroondara, Banyule, Manningham and Maroondah and the Shires of Nillumbik and Yarra Ranges. Proposal in Plan to increase lanes capacity on the Eastern Freeway to cater for the North East Link project by over 40%, from 802,000 square metres to 1,127,000 square metres. Adverse environmental effects would include increased run-off of polluted stormwater into the Yarra River and elevated ambient temperatures as a consequence of the large increase in concrete and asphalt surfaces. Report of the Commissioner of Sustainability, State of the Yarra and its Parklands (2018), concluded that the status of the Yarra river was poor for 18 of its 25 environmental indicators. This can only deteriorate if planned stressors go ahead.

Can Australia's government learn from COVID-19?

Covid-19 is a warning. We can take it as such or ignore it if we get through it and come out the other side.

High density, high population, high throughput, globalised manufacturing, global high mobility, are not working for us now. When we first learned in January of the outbreak of Covid -19 in Wuhan my first thought was that "This will be in Melbourne soon." Thirty years ago, I would not have had such a thought because China was so distant and separate. I was right, within a few days it was in Melbourne. On January 25th Australia had its first four cases, the first in Melbourne and another three in Sydney. At this time the city of Wuhan in China was in "lockdown".

COVID-19: Time the unsafe Australian Construction industry stopped demanding special consideration

On 27 March 2020, the AWU and Master Builders Australia jointly called on governments to ensure the continued operation of the building and construction industry, claiming that without it the economic knock-on effects would be devastating on a scale that would dwarf what we have seen to date.

There is no question that many dependencies on this very costly and demanding industry would cause more economic disruption, but what about safety with regard to COVID-19? Although the industry argues that it can be safe, we will argue that the industry is not suited to workers keeping safe distances. On the principle that a stitch in time saves nine, it would be better to shut down sooner rather than later because the later action is taken, the worse the grip of COVID-19 will be on the economy. Since the virus has caused the government to cease the mass migration that has driven huge expansion in the construction industry, demand has dropped, and now is the perfect time to massively curtail construction industry activity. In the meantime, will the industry take responsibility for the return home of the many temporary migrant construction workers from China and Indonesia who, unlike international cruise-ship passengers, are already onshore, virtually invisible, but numerous? And an industry worker argues that the industry is not capable of adapting to safe distance practice.

Urbanisation and Natural contaminant threat to drinking water from groundwater

The 'densification' that planners push to accommodate overpopulation drives increasing water pollution risks, along with climate change. “Generally, we expect urbanisation to increase groundwater DOC (dissolved organic carbon) concentrations by up to 19 per cent, compared to agricultural or natural land use, likely as the result of contamination – for example, through leaking septic and sewer systems.” (Research paper.)

New Land Tax Act changes really a tax on Mother Nature

People should know about the state government’s amendments to the Land Tax Act. An interesting article was written about it by Michael Flynn QC in The Age of February 17th 2020. regarding the amendment to the Land Tax Act to restrict land tax exemptions on contiguously rated properties only to regional Victoria. See: https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/home-owners-could-be-slugged-with-an-unfair-tax-20200213-p540jq.html. These changes have resulted in charging land tax for anyone in metropolitan Melbourne with vacant land contiguous with their place of residence. Until now, land adjacent to your home was exempt from Land Tax if the property was rated by Council as contiguous (i.e. house and land rated as one parcel of land) The new amendment has changed this to now levy the tax on any properties in metropolitan Melbourne which have contiguous vacant land next to a place of residence. (For the purposes of this exercise, Mornington Peninsula also is considered to be metropolitan by the way). A paltry $43 million revenue is anticipated.

Complaint of ABC bias in 7.30 Report on Housing - Article by Bob Couch

Why, once again, does the ABC avoid the issue of population growth, the primary cause of housing affordability. It is simply a fantasy to believe that adding another 400,000 people to Australia's population every year is not relevant

Paul Kelly Song: Sleep,Australia, Sleep - Ecological catastrophe

How can Australians unite against the corporate and government forces that are failing to avert ecological catastrophe on Australia? We are an increasingly dispersed and disorganised colonial people, without a talking stick of our own.

Protest Melbourne Friday 6:30pm to stop extradition of Julian Assange by outlaw Trump regime

Title was: "Australian action to help Assange as extradition hearing approaches". Donations can be made to: gofundme.com/f/melbourne4wikileaks-bringassangehome.

Julian Assange’s extradition hearing starts on Monday 24th of this month. To mark the occasion and to help increase awareness in his hometown of Melbourne, Melbourne4WikiLeaks is holding a rally at the State Library of Victoria at 6:30pm on the evening of Friday 21st February.

We feel that it is important to keep pressure on the Australian Government to intervene with both the UK and US in order to stop the extradition and bring Julian home.

Uralla has no potable water - Resident asks fellow Australians to help - What future for dry overpopulated Australia?

Is this how our politicians and economists deal with water shortage?
Oliver Trymble of Uralla writes: "Dear All, I have just emailed the Premier and Barnaby Joyce to tell them that I am starting a social media campaign. (I don’t actually know how to do this, being the wrong generation...). Perhaps you can help.

We have no drinking water in Uralla. [Uralla is an inland town in NSW.] We have to fetch bottled water from out the back of our local shop. For the house-bound and the elderly, this is inadequate.
The state government is building sporting facilities in the city. They are intent on spending millions moving the Powerhouse Museum. Why is drinking water for NSW citizens not a burning priority?

We have no water.
WE HAVE NO WATER.
How can I make my voice heard? And the voices of Merle and Phyllis and Maggie and all the older people of this town?
Please help us."

Dead matter taking over Melbourne

In the Beginning …
Earth’s atmosphere was unbreathable to humans. But that was okay, since there were no humans. Photosynthesising cyanobacteria used sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into food, incidentally producing oxygen. The many microbially-mediated rocks (stromatolites) the bacteria left behind from their halcyon days indicate a cyanobacteria population explosion so vast that it seems likely that simple metabolism accidentally transformed the atmosphere to the one we love and overuse today. This ‘oxygen holocaust’ probably also brought about the fossil status of our inadvertent benefactors around 2.5 billion years ago.

Australia alight on New Year's Eve

Our city was alight last night as was the countryside
the first, an exhibition the latter ecocide.

IPAN: Bushfires a National Security Threat

Bushfires in Australia a real national security issue in contrast to talked up threats of hostile nations in our region. Climate change a significant cause of the fires. [Illustrations by Sheila Newman.]

Bushfires in Australia are a real national security issue in contrast to talked up threats of an alleged hostile nations in our region, according to the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN).

Australians are heading into a Christmas day of smoke, fires, death and devastation, with no significant rain projected for weeks, anxiety is rising about when this catastrophe will end.

Flying Scales - Story of a family of Ospreys

Very early on I made a decision that I wanted to understand a few birds rather than know a little about a lot. In my area, the three birds I loved were the Little Egrets, Spoonbills, and the Osprey. This focus stayed with me till the last photo taken. Any other photo of any other bird came about due to the fact they were in the area of these three birds.

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.

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