Inside the system

Chevron maroons workers on island during cyclone

AROUND 1600 workers were stranded on Barrow Island off WA’s Pilbara coast as category three cyclone Olwyn hit in March, according to the CFMEU. The Island is home the energy giant Chevron’s multibillion dollar Gorgon gas project.
Evacuation plans were botched or non-existent and the workers were forced to bunker down in common areas. On worker said that under their contracts workers could choose to leave during a cyclone, but they were told this wasn’t possible due to “birds on the airstrip”.
He explained, “They just didn’t want the expense of flying hundreds of men out of here and back again.” The same worker reported that his mate narrowly escaped being cut to pieces by a speed limit sign swept up by wind gusts that eventually reached 195 kmh.
Another Barrow Island worker employed by John Holland Construction Group was crushed by a Franna crane and had both his legs broken, with the possibility of amputation. Unions say the injury may have been a result of high winds due to the approaching cyclone. The International Transport Workers Federation has called for an investigation into Chevron’s evacuation procedures. The company posted 2014 earnings of $19.2 billion.

Australia’s mega rich the happiest

ULTRA HIGH Net Worth Individuals (UHNWI for short) in Australia are amongst the happiest in the world according to a new report by the global property consultancy Knight Frank. To qualify as you must be worth over US $30 million excluding your principle home.
Sydney tops the list of Australia’s cities for the ultra-wealthy with 765 people making the cut. According to the report only 4 per of Australia’s mega rich group are considering moving overseas, compared to around 33 per cent of their counterparts in Russia.

Gina Rinehart looks down on plebs

AN AUSTRALIAN Financial Review piece on Gina Rinehart’s multi-billion Roy Hill iron ore project offers telling insights into her day to day contempt for ordinary people. At the project’s head office near Perth airport Rinehart uses her own exclusive private entrance, while her inferiors use the front door.
Once inside she watches employees like a prison guard from her luxurious boardroom. Her corporate watchtower has a glass wall that can be made opaque or transparent at the click of a button, allowing her to mask her presence as she watches her staff.
On the Roy Hill construction site she has her own temporary accommodation, or donga, panelled with a wood finish and set up in a special VIP area. Its conspicuously elevated position is the ideal vantage point from which to survey the great unwashed below.

Israeli Foreign Minister says decapitate Palestinian Arabs

BEHEADINGS ARE usually cited as evidence of the extreme fanaticism of Islamic State. But Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman has called for the same treatment to be applied to Palestinians.
The psychotic comments came in the lead up to the Israeli general election in March. He said that those who live in the occupied territories and oppose Israel’s discrimination against the Palestinians and its illegal expansion of settlements should be decapitated, “those against us, it cannot be helped, we must lift up an axe and behead them—otherwise we will not survive here” he said.

Immigration refuses delivery of detention letters

THE DEPARTMENT of Immigration and Border Protection has returned around 2500 letters of support sent to asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru. The letters were sent last April as part of a goodwill campaign organised by Julian Burnside. Burnside denounced the cruel act, saying, “What the Department of Immigration is doing is a calculated attempt to destroy any sense of hope that asylum seekers might have”.

Crisis in US drone killings program as pilots quit

THE US drone wars being waged across the globe are facing trouble as drone pilots quit in record numbers. A recent internal Air Force memo revealed that pilot, “outflow increases will damage the readiness and combat capability…for years to come”. Total current surveillance and combat drone patrols would ideally require 1700 trained pilots. Instead the US is working with a pool that recently dropped below 1000.
It’s obvious why, when the program has recorded thousands of civilian casualties. An analysis of publicly available information late last year by Reprieve found attempts to kill 41 targets had resulted in the deaths of 1147 people.
Brandon Bryant, a former drone operator, reported feeling deeply disturbed and ashamed about his role in the killings carried out by Predator and Reaper drones. He said, “I felt like I was haunted by a legion of the dead. My physical health was gone, my mental health crumbled.” Drone operators are well aware of the fact that attacks often brutally kill civilians. Former drone pilot Heather Linebaugh says the politicians who boast about the success of the program should ask themselves, “How many women and children have you seen incinerated by a Hellfire missile? How many men have you seen crawl across a field, trying to make it to the nearest compound for help while bleeding out from severed legs?”

US toddlers kill more people than terrorists

PEOPLE IN the US are more likely to be killed by toddlers than terrorists. The last large scale US terror attack that captured headlines was the Boston bombing in 2013 that killed three people. In the first half of that year the US media reported at least 11 fatalities where a toddler pulled the trigger.

Research and writing by Adam Adelpour

Things they say

​The right-wing government is in danger. Arabs are advancing on the ballot boxes in droves​
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu​ knows foul racism is the key to rallying the right-wing to your side in Israel

​Even Netanyahu knows that if the Arabs are going to the polls in droves, only a strong Lieberman can stop them​
Avigdor Lieberman, leader of Yisrael Beiteinu​ party, joined the showdown​

He took the opportunity to peel another onion, tell me how much it looked like the one in Tasmania the other day, and then took a few bites out of this one today​
Chief executive of Onions Australia Lechelle Earl​ encouraging Tony Abbott’s second public consumption of a raw onion

​​The truth is this is a cheapjack scare campaign designed to win back safe Labor seats.
Former ALP leader Mark Latham thinks NSW Labor’s opposition to privatisation goes against Labor values

I want a commander-in-chief who will do anything in their power to ensure that the threat of radical Islamic terrorists do not wash up on American soil. If I can take on 100,000 protestors, I can do the same across the world​.​
Republican President Candidate Scott Walker compares ISIS to 10,000​ labour​ protestors who occupied Wisconsin​‘s Congress in 2011

I’m a fixer. So I fixed it. I found $150 million
Chris Pyne can apparently “find” millions but couldn’t fix his deregulation mess

In whatever role I’ve been in…I’m there to try and fix a problem.
Apparently Scott Morrison thinks he is a fixer too

Magazine

Solidarity meetings

Latest articles

Read more

ASU members walk off work for Palestine

Union members in social and community services in Melbourne took up to four hours of unprotected strike action for Palestine on Friday 22 February.

Israeli attack on UNRWA aid another genocidal act

Israel’s allegations against the UNRWA aid organisation in Gaza have been rapidly exposed as lies.

ZIM, blockades and the unions: Lessons from Webb Dock

For almost four days in January protest action with workers refusing to cross the community picket succeeded in preventing work on the ZIM shipping-line at Webb Dock in Melbourne.