Since hactivists get jailed for longer than rapists…

Free All Arrested Anons from @AnonymousVideo on Vimeo.

Everyone can hack if they know how, but it is only government intelligence agencies that are afforded true anonymity to do so. If as an individual or group, you have done the right thing by shining the light on crime, corruption, or any backdoor business that is potentially harmful to people or the environment, you deserve help if you get into trouble for doing that.

If you have acted in the public interest, communities will most likely support you – and you may have a case that will change history! All you need is a voice…

    Anonymous FreeAnons Press Release

The Anonymous Solidarity Network exists to provide legal, financial and moral support for activists facing prosecution for involvement, alleged or otherwise, in Anonymous actions. The use of information networks to perform community acts of protest is neither a crime nor an act of conspiracy, and should not be prosecuted as such.

When internet activists are getting longer prison sentences than rapists you have to wonder what kind of world we’re leaving for our kids. A world where we see every day how governments, banks and corporations strip away our privacy and freedoms in the name of greed, power and control.

Read about the case of Jonathan Moylan and the #standwithjono campaign

The storm has yet to pass and what ships remain out at sea are desperately seeking refuge from the relentless waves of prosecution but there is one ship sailing alongside these troubled waters…

We are the Anonymous Solidarity Network. We are a collective of Anons and the friends and family of Anons facing prosecution for alleged involvement in Anonymous activities.

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Operation Transparent Borders – Citizen Journalism at its Best

Australian citizens are calling for urgent public support from around the world to send a boat full of journalists and observers out to report on what the Australian Government are doing with asylum seekers at sea. The Abbott government, which may be in breach of international law, has become increasingly secretive over the last year regarding its extreme measures to “Stop the Boats” – a hard-line Border Protection policy that won it the last election, but which has seen it fail to protect the lives of asylum seekers.

The eruption of violence in a detainment facility on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea, earlier this year, saw scores of detainees injured by hostile locals, and one man, Reza Berati, beaten to death by staff. Instances of self-harm and attempted suicide among stir-crazy detainees have become alarmingly wide-spread, and mothers of young children on Christmas Island recently announced a suicide pact, in order for their young to be allowed to stay in Australia.

The reaction however from the Abbott government has remained pitiless and grossly insensitive. Besides implementing ongoing Protection of Injury surveillance, it has denounced the intended mass suicide as “emotional blackmail”.

Over the last few months, on-shore detention facilities have been emptied, despite robust protest from concerned Australian citizens, and the detainees whisked off to remote locations where it is difficult for them to have access to legal representation, whose funding in any case has been cut. The ‘policy’ is ostensibly to do nothing with refugees, besides letting them rot in perpetuity in places where Australians are likely to forget about them.

A recently leaked video address to asylum seekers by Immigration Minister Scott Morrison reveals him saying that they will spend “a very long time” in detention, even if deemed to be genuine refugees, and never settled in Australia. These measures have been seen as coercive, to get asylum seekers to opt for returning to their country of origin, rather than facing what may be a life-time of incarceration.

Off-shore detention was implemented by the previous Labor government, and already harsh and seemingly endless, but in a bid to halt the arrival of asylum seeker boats completely, the Liberals mounted a quasi military Operation (Sovereign Borders) to block their passage, and stipulated that these “illegals” would never be admitted to Australia, even if found to be genuine refugees. Their fate would be ‘indefinite’ detention in off-shore camps, in tortuous limbo, while the government ‘processed’ them.

TOO YOUNG TO HOLD: Victorian Legal Aid argues that the original decision to detain four children on Christmas Island was made unlawfully. Picture: AP

An Australian Customs vessel intercepted two boats last week in its “contiguous zone” – not territorial waters – a zone that is not yet Australia, and where right of “innocent passage” should normally apply. One boat contained 41 asylum seekers and the other 153, reportedly all Tamils who were fleeing persecution in Sri Lanka. Citizens, organisations and governments around the world looked on in shock, as the Australian government handed over all 41 asylum seekers on the first boat to the Sri Lanka authorities.

An injunction has now been placed by the Australian High Court – see live updates provided by The Guardian – to prevent further refoulement of the 153 refugees on the second boat. There appears to be doubt that the government’s radical new practice of “enhanced screening” – four questions only, that resulted in 100% negative outcomes for the 41 people – constitutes fair consideration of an asylum-seeker’s’ case.

Sri Lankan asylum seekers sit on the deck of their boat stranded on the water in Pagai Selatan, Mentawai Islands, Indonesia. Picture: AP

Although the interception of these fleeing boatloads happened outside Australian territorial waters, the “prison ship” has now absconded, pirate-fashion, to the high seas. And it would seem that there are legal implications associated with both locations. The government’s legal representative, Gleeson QC, is claiming that since the the asylum seekers were picked up outside of Australia, they can not be afforded protection under the Migration Act. On the other hand, It is also illegal for a government to detain people without disclosing their whereabouts – *somewhere* on the high seas. Refoulement (delivery of refugees to their persecutors) is a violation of international law, and it breaches Australia’s obligations under the Refugee Convention, and of course asylum seekers have the right to fair screening and protection from harm in the interim.

Former liberal candidate, Mark Hoysted, outlines some of the key issues before the court.

The High Court has specified that although none of the 153 asylum seekers can be delivered to Sri Lankan authorities, pending an investigation, they may be transported elsewhere to be processed. Manus Island and Nauru are not looking like the easiest of destinations at the moment, given certain conditions of Maritime Powers Act, but it is unlikely that our government will cede to motions being led by Senator Sarah Hanson Young and human rights groups such as Plan International Australia who are particularly concerned about the children on board, to bring these people to Australia. For the moment, all we know is that they are being detained on the high seas, with conditions aboard unknown.

Articles 31 to 33 of the 1951 convention relating to the status of refugees prohibit REFOULEMENT - the return of any refugee 'to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened'

This government needs to be placed under maximum surveillance! Its employees are unlikely to speak out, since they have been threatened with dismissal if they disclose or criticise the government’s “Operational Matters” – a term that has been employed by Prime Minister Abbott to characterise the battle against refugees as a war. It therefore falls upon ordinary citizens and independent journalists to expose the human rights atrocity this government’s actions appear to have become. Please support Operation Transparent Borders by donating generously.

Three-year-old Febrina is among the 153 missing asylum seekers © Tamil Refugee Council

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Visit the Aboriginal Embassy in Sydney

I caught up with Jenny Munro, Wirajuri Elder, and her friend Judex at the new Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Redfern, near Sydney. She extended an invitation to one and all, to visit and camp around the Embassy, on the condition that Aboriginal protocols and camp rules are respected while on the grounds. And grounds they are for visiting, given their “million dollar view” of the city.

That of course is part of the reason Aboriginal people have been struggling to remain on the ‘The Block’, whose name may be familiar from the TV Series made about it. It is probably little known however that no Aboriginals have lived there for a long time. There were plans to build low-cost accommodation for Aboriginal people on this site, but they seem to have been thwarted. Many families were moved elsewhere while this was being done, but it’s now looking that they will have to struggle to get back in.

This community needs people power and good will. In return, it offers warm hospitality and a unique cultural experience. After a week at the Canberra Tent Embassy, I personally, didn’t want to leave…

Jenny Munro, Wirajura Elder and voice of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, Redfern

The Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy is located just across the road from Redfern railway station. The best time to arrive is for JULY 6th, where there will be talks and activities around the subject of returning Aboriginal people to their neighbourhood.

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“Australian Government Crisis!” say We the People…

May 18, 2014.
50,000 people have just rallied across Australia to protest the Abbott Government’s extreme Budget cuts and levies. It appears that all three of the other major Parties have been shocked into contemplating an Alliance to block the Budget and remove the government, whose choices have almost exclusively threatened the country’s most vulnerable: the young, the old, the sick, the poor, students, Aboriginals, refugees and the environment. While claiming a “debt emergency” that is negligible in relation to nearly every country in the world, the Abbott Government may also have threatened our Pacific neighbours, with the extravagant purchase of 58 F35 jet fighters to the tune of $12.4 Billion dollars.

50000 Australians came out to say NO MORE to an Abbott Government

The other Parties are also highly concerned by the Government’s break-neck efforts over the last 10 months, to dismantle 76 Government Departments, including the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Science. The Abbott Government has also intimidated and now slashed funds to the National Broadcasters, and Public Servants face dismissal, if they criticise their Government’s harsh treatment of refugees.

Tony Abbott (locally referred to as “The Mad Monk”) has also nominated himself as the Minister for Women and restored peerage (Knights and Dames), allegedly without ER’s signature on the Letters Patent. The Australian people may have been fooled by the Murdoch press into voting for this man, but they know now that they did not vote for their entire society to be over-turned, and the PM’s popularity has dropped dramatically since his election.

If enough pressure comes from voters to unite the other major Parties into alliance, they will indeed have the power to remove the Mad Monk in time for a “No Bah Humbug!” Christmas.

The speaker here is the celebrated Australian writer and journalist, Antony Loewenstein. He warns that the cruelty to refugees has been a result of bipartisan manoeuvres, and calls for a complete change of attitude from Federal Labor towards asylum-seekers. They opened the off-shore camps, and they must propose to close them again, and free the refugees, before they can expect public trust again.

Antony Loewenstein, author of 'Vulture Capitalism' speaks out for Australia's refugees

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Palantir Technologies – The Philosopher’s Stoned


The Palantíri were the Seeing-stones of Middle-earth, the fictional world of J.R. Tolkein in Lord of the Rings. According to legend, the Palantíri [singular Palantir] could only show visions or intended thoughts of the users. Their vision was not based on obstacles, but on darkness; they could see through things, but would only see shadow.

That sounds a bit unreliable… but it sells! Welcome to Big Brother meets Big Data!

Palantir Technologies, is a premium Silicon Valley start-up, whose business it’s been to write clever software to track your digital footprints, and then JOIN THE DOTS to predict who you are, and where you might go next. Its directors are Peter Thiel, Mr Paypal-Facebook, and Alex Karp an “eccentric philosopher” who has turned their Palo Alto head-quarter into a replica of The Shire. If it sounds like a fairy story, it’s not. Palantir’s software has been labelled the KILLER APP. It was used to hunt down and murder Osama Bin Laden.

Palantir is ‘well in’. Its advisors are Condoleezza Rice and George Tenet (ex CIA). It was funded by the CIA, who became a client of Palantir back in 2004. Other government clients are the NSA, the FBI, the NYPD, and a number of Counter-Terrorism & Military Agencies.

This baby has been valued at 5-8 billion dollars and is predicting another billion in private sector deals in 2014. Forbes Magazine reports:

“Palantir is emerging from the shadow world of spies and special ops to take corporate America by storm. Private-sector deals now account for close to 60% of the company’s revenue.”

The identities of corporate clients are usually kept secret, but they include J.P. Morgan, various hedge funds, News Corp and Bank of America – as we recall from Palantir’s dealings with H.B Gary Federal, in a sordid plan to destroy Wikileaks, and their media partner Glenn Greenwald. What karma, for Glenn to bump into a certain Edward Snowden further down the track!

When Anonymous gained access to thousands of emails on H.B Gary’s servers, the emails revealed that Palantir had worked with HB Gary Federal to develop proposals for attacking WikiLeaks’ infrastructure, blackmailing its supporters and identifying donors. When sprung, Palantir put an engineer on leave, apologised for his role in the plan, and cut their ties with HB Gary, as you do, when you don’t want the dirt to spread. After that, they installed a “Batphone” to Karp’s office, to report “unethical clients” – and reinstated their engineer.

Now you might be asking yourself at this stage if these guys are elves or Black Riders.

Palantir Technologies is a perhaps a pioneer in an upcoming consumer industry of selling private information for profit, and they are cheap as, compared to Booz Allen, IBM, and Lockheed Martin. But Forbes Magazine suggest that Palantir restrict their services to the top end, because some people won’t be happy if they go totally public. Quote: “It helps its customers see too much”.

My arse! Alex Karp claims his “turn-key” service (as he calls it) helps the Government go after bad guys. Who those bad guys are, he doesn’t know, quite often, and never finds out.

“It’s tough”, he says, because his targets don’t leave behind any tangible evidence, such as fingerprints or DNA.

Whether they actually are bad guys, he takes on faith in his Government, or whatever client he’s working for, and of course, if the Batphone doesn’t ring… According to former employees, Palantir has explored work in Saudi Arabia despite the staff’s misgivings about human rights abuses in the kingdom, but Karp doesn’t seemed to have picked up…

In an interview on the Palantir website, Karp assures us that Palantir are the good guys, and showcases a project where they chased the infiltrators of the Dalai Lama’s computer. Wow. He stumbles however, when asked who it was, and has to admit that it wasn’t really clear in the end, if it was a government or teenagers. Hmmm, that’s a pretty wide margin of error.

Palantir’s so-called predictions hinge on assumptions and probabilities – all along the line – no light, just shadow – and as it turns out, the “bad guys” are not always bad guys… sometimes they’re activists; sometimes journalists. The Karp loves to drop in the word “turn-key” when he’s selling his crystal ball kit. The irony he doesn’t see is that it is the perfect tool for turn-key totalitarianism. You put all of this surveillance into place and then someone flips the switch – a new President or a new Prime Minister (coughs).

CLICK. Suddenly the technology is not being used as intended. CLICK, and anti-war activists are raided by the FBI; CLICK, and refugee activists are threatened by the Department of Immigration & Border ‘Protection’.

Alex Karp claims to be an advocate for civil liberties. He assured a talk-show host that innocent people would not be “swept into the dragnet”; that the “patterns” his software detects only relate to the activities of terrorists. He says that the data Palantir supplies is “tagged” for one use only, giving the impression that his company has control over who sees who, and how the information will be used.

The US Justice Department’s Inspector General, in a series of reports on FBI practices found systematic disregard for the required procedures for demanding records; false statements in affidavits – to both telecommunications companies and the FISA Court; improper acquisition of journalists’ phone records; use of national security authorities in cases unrelated to national security; and attempts by superiors to retroactively conceal these improprieties. Speaking of patterns… a pattern of failure to report potential violations to the proper oversight board was also “noted”.

William Binney, a former Senior Technical Director for the NSA – and the man who led a team of 1000′s to create the agency’s post-911 mass surveillance tool – resigned, because he saw the whole thing spin out of control, and his country turn into a Police State. Binney initially baulked when he saw that NSA data was being used to prosecute petty crimes – and not too many terrorists. Palantir’s director admits that real terrorists are apt to change their patterns and cut their ties as soon as anyone in their circle is arrested. Going after ordinary citizens, on the other hand, is a much more fruitful and lucrative process.

FBI Director Robert Mueller argued that the entire body of phone records is “relevant to an investigation” because it plausibly contains records that will be relevant to some investigation at some point in the future. Since these investigations were not only being used to pursue petty criminals, but dissidents too, Binney realised that his Government’s actual use of data gathered through spying had become “a Totalitarian Process”. The American Civil Liberties Union describes Palantir as “a true totalitarian nightmare”.

Julian Sanchez from the CATO Institute articulates a problem that possibly none of the Hobbits from The Shire had foreseen:

“Such an architecture of surveillance, once established, would be difficult to dismantle, and prove too potent a tool of control if it ever fell into the hands of people who — whether through panic, malice, or a misguided confidence in their own ability to secretly judge the public good — would seek to use it against us.”

EDWARD SNOWDEN revealed that this architecture is in place. Mass surveillance of all citizens. An unprecedented level of eavesdropping – all ready if your name comes up, to prosecute you for any kind of crime or misdemeanour. And if you happen to be living in ‘the lucky country’ at the moment, you might even get into a bit of strife for criticism of your Government, especially if you happen to work for it.

The more innocent citizens are spied upon by Government agencies – and directly intercepted if they get lippy – the more secretive Governments have to become, to get away with this. There’s the obvious problem of invasion of civil liberties, but there’s another more subtle issue that makes the whole process very iffy:

Evidence stops being forensic when it gets to the digital stage.

Alex Karp admits that – and one can only conclude that his company sells hunches. Around that, his clients have cultivated a devout belief in the philosopher’s stone; they’ve established a cloud of secrecy to prevent sceptics, lawyers and moralists getting in, and they’ve assured us that a well paid job is being well done. Meanwhile, copies of NSA documents are not allowed to be passed on for analysis, even by their neighbours, the NYPD. And thus, the circle of trust is hermetically sealed, around an irrational, self-serving seat of power, that is frightened of our own shadows.

Peter Jackson should make a film about that! Come on Jacko. Stick your neck out!

Sydney PRISM-BREAK protest - Photo Jarek Gasiorek

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SPIES IN THE SKIES – Wars Crimes Alert for Australia

There’s only one kind of privacy we really need to be concerned about; that of those who most invade ours. Intelligence Agencies, for example.

What they get up to here in Australia, not even a Senator may know, nor hold to account.

Our Intelligence Facility at Pine Gap is jointly run, and shares its SIGINT (signals intelligence) with another nation: the US. It’s supposed to be an open exchange, not only with the US, but other countries that form the 5 Eyes group: Canada, the UK and New Zealand. But history has shown that exchange to be uneven in nature, with the US Executive ultimately deciding what information will be shared. By contrast, our Prime Ministers have never been allowed to enter the building at Pine Gap.

One ex Prime Minister however, Malcolm Fraser, has recently declared that we may have a serious problem with that situation, and warns that we may be charged for war crimes:

“Initially Pine Gap was [used for] collecting information … it’s now targeting weapons systems, and very much involved in the targeting of drones… Americans involved in those programs are given legal cover under the War Powers Resolution passed after 9/11, which gives totally unlimited power, no geographic limits, no time limits, using any means available or that might become available to American presidents to do so. But that resolution gives no legal cover to Australians operating out of Pine Gap who are complicit in finding, identifying, and locating the so-called target.”

Mr Fraser’s warning followed a week-long Peace Convergence in Canberra, involving a world-record breaking series of protests – 28 in one day by WACA [the Australian Whistleblowers, Activists & Citizen Alliance] – that spanned across weapons manufacturers, embassies, government departments, military bases and Intelligence organisations. There were also a few private companies on the list, who profit well from invading our privacy and serving the US’s corporate war machine.

The Australian Signals Directorate is basically a spy outpost for America’s National Security Agency [NSA], as revealed through whistleblower Edward Snowden’s leaks. The ASD are heavily involved in the PRISM and the XKeyscore surveillance programs. PRISM is a top-secret $20m-a-year NSA surveillance program, offering the agency access to information on its targets from the servers of some of the USA’s biggest technology and social media companies: Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, AOL, PalTalk and Yahoo. The UK’s spy agency GCHQ, also has access to PRISM data.

The NSA receives intelligence from four key facilities in Australia that are part of the XKeyscore program. They include the jointly controlled Pine Gap base near Alice Springs, and the Australian Signals Directorate’s intercept stations located outside Geraldton in Western Australia; at Shoal Bay near Darwin, and in a new centre at HMAS Harman Navy base in Canberra. Some say that NSA means “Never Say Anything”, and somewhat ironically, it was born of a desire from the Pentagon to: “expand its worldwide communications network” and establish a ”Global Information Grid”, according to a Dept. of Defence report.

The NSA’s computing Cloud is the Utah Data Centre, a 1 million square foot Data Collection Centre that opened September 2013, under the auspices of Operation Stellar Wind, to intercept, decipher, analyse, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications, from satellites, underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. These are near-bottomless databases collecting all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails, such as your parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital ‘pocket litter’.

As well as your confidential personal communications, the centre also grabs financial information, stock transactions, business deals, foreign military and diplomatic secrets and legal documents – all of which are heavily encrypted of course. But the NSA can break unfathomably complex encryption systems employed by not only governments around the world but also business rivals and many average computer users.

Everyone is a target. Everyone is probed. Everyone is powerless, and everyone should be concerned.

“The internet has been turned into a Militarily Occupied State. When all of our private communications; heart-felt; the inner core of our life – communications between boyfriends and girlfriends; between husbands and wives; sons and daughters; between business partners; even between bureaucracies and States… when all of those communications are swept up; hoovered up, into a vast collection apparatus, indexed and stored for all time, available only to a select few; then we are in the situation where we have a tank on the streets of the inner core of our lives, where we have a soldier under our bed; listening to everything that a husband and wife say to each other, when they are communicating on email or SMS. The penetration of the digital of civilian life, is also the penetration of the military of civilian life.”

Julian Assange

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Sister Susan Connelly speaks out for Australia’s Refugees

Sister Susan Connelly delivered a moving and instructive speech yesterday to 4000 rain-drenched Sydney-siders, who had come to the Palm Sunday rally to show their support for Australia’s refugees. Susan is one of the five Sisters of St Joseph, who have taken up Saint Mary MacKillop’s East Timor Mission to bring basic education to the children of East Timor.

Australians have become distraught at the harsh treatment of its refugees, and are coming out increasing numbers to tell their Government to free these people from their seemingly endless incarceration in Detention Centres. Fourteen church congregations and school-children have now joined the protest, following the brutal attack on detainees by locals and G4S contractors on Manus Island, resulting in over 70 people being injured, and the death of Reza Barati. Many of the protestors were outside Villawood Detention Centre last week, as numerous buses took the refugees away to the remotest areas of the continent.

The official spiel is that Villawood is to be refurbished, but the simultaneous emptying of the Maribyrnong Facility in Victoria, and recent sightings of baby cots arriving at the offshore Camp on Nauru – there are no babies, yet – suggests a general move. One can only guess, since the Abbott Government has made its mission Top Secret. Department staffers have been warned that they may neither speak about “operational matters” nor criticise the Government; and that they should report anyone who disobeys the order.

Queensland Senator Larissa Waters recently complained that access to off-shore facilities has even been denied to the UN and our own human rights commissioner, Gillian Triggs.

Out of sight, Mr Abbott, but certainly NOT out of mind…

Sister Susan Connelly speaks out for Australian Refugees

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NOT A FUNNY SUBJECT… Stand-up comedian Carlo Sands on Australia’s Refugees

Carlo Sands is a sharp, well-informed political comedian who crafts laughter from the absurdities of Left and Right

Rod Quantock

You can hear more from Carlo Sands in ‘Carlo’s Corner’ of Green Left Weekly and at comedy events around Sydney. Through his act, Carlo is able to bring a more poignantly moral dimension to the facts, and some comic relief to the gravitas of the day…

Music: “Pot Screama” by TISM

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Young Australians devastated over refugee treatment

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Anger rises to fever pitch among the young, including High School students, as Villawood Detention Centre is emptied of its Asylum Seekers. Busloads were taken yesterday, and earlier this week, to the bleak and remote Curtin and Northam Camps in Western Australia; presumably, to be forgotten.

Australian High School students angry over Refugee Treatment

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has withdrawn the detainees’ rights to free legal assistance, and contact with the Australian public has been effectively terminated, since the refugees will be relocated well out of mobile phone range. There have been reports of self-harm from one refugee, Iman Najari, who had been told two years ago that he was going to be released. A fellow inmate tells his story:

“A tragic day for Australia. Human rights abuse of innocent asylum seekers just escalating. I have been visiting Iman Najari at Villawood for three years. He is stateless Kurdish Iranian, who fled Iran in fear of his life from religious fundamentalists.

He is a beautiful young man, gentle, respectful, helpful and liked by everyone, detainees, guards, and his friends. He has been in refugee prison in Australia for nearly five years and told me himself, he has seen seven people die in Villawood.

Serco authorities told him in April 2012 and then again around Easter last year, he was to be released. But it never happened. He went on a hunger strike for 14 days last year, simply to demand they explain to him why he was still in detention. They wouldn’t give an answer.

Iman only learned on Monday he was to be transferred to WA., ripping him away from his girlfriend Amelia and his whole support network of TEAR Villad people. He attempted suicide by cutting his wrists yet they still took him.”
Alexandre McCrae, refugee activist at Villawood Detention Centre

I'm devastated that we couldn't save the people that have been shipped out to the desert today

The young activists will be meeting again soon, on Palm Sunday, April 13th, at a Rally Hyde Park North in Sydney, where they will “Declare Peace on Refugees”. Join them. Their undiluted passion and empathy brings hope…

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EVENT: BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND by David Bradbury, Friday March 28

Don’t miss this exceptional opportunity to see David Bradbury’s shocking 2005 documentary BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND Friday March 28 in Melbourne.

SCREENING: Friday March 28 at 6.15pm, AMWU, 251 Queensberry Street, Carlton South, Victoria (Australian Manufacturing Workers Union)
see map

For further information, visit the WACA website.

The occasion is a FUNDRAISER to bring the Iraq War Veteran and anti-war activist VINCE EMANUELE, back to Australia for a second national tour. Vince Emanuele is a former US Marine of two tours to Iraq, who refused to go again by laying down his weapon. He is now organiser for the Michigan chapter of Veterans for Peace and serves on the national board of directors of Iraq Veterans Against War. He hosts the Veterans Unplugged program on Radio WMS, Michigan.

Vince blew us away last year with his eloquent and heart-wrenching accounts of being a soldier in Iraq, and coming home with a whole new vision of war – as horror. He speaks out against the US war machine; blowing the whistle on the United States military and the American culture of warfare.

Vince Emanuele will be speaking next month at the Canberra Peace Convergence, which is taking place at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra, Old Parliament House Lawns, 21 – 26 April. He’ll also be touring Melbourne and Sydney, and making network guest appearances. The screening of Blowin’ in the Wind, the Fundraiser and Vince Emanuele’s tour are all proudly organised by the Australian activist group WACA

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STATEMENT FROM FRONTLINE FILMS


Blowin’ in the Wind examines the secret treaty that allows the US military to train and test its weaponry on Australian soil. It looks at the impact of recycled uranium weapons and the far-reaching physical and moral effects on every Australian. The film’s release has been timely as the government currently moves to approve more uranium mines while arguing the contrary – that by going nuclear we are being both ‘safe’ and ‘green’.

Blowin’ In The Wind reveals that Iraqi babies are now being born with major birth defects. Bradbury wonders whether Australians living downwind from the military testing ranges will be next. He argues that we were lied to by the British over the Woomera and Maralinga atomic tests. Can we trust another equally powerful partner in our ‘war on terror’? With a cash budget of just $12,000 Blowin’ In The Wind raises pertinent questions which cannot be ignored by the Australian public. The film shocked, angered and surprised large audiences when shown at the Sydney and Brisbane Film Festivals.

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT (David Bradbury)

This is a film that very much wanted to find me. I tried to fend it off, exhausted from making environmental and political films on shoestring budgets that told hard truths to my fellow Australians that they needed to hear but preferred to ignore. In today’s climate of self censorship, and public broadcasters who fear that their political masters in Canberra will still further cut their budgets if they support these sorts of films, fellow filmmaker Peter Scott and I pushed on regardless. With a hard cash budget of $12,000 and a beg, borrow or make do philosophy…and a lot of favours, we’ve pulled together this doco I know you’ll never see on ‘your ABC’. The picture it paints and the consequences for us all if we don’t raise our protest loud and long to this new military alliance with the United States is too devastating to ignore.

The Paddy McGuinness’s, the Gerard Henderson’s and Greg Sheridan’s of this world with their sycophantic attitudes towards their media masters and ruling class elite will have a field day in attempting to put this film down, to write it off as ‘propaganda’, typical anti-American sentiment with no substance. It’s time for all of us to draw a line in the sand, to acknowledge whether we are in fact happy to be the 51st state of America.

More than ever, it’s time for us all to stand up and be counted for the decency and genuine moral values of what I believed as a kid it meant to be ‘a fair dinkum’ Australian. Not a false, jingoistic patriotism that is built on fear, that justifies war crimes in the name of the so-called War on Terror. Rather, I embrace a healthy nationalism that acknowledges who we are as Australians with compassion for the underdog and giving everyone a fair go. In a humble but sincere way, I hope this film made with a lot of heart and commitment can play a small but important role in galvanising a lot of us to do just that.

www.dusk-qld.info is the site to visit for action ideas of what you can do to stop this nuclear madness! Go there to get involved… and tell your friends.

Purchase Blowin’ in the Wind DVD online

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