Australian civil liberties in danger

This video is called ASIO, Australia‘s CIA.

The minority Labor government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard is moving to significantly expand the surveillance powers of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), the country’s political spy agency to monitor anyone overseas, including Australian citizens, considered a threat to “national economic well-being,” “security” or “foreign relations”: here.

Overseas? What will sovereign foreign states say if an Australian trade unionist, whom Big Business considers to be bad for their “economic well-being”, is spied upon by ASIO on their sovereign territory?

It makes me think of French spies bombing the Rainbow Warrior ship in New Zealand, murdereing a Greenpeace photographer on board.

Australia: Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s department has revealed that WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, were the subject of Australian intelligence reporting last year as the government anticipated the whistleblower website would spill ”highly sensitive and politically embarrassing” secrets: here.

An extraordinary address delivered by Prime Minister Julia Gillard to mining moguls this week underscores her government’s subservience to the profit interests of BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, and Xstrata. After declaring that much of her “daily work” was taken up with promoting the interests of the mining industry, Gillard was in turn feted by senior executives meeting in Canberra for the Minerals Council of Australia annual conference: here.

London-based mining trans-national Rio Tinto can be sued in the US over allegations it aided the government of Papua New Guinea commit genocide and war crimes, a US federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday: here.

The self-declared “progressive” wing of the Australian political establishment has trumpeted its concern for the country’s cattle, while maintaining a deafening silence on the deportation of refugees to Malaysia and the war in Libya: here.

Australian riot police doused “desperate” refugees with pepper spray on Thursday night as they protested in a notorious detention camp managed by British transnational Serco: here.

Police attack protesting refugees at Australia’s Christmas Island: here.

Australian PM Julia Gillard’s controversial attempt to swap refugees with Malaysia faced a fresh challenge yesterday over an Iraqi Kurd who faces being separated from his wife and son: here.

Serious questions are being raised about the rights of Australians to freedom of speech and their right to protest peacefully, as the West Australian government introduces new laws and police powers to hamper protests: here.

Mining boom boosts Australia’s ultra-wealthy: here.

Public opposition to a plan by an Australian mining company, Lynas, to build a rare earth refinery in Pahang, Malaysia, was on show at a protest outside Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur on May 20: here.

Australian High Court prepares to hear Julian Moti appeal: here.

The seven High Court justices heard further allegations of serious violations of the rule of the law by the Australian government in the South Pacific: here.

Non-violent extremist groups which do not “reflect British mainstream views” will face a crackdown: here.

Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press: “The Senate Intelligence Committee is now reviewing whether the CIA and White House may have tried to smear Juan Cole, a University of Michigan professor who writes a popular blog on Middle Eastern issues … The Senate Committee’s announcement to probe what may have happened comes after a former CIA official, Glenn Carle, said that the White House under then-President George W. Bush ordered the CIA to dig up negative information about Cole’s personal life in order to try and discredit his views”: here.

Britain’s new police powers include the ability to declare specific places “no go areas”, with a police superintendent empowered to instruct people to leave “to prevent or address serious disorder”: here.

2 thoughts on “Australian civil liberties in danger

  1. BHP mine workers reimpose rolling stoppages

    Some 3,000 BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) workers at six Queensland coal mines reimposed rolling stoppages this week after negotiations broke down for a new work agreement. Members of the CFMEU, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union planned to stop work for the 12-hour night shifts on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The action followed rolling six-hour stoppages at the six mines last week.

    The unions claim that six months of negotiations were deadlocked because BHP wants radical work rule changes, including replacement of the current five-day roster with a seven-day roster, unrestricted use of contract and part-time workers, and increased flexibility of operators’ jobs. The unions want enhanced training opportunities and contractors to receive the same pay and conditions as BHP workers.

    The unions have not yet made a pay claim, insisting on resolution of other issues first. BHP has offered only a 15 percent pay rise over three years, and withdrew a $5,000 sign-on bonus after this week’s talks broke down.


  2. Pingback: WikiLeaks’ Assange seeks asylum in Ecuador | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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