March in August: thousands rally against Tony Abbott by taking to streets
Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets for the latest wave of protests against the federal government.
Demonstrations were held in cities across the country, including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, to protest against a range of of social and economic policies being implemented by the Abbott government.
About 3,000 protesters marched through Sydney, voicing their concerns on a range of issues, from Australia's asylum seeker policies, to education cuts and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
British romance novelist Ida Cook (1904-1986) wrote over a hundred books for Mills & Boon under the name Mary Burchell
, including the thirteen-book, opera-focused Warrender saga
. The passion she and her sister, Louise Cook, shared for opera carried them across oceans and countries in the years prior to the outbreak of WWII, and when Ida took account of her writing career's financial success, she was by struck by a "terrible, moving and overwhelming thought--I could save life with it." So beginning in 1937, she and Louise helped save dozens of lives by entering Germany disguised as themselves: eccentric opera fanatics. Louise Carpenter's "Ida and Louise"
looks into the lives of these two sisters, these "lives which swung dizzyingly between the purest fantasy and the utterly real." [more inside]
“When international organizations declare a crisis over and refugee camps are closed, what happens to those who remain?
” Close to one million people fled Libya as the violent fights of the Arab Spring began and a civil war ensued in 2011. Choucha, a refugee camp close to the Libyan border in Tunisia, housed many of them and was officially closed in June 2013. Roughly 400 refugees still live among the remains of the UN-camp. A short glimpse into their lives
. [Vimeo. Partly German, English starts at 1:18] [more inside]
The Interpreters We Left Behind.
"As our troops pull out of Iraq
and Afghanistan, we're abandoning fixers and translators to the dangerous countrymen who view them as traitors. Asylum in the U.S. could be their last hope. If only we'd let them in
When Australian prime minister Tony Abbott paused on the lawn of Parliament House to engage a group of high school students in conversation, he may have been hoping to impress some future voters. However, the questions fired at him by the 14-year-olds - about asylum seekers, gay marriage and why he has appointed himself Minister for Women - seemed to take him aback
(warning: camera is level with Abbott's crotch.)
The students involved
later participated in the March in March
– a series of protests against current government policies which took place in 29 locations across Australia over three days. Despite over 100,000 turning out, the protests was little coverage by mainstream media – leading to criticism
even from within
the media’s own ranks
For the first time, photographs have leaked out from inside the Nauru immigration detention centre.
Reopened in 2012, the detention centre houses between 500-600 people, mostly of Iranian background, who are attempting to seek asylum in Australia. The centre was most recently in the news following riots
that destroyed much of the facility's infrastructure. Conditions at the center have been criticised
by the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights as "unbearable".
Australia in 2013. We have forgotten our origins and our good fortune, we are blind to our own selfishness. In place of memory we cling to a national myth of a generous, welcoming country, a land of new arrivals where everyone gets a fair go; a myth in which vanity fills the emptiness where the truth was forgotten.
-- Julian Burnside writes
on refugee policy and alienation in Australia [more inside]
Minneapolis photographer highlights Somali-American success stories
For years, any time photographer Mohamud Mumin turned to local television channels or to newspapers for news about the Minneapolis Somali community, what he found left him disappointed.
Mumin said the media highlights the dark side of the community and abandons the many success stories and positive contributions Somali immigrants are making in their new home -- a remark many in the community agree.
“There are many great things the community is doing,” he said. “Why can’t I see those stories in the media? Why only the negative ones?”
Mumin, 36, recently took matters into his own hands. In 2010, he began capturing the images of 13 Twin Cities Somali-American men, documenting their stories in “The Youth/Dhallinyarada,” a multimedia project that focuses on the effort these men are making to improve the lives of those around them. (“Dhallinyarada” means “the youth” in Somalia.) [more inside]
Pictures from South Sudan
by a UNHCR aid worker (MeFi's Own™ tarvuz)
I am Hazara Close to 1,000 Hazaras have been killed in targeted attacks and shootings in [Quetta] the capital of Pakistan’s largest province [Baluchistan]. The indifference towards the atrocities has forced this shrinking community to take escape routes and gamble between life at the promised land and death at the ocean.
Dawn, Pakistan's largest English-language daily, puts together an essay accompanied by short videos (subtitled in English).
A Government-convened expert group has suggested that Australia return
to the so-called Pacific Solution
to deal with its asylum-seeker conundrum, and break a political impasse. [more inside]
Australian Labor Party's 46th National Conference
starts today in Sydney. Key agenda items - Gay marriage
, and Uranium sale to India
. Follow it live
The Atlantic is in the middle of a four-part special report
on the Israel / Palestinian peace process, called "Is Peace Possible?
" which features multimedia presentations on and analyses of what they believe are the four core issues of the conflict: Borders
, Refugees, and Jerusalem. (The latter two will be released on Monday, November 7 and 14th, respectively)
The report was put together in collaboration with the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace
. [more inside]
The CBC has launched an interactive web documentary
with tonnes of videos that takes users inside Shatila refugee camp
(pop. 12,000) in Beirut, where Palestinians have now lived for more than 60 years.
"War has returned
to the Ivory Coast
in the guise of massacres
, a besieged capital
, and a humanitarian nightmare
." Several months after incumbent Laurent Gbagbo stole the presidential election
, the conflict in Cote d'Ivoire has escalated
as the forces of rightful president Alassane Ouattara have reached Abidjan
to force Gbagbo's surrender
. [more inside]
Mr. Gbagbo was not on-board the plane.
A French foreign ministry spokesman told reporters, "'the legitimate authorities' of Ivory Coast asked that the plane be grounded and, in his words, 'that it is precisely what we have done.'" [more inside]
Filmaker, comics writer and Journalist Ann Nocenti
, known for her run on Daredevil
and being the creator of Longshot
, now teaches film in Haiti
(More Ann Nocenti posts
on posts on Hilobrow)
In a couple of weeks there will be a Federal Election in Australia. One of the key issues is migration policy, and policy relating to the processing of refugee claims, particularly those who escape from their home country and travel to Australia by boat. This one-page web comic is the most detailed examination of the issue I've seen anywhere in the media
For Us Surrender Is Out of the Question.
"Living with the crazy, fearless young men who risk life and limb to document Burma's genocide."
They Fled from Our War.
"Among the many consequences of the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, the plight of millions of Iraqi refugees is seldom mentioned. The stories of such people as Burhan Abdulnour, whom we met in Sweden in 2008, have hardly been told."
The United Nations Refugee Agency has a Flickr page
with nearly 3000 photos neatly sorted into over 150 sets
, most often by country, though sometimes by other themes, such as photos taken by refugee children
, life in a refugee camp
and mixed migration
. There are also news sets
, sorted by month. Some of the countries featured are ones that many associate with humanitarian disasters, Timor-Leste
and The Democratic Republic of Congo
, but there are also photosets from countries that few associate with refugees, Panama
Nearly 2.4 million displaced;
mostly in refugee camps where it's about 45 degrees Celsius
with no wind. Their economy is devastated
."The numbers of people who have moved in that last three and half weeks is the highest rate of movement we have seen for more than 20 years anywhere in the world
Your tax dollars at work?
"The war has uprooted 4.7 million people from their homes. So where are they?"
With the election of Obama and the economic crisis, the topic of Iraq has fallen by the wayside. As hard as things may be right now, Iraqis
have been going through far worse for years now. If you're curious about what they have to say
, hear them tell it in their own words. Iraqi Refugee Stories. [more inside]
Monks Succeed in Cyclone Relief as Junta Falters.
In Burma (Myanmar) the Buddhist monks
are doing more than anyone to help the victims
of Cyclone Nargis. At the same time, Burmese officials are trying to stem the influence of the monks
by forcing survivors who have sought refuge in monasteries to return to their shattered homes
. [Via Barbara's Buddhism Blog.]
is a documentary by Richard Martini
consisting of interviews with Tibetan refugees who have recently fled to Dharamsala, India. It's on YouTube in 5 parts: part 2
, part 3
, part 4
, part 5
Oh, I say old chap--do you mind not going all "immigrant
" on me, and spitting all over the place? Thank you very much
. (how Britain proposes to solve the problem of integrating its migrant population)
is a site that lets people who are refugess within their
own countries tell their life stories
– in their own words. "The narratives in these pages are valuable complements to the official information on conflicts which governments and international organisations offer. These stories deal with the real lives of real people. The narrators share their personal experiences, their sensations, hopes and dreams, and the impact for them of being forced from their homes. The first IDP Voices oral testimonies project took place in Colombia
. IDP Voices from further countries will be added as the projects progress." The life stories are in English and Spanish and can either be read or listened to. You can download the whole book of life stories here
What Cats Know About War.
A reporter adopts cats to reconnect with life amid unremitting death. [Via linkfilter.] [more inside]
Georgia mayor bans soccer from local park.
Georgia mayor bans soccer from local park. “There will be nothing but baseball and football down there as long as I am mayor,”
A mud eruption probably triggered by oil exploration has been making thousands of Indonesians' lives miserable since May.
500,000 Lebanese citizens are now homeless.
That's out of a population of 3.8 million, according to Juan Cole. People in Southern Lebanon have received leaflets warning them to leave, but are trapped in their villages under Israeli bombings. The IDF has opened a 60-km front on the border, using tanks to probe Hezbollah. Meanwhile, a ceasefire remains... elusive.
I normally take the position that both sides are excessively violent, but this is a pretty sad picture of what's going on in Lebanon.
Et in Arcadia ego
(flash). Photographs of the scars of war (Afghanistan/Iraq/Bosnia/genocide/Israel-Palestine/Liberia/refugee camps). Also: Afghanistan
(no flash version), Thailand/tourism/raves
What is the difference between refugees and expelled persons? Refugees leave home and land for fear of what would happen to them, or they were driven out. Expellees are told to leave their home country, often immediately. Their added and deep trauma is broken trust
"Modern Wars and the Civilian Experience
as shown in my experience in World War II", by Greta Zybon
Over 2000 Katrina refugees bused to Muskogee, Oklahoma
will "be met by approximately 300-400 National Guardsmen" who will check them for weapons and interview them before allowing them into barracks and tents at Camp Gruber
, a World War II training facility
deactivated in 1947 and located 14 miles southeast of Muskogee near the village of Braggs (population 301)
. This after 250 were arrested during a riot as the buses were loading. A 9 pm curfew was passed by Braggs councilmen in anticipation of the refugees' arrival. However as of Friday night, "there is no food or water on site". Further, Braggs High School enrolls 60 students and Braggs Elementary School enrolls 168.
For those (few) wondering why Camp Gruber sounds familiar
More than 30 feet of water stood over land inhabited by nearly one million people. Almost 300,000 African Americans were forced to live in refugee camps for months. Many people, both black and white, left the land and never returned. "When Mother Nature rages, the physical results are never subtle. Because we cannot contain the weather, we can only react by tabulating the damage in dollar amounts, estimating the number of people left homeless, and laying the plans for rebuilding. But . . . some calamities transform much more than the landscape."
No, not Katrina. The Great Mississippi flood of 1927. Author John M. Barry in his definitive work on the subject, "shows how a heretofore anti-socialist America was forced by unprecedented circumstance to embrace an enormous, Washington-based big-government solution to the greatest natural catastrophe in our history, preparing the way (psychologically and otherwise) for the New Deal."
The author is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Center for Bioenvironmental Research of Tulane and Xavier universities (whose web site is *understandably* not answering right now). <Heading for the library to find this book>
's photographs have documented
of refugees in camps
across Central and East Africa and the Middle East. However, his photographs
are distinctly different
from the images of refugees we commonly see in printed news articles
. Sheikh's photographs implicitly assert that the individual refugees
share humanity with their oppressive rulers. He does so by depicting the individuals
rather than as victims of a social and political drama. Sheikh, an American citizen, was just awarded the Grand Prix International Henri Cartier-Bresson
Southeast Asian refugees,
like other immigrant populations, have had a mix of experiences and successes since they began arriving in the U.S. in the 1970s. Among the refugees, two groups, the Mien
and the Hmong
, tribes who populate the mountains of Laos and Thailand
, fled when the Communists took over. Today, some
Mien, also known to some Asians as the Yao, continue to live in China, where they are a recognized minority group
and elsewhere. Large numbers of the
have settled in Portland, Ore., and California, and appear to be doing pretty well. The Hmong
settled primarily in Minneapolis and St. Paul because their military leader, Gen. Vang Pao
settled there. You may have read about the
Hmong man who killed six white hunters
, claiming racial animosity, but before that occurred, the Hmong themselves have experienced one tragedy
Lost Boys of Sudan
is an amazing documentary about refugees from Sudan's Darfur conflict
finding haven in the US. It's premiering on PBS tomorrow. Their website has local PBS listings as well as locations and times of upcoming screenings in the US. From sleeping on the ground in a UN refugee camp to working at WalMart in Dallas, the men in the film undertake an enormously difficult, but ultimately life-saving journey.
The USA is sending the refugees from Monserrat
back home. Why? Because the threat from their volcano is no longer regarded as "temporary", but "permanent".
Coast Guard pulls over floating, propeller equipped '59 Buick driving to Miami
- manned by Cuban refugees. "For four of the 11 people on board, it was not the first thwarted attempt to leave the communist island in a bizarrely converted vintage vehicle." (from ABC
news) Last year, they tried to do the same thing in a converted '51 Chevy Truck: "The crew members of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter could not believe their eyes...Chugging along at a steady 13 kilometres per hour in the Straits of Florida was a bright-green 1951 Chevrolet truck...."
(link to story, as reprinted in Free Republic, alas ) Sadly, the Coast Guard sunk the Buick - which looked a bit like a WW2 amphibious landing craft. Here's a picture
, on the blog of a Christian Evangelical (scroll down for story) who argues that the refugees are worthy of a special exception to US immigration laws, for their pluck and innovative brilliance.
'My name is Saranda and I am 13 years old. I moved to Liverpool from Kosovo three years ago ... '
Coming to America!
Rejected by several countries, this relatively small tribe that has been living in slavery and in violent refugee camps is coming to the US. NY Times reg. req.