Category Archives: Global Concerns

Bombing the Environment causes Climate Change

Since 1945 there have been 2056 known nuclear test explosions around the Earth, including Australia. Most of the tests have taken place on Aboriginal peoples land and small islands in the pacific. Whist it appears that “Climate Change’ is a central topic of motivation for a range of strategic  possibilities, the best outcome would be to take responsible steps toward disarmament, which seems unlikely.

‘Let’s call a spade a spade’, dropping bombs has caused devastating effects on our people, our land, the oceans and fault lines. We can’t take back time but we can take off our rose coloured glasses of selfies and acknowledge the cost of war, before it begins. Every bomb that hits the ocean kills marine life and pollutes our shores.

‘On March 1, 1954, the United States military tested nuclear bombs in the ocean around Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean to see what kind of damage they would do to ships. The largest explosion was set off 90 feet underwater: nicknamed “Castle Bravo,” the bomb blasted a crater 2 kilometers (more than 1.2 miles) wide in the coral reef and obliterated ocean life in the area‘      Ocean.Si.edu

Ceduna, known as the Cancer Capital of Australia had nuclear dust blown in from the Emu Fields where 600 bombs were dropped in the 1950’s.

“It was in the morning, around seven. I was just playing with the other kids. That’s when the bomb went off. I remember the noise, it was a strange noise, not loud, not like anything I’d ever heard before. The earth shook at the same time; we could feel the whole place move. We didn’t see anything, though. Us kids had no idea what it was. I just kept playing. It wasn’t long after that a black smoke came through. A strange black smoke, it was shiny and oily. A few hours later we all got crook, every one of us. We were all vomiting; we had diarrhoea, skin rashes and sore eyes. I had really sore eyes. They were so sore I couldn’t open them for two or three weeks. Some of the older people, they died. They were too weak to survive all of the sickness. The closest clinic was 400 miles away.”       Sami Lester iCAN website

Soil contamination and biological effects creates a legacy of devastation for the generations that follow the original victims.

Space has also been a nuclear bomb playground. Every time a missile is fired on our Earth, a criminal act has taken place.

Operation Fishbowl

Test it for yourselves;  type into Google, the reasons for Global Warming. These are some of the reasons offered:

‘Burning Fossil Fuel, De-Forrestation & Farming’ WWF

‘The Sun is to blame’ NASA

Humans’ Union of concerned Scientists

Theses are all very good reasons for localised de-genaration but avoid the ‘Elephant in the Room’,

 

 

Orwell’s 1984 is back

‘Power is only what you allow it to be’.1984

English-born , George Orwell’s, 1984, will be re-visited.

MELBOURNE
Comedy Theatre
31 May – 10 June

Despite the age of the novel, its potent warning remains.

Orwell wrote the book in 1948, but it’s most relevant to those born in 1984 as the days of surveillance are upon us. ‘Big brother is watching’. Ironically Steve Jobs included a clip of the movie when Apple launched the Mac, in 1983. 1984 and the internet age coincide and determine the possibility of life imitating art.

Many of us read 1984 at school, a few of us saw the movie and though it’s been dormant for a decade or two, it resurfaces in a blaze.

Written as a Sci-fi, he wrote it based on events he witnessed as a Colonial Policeman in Burma. He never went to university and was not author previously, but what he wrote continues to resonate through time.

‘Why was he writing it? For the future, for the unborn’ (1984)

In ‘1984’, war is prolific, slavery, torture and imprisonment without trial, are common and fear abounds. The population is constantly aware that they are being watched and denied privacy.

He explains that ‘double speak’ is talk that reframes negative terms as positive and this language is used to subvert and confuse the masses.

War is Peace

Freedom is Slavery

Ignorance is Strength

Orwell knew the exploitation of power as he saw it first hand, as an inflicter, not a victim. He had used a female slave as a house companion, enforced cruelty and led men to their deaths. 1984 was to purge the pain of his conscience and to warn the innocent.

‘The hate had started.’ Orwell

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1984

“To hold the population down by force, I was in the police, which is to say. I was part of the machinery” Orwell

Although Orwell engaged in an evil authority he could not digest it, it disturbed him and led him to undermine his future life in acts of penance. 1984 was written to warn the innocent and to have hope that a future he saw could be prevented.

“ I watched a man hang once …… I didn’t realise what it meant to destroy a healthy conscious man…cutting a life short when it is in full tide, this man was not dying, he was alive, just as we were alive. He and we were a party of men, seeing, hearing and feeling, understanding the same world and in two minutes one of us would be gone” Orwell

Today young children play killing games, in their rooms on their computers. Some of the video games are rich in realism which makes the malice more personal; some are playing on Defence websites that observe their results for recruiting purposes. Many parents adopt the slogan, ‘Ignorance is Strength.’

‘So vicious was the boys demeanor it was hardly a game, it was frightening like tiger-cubs that will grow into man eaters … Mrs Parsons eyes flitted nervously from Winston to the children and back again….they do get noisy, she said. They’re disappointed because they couldn’t get to see the hanging, I’m too busy to take them.’ 1984

Orwell like Vincent Van Gogh walked away from his middle class life to become ‘down and out in Paris and London’, as a hobo he hoped to rid himself of the imperialist past that haunted him.

According to Orwell, war is ‘double think’, it is to use the product of the machine without producing goods. It is designed to strip human resources so those that have absolute power, can enjoy power.

If people live hungry and are overworked, even when it is easy for all to live well, it serves cruelty. Orwell explains in 1984 that there is a surplus of resources and all are able to live well but this is contrary to the desires of the ruling class.

‘The slave population allow the continuous tempo of war to be sped up …the primary aim of warfare is to use up the products of the machine without raising the general standard of living, the problem of what to do with the surplus’ 1984

Orwell explains that poverty is deliberate.

 

Annie Goldson, ‘Everywhere and Anywhere’

Acclaimed New Zealand Documentary Director, Annie Goldson was in Melbourne to launch her new (secret project) film. Goldson has a strong formidable countenance and she needs it, many of her subjects are capable of murder or the victims of the culpable hand. She needs to know when to back off.

ACMI hosted the Australian International Documentary Conference, which brought in talent from all over the globe. Goldson was doing a spot of shopping when we caught up.

“Its nice to have some time off and be wandering around Melbourne” Goldson

Goldson began her career as a Journalist and has ‘inched her way’ into filmmaking. She tackles the hard facts behind the news stream and goes into the bog, looking for the truth. As a political observer she finds her stories ‘everywhere’, she is curious and like Alice in a complex Wonderland, has to adapt quickly. We may wonder why the terrorists are so irate, she takes her team and her camera and asks them. She is a historians torch into the unknown.

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He Toki Huna: New Zealand in Afghanistan

He Toki Huna: New Zealand in Afghanistan explores New Zealand’s involvement in the Afghanistan war that lasted longer than WW1 and WW2 combined. ‘Did we stay to long?’ the film asks. Can lessons be learned to prevent such long-term engagements for the sake of alliance.

Brother Number One was a challenging work as it was necessary to create a present from the past events of the Cambodian Genocide under Pol Pot. New Zealander Ron Hamill, the films source, explains how his carefree adventurous brother Kerry ,sailed into a nightmare.

“An innocent man brought to his knees and killed in the prime of his life” Ron Hamill

Goldson records Hamill’s emotional pain as he addresses the torture and death of his sibling at the War Crimes Tribunal.

The mass Genocide that murdered 2,000,000  ( a 1/4 of the population) was led by a ‘charismatic and smiling’ leader Pol Pot who was indifferent to the torture of babies. In 1975. he led the Kamor Rouge into Nu Pen and in 72 hours he had cleared the city of its inhabitants and sent them to work in labour camps, to grow rice that he would export as the population died of hunger, overwork or beating.

“Documentaries are always a challenge.” Goldson

Her films are intense political dramas that set the stage and cast its light into the ‘heart of darkness.’ Her other well-known films that she Directed are; Punitive Damage and An Island Calling 

by April Forward

All photo’s courtesy of Annie Goldson film extracts.

Why I ran for White Ribbon?

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White Ribbon Ambassadors are men who recognise the importance of taking responsibility and playing a leadership role in preventing men’s violence against women. They are formal representatives  who have the knowledge, skills, attributes and determination to influence Australian men to critically evaluate their attitudes and behaviours toward women.

Brent with his mother Bernie
Brent with his mother Bernie

Brent Howard, a White Ribbon Ambassador, ran the Medibank Melbourne Marathon to raise money and awareness for the prevention of violence towards women. He is a young father and committed to the it’s objectives.

“Eva (his daughter) is why programs like White Ribbon are so important. I for one, don’t want my daughter to grow up in a country where Domestic Violence is a common occurrence. When she grows up I want to be able to look her in the eye and say I didn’t stand by, I did something to make her world a better place.

Howard was the grandson of a caring woman who was a victim of domestic violence.

The person I think of most when I run is my Nan. My Nan was subjected to domestic abuse by the man she married. He died long before she did and with it so did the abuse. But what he left behind was a wife and 6 kids. My Nan was the most determined, caring and courageous woman I’ve known. She earned the nick name Sadie as she worked 3 cleaning jobs to keep a roof over her children’s heads. Growing up my Nan was an avid runner, but I never knew her as a runner. This along with many other things is something you have to give up when left to pay the bills and look after a house full of kids.

I run for White Ribbon, for those like my Nan. – for those who can’t” 

Not Silent
Not Silent

“Men’s violence against women is a serious social issue in Australia and has been for decades. Now this issue has a more focused spotlight, it is a critical opportunity for government and services to better work together, to create real social change”claims Libby Davies, CEO of White Ribbon Australia

Ms. Davies also called on governments to increase support for violence prevention:

“There is evidence that prevention is working. We have data showing that White Ribbon programs are driving the attitudinal and behavioral change needed to stop men’s violence against women.

Brent Howard raised $5,792.32 for the protection of women

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“I use my love of running to raise awareness and funds for White Ribbon Australia.”

.http://www.whiteribbon.org.au

An Important Woman and How a Melbourne Man rescued a slave.

Stop Human trafficking

“Seven young women were huddled together on bare mattresses on the floor. Condoms strung over the garbage can, plastic bags of their street clothes and working clothes, just terrified. Beaten and terrified.

Blow by blow it hurts, it hurts on so many levels and then it hurts again. Every thing is affected when human relationships are punctured by trust.

Young European girls are lured by attractive boys or modelling prospects and then beaten,raped and resold as slaves. They are denied every level of freedom.

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The terrible suffering of parents, brothers and sisters that mourn for them would be shocked to realise the protectors are the facilitator. Young women thrown in dirty cells untill the next United Nations officer pays the brothel, for her service.

Kathryn Bolkovac was a UN officer in Bosnia in the late 1990s. She was a police investigator for ten years and spent two years in Bosnia as a Peace Keeper with the United Nations.

She reported on the white slave trade and was dismissed in a cover-up by the UN, that not only utilised stolen women, they perpetuated the suffering. She discovered that the UN officers were frequenting a bar that used hostaged women as sexual objects and tortured them on stage.

Bolkavac went through the regulatory channels to report and help the young women. She was sacked.

A movie starring Rachel Weisz, ‘The Whistleblower‘ dramatised the main events that  Kathryn Bolkovac witnessed. A book with the same title, names the perpetrators.

This is the account of what happened.in her own words.IMG_3944

. “I want to educate the naive ……. these injustices can only be described as a disease , it destroys the very frame-work that was created to set the example of law and justice.

I witnessed violent acts against women and children in the aftermath of Genocide that facilitated human trafficking

I saw disturbing and inexcusable acts (of UN employees) these included sexual harassment of female employees. Employers were becoming frequent users of  (rape) pornography, frequenting prostitutes and admitting to purchase foreign women to keep at home with them as their ‘girlfriends’.”

I witnessed, experienced and lived the retaliation of those that tried to investigate a report. Reports of UN officers facilitating human trafficking across international borders.I heard deregulatory comments regarding the innocent, being refered to as whores of war.

I was demoted and dismissed.”

Slavery, tragically, is one of the strongest economic ‘industries’ in the modern world. Bolkavac claims that helping the healing process of the victims is a key to the important legal testimony of the crime.

The Whistleblower currently on NETFLIX

IN AUSTRALIA

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Human Trafficking is a serious human rights violation globally and a crime here in Australia. People from 136 different countries were trafficked into 118 different countries between 2007 and 2010. Australia is one of the destinations where people are being trafficked.

Australian Red Cross has managed the government-funded Support for Trafficked People (STPP) program since 2009. The aim is to meet the health and welfare needs of people who have been trafficked and to help them re-establish their lives.

The program is an integral part of support and advocate for people who have been made vulnerable through the process of migration. Since beginning this work, Red Cross has provided support to more than 130 women and men who have been trafficked to Australia. Our clients come from diverse cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds, reflecting the global nature of human trafficking.

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Providing this support cannot be done in isolation.The Red Cross works collaboratively with government agencies, NGOs, and service providers to meet the needs of people who have been trafficked. This ensures that they provide comprehensive support as they recover from their experience.

A person in a trafficking situation may not always be kept under lock and key. They may appear to have some freedom, but they may be subject to more subtle forms of control. Depending on the specific type of trafficking, members of the community – co-workers, suppliers, health care workers, social workers, shop owners, in fact anyone in the community – could have contact with a trafficked person.

Unless members of the community know the signs, they may not be able to recognise and report human trafficking. There are a number of signs which could indicate a person has been trafficked. It is important to remember that, on their own, these signs do not automatically mean someone is being exploited or trafficked. They simply tell us that ‘something’ may be happening and that we need to seek advice to find out more information.

Red Flags of Slavery

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• Is deceived about working conditions in Australia.

• Has no control over their place of work or hours of work, or is being confined or isolated in the workplace and only leaves at odd times.

• Is not being paid or appears to be repaying a large debt to their employer or a third party (such as a recruitment service).

• Is subject to, or is threatened with violence in connection with their employment.

• Has personal documents, such as passports, held by a third person and they are not allowed to access these documents when they wish to do so.

• Is subject to different or less favourable working conditions than other employees who are permanent residents or citizens of Australia.

HOW A MELBOURNE MAN IN HONG KONG,

BECAME A QUIET HERO

He was wandering through an area in Hong Kong when a woman approached him,

“Help me!” She pleaded quietly, as the Brothel Madam watched on, in the distance.

“Go away” he yelled, as he whispered “I’ll be back”.

He came back and ‘rented her’ to procure her details. She was a educated woman offered a career advancement in Hong Kong, however when she arrived, her passport was taken from her and she was forced into sexual slavery.

He contacted the police and escalated the matter as far as it could go. A sting operation was organised to rescue her and the other victims.

She is now home safe in Thailand and corresponds her gratitude to her Australian Hero.

(for matters of security names are with-held)

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Australian High Court and slavery, the case of Wei Tang:

Wei Tang The High Court has provided judicial guidance on the meaning of slavery in the Criminal Code in its ruling R v Tang (2008) 237 CLR 1 (R v Tang). The accused in this case was Ms Tang, the owner of a licensed brothel in Melbourne. In 2003, she had been arrested and charged for slavery offences allegedly committed against five women, all of whom were Thai nationals.

Ms Tang and her associates had ‘purchased’ each of these women for a fee of $20,000, with Ms Tang taking a 70 percent share in the purchase. Each of the women were considered to be contract workers, who had agreed to repay a debt of around $45,000, which was owed to the syndicate involving Ms Tang. For each client that the women serviced, $50 of the $110 service price would be applied to their debt and the remainder would go to the syndicate.

In other words, the debt could be repaid after the woman had serviced around 900 customers, during which time she effectively earned very little money to keep for herself.

refer to

http://www.antislavery.org.au

http://www.redcross.org.au    www.aic.gov.au  Art2Healing Project

Heyman Center for the Humanities

The Exonerated appeal

 HURRICANE’S LEGACYIMG_2700

Now all the criminals in their coats and their ties
Are free to drink martinis and watch the sun rise
While Rubin sits like Buddha in a ten-foot cell
An innocent man in a living hell.
That’s the story of the Hurricane,
But it won’t be over till they clear his name
And give him back the time he’s done.
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world. (Bob Dylan)

The Exonerated portrays a world of brutality coinciding with human triumph and transcendence.

The Sol III Company is a theatrical company founded due to its affiliation with Rubin Hurricane Carter and his work with wrongfully convicted prisoners and prisoner rehabilitation initiatives. The company uses the medium to raise awareness and much needed funds for programs in prisons in the U.S.A and Australia, and also aids with the legal costs of exoneration of the wrongfully convicted – most notably David McCallum III (pictured) who was exonerated after wrongfully incarcerated for 29 years.

“In 2013, I made my global journey to meet with Rubin & my beloved friend, David McCallum, at Otisville Correctional Facility in New York,” said Sol III Company Founder & Artistic Director, Andrei Schiller-Chan. “After many years of exchanging letters with David and emails with Rubin’s team, I was about to meet a man who changed my life, despite the fact he was living behind concrete and barbed wire.

The play focuses on the triumph of the human spirit trapped wrongfully within the prison industrial complex.

Andrei Schiller-Chan brings a transcendental philosophy to the theatre, seeking to create a world of empathy for another’s suffering and generate positive change and communication to right wrongs. His close friendship with David McCallum serves as the inspiration for this production.