Equal Love 4 All

Equal Love 4 All

There’s a lot of talk about equality lately, in Australia the same sex marriage postal plebiscite vote survey is causing a lot of discussion hate speech and harm to LGBTIQA+ people.

This really is turning into a survey on acceptance not just marriage. And will having same sex marriage mean all LGBTIQA+ people reap the benefit? We speak to Nick a genderqueer activist from occupied Wurundjeri land, so-called Melbourne. (41mins in)

Also Peter K our ephemeral anarchist commentator gives a talk on a number of current issues which involve equality. (5 mins)

And who are Chumbawamba and what are they all about?

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Riverfire: War is not entertainment

fireworks

Riverfire 2016

4.30pm 2x ARH Tigers and 2x MRH 90 Taipan from ARMY Aviation Oakey performs a 15 minute display in the South Brisbane and Town Reaches of the Brisbane River.

5.15pm 2x ARH Tigers and 2 x MRH 90 Taipan from ARMY Aviation Oakey performs a 15 minute display in the South Brisbane and Town Reaches of the Brisbane River.

What are ARH Tigers?

The Airbus Helicopters Tiger is a four-bladed, twin-engined attack helicopter. Tigers have been used in Afghanistan, Libya and Mali. TO KILL PEOPLE.

Fires Hellfire II air-to-ground missiles. TO KILL PEOPLE.

Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System guidance kit for use with the ARH’s 70mm FZ unguided rockets was successfully trialed in 2014. TO KILL PEOPLE.

Aside from this they’ve pretty much been a dud and huge waste of money (much like the current government).

These are different helicopters, but still they are made to do stuff like this.

What are the MRH 90 Taipans?

Designed to carry troops to war zones. TO KILL PEOPLE.

They’ve also been plagued with problems and a huge waste of money (much like the proposed same sex marriage plebiscite).

5.40pm 1 x FA18 Super Hornet from RAAF Amberley performs a 10 minute display in the South Brisbane and Town Reaches of the Brisbane River.

7.04pm 1 x FA18 Super Hornet from RAAF Amberley performs fly over to mark the commencement of Sunsuper Riverfire.

What is the FA18F Super Hornet?

This fighter jet has air combat capability for both air-to-air missiles and air-to-ground weapons. TO KILL PEOPLE.

The sound they produced would have been in excess of 100dB, up to a level high enough to cause pain to humans, which would definitely cause pain to animals whose ears are more sensitive.

It is made by Boeing one of the world’s leading manufacturers of arms. TO KILL PEOPLE.

Imagine being in a war zone and hearing these planes fly overhead perhaps firing missiles which are aimed at your location. TO KILL YOU.

These were presumably used by the RAAF when they ‘accidentally’  bombed Syrian troops in Syria. An incident which serves to drag Australia further into war with Syria and therefore its ally Russia.

These planes have also had their fair share of problems and been a waste of money (like locking refugees up on remote islands).

These are probably not the same planes but this is what war planes do. TO KILL PEOPLE.

7.05pm Sunsuper Riverfire Fireworks Commences
7.26pm Sunsuper Riverfire Fireworks Concludes

While fireworks aren’t military they cost a lot of money and create unnecessary noise.

The Queensland governments own website says this about the noise caused by fireworks.

Noise from fireworks can cause distress, especially as fireworks can sound like gunfire. The noise can also cause tinnitus and deafness, or aggravate a nervous condition.

People who suffer from asthma can experience discomfort and epileptics can experience seizures following fireworks displays.

When frightened by fireworks, horses and dogs have been known to injure themselves and others by running away, potentially causing accidents and damage to property.

Brisbane residents and animals have to deal with this noise especially those who live in inner city areas.

Inner city dwellers also have to also contend with road closures and crowds of firework frenzied visitors.

The wildlife seemed to disappear in New Farm on Saturday night.

The $16 million Riverfire spectacular reportedly featured 11 tonnes of fireworks and 300,000 – 500,000 people lined the Brisbane River on Saturday night.

And the whole thing only lasts for 15-20mins.

The environmental effects last longer however, the metal particles which give the fireworks their color can linger in the air for days.

This article from The Conversation goes into more details about the environmental costs of fireworks.

Our prettiest pollutant: just how bad are fireworks for the environment?

The bangs and fizzes of fireworks are rapidly replacing the chimes of Big Ben as the defining sound of New Year’s Eve celebrations in London, while around the world, city landmarks are becoming stages for increasingly spectacular pyrotechnic displays. Since the millennium, the popularity of fireworks has even extended into back gardens, where smaller fireworks or sparklers are lit up at the stroke of midnight.

Fireworks are great fun. We all enjoy guessing the colours of the rockets before they ignite in the sky, hearing the explosions echo off nearby buildings, or writing our names in light with hand sparklers.

But there is an environmental price to pay. Firework smoke is rich in tiny metal particles. These metals make firework colours, in much the same way as Victorian scientists identified chemicals by burning them in a Bunsen flame; blue from copper, red from strontium or lithium, and bright green or white from barium compounds.

There is more smoke from potassium and aluminium compounds, which are used to propel fireworks into the air. Perchlorates are also used as firework propellants; these are a family of very reactive chlorine and oxygen compounds, which were also used by NASA to boost space shuttles off the launch pad.

Terrific, but toxic

Fireworks can lead to substantial air pollution problems. There are well documented examples from cites around the world. In Spain, metal particle pollution from Girona’s Sant Joan fireworks fiesta can linger in the city for days. Across India’s cities, the annual Diwali fireworks cause pollution that is far worse than Beijing on a bad day.

Guy Fawkes is regularly the most polluted day of the year in the UK, although scientists from King’s College London have found that pollution from bonfires – the traditional way of marking Guy Fawkes – is also a part of this mixture. Fireworks can have significant effects on air pollution in enclosed spaces, too. In Germany, tests have shown how goal and match celebrations with flares, smoke bombs and other pyrotechnics can fill football stadiums with high concentrations of airborne particles.

And of course, what goes up has to come down. Fireworks that fall to the ground contain residues of unburnt propellants and colourants, while particle pollution in the air eventually deposits on the ground or gets washed out by rain. Some of this finds its way into lakes and rivers , where percolate has been linked to thyroid problems, causing limits to be set for drinking water in some US states. This is a major concern for lakeside resorts and attractions that have frequent firework displays.

Researchers in London have collected airborne particles from Diwali and Guy Fawkes. These were found to deplete lung defences far more than pollution from traffic sources, suggesting a greater toxicity. Across India, Diwali fireworks have been linked to a 30% to 40% increase in recorded breathing problems. Like New Year’s Eve, fireworks are a relatively new phenomenon at Diwali.

Traditionally, Diwali was celebrated with the lighting of ghee burning lamps – but this changed with the opening of India’s first firework factory in 1940. An Indian court petition is demanding better public safety information and restrictions on the sale and use of fireworks – but this came too late to limit the smog caused by this year’s celebrations.

Playing it safe

Some simple steps can be taken to reduce our exposure to firework pollution. For one thing, setting them off in enclosed spaces is a very bad idea, as are hand-held sparklers. Positioning crowds upwind of fireworks displays is another obvious way of reducing their negative health impacts.

Yet fireworks are already the largest manufactured source of some types of metal particles in the UK atmosphere. And the proportion of pollution from fireworks will only increase, as huge investments are made to reduce other sources of urban pollution. Particle filters are present on nearly all modern diesel vehicles and factory emissions across the developed world are continually being tightened – but firework pollution remains unchecked.

Perhaps the best way to tackle the pollution caused by fireworks is not to have them at all. But this seems rather extreme (not to mention a lot less fun). The high-precision, controlled displays that we see at international landmarks on New Year’s Eve demonstrate the great innovation of the fireworks industry. It’s time for this innovative approach to be applied to reduce the environmental impact of fireworks, so that we can continue to enjoy the excitement of displays for years to come.

Author: Gary Fuller.

A Statement from Omid’s Family

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Omid’s funeral notice in Iran

Omid was an Iranian refugee who set himself on fire in Nauru on 27 April. He died in a Brisbane hospital on 29 April. Omid’s funeral was held in Iran yesterday, 20 May. The following is a statement from his family:
“Our hope is gone! Omid is gone forever. He was only 24. “Omid” means “hope” in Persian. His father named him Omid because his birth gave hope, excitement, and life to his small family.

As a child, Omid was so sweet and cute. He loved animals very much. He had built up a small shelter in his house where he kept his pets; they were just like his close friends.


Our Omid had it all: warm, friendly, always smiling, witty, and athletic ability. He was a lifeguard and saved a couple of children. Those kids still come to visit us. His friends describe him as a trustful, amiable, warm, and lovely fella. He was happy and joyful; full of life. It was impossible not to laugh when he was around.


Omid had a catchy slogan that everyone remembers: all his goodbyes were followed by this: “Chakeretam, Nokaretam”, a saying in Persian which implies: you can always count on me for everything. “Chakeretam, Nokaretam”, coming from his mouth, with a broad smile, while he was holding his cap with one hand and tapping your shoulder with the other hand.


There is no word that can express how bitter is his loss for us. Our Omid is gone, our hope is dead; so unbelievable, so sudden! We were counting on him, like always, like what he was saying every time; counting for better future, counting for sweet coming moments.

Omid was doing well, enduring hardships for better future. What happened to Omid’s hope? Who has taken his hope? Who has taken our hope, our Omid? Who has made the life so bitter for him? We lost our Omid, our hope. Who has made the life so bitter for us? The endless bitterness . . .”

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To UNHCR from Refugees on Nauru

NAURU IMAGES

To:

United Nation High Commission for Refugees

From:

Refugees on Nauru

Dated: 12/5/2016

Humble Words of Refugees on Nauru

  1. We are detained and imprisoned for the last three years on this island. We want freedom and freedom is everyone’s basic right. We are like living corpses, we are free in a sense that we can walk, talk and eat but living aimless and hopeless lives which are resulting refugees in mental issues and disturbed social lives.

    19thJuly, 2013 Government of Australia announced this harsh policy to send helpless and vulnerable people seeking asylum in Australia to offshore (PNG and Nauru) and everyone was told that no one coming after this policy is going to resettle in Australia, but same boat and same policy people are living and started peaceful and beautiful lives in community and we are asking what about us?? Do we have to live life without any future?? Are we not that same policy and boat people who are living in Australia community??

  1. The most important thing is refugees are not mentally, socially, physically and economically safe here. Refugees are in conditions here which led them mentally so unsafe and unsound that no one can focus on the daily life. Three years staying away from the family on this small and remote Island and even small more isolated place like in different accommodation sites (because refugees avoid going out in community to avoid any incident) with lots of problems making refugees mentally on risk. Socially we are living our isolated lives for the last three years.

    Local Nauruan people just treat us not more than their source of income. All of us are scared to go outside of our accommodation sites but still we have to go and get our necessities and we faced heaps of incidents which are reported and still pending to be taken action but we can say it for sure there will be no action on those as to date there is none because of the corrupt and lack of law and order. Refugees are economically exploited as the locals Nauruan people know that we are in situation that we need to work and it makes them easy to exploit and disvaluing our skills. We are getting $ 200.00 fortnightly from connect settlement services which is too small and insufficient to get the basic needs as per survey of the stake holders itself.

    Hence to summarize it, it will be like here there is no law, everyone here is trying to disgrace and degrade us. Some are beating us up, and the law makers are pushing us in all these situations instead they know this situation very well. Whoever wants, they just beat us up, take our money, loot our belongings and possessions and disgrace us and if we report it there is no one to take action or follow it up, so we are tired to report such like incidents now because every one is sure that nothing is going to happen and there is one more interesting fact behind so many cases that’s unreported as reporting it could raise another problem which is, if the local Nauruan who is doing something wrong to any refugees is reported, he will make problems for that refugee in future or will beat him/her and there are lots of cases like this.

  1. WHY WE LEFT OUR COUNTRY???

    We left our country because of the security reasons; everyone here had some very good reasons to flee his/her country, which are political, social, religious, deprivation, discrimination and life persecution and threats, So we are facing more not least such like issues here.

  1. Like every person on the planet earth, we want to build our future, we have some future plans, we want to explore and advance our lives but we can’t see any life chances on this remote island. All we are struggling to get our daily life necessities because of the lack of the resources as the government administration is not even capable to look after their own local people. Life is not all about struggling for the basic needs, there is something more important to struggle for like education, career growth, self-esteem, social network, friends and family which we don’t have it here.

  2. We are systemically tortured mentally and physically for the past three years in the name of services. If this system is giving services to the refugees, why don’t they let the world see it? People who fled countries for their lives are giving up under this system in the name of services. Refugees are attempting suicides and trying to take their lives to ease themselves out of this suffering system.

  3. Our health issues are escalating day by day; here is no proper medical care. Everyday there is new viral disease and refugees are suffering from different health problems and because of the lack of medical care we are getting disables day by day. These medical issues and lack of care leaving people in frustration and badly affecting mental states.

  4. What is our sin?? Taking refuge in any country for a life is not a sin!!! Third country (New Zealand) offered to take refugees from Nauru but Government of Australia reject the offer. So what should we understand?? Is it like Government of Australia wants to torture vulnerable people!!! Is it like decision makers playing their dirty politics on helpless people for their lavish interests!!!

  5. Why we are treated so inhumanely??? Why the humanitarian organizations around the world (UNHCR, Amnesty International, US Committee for Refugees) are the silent spectators on the inhumane treatment and harsh policy of Australian Government.

Australia and its Colonial Operations

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by Behrouz Boochani

Yesterday evening an Iranian man wanted to kill himself by cutting his neck. I posted some words about his action but people did not pay serious attention to him. I reported what was happening to him to media and other organisations.

This man claims that an Australian officer beat him and punched him. He wrote a complaint to the PNG police. He was very angry because after a few days he was still not able to access police and put his complaint to them. Yesterday, the officer who punched him was about to leave Manus and his complaint had not been given to the PNG police as he had asked.

This system and these companies, Broadspectrum and Wilson Security do not allow people access to the PNG police, they do not pass on our complaints either. Any staff member who commits a crime is assisted by these organisations and, I believe, the Australian government to leave Manus without going to court.

Remember the officers who raped a local Manusian woman. They were flown out of Manus and were never questioned or charged, or taken to the PNG court. Remember those staff members who helped Joshua to kill Reza Baratti? They were also flown off Manus and never returned to face court.

I, myself, had a suspicious accident when a basketball board fell on my head. I wrote several requests asking to access the PNG police so they could investigate. Again they did not pass on my request or allow me access to the PNG police.

I want to say that all of these happenings are because of colonial thinkings. Australia is exercising colonial power in and against PNG. We can see this too in Australia’s reaction after the PNG Supreme court hearing.

Australia does not want to accept the Supreme court order. Only in a colonial system can you commit a crime and not go to court.

Australia continues its colonial system against Aboriginal people in Australia and now also in PNG.

I believe that yesterday was a very important day because we understood clearly how the Australian government is ruling its prisons in Manus and Nauru under a colonial system.

 

Don’t use Kids to Protect Borders

Australia a Gated Community

As so called Australia looks back on Mother’s Day and the fun we had with our kids here’s some videos of kids and mothers on Nauru, people under Australia’s care. These kids should be enjoying their childhood but instead they are living in a climate of depression, despair and fear.

This video was made by a refugee on Nauru.

This video I made with pictures from Nauru

Comment: Pro-uranium social media campaign’s #epicfail

by Jim Green

The Minerals Council of Australia launched a pro-uranium social media campaign on Wednesday. By that afternoon the twitter hashtag #untappedpotential was trending but ‒ as an AAP piece picked up by SBS and others noted ‒ contributors were overwhelmingly critical.

Nearly all contributors offered thoughts such as these:

“A week away from the #Chernobyl 30-year anniversary and Minerals Council begins propaganda trip on the #untappedpotential of uranium. Huh?!” said Twitter user Jemila Rushton.

“We need to better harness the #untappedpotential of solar power”, tweeted Upulie Divisekera.

“#untappedpotential to put more communities at risk of nuclear waste dumps,” Ace Collective said.

“We concur that uranium has much #untappedpotential … for disaster, cost and time blowouts and proliferation,” Anglesea After Coal said.

No doubt the Minerals Council anticipated the negative publicity and is working on the basis that all publicity is good publicity. But what the MCA didn’t anticipate is that in recent days the uranium price has fallen to an 11-year low. Mining.com noted in an April 20 article that the current low price hasn’t been seen since May 2005. The current price, under US26/lb, is well under half the price just before the 2011 Fukushima disaster, and under one-fifth of the 2007 peak of a bubble.

Mining.com quotes a Haywood Securities research note which points out that the spot uranium price “saw three years of back-to-back double-digit percentage losses from 2011-13, but none worse than what we’ve seen thus far in 2016, and at no point since Fukushima, did the average weekly spot price dip below $28 a pound.”

Mining.com notes that five years after the Fukushima disaster only two of Japan’s 50 nuclear reactors are back on line, and that in other developed markets nuclear power is also in retreat. The last reactor start-up in the U.S. was 20 years ago. The French Parliament legislated last year to reduce the country’s reliance on nuclear power by one-third. Germany is phasing out nuclear power. The European Commission recently released a report predicting that the EU’s nuclear power retreat ‒ down 14% over the past decade ‒ will continue.

China is a growth market but has amassed a “staggering” stockpile of yellowcake according to Macquarie Bank. India’s nuclear power program is in a “deep freeze” according to the Hindustan Times (unfortunately the same cannot be said about its nuclear weapons program), while India’s energy minister Piyush Goyal said on April 20 that India is not in a “tearing hurry” to expand nuclear power since there are unresolved questions about pricing, safety and liability waivers sought by foreign companies.

Even if all of Japan’s 50 reactors are included in the count, the number of power reactors operating worldwide is the same now as it was a decade ago. Zero growth despite the endless rhetoric about a nuclear renaissance.

A decision on two planned reactors in the UK could be announced in the next fortnight and the price-tag for the reactors explains why nuclear power is stagnant worldwide and why the Minerals Council is talking about uranium’s ‘potential’ rather than its current contribution to export revenue and employment. The total price-tag for the two planned reactors is A$45 billion. If the project proceeds, the industry will be hoping it doesn’t go three times over budget, as reactor projects in France and Finland have.

South Australian academic Richard Leaver has neatly summed up the uranium industry’s tiresome rhetoric: “‘Potential’ is one of the most powerful chemicals available to the political alchemist. Any individual, firm or sector deemed to have potential is relieved of a massive and perpetual burden − the need to account for past and present achievements (or, more probably, the lack of them). The history of Australian involvement in the civil uranium industry offers an excellent example of this alchemy at work.”

Whatever the future potential of the uranium industry, it contributes next to nothing to the economy at the moment: <0.2 percent of national export revenue and <0.01 percent of all jobs in Australia. And those figures will fade further into irrelevance with the end of mining and the gradual winding down of processing at the Ranger uranium mine in the NT.

The stagnation and cost escalation of nuclear power contrast sharply with the trajectory of renewables. Driven by sharp cost reductions, renewable energy generation has doubled worldwide over the past decade and renewables now produce more than twice the amount of electricity as nuclear power. The gap is widening every day.

Dr Jim Green is the national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth, Australia.