Convention Draws Hundreds!

 

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Peace Now’s Left Wing Convention Draws Hundreds

On Friday March 25, 2011 – Peace Now hosted a successfull convention for all the left wing in Israel.

Over 700 people attended the convention, including activists from all over the country, from political parties, NGO”s and organizations alike.

Among the key speakers were: MK Amir Peretz, MK Daniel Ben Simon, Tzaly Reshef, Colette Avital, Ophir Pines-Paz, Gal Uchovsky, MK Ilan Gilon, MK Eitan Cabel, Eldad Yaniv, MK Dov Hanin, MK Haim Oron, Hilik Bar, Didi Remez, Hanna Asweid, Joshua Sobol, Yuli Tamir, MK Isaac Herzog, Michael Byrne, Mossi Raz, MK Nitzan Horowitz, Uzi Baram, Ron Kaufman, Ran Cohen, Talia Sasson, Nadia Hilu, Naomi Chazan

It was a first time that all the movements, organizations and parties from the left managed to sit together and hold discussions on the future, the messages to be used and the options available to us as a peace camp.

The panels were organized in the shape of a “round table” so that both the speakers and the audience could have eye contact and be able to enter into the discourse together.

People taking part in the discussions did not disguise their feelings about our failures, instead they tried to accept collective responsibility and seek ways to move forward on different levels.

What was happening at the convention, under the surface, could mark a turning point in the Israeli left. Even the Labor party came in full presence (except for Shelly Yehimovitz) since they abandoned Netanyahu’s govt and Barak left, they are searching a way to return to lead the peace camp again.

Labour was open to sit with people from Hadash, Sheik Jarrah etc to discuss what they have in common and how to cooperate.

All agreed that this convention will help us all to work more productively, to reignite that hunger for change amongst the people, to work in cooperation and to plan joint actions.

For more details on issues discussed see here:WEBSITE

In the next couple of days we will be uploading to Peace Now’s Facebook page videos from the conference with English subtitles – so keep updated through our Facebook page in English.

Yours

Lee Wilson

lee

Cameco plans uranium trail through the heart of Western Australia – Greens

Cameco plans uranium trail through the heart of Western Australia – Greens

Media Release – Tuesday March 29th, 2011

Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam has slammed provocative plans by Canadian uranium mining company Cameco to truck uranium through several WA cities and towns.

The Cameco planned course will see up to 3,600 tonnes of uranium oxide concentrate from the Kintyre project trucked past Port Headland and though Newman, Meekatharra, Mount Magnet, Leonora and a number of other towns en route to the proposed Parkeston travel hub outside Kalgoorlie each year. If the hub is not completed by 2013, the uranium will be transported though Kalgoorlie itself.

“There are a significant number of freight truck accidents in Western Australia each year, but that’s just part of the concern. This is a project that goes wrong at every turn, planned by a company with an appalling history,” said Senator Ludlam.

“The mine itself is proposed for a site right next to Rudall River, alongside the Karlamilyi National Park. The site of the uranium deposit was originally part of the park and was excised in 1994, so as you can imagine it is a pristine natural area and it has environmentally sensitive wetlands in the vicinity,” said Senator Ludlam.

“Especially given the sordid and sorry history of uranium mining in Australia contaminating ground water and wetlands, this is one of the worst possible sites for a uranium mine.”

It is estimated 2,500 to 3,600 tonnes of uranium oxide concentrate will be trucked through the state each year by Cameco. The company says it will send between 55 and 70 truck convoys a year along the estimated 2000km route.

“The residents along this uranium trail will no doubt be very concerned,” said Senator Ludlam. “They have the right to say no to Cameco’s plan to transport radioactive material through their neighbourhoods.”

Media Contact: Giovanni Torre

#Australian Government should hold Chinese authorities to account on missing Australian – Greens

Government should hold Chinese authorities to account on missing Australian – Greens

Media Release – Tuesday March 29th, 2011

The Australian Greens have expressed grave concern for the welfare of an Australian writer who has vanished in China.

Novelist and online commentator Yang Hengjun, a former Chinese diplomat now based in Sydney, has been not been seen since telephoning a colleague from Guangzhou airport on Sunday with the news that he was being followed by three men.

Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd should raise the issue with the Chinese government as soon as possible.

“Unless Dr Yang turns up safe and sound immediately, the Australian Government must hold the Chinese authorities to account,” he said.

“Dr Yang has millions of readers and has been described as the most influential political blogger in China; his disappearance could be part of a crackdown from the Chinese government to crush any attempt by Chinese dissidents to replicate the protests that have swept the Middle East,” said Senator Ludlam.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have advised that consular officers in Guangzhou are seeking to confirm with Chinese authorities the whereabouts of Dr Yang “as a matter of priority and provide him with consular assistance if needed”.

“Unless the efforts of consular officials meet with success very soon, Foreign Minister Rudd should raise this immediately,” said Senator Ludlam. “The disappearance of Dr Yang warrants the intervention of the Foreign Minister himself – it strikes right at the heart of those people in China who strive for a free and open society.”

Media Contact: Giovanni Torre

ABC News: More Afghan ‘kill team’ photos published

More Afghan ‘kill team’ photos published
The US military has again apologised after Rolling Stone published more photos and videos of members of an alleged rogue army unit “kill team” accused of killing Afghan civilians for sport.A week after one soldier was jailed after striking a plea bargain to testify against the alleged ringleader,…

To read the full story on your mobile please use this link
http://m.abc.net.au/browse?page=11144&articleid=3176468&cat=Justin

 

Some people can’t open the link, so the full text of the AFP story is below

 

More Afghan ‘kill team’ photos published

Updated 1 hour 40 minutes ago

The US military has again apologised after Rolling Stone published more photos and videos of members of an alleged rogue army unit “kill team” accused of killing Afghan civilians for sport.

A week after one soldier was jailed after striking a plea bargain to testify against the alleged ringleader, the weekly magazine published a series of graphic images and videos alongside an extensive story detailing the allegations.

The Rolling Stone pictures, under the headline “The Kill Team”, included uncensored versions of photos published by German magazine Der Spiegel showing soldiers posing with the bloodied body of an Afghan youth, holding his head up to the camera.

The accompanying story related how the youth shown in the still pictures, identified later as farm worker Gul Mudin, was picked out on January 15 last year as the first victim of the so-called kill team.

Corporal Jeremy Morlock – who was jailed for 24 years last week – and Private Andrew Holmes initially threw a grenade at the teenager before gunning him down, and pretending he had attacked them with the grenade.

The little finger of the boy’s right hand is missing, allegedly cut off as a trophy.

In the following months, Morlock, Holmes and others staged a number of such killings, according to the Rolling Stone account, citing other witnesses questioned after the killings were revealed by a fellow soldier.

The new pictures were accompanied by two videos.

One showed US troops shooting two Afghan men on a motorbike at close range, another, set to a heavy rock soundtrack, shows two men being killed in an airstrike after allegedly planting a roadside bomb.

“The photos published by Rolling Stone are disturbing and in striking contrast to the standards and values of the United States Army,” said a Pentagon statement.

“Like those published by Der Spiegel, the Army apologises for the distress these latest photos cause.”

Battling to avoid a repetition of the Abu Ghraib scandal triggered by the release of pictures of US soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners, the Pentagon had earlier apologised after Der Spiegel’s publication of images last week.

Morlock, one of five soldiers charged with murder and tried in a military court south of Seattle, is expected to be the star witness in the court martial of the alleged ringleader, Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs.

– AFP

Tags: defence-and-national-securitydefence-forceslaw-crime-and-justicecrimeunrest-conflict-and-warmurder-and-manslaughter,afghanistanunited-states

 

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