27 June 2016


Popular Resistance newsletter 26 June 2016

Newsletter: Brexit Backlash Against EU, A Revolt Against Elites

Above: Protest supporting the Brexit by Associate Press.

Note: One reader thought we were urging an end to the EU and ending of all trade agreements. That is not what we are saying. Jeremy Corbyn of the Labor Party seemed to have it right, stay in the EU and change it. He saw problems going back to the pre-EU system as well. The EU does not have to put bankers and big business interests first; they do not have to be anti-democratic and secretive; they do not have to kow-tow to US pressure toward greater militarism against Russia. My hope is the Brexit is a wake up call and they change. If they fail to do so they will see more countries leaving and break apart.

Regarding trade, we favor trade and trade agreements but they do not have to be written by and for transnational corporations, in fact they should be written to control the abuses of these corporations.

 They also do not have to be written in ways that will undermine the Paris Treaty on climate, they should be written to support that and other progressive treaties on the environment, human rights and labor rights. They can be negotiated in a transparent way so people see what they are doing and can have input into the process. Trade can be a positive force for uplifting people and planet but only if they are not dominated by transnational corporations who have interests that often conflict with the interests of people and planet. KZ and MF

Mobilization for Global Justice

The globalized economy is not working for most people of the world. International trade agreements and new government structures like the European Union serve corporate power and put the people and planet aside to ensure profits continue to come first. They undermine democracy and national sovereignty, leaving people feeling more powerless.

By pushing austerity and commodification of public services, people are now more economically insecure with less wealth and lower incomes. The response of many is anger. Some protest austerity, others blame people of a different skin color, heritage or ethnicity. The surprise vote in the UK to leave the European Union is the latest, and perhaps the biggest, example of the blowback economic and political elites are getting for their actions.

The Brexit Backlash

As economist Michael Hudson tells Chris Hedges, the negative impact of neo-liberal economics is augmented by US and NATO military actions. The war on Iraq, destruction of Libya, ongoing military conflict in Syria; along with the US regime change in Ukraine and lining Russian borders with NATO forces while the US demands Europe spend more on militarism; have led to a massive exodus of migrants from the Middle East which has exacerbated economic insecurity and nationalist fears.

Anti-Brexit supporters dressed as bananas protest outside York racecourse.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Anti-Brexit supporters dressed as bananas protest outside York racecourse. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
The impact of the Brexit is just beginning. Hundreds of billions have been lost and bankers and investors are going to find themselves upside down. US and European banks, as well as UK banks, just lost 9 percent of their value because of the drop in the value of British currency. These financial elites will be demanding another bailout and the US and other governments controlled by the finance sector will comply. This will lead to greater anger at the bottom and the conflict between the elites and the people will grow, leading to new explosions.

The European political establishment has been hit with a shockwave. They did not see this coming. British prime minister David Cameron immediately announced his resignation, but that is just the beginning. Stock markets dropped around the world, the British pound fell to 1985 levels and another recession for Britain is on the horizon, which will create more shockwaves throughout Europe and the world. Populist views in multiple European nations are rising and there could be other countries seeking to leave the EU. The Brexit could be the beginning of the end for the EU.

The Brexit vote showed how out of touch the elites are with the lives of the people in England. They are unaware how austerity, unfair incomes and lack of wealth makes life unbearable for many. The same is true throughout the globalized economy, which is rigged for the 1% around the world. As the elites seek to protect themselves, at the cost of everyone else, it is time for the Left to escalate its actions against austerity, poverty and extreme inequality.

A banner reading 'Capitalism isn't working' at the Occupy London Stock Exchange protest. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images
A banner reading ‘Capitalism isn’t working’ at the Occupy London Stock Exchange protest. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images
The popular movement for economic, racial and environmental justice must seize the moment to demonstrate that the real issues are economic and classist; that the economy rigged by and for the transnational corporations and the investor class is robbing people, treating them as wage slaves with no power and ignoring their hopes while highlighting their lack of political power. This is an opportunity for the movement, but the narrative must be reshaped to be about living standards, pensions, wages and wealth of the people.
As Left Unity argues the Brexit makes it more important for people in Britain to link with those in the Nuit Debout movement in France, with those struggling in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Ireland as well as with the various fronts of struggle in the US. We are all in this together, just as the transnational corporations have united to build their power in governments across the world.

The European Union Anti-Democratic, Favoring Austerity and Public Services Privatized

Brexit may be just the first country to seek to leave the EU. Movements in multiple countries are getting stronger because many are seeing the EU does not represent them. Even those who favored the UK staying in the EU, like Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, agreed the EU needed major transformation.

Greece austerity game over.
Greece austerity game over.
Perhaps the greatest example of the EU missteps has been in Greece.  After the 2008 economic collapse Greece did not recover. Greece sought a bailout from the EU and had to deal with the Troika, the European Commission (the executive body of the EU), International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. The troika required harsh terms to assist Greece in the sovereign debt crisis beginning in 2010 with a bailout and additional bailouts in 2012 and 2015.

Throughout this time there were protests against the Greek government and the EU austerity requirements. Its climax was in 2015 when Syriza put forward a national referendum on the required austerity measures. Two thirds of Greeks voted in the referendum and a landslide 61% to 39% of the pubic opposed the terms set by the Troika.

The Troika reacted aggressively, ignoring the views of the Greek people and continuing their demands showing deep conflicts in the Eurozone and highlighting the undemocratic nature of the EU. Syriza could have taken more aggressive action – nationalizing banks, creating their own currency, issued their own Euros – instead, amid nationwide protests the Syriza government approved the deal, causing divisions in its own party. Alexis Tsipras, forced to give in to the European bankers, knew the austerity policies forced on Greece were a “dead end.” He said he tried to represent the people against the powerful, but the powerful won.

Greece Democracy not available in EU
Greece Democracy not available in EU
The Troika forced a fire sale of Greek public works and infrastructure to their creditors - Greece was for sale, everything must go. This meant the sale of 14 regional airports, which the Germans took, major ports, gas transmission lines, motorways, the main telecommunication system, postal service, water utilities, casino licenses – you get the idea, everything. And, they were forced to sell in the midst of a depression for very low prices. How could this process help Greece be financially stable in the future? In fact, it assures Greece will not be a stable economy. Not only did the Troika take away Greek assets, it took away its dignity after showing that democracy in the birthplace of democracy had no meaning.

Not only did the people of Greece get the message of the abusive power of the EU but people all over the world witnessed it. There were 22 countries with a debt crisis at the time, with predictions that the number could grow to 71 nations. Germans in 14 cities protested against the abuse of Greece. There were members of the EU Parliament that showed their solidarity with the Greek people, but they did not have the power of the Troika.  The view of the world was “we are all Greece.”

Bankers should go to jail

The world saw that the bankers rule in the EU, the people can get down on their knees and beg, but the bankers will make them grovel and give them nothing. The facts showed irresponsible German bankers were a greater threat to Europe than Greece, that Germany had built the façade of a strong economy on bad loans and that so much of the Greek economic problem was a tragedy and a lie. Nine months after this abusive agreement, a leak from the IMF showed that they may be negotiating the debt in bad faith and trying to precipitate another debt crisis to avoid fulfilling their side of the bargain. With the shock waves of the Brexit, economic collapse may be returning to Europe and a country like Greece, economically ravaged by the Troika, may be at great risk.

Some of the lessons from this Greek tragedy may lead to even more radical responses in the future. A Grexit has been talked about and called for, but at the time the people were not ready. Will they be in the near future? People are now recognizing that a left political party in one nation cannot challenge the ruling class of bankers and investors, a broader revolt in the future will be necessary. And, we may find that the power structure of the ruling class will destroy itself from the inside, not from the outside.

The Hypocrisy of the IMF on Austerity, Wealth Divide and Worker Rights

The International Monetary Fund was a key player in the Greek crisis and has been a key player in the globalized economy that serves transnational corporations and not the people. The IMF has pushed austerity on many nations around the world – shrinking their economies when they needed to be growing, pushing wealth to the top when the wealth divide needs to be made smaller; and weakening the power of workers.

IMF World Bank protest

The IMF knows these policies do not work and are counterproductive but they continue to insist on them. The IMF is a tool of the bankers and investment class. It does their work, even though they know it will be counterproductive for the economies of various nations as well as for the global economy. As the backlash against the EU and other global economic institutions designed by and for big business builds, the IMF’s policies will deserve a good deal of blame.

The IMF’s own reports indicate that neoliberalism has been oversold and that austerity is much worse for the economy than they realized. The IMF is now telling the United States that it needs to spend more money to build-up its economy.

In 2015 the IMF said in a report that income inequality is harming economies around the world, calling it the “defining challenge of our time.” The report came out one month before the Greek landslide vote against the austerity and other measures that would expand inequality being forced on Greece. The report found that inequality may show GDP growth but growth does not trickle down and creates a weaker economy.

A March 2015 IMF report, four months before the Greeks voted to oppose the Troika bailout, found that as worker rights and unions diminish, the CEO’s and investors get wealthier but workers get poorer. The wealth divide expands and the economy gets weaker. Yet, the IMF – one-third of the Troika – insisted Greece put in place policies that weakened workers and pushed money to the top.

The Backlash to Austerity Is Broader Than Brexit

The UK was in an uproar over the unfair economy produced by the austerity policies of David Cameron.  Protests began immediately after Cameron was elected with only a plurality of the vote. Shortly after the “no” vote by the Greeks there were mass protests calling for an end to austerity by the EU. There was an occupation outside of Parliament when the 2015 budget was released. A broad coalition of 60,000 people protested outside of the Conservative Party meeting over promised austerity programs.


When it came out in the Panama Papers that Cameron’s family was hiding money offshore to avoid taxes, protests exploded with 150,000 in the streets of London and led to calls for his resignation last October. In September of 2015, Jeremy Corbyn defeated the Blairites and won the leadership of the Labor Party. The Blairites continue to try to remove him, but Corbyn is fighting back.

In Spain, Podemos (We Can) grew out of anti-austerity protest movements. They built their power in the streets, followed by a metamorphosis into a political party that became a major threat to Spain’s political establishment. In May of 2015 they and allied parties won major municipal elections, taking power at the city level. By December 2015, the two party system in Spain came to an end when Podemos, just two years old, came in third place in national elections with 21%, just 7% behind the leader. In December they refused a coalition with the other parties, preventing a majority government. Podemos is going into the upcoming national election in a strong position. It has allied with United Left and is willing to form a government with the Socialists included. It is calling for an increase in social spending of 6% of GDP over four years, paid for by progressive income taxes, an increased corporate tax, fighting tax fraud and financial transactions tax.

 TTIP has angered voters around Europe. Here, people protest against the deal in Amsterdam in May. Marten van Dijl / AFP / Getty Images

TTIP has angered voters around Europe. Here, people protest against the deal in Amsterdam in May. Marten van Dijl / AFP / Getty Images
Another example: as another globalization project is attempted in Europe, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), there have been mass protests throughout the continent. In April 2015 in an international day of action against TTIP hundreds of thousands of people protested across Europe, saying no to the sovereignty-killing agreement that would undermine the environment, food and jobs in Europe.  Hundreds of thousands protested against TTIP in Germany in October 2015.  In February of 2016, activists from seven countries blocked US-EU talks on TTIP in Brussels. When Obama came to Germany in April, 90,000 people protested his trade agenda calling for “free love, not free trade.”

As with Obama’s other big trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the TTIP gives big business power over legislation and prevents laws in the public interest. Leaks showed TTIP was empowering transnational corporations while threatening the environment and health. And, it has come out that the EU trade minister promised to reduce barriers for ExxonMobil and other oil companies, such rules would undermine the Copenhagen agreement. All of this has added up to the near death of the TTIP and recognition by Obama that he cannot finish negotiating it before he leaves office. The difficulty of passing the TTIP is leading the EU to try to undermine democracy further by claiming that a Canadian agreement, CETA, does not require ratification by each country, but only by the EU, according to leaks.


All of this is fueling a broader democracy movement in Europe. Five anti-austerity, pro-democracy leaders in Europe called for a summit at the end of last year to plan a response to EU’s attack on the people. Former Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, announced a new European effort seeking democracy by 2025 in Berlin this past February. Varoufakis hopes to enable progressives throughout Europe to take back power from what he described as a “shadowy world of bureaucrats, bankers, and unelected officialdom.” The group seeks to end the EU’s “opaque decision-making process” and urgently seeks to democratize Europe.

Brexit Part of a New Era of Protest

Climate change protest in Copenhagen.
Climate change protest in Copenhagen.

In this broader context, Brexit should be seen as part of a longer rebellion, going back to the Indignado movement in the spring of 2011 (the European occupy) and building with anti-austerity revolts in multiple countries. The vicious attack on Greece ripped off the fig leaf of the EU and showed how it had become a big business, anti-democratic vehicle. Now we are in the midst of a new phase of a global protest against the United States, IMF, EU and web of international trade laws that are denying nation’s their sovereignty and undermining democracy around the world.

Brexit shows we have our work to do to educate people that this is not about racism and anger at ethnic groups, but is really the battle between the people and the elites. It is a conflict over whether we the people will have the power to decide our futures, whether we can create a fair economy that serves more than the 1% and whether we can act in ways that are consistent with the needs of the environmental crisis we face. There are multiple crises that are linked the crises in democracy, in capitalism and of environmental collapse. We are in an age of dissent and there is much more to come.


26 June 2016


A Blow for Peace and Democracy: Why the British Said No to Europe

The majority vote by Britons to leave the European Union was an act of raw democracy. Millions of ordinary people refused to be bullied, intimidated and dismissed with open contempt by their presumed betters in the major parties, the leaders of the business and banking oligarchy and the media.

This was, in great part, a vote by those angered and demoralised by the sheer arrogance of the apologists for the “Remain” campaign and the dismemberment of a socially just civil life in Britain.  The last bastion of the historic reforms of 1945, the National Health Service, has been so subverted by Tory and Labour-supported privateers it is fighting for its life.

A forewarning came when the Treasurer, George Osborne, the embodiment of both Britain’s ancient regime and the banking mafia in Europe, threatened to cut £30 billion from public services if people voted the wrong way; it was blackmail on a shocking scale.

Immigration was exploited in the campaign with consummate cynicism, not only by populist politicians from the lunar right, but by Labour politicians drawing on their own venerable tradition of promoting and nurturing racism, a symptom of corruption not at the bottom but at the top. The reason millions of refugees have fled the Middle East – first Iraq, now Syria – are the invasions and imperial mayhem of Britain, the United States, France, the European Union and Nato. Before that, there was the wilful destruction of Yugoslavia. Before that, there was the theft of Palestine and the imposition of Israel.

The pith helmets may have long gone, but the blood has never dried. A nineteenth century contempt for countries and peoples, depending on their degree of colonial usefulness, remains a centrepiece of modern “globalisation”, with its perverse socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor: its freedom for capital and denial of freedom to labour; its perfidious politicians and politicised civil servants.

All this has now come home to Europe, enriching the likes of Tony Blair and impoverishing and disempowering millions. On 23 June, the British said no more.

The most effective propagandists of the “European ideal” have not been the far right, but an insufferably patrician class for whom metropolitan London is the United Kingdom. Its leading members see themselves as liberal, enlightened, cultivated tribunes of the 21st century zeitgeist, even “cool”. What they really are is a bourgeoisie with insatiable consumerist tastes and ancient instincts of their own superiority. In their house paper, the Guardian, they have gloated, day after day, at those who would even consider the EU profoundly undemocratic, a source of social injustice and a virulent extremism known as “neoliberalism”.

The aim of this extremism is to install a permanent, capitalist theocracy that ensures a two-thirds society, with the majority divided and indebted, managed by a corporate class, and a permanent working poor. In Britain today, 63 per cent of poor children grow up in families where one member is working. For them, the trap has closed. More than 600,000 residents of Britain’s second city, Greater Manchester, are, reports a study, “experiencing the effects of extreme poverty” and 1.6 million are slipping into penury.

Little of this social catastrophe is acknowledged in the bourgeois controlled media, notably the Oxbridge dominated BBC. During the referendum campaign, almost no insightful analysis was allowed to intrude upon the clichéd hysteria about “leaving Europe”, as if Britain was about to be towed in hostile currents somewhere north of Iceland.

On the morning after the vote, a BBC radio reporter welcomed politicians to his studio as old chums. “Well,” he said to “Lord” Peter Mandelson, the disgraced architect of Blairism, “why do these people want it so badly?” The “these people” are the majority of Britons.

The wealthy war criminal Tony Blair remains a hero of the Mandelson “European” class, though few will say so these days. The Guardian once described Blair as “mystical” and has been true to his “project” of rapacious war.  The day after the vote, the columnist Martin Kettle offered a Brechtian solution to the misuse of democracy by the masses. “Now surely we can agree referendums are bad for Britain”, said the headline over his full-page piece. The “we” was unexplained but understood — just as “these people” is understood. “The referendum has conferred less legitimacy on politics, not more,” wrote Kettle. “ …  the verdict on referendums should be a ruthless one. Never again.”

The kind of ruthlessness Kettle longs for is found in Greece, a country now airbrushed. There, they had a referendum and the result was ignored.  Like the Labour Party in Britain, the leaders of the Syriza government in Athens are the products of an affluent, highly privileged, educated middle class, groomed in the fakery and  political treachery of post-modernism. The Greek people courageously used the referendum to demand their government sought “better terms” with a venal status quo in Brussels that was crushing the life out of their country. They were betrayed, as the British would have been betrayed.

On Friday, the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, was asked by the BBC if he would pay tribute to the departed Cameron, his comrade in the “remain” campaign. Corbyn fulsomely praised Cameron’s “dignity” and noted his backing for gay marriage and his apology to the Irish families of the dead of Bloody Sunday.

He said nothing about Cameron’s divisiveness, his brutal austerity policies, his lies about “protecting” the Health Service. Neither did he remind people of the war mongering of the Cameron government: the dispatch of British special forces to Libya and British bomb aimers to Saudi Arabia and, above all, the beckoning of world war three.

In the week of the referendum vote, no British politician and, to my knowledge, no journalist referred to Vladimir Putin’s speech in St. Petersburg commemorating the seventy-fifth anniversary of Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union on 22 June, 1941.  The Soviet victory – at a cost of 27 million Soviet lives and the majority of all German forces – won the Second World War.

Putin likened the current frenzied build up of Nato troops and war material on Russia’s western borders to the Third Reich’s Operation Barbarossa. Nato’s exercises in Poland were the biggest since the Nazi invasion; Operation Anaconda had simulated an attack on Russia, presumably with nuclear weapons. On the eve of the referendum, the quisling secretary-general of Nato, Jens Stoltenberg, warned Britons they would be endangering “peace and security” if they voted to leave the EU.  The millions who ignored him and Cameron, Osborne, Corbyn, Obama and the man who runs the Bank of England may, just may, have struck a blow for real peace and democracy in Europe.
John Pilger can be reached through his website: www.johnpilger.com

21 June 2016



You can be sure of Eddie's supporters when Jeff Kennett and Julie Bishop come out in his support for his latest behaviour.

Racism and sexism are bad enough but this latest bout of misogyny  is going over the top.

However, in their haste to excuse his behaviour - the AFL is the prime offender - they all forget that McGuire's homophobia is out there with the worst of the others and he needs to be criticised for all at the same time.

The latest attack by McGuire and his friends on Caroline Wilson shows how correct she must be in hitting the raw spots of their actions and utterances.

It really is time that some of those out there in the big real world did something to curb these people who seem to believe they can get away with saying and doing anything they want to to upset the world at large.

Don't ignore the issue and don't forget about it.

Some items from the past reflecting McGuire's ongoing attacks on various groups he dislikes:


 JOHN LAWS, STEVE PRICE, SAM NEWMAN - HOMOPHOBIA ON AIR: There have been a few arguments about these three people in the gay media. It is being suggested that they are entertainers and they say what they do in order to create controversy for their programmes, sponsors, radio and/or television stations in order to draw in listeners/viewers. These sorts of discussions are flawed because there are anti-vilification laws in many states in Australia. The homophobic attacks by Laws, Price and Newman result in abuse, violence and often worse because the people perpetrating these assaults believe they have community support for what they have done which is why there are anti-vilification laws. Often this has proved to be the case when some assaults and murders have gone to trial, only to have cases dismissed or treated lightly due to “panic defence” and similar arguments being put forward. Members of the glt communities must protest and continue protesting, to stop these attacks on our human rights, attacks which, if carried out on heterosexuals, would lead to immediate outcries from the community at large!

Apart from John Laws, Steve Price and  Sam Newman, dating back to last year and early this year, the most recent “on air” manifestations have come from Eddie Maguire of the Nine Network, and  also Network Ten which has a programme called Big Brother, both programmes of which went to air on Monday 18 July 2005 with “Nancy Boy”, “Poofta and Poof” expressions being used repeatedly. These programmes were followed by the 60Minutes Channel 9 programme on 24 July 2005.


While the AFL is dragging its heels on this issue, other members of the football fraternity are adamant that the sport has a moral obligation to tackle sexuality-based discrimination. One such man is Eddie McGuire, the influential President of the Collingwood Football Club.
“The one thing that we are is the club for anyone who feels disassociated. We don’t care what your race, religion, sex or sexual orientation is - we believe absolutely in tolerance and respect and empathy,” McGuire tells MCV.
“We won’t tolerate – as long as I’m president of the club anyway – we won’t tolerate any form of discrimination.”
In terms of fighting homophobia, the Collingwood President compares the issue to the AFL’s successful battle to eliminate racism from the game.
“I refer it back to the same principles as tackling racial vilification – when we started to tackle racism, I had a lot of people come up to me and say ‘Thank god we’re doing this: I used to shout racial abuse because I thought it was what you were supposed to do, but I didn’t really believe it’. It’s the same classic pack mentality in regards to sexual orientation, and football should be leading the way in that regard,” McGuire concludes.
MCV editor Richard Watts was founder of the Collingwood supporters club the Pink Magpies.

The above items are from: www.red-jos.net/homopho7.htm



Crikey.com had this gem on 18 February 2010, the day before The Age published the story:

Eddie and Mick feel the heat in Vancouver gay row

Andrew Crook writes:


Channel Nine has been hit with a blizzard of complaints over its Winter Olympics coverage, with host Eddie McGuire and Melbourne comedian Mick Molloy in the firing line this morning over "h-mophobic" comments targeting figure skating champion Johnny Weir.
johnny Last night, during Nine's primetime "highlights package", Eddie and sidekick Mick decided to whip out the schoolboy sniggering as they gave their considered assessments of Weir's Vancouver routine. The graceful Weir, who has not formally "outed" himself, appeared to be too much for the duo to bear. Let's go to the transcript. (We'd go to the tape, but copyright issues mean we'd be stuck in the courts for decades. You can see footage of Weir skating to Lady Gaga here).
EDDIE MCGUIRE: ...what about the fashion at the ice skating?
... MICK MOLLOY: They don't leave anything in the locker room those blokes.
EDDIE: They leave nothing...
MICK: When they get out there...
EDDIE: They don't leave anything in the closet either do they? [Laughs].
MICK: They [laughs], well they -- careful you'll get yourself into trouble there...
EDDIE: Sorry mate.
But the daring duo weren't finished.
MICK: Look at this guy, it was like one of those fake tuxedos that you -- even Prince saw that and went, oh hang on, you can't go out wearing that. Oh look out, the hay seed look's in this year. What is that?
EDDIE: A bit of broke back?
MICK: A bit of Brokeback Mountain exercise. You can't wear it. They're very flamboyant, they love a bit of colour as we said.
In the minutes after the exchange, Twitter lit up in anger, with a torrent of criticism demanding McGuire be booted, alongside a number of other general gripes over the Footy Show-style jocularity and gratuitous repeats that have dominated Nine's coverage.
* @Shhhannon Just saw Eddie McGuire step in it with an inappropriate comment about a male ice-skater. Watch this space for controversy!
* @henrys_creek If Eddie McGuire wasn't enough of a w-nker, now makes quite a h-mophobic quip with Johnny Weir. Bastard.
* @bottled_love: Oh haha.... let's make jokes about the male figure skaters being gay... groundbreaking televisual wit right there Eddie McGuire
* @linclefevre Go on Eddie McGuire. Make some more gay jokes. Dick.
* @nilesedge Ugggh who let Eddie mcguire near the winter olympics?? He's a f-cking football yob and that's it
* @dominiquelam Eddie McGuire you are such a douche bag. One rich douche bag.
* @abbiemc OMG Eddie McGuire. "they don't leave much in the closet" "brokeback mountain" SHUT UP. I hope there are complaints. Many.
* @Selenadover OMG, did Eddie McGuire just suggest Johnny Weir is less than manly?
* @chicachow Can't decide what he finds more offensive: channel nine's vaguely ho-ophobic figure skating commentating or Eddie mcguire's face.
* @ozreedgal: eddie mcguire has made a number of little digs about competitors' s-xuality since I've been watching 2night. He's obsessed #olympics.
The anger promptly spread to Facebook, with a group "Eddie Mcguire is ruining the 2010 Winter Olympics coverage" bursting this morning with anti-Eddie vitriol. The Facebook page has said that it has submitted several formal complaint letters to the relevent department at Channel Nine.
Twitterers also pointed to "patronising" interviews McGuire has conducted with Winter Olympics superstars, including female figure skater Katarina Witt, where Witt's 1998 Playboy front cover was dredged up again to her visible dismay.
Nine paid about $100 million alongside broadcast partners Foxtel for the TV rights to the 2010 and 2012 games. But the ratings have been disappointing, with the network coming in third last night behind Seven's Gangs of Oz and Ten's So You Think You Can Dance Australia.
There is also talk that the games themselves are also in trouble: this Reuters article ("Vancouver's Games in danger of sinking into meltwater") wraps the bad news so far, with the opening-day death of Nodar Kumaritashvili snowballing into problems over spectator safety concerns, a lack of the white stuff and protests over the millions wasted while Vancouver struggles with the social problems of its Downtown Eastside slum area.
McGuire has continued with his Triple M breakfast radio slot from Vancouver, phoning in the banter each North American afternoon.
Send your tips to boss@crikey.com.au or submit them anonymously here.
And then this letter in The Age on 19 February 2010:

Homophobic slurs

OVER the first five minutes of Vancouver coverage that I saw on Wednesday night, I listened to Eddie McGuire and Mick Molloy make numerous offensive comments, most of which linked male ice-skaters and homosexuality, but also covered matters such as the ''redneck'' sport of curling. This disgusting display of ''Olympic coverage'' culminated in a comment about male ice-skaters bringing their own pillows, which, to my amazement, was delivered immediately after an apology made by Mr Molloy about an offensive comment he'd made on a previous night.
This was not relevant coverage of the winter Olympics, it wasn't even funny; it was a dialogue between two men lacking intelligence, professionalism and understanding. If these TV personalities can only offer poor journalism littered with homophobia and superiority, then perhaps we need to find new commentators. Perhaps someone who knows a thing or two about winter sports.
Fontaine Dunstan, Ripponlea

The above item is from:

19 June 2016



On 16 June 1976 the South African apartheid government, which had been trying to force Afrikaans on the schools in Soweto, saw the results of their destruction of the education system instituted for the Blacks in South Africa break down when the young people of Soweto went on a strike from their school system and rioted in the townships.

Shootings by the police on that day and subsequently saw South Africa erupt with riots, assassinations, police state actions and worse leading to suppression equal to the worst apartheid control ongoing for the next 18 years.

Then the unthinkable occurred - boycott, divestment and sanctions helped bring the apartheid regime to its knees and the apartheid government released Nelson Mandela and others, negotiated with them and in April 1994 the first democratic election occurred in South Africa.

End of apartheid and a "new world order" for all South Africans - or so we all believed until August 2012 when 34miners were killed by police - mostly blacks killing blacks - at Marikana - the largest massacre of civilians in South Africa since Sharpeville in 1960.

So deep an impression on the world in 1994, so forgotten completely 40 years later so that no main stream media seem to have remembered this historic event which changed the world's perception of the original apartheid state to the extent that the world now shuts the other apartheid state out of sight, out of mind - Israel maintaining the largest concentration camps in Palestine the world has ever known and practising apartheid with a concentration that shows how much further the South African apartheid regime could have gone.


From  southafrica.info

June 16 1976: The day youth changed South Africa's history

A placard from the student protest. The events of 16 June 1976 were sparked by the apartheid government imposing Afrikaans as the language of teaching in black schools.

15 June 2016
Compiled by Mary Alexander
It took a single day for young South Africans to change the course of South Africa's history, setting us on the path to democracy.
That day was 16 June 1976.
Here is an hour-by-hour account of events as they unfolded, 40 years ago.
  • This Youth Day, follow real-time tweets of the events of 16 June 1976 on @SA_info via the #SowetoUprising hashtag.

Protesting Soweto students in 1976. (Image: Doing Violence to Memory)

Background: An education denied

By 1976, the frustration had been building for a generation. Young black South Africans knew their schooling was the worst in South Africa.
In 1953, the new National Party government had passed the Bantu Education Act, which made sure black youth were educated only to the point that they could be servants to white people's prosperity.
Before then, South Africa had a rich tradition of mission schools. Nelson Mandela, Robert Sobukwe, and many others had been given the opportunity to become some of the best minds in South Africa as a result of their quality schooling.
But the apartheid government wanted the threat of bright African minds to stop. Many mission schools were closed.
By 1976, students' frustration reached boiling point when the government began to introduce Afrikaans as the language of teaching.
Black students, particularly in the cities, were fluent only in African languages and in English. Few knew Afrikaans well enough to be taught in it, let alone write exams in the language.

The mood at the start of the march - before the police opened fire - was hopeful and excited. (Image: South African History Online)


It is a Wednesday morning, 16 June 1976. Today, the Soweto Students Action Committee have organised the township's high school pupils to march to Orlando Stadium, as a protest against the government's new language policy.
The student leaders come mainly from three Soweto schools: Naledi High in Naledi, Morris Isaacson High in Mofolo, and Phefeni Junior Secondary, close to Vilakazi Street in Orlando.
The protest is well organised. It is to be conducted peacefully. The plan is for students to march from their schools, picking up others along the way, until they meet at Uncle Tom's Municipal Hall. From there they are to continue to Orlando Stadium.

The children of Soweto were in high spirits at the promise of the protest. (Image: Doing Violence to Memory)


Students gather at Naledi High. The mood is high-spirited and cheerful. At assembly the principal gives the students his support and wishes them good luck.
Before they start the march, Action Committee chairperson Tepello Motopanyane addresses the students, emphasising that the march must be disciplined and peaceful.
At the same time, students gather at Morris Isaacson High. Action Committee member Tsietsi Mashinini speaks, also emphasising peace and order. The students set out.
On the way they pass other schools and numbers swell as more students join the march. Some Soweto students are not even aware that the march is happening.
"The first time we heard of it was during our short break," said Sam Khosa of Ibhongo Secondary School. "Our leaders informed the principal that students from Morris Isaacson were marching. We then joined one of the groups and marched."
There are eventually 11 columns of students marching to Orlando Stadium - up to 10 000 of them, according to some estimates.


There have been a few minor skirmishes with police along the way. But now the police barricade the students' path, stopping the march.
Tietsi Mashinini climbs on a tractor so everyone can see him, and addresses the crowd.
"Brothers and sisters, I appeal to you - keep calm and cool. We have just received a report that the police are coming. Don't taunt them, don't do anything to them. Be cool and calm. We are not fighting."
It is a tense moment for police and students. Police retreat to wait for reinforcements. The students continue their march.

By Thursday 17 June 1976 the student uprising had spread to Alexandra township in the far north of Johannesburg.
The placard in the centre reads: "Vorster and Kruger shall not go to heaven."
In 1976, JB Vorster was prime minister of the apartheid government, and Jimmy Kruger his minister of police.
The placard on the right - partly cut off - reads simply: "Don't shoot. We are not fighting."
(Image: Doing Violence to Memory)


The marchers arrive at today's Hector Pieterson Square. Police again stop them.
It was here that everything changed. There have been different accounts of what actually started the shooting.
The atmosphere is tense. But the students remain calm and well-ordered.
Suddenly a white policeman lobs a teargas canister into the front of the crowd. People run out of the smoke dazed and coughing. The crowd retreats slightly, but remain facing the police, waving placards and singing.
Police have now surrounded the column of students, blocking the march at the front and behind. At the back of the crowd a policeman sets his dog on the students. The students retaliate, throwing stones at the dog.
A policeman at the back of the crowd draws his revolver. Black journalists hear someone shout, "Look at him. He's going to shoot at the kids."
A single shot rings out. Hastings Ndlovu, 14 years old, is the first to be shot. He dies later in hospital.
After the first shot, police at the front of the crowd panic and open fire.

The Hector Pieterson Memorial in Soweto. (Image: Brand South Africa)
Twelve-year-old Hector Pieterson collapses, fatally injured. He is picked up and carried by Mbuyisa Makhubo, a fellow student, who runs towards Phefeni Clinic. Pieterson's crying sister Antoinette runs alongside. The moment is immortalised by photographer Sam Nzima, and the image becomes an emblem of the uprising.
There is pandemonium in the crowd. Children scream. More shots are fired. At least four students have fallen to the ground. The rest run screaming in all directions.


Dr Malcolm Klein, a coloured doctor in the trauma unit at Baragwanath Hospital, is on his break when a nurse summons him with a look of utter distress on her face.

Bloodied, injured and dying students were ferried to Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto. (Image: Doing Violence to Memory)

"I followed her and was met by a grisly scene: a rush of orderlies wheeling stretchers bearing the bodies of bloodied children into the resuscitation room," he recalled later. "All had the red 'Urgent Direct' stickers stuck to their foreheads ...
"I stared in horror at the stretcher bearing the body of a young boy in a neat school uniform, a bullet wound to one side of his head, blood spilling out of a large exit wound on the other side, the gurgle of death in his throat. Only later would I learn his name: Hastings Ndlovu."


After the first massacre, the students flee in different directions. Anger at the senseless killings inspires retaliation.
Buildings and vehicles belonging to the government's West Rand Administrative Buildings are set alight and burned to the ground. Bottlestores are burned and looted.
More students are killed by police, particularly in encounters near Regina Mundi Church in Orlando and the Esso garage in Chiawelo. As students are stopped by the police in one area, they move their protest action elsewhere.
By the end of the day most of Soweto has felt the impact of the protest.
Schools close early, at about noon. Many students, so far unaware of the day's events, walk out of school to a township on fire. Many join the protests. The uprising gains intensity.


Fires continue blazing into the night. Armoured police cars later known as "hippos" start moving into Soweto.
Official figures put the death toll for that single day at 23 people killed. Other reports say it was at least 200.
Most of the victims are under 23, and shot in the back. Many others are maimed and disabled.


The uprising spreads across South Africa. By the end of the year about 575 people had died across the country, 451 at the hands of police.
The injured number 3 907, with the police responsible for
2 389 of them. During the course of 1976, about 5 980 people are arrested in the townships.
International solidarity movements are roused as an immediate consequence of the revolt. They soon give their support to the pupils, putting pressure on the apartheid government to temper its repressive rule. Many schoolchildren leave South Africa, to join the exiled liberation movements.
This pressure is maintained throughout the 1980s, until resistance movements are finally unbanned in 1990.

Sources and additional information

This is largely an edited and condensed version of the timeline published by South African History Online in the feature The June 16 Soweto Youth Uprising.
Journalist Lucille Davie has written many excellent accounts of the events of June 16 1976. These include:
Additional information - particularly the memories of Baragwanath Hospital trauma doctor Malcolm Klein - sourced from "The Soweto Uprising - Part 1" by Sifiso Mxolisi Ndlovu, in chapter 7 of The Road to Democracy in South Africa Volume 2, published by the South African Democracy Education Trust.
Many events omitted from this timeline, such as the killing of Dr Melville Edelstein, are to be found in this comprehensive and moving account. The chapter can be downloaded in PDF.
Researcher Helena Pohlandt-McCormick has made a wealth of testimony, photos and documents about the 1976 student uprising available online. Browse her Doing Violence to Memory: The Soweto Uprising.
Clarification of the sequence of events in the initial police shooting, and the deaths of Hastings Ndlovu and Hector Pieterson, was provided by Sulaiman Philip from interviews conducted, during the course of June 2016, with veterans of June 16 1976.


16 June ’76 – Remember Dr Melville Edelstein – the life & death of a good man

Kevin Harris productions

[Broadcast on SABC 2 “Issues of Faith” on 16th June 2013 @ 09h00]
Click here to view the video

Dr Melville Edelstein’s tragic slaying in Soweto on 16th June 1976 by a mob of enraged township youth, is the direct consequence of a racist system that socialized its citizens to judge & respond to one another impulsively on the basis of skin colour stereotypes – rather than evaluating people as individuals with their own particular differentiating personal qualities.


The central character is philanthropist, Dr Melville Edelstein.

Dr Edelstein’s goal was to serve humanity.

By all accounts he was a good man who cared about people as individuals.

This caring attitude towards every individual brought about his demise on the 16th June 1976.

Knowing that the situation was volatile – after ensuring that others had moved out of Soweto to safety – Dr Edelstein made the fatal decision to drive back into the township to check on the safety of a colleague.
His colleague had long moved out of the township to safety and Dr Edelstein – caught up in a mob of enraged students – was dragged out of his colleague’s office and brutally slain.

Under the circumstances, Dr Edelstein was slain because he was white.

His death was the direct consequence of the racist system of apartheid which socialized South Africans to impulsively judge and respond to one another not as individuals with individual qualities, but according to a stereotypical image based solely on skin colour.

In this context, as a white man – following shortly after the shock brutal police-shootings, in the volatile heat of that moment – Dr Edelstein represented the oppressor and in that “mob situation” the crowd of black students instinctively avenged the killing and wounding of fellow students by police earlier that day by taking the life of Dr Edelstein.

In his private life, Dr Edelstein carried the pain of rejection by his eldest child and only son Michael from his first marriage.

Despite repeated ongoing attempts to reconcile, to his dying day, Dr Edelstein was rejected by Michael who – in a final act of rejection – legally changed his surname from Edelstein to Lyall.


“16 June ’76 – Remember Dr Melville Edelstein”, is the life-story of Dr Melville Edelstein – brutally slain by a crowd of enraged students in Soweto on June 16th, 1976.

Deputy Chief Welfare Officer of the West Rand Administration Board [WRAB], Dr Edelstein was a philanthropist who over the years instituted many community projects for the Youth & the Disabled in Soweto.

A practicing orthodox Jew, Melville Edelstein was apolitical & dedicated to serving the good of mankind. He was also a pacifist who refused to enlist for World War II.

Before his death, he worked closely with the youth of Soweto & produced a prophetic Masters thesis intended to warn the Nationalist Party Govt of their looming collision-course with Black youth, titled, “What do young Africans Think”.

Highly respected as an academic, Melville Edelstein had the ear of Prime Minister of the day, John Vorster – as well as influential ministers in his Cabinet.

Despite this, his warnings went unheeded.

On June 16th 1976, the youth of Soweto took to the streets to register their rejection of the institution of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in “Bantu Education” schools.

That morning, Dr Edelstein was hosting the official opening for a branch of his Sheltered Workshop Program designed to provide employment for the disabled in Orlando East, Soweto.

When news of the student uprising reached the project, the ceremony was brought to a hurried end as dignitaries and workers were ferried out of the township.

Concerned about the safety of a colleague – Pierette Jacques, back at the Youth Centre in Jabavu – Melville Edelstein drove from Orlando East through crowds of gathering students to get to her office.

“I told them it was going to happen”, Samuel Thlotleng, a social worker at the Central Western Jabavu office heard Dr Edelstein cry as he rushed into the office instructing his staff to leave immediately.

When Melville Edelstein finally emerged from his office later that morning, the political temperature had long been raised by police shootings in the township & he walked straight into the wrath of a seething crowd of enraged students.

Shortly there-after, news photographer Peter Magubane came across the disfigured remains of Dr Edelstein’s body – a crude sign hung around his neck with the words,
“Beware, Afrikaans is the most dangerous drug for our future”.

“If they’d known who he was, this would never have happened”, Magubane was quoted as saying.

“16 June ’76 – Remember Dr Melville Edelstein” is the little-known story of Dr Melville Edelstein – a philanthropist who chose to work within the confines of the Apartheid system to serve the poor & oppressed. In so doing he brought hope & light into the lives of many of Soweto’s destitute & marginalized community.

Caught in the back-lash to the most oppressive phase of the Apartheid era – Melville Edelstein was the victim of the consequences of the apartheid system – a racist system which socialized South Africans to impulsively judge and respond to one another not as individuals with individual qualities, but according to a stereotypical image based solely on skin colour.

The Scream - Edvard Munch

Contact Kevin Harris

Kevin Harris
Email: khprod@global.co.za
Tel: +27-11-726 4809

18 June 2016


Our Australian Greens should take a leaf out of the United States' Green Party's book. Here is the latter's statement on US foreign policy, Palestine-Israel & BDS. (Their leader and presidential candidate is Dr Jill Stein):

"The Jill Stein campaign calls for ending support for governments committing war crimes and massive human rights violations, including Israel and Saudi Arabia. It supports the BDS movement as a peaceful, nonviolent set of actions organized by civil society across the world aimed to end Israel apartheid, occupation, war crimes, and systematic human rights abuses.

"US foreign policy requires an emergency overhaul, from a program of total global military and economic domination, to a policy of promoting international law, human rights and diplomacy. We must cease and desist from being, in the words of Martin Luther King, the greatest purveyor of violence the world over. Our foreign policy currently serves war profiteers and fossil fuel companies, but not the American people or the cause of global justice, peace and security. Our failed wars of the past 14 years have cost us 5 trillion dollars, left over a million people dead in Iraq alone, and killed or maimed tens of thousands of US service men and women. Yet we - and the Middle East - are far less secure, not more secure.

"In addition to ending our catastrophic and immoral wars for oil and markets, we must stop aiding and abetting the human rights violations and war crimes of our allies who are massively defying international law. This includes the Israeli government and the rulers of Saudi Arabia. With regard to Israel, the United States has encouraged the worst tendencies of the Israeli government as it pursues policies of occupation, apartheid, assassination, illegal settlements, demolitions, blockades, building of nuclear bombs, indefinite detention, collective punishment, and defiance of international law. Instead of allying with the courageous proponents of peace and human rights within Palestine and Israel, our government has rewarded consistent abusers of human rights.

"Therefore, the Stein campaign calls for ending military and economic support for the Israeli government while it is committing war crimes and defying international law. In addition, the Stein campaign supports actions of nonviolent resistance to the policies of the occupation and of the Israeli apartheid regime, including those of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign, which was endorsed by the Green Party of the United States in 2005 and is supported by thousands of civil society peace activists and organizations.

"Consistency in US policy regarding human rights and international law will begin, but not end, with Palestine and Israel. I will apply this same approach to other nations such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, among others.

"Finally, we call for the establishment of a Palestine and Israel Truth & Reconciliation Commission as the vehicle for shifting from an era of US support of human rights and international law violations to one based on justice and truth bringing all parties together as equals to seek workable solutions. A dedicated commitment to justice will further the security of all parties, Palestinians, Israelis, and all people in the region, much better than the current policies of politically, economically and militarily supporting the systemic and institutionalized abuse of one side against the other."
Posted by MERC at 7:57 AM 5 comments:
Labels: BDS, The Greens

15 June 2016


From Project Censored - by email 0n 14 June 2016

By Peter Phillips

The Orlando mass murderer, Omar Mateen, worked for G4S, one of the largest private security employers in the world. G4S has some 625,000 employees spanning five continents in more than 120 countries. As a private security company it provides services for both governments as well as corporations. Some of its well-known contractors are with the British Government, the United States, Israel, Australia and many more. G4S providers a range of services in the areas of corrections, policing, and security of important facilities. In the corporate sector it has worked with such well-known companies such as Chrysler, Amtrak, Apple, and the Bank of America.

A statement from G4S, published by The Independent June 12 says that: “We are shocked and saddened by the tragic even that occurred at the Orlando nightclub. We can confirm that Omar Mateen had been employed with G4S since Sept 10 2007. We are cooperating fully with all law enforcement authorities, including the FBI, as they conduct their investigation. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the friends, families, and people affected by this unspeakable tragedy.”

Mateen worked with the company since 2007. G4S provides security personnel for the Department of Homeland Security, US Customs and Border Protection at the US-Mexico border, and helps transport undocumented immigrants from urban areas.

Mass killings like the one in Orlando directly benefit private security firms like G4S by increasing fears and demands for higher security services. Estimates are that over $200 billion is spent on private security globally with higher amounts expected yearly. The industry currently employs some 15 million people worldwide.

G4S offers security guards, alarms, management and transportation of cash and valuables, prison management, and electronic monitoring of offenders in 120 countries worldwide. They are the second largest private employer in the world. Their annual revenue in 2014 was $10.5 billion. Increasingly G4S operates in “complex environments” and accepts jobs national armies are not trained to do like land mine clearance, and military security in active war zones.

Chevron Oil in Nigeria contracts with G4S for counter insurgency operations that deploy armed groups of fast-response mercenaries both on land and on delta water patrol boats mounted with machine guns. G4S maintains a similar operation in South Sudan. G4S also provides surveillance equipment to checkpoints and prisons in Israel.

G4S has been plagued with problems in the last decade, most noticeably with the botched contract at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. They failed to provide the 10,000 plus trained employees they had promised under contract. Instead G4S had roughly 2,000 people properly trained, with many more getting only a few weeks’ worth of preparation. The result led to the British Military being called in to provide security with some 13,000 troops alongside G4S.

In June of 2014, G4S was accused of violently removing protesters from outside its own offices in London, a claim the company denies, and a few months after that G4S had to pay $100,000 for unlawfully restraining youths in a secure training facility. In 2011, a double amputee was improperly secured in one of G4S’s ambulance services and died when the unsecured wheelchair tipped over backwards as he was being transported to the hospital.  It was found that the G4S staff was not sufficiently trained to move patients safely from their homes to hospitals. And as far back as 2004, a 15-year-old died when three G4S employees at Rainsbrook Secure Training Center restrained him. None of the officers were charged in that incident.

G4S is a transnational security company in direct service to the global corporations and the transnational capitalist class. G4S protects capital and assets around the world and is increasingly taking a private military style approach as needed. As a multi-billion-dollar public company major investors come from the financial core of the transnational capitalist class including; Blackrock, UBS, Vanguard, Barclays, State Street, Allianz, J.P. Morgan Chase, Credit Suisse, and FMR. Even the State of California and New York have holdings in G4S. Nine of the thirteen largest most connected money management firms and banks in the world have direct investments holdings in G4S.

Omnicom, the largest public relations and propaganda firm in the world, handles media for G4S and undoubtedly is currently in full crisis management mode to protect the company and minimalize links to Omar Mateen.

G4S is a part of neoliberal imperialism that is leading to the substitution of and privatization of state police. Inside G4S’s 625,000 employees are undoubtedly a number of reactionary individuals with extreme racist, homophobic, and xenophobic feelings similar to Omar Mateen. These folks are armed walking time bombs that can individually or collectively unleash disruption and chaos on humans anywhere in the world. The resulting chaos and fear will be used to justify even more demands for private security, including even martial law, all resulting in improved profits for G4S.

Peter Phillips is a Professor of Political Sociology as Sonoma State University and president of Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored. Fully footnoted research on G4S is available on line at: http://projectcensored.org/private-military-companies-in-service-to-the-transnational-capitalist-class/


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90 years old, political gay activist, hosting two web sites, one personal: http://www.red-jos.net one shared with my partner, 94-year-old Ken Lovett: http://www.josken.net and also this blog. The blog now has an alphabetical index: http://www.red-jos.net/alpha3.htm